Link: GAO Decision
Protestor: NSR Solutions, Inc.
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Disposition: Protest Denied.
Protest objecting to exclusion of proposal from competitive range is denied where agency reasonably determined that proposal failed to demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of, and sound approach to meeting, solicitation requirements, and thus was unacceptable.
General Counsel PC Highlight:
NSR Solutions, Inc. protested the exclusion of its proposal from the competitive range under an RFP for custodial services at three NASA facilities in Houston, Texas. The solicitation was set aside for Historically Underutilized Business (HUB) Zone small businesses, and indicated that any proposals determined to be unacceptable under any of the technical acceptability subfactors would be precluded from receiving a potentially acceptable rating. NSR received ratings of unacceptable on three subfactors, and potentially acceptable on one subfactor, and was subsequently excluded from the competitive range.
The GAO found reasonable the agency’s determination that NSR’s proposal was technically unacceptable. It pointed out the inconsistencies found by the evaluation team in NSR’s description of its organizational plan as well as a failure to explain certain reporting relationships. It also found reasonable the assignment of a weakness to NSR’s proposal for failing to describe its relationship with its major subcontractor.
Offerors bear the burden of submitting adequately written proposals that comply with all requirements in the RFP. When preparing an offer, a firm should make sure it provides detailed explanations in support of its proposal, adequately explaining management plans and subcontractor relationships. Particularly in solicitations for small business set-asides, sufficient information regarding any subcontractor relationships is essential in determining whether an offeror is even eligible for award. Failure to provide sufficient detail may lead to the assessment of weaknesses or deficiencies to that firm’s proposal.