Link: GAO Decision
Protestor: ProLog, Inc.
Agency: Department of the Air Force
Disposition: Protest Denied in part, Dismissed in part.
- Agency’s evaluation of protester’s past performance is reasonable, where the agency reasonably determined that only 1 of 10 evaluated contracts was very relevant and, although performance on that contract was exceptional, the offeror’s lack of very relevant performance warranted only a satisfactory confidence rating.
- Protester’s challenge to the past performance evaluation of the awardee’s past performance is dismissed, where protester would not be next in line for award even if its protest were sustained
General Counsel PC Highlight:
ProLog, Inc. protested the award to Bering Straits Logistics Services, LLC (BSLS) of a contract for supply and transportation services to support Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida. The RFP indicated that award would be made to the lowest reasonably-priced, technically acceptable proposal with a substantial confidence past performance rating. If no technically acceptable proposals received a substantial confidence rating, then award would be made on a best value basis.
The GAO disagreed with ProLog’s assertion that the evaluation of offerors’ past performance was unreasonable and unequal. The GAO noted that of the ten past contracts submitted for consideration by ProLog, only one was very relevant, six were somewhat relevant, and three were not relevant. Further, the only very relevant contract had actually been performed by ProLog’s proposed subcontractor; ProLog had not performed contracts that were of a similar scope and magnitude. The GAO thus found it reasonable that the agency only had confidence (not high confidence) in ProLog’s ability to perform. The GAO then also rejected ProLog’s claim that the agency failed to engage in meaningful discussions, pointing out that the agency’s evaluation conclusions about the relevance of ProLog’s or its subcontractor’s contracts did not rise to the level of a deficiency or significant weakness.
When preparing past performance proposals, offerors should try to include as many very relevant contracts as possible. Contracts that are similar or greater in scope, magnitude, and complexity provide the greatest comparison for contracting officers when making their past performance evaluations. While teaming with a subcontractor that has very relevant past performance can boost an offeror’s overall past performance rating, if the offeror relies too greatly on their subcontractor’s experience, the offeror may only receive a satisfactory rating.