Link: GAO Opinion
Agency: Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Disposition: Protest denied.
Keywords: Discussions; Price Evaluation
General Counsel P.C. Highlight: GAO will not sustain a protest unless the protester demonstrates competitive prejudice–that, but for the agency’s actions, it would have a substantial chance of receiving the award.
Online Video Service, Inc. (OVS) protests the award of a contract under a request for proposals (RFP) issued by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for web casting services.
The RFP provided for the award of a contract on a “best value” basis based on an evaluation of past performance, corporate experience, live web cast capability demonstration, and price. Following the submission and evaluation of proposals, discussions, and the submission and evaluation of final proposal revisions, four proposals, including OVS’s, were included in the competitive range. The awardee’s proposal was the lowest priced at $463,858.94, and OVS’s was the highest priced $892,742. The source selection official (SSO) determined that the offers were technically equal and thus made award based on low price.
OVS asserts that the agency failed to engage in meaningful discussions because it did not inform OVS that its price was unreasonable.
GAO will not sustain a protest unless the protester demonstrates competitive prejudice–that, but for the agency’s actions, it would have a substantial chance of receiving the award. The agency maintains that OVS has not demonstrated that it was prejudiced by its failure to reference OVS’s high price during discussions. OVS provides no specific information or explanation as to how it would have lowered its price, which was almost twice as high as the awardee’s price. Given the substantial difference in the offeror’s prices, OVS’s general assertion is not sufficient to establish prejudice, that is, to show that OVS could or would have reduced its price sufficiently that its proposal had a substantial chance of being selected for award as the best value. The protest is denied.