Link: GAO Decision
Protestor: Phair Security Solutions, Inc.
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Disposition: Protest Denied.
- Agency’s determination that the awardee’s proposal represented the best value to the government is unobjectionable where the agency’s determination and selection were consistent with the terms of the solicitation and reasonably based.
- Agency’s evaluation of the awardee’s price proposal, submitted in response to a solicitation that provided for the award of a fixed-price contract for protective services, is unobjectionable where the agency’s evaluation was consistent with the terms of the solicitation and reasonably based.
General Counsel PC Highlight:
Phair Security Solutions, Inc. protested the award to Linxx Global Solutions, Inc. of a contract for protective services at the John H. Glenn Research Center in Cleveland and Plum Brook Station in Sandusky, Ohio. Award was to be made on a best value basis considering three evaluation factors, with mission suitability and price combined being significantly more important than past performance. The SSA found that Phair’s strength under the mission suitability factor was offset by Linxx’s strength under the relevant experience and past performance factor, and concluded that the $2.9 million price advantage associated with Linxx’s proposal provided a meaningful advantage over Phair.
The GAO found without merit Phair’s argument that the agency was required to combine the evaluation results under the mission suitability and price factors into an “amalgamated factor.” It pointed out that the RFP clearly indicated that the three evaluation factors were “approximately equal” to each other, and were considered as “approximately equal” by the SSA in selecting Linxx’s proposal for award. The GAO disagreed that the agency should have performed a price realism analysis in light of the fact that Linxx’s price was below both Phair’s and the IGE. It noted that the RFP provided for evaluation to determine whether prices were fair and reasonable, and to determine whether they were unbalanced; relatively low priced would also be evaluated to determine whether there was a risk of default. The GAO concluded that the record reflected that the agency’s analysis of the offerors’ proposed prices was reasonable and consistent with the terms of the solicitation.
Price realism analysis is not required as part of the evaluation process for fixed-price contracts. The RFP may provide for some price realism analysis in order to measure an offeror’s understanding of the solicitation requirements, or to evaluate the risk of default from a contractor. However, the agency may exercise discretion in determining the depth of analysis it will perform in these situations. So long as the agency acted reasonably and in a manner consistent with the terms of the solicitation, the GAO is likely to uphold their analysis.