Link: GAO Opinion
Agency: Defense Logistics Agency
Disposition: Protest denied.
Keywords: Government surplus material
General Counsel P.C. Highlight: A protester must demonstrate that the Agency evaluation was unreasonable in order for GAO to sustain its protest. Mere disagreement with the evaluation is not sufficient to support sustaining the protest.
The Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) issued a request for quotations (RFQ) for the purchase of sleeve bearings to be used in Ohio Class nuclear submarines. The RFQ specifically stated that vendors who were offering government surplus materials were required to provide additional information as stated in the solicitation. Government surplus materials are those items that were once owned by the government, were sold as surplus, and are now being offered for sale back to the government. The solicitation stated that vendors offering these products had to included supply information about the original manufacturer of the parts, the agency that initially sold the part to the vendor, percentages of the parts that had been inspected for corrosion or defects, and any specifications or drawings if the parts were originally manufactured pursuant to such.
Saif Industries submitted a timely quote in response to this RFQ, however, its submission did not include any of the representations for government surplus materials discussed above, as required by the solicitation. DLA contacted Saif regarding this deficiency, and requested that it supply the missing information. Saif then submitted a copy of the RFQ’s government surplus materials clause, with a majority of the required information completed. DLA found this supplemented material to still be insufficient and it notified Saif of its decision. Saif filed an agency level protest that was denied, and then followed with a protest to GAO.
In its protest, Saif largely challenged DLA’s determination as unreasonable, alleging that DLA did not properly examine its surplus documentation. GAO’s review of a protest that challenges an agency’s evaluation is limited to ensuring that the agency’s evaluation was reasonable and consistent with the solicitation’s criteria, and with procurement statutes and regulations. Here, it was established that DLA found Saif’s surplus materials certification failed to provide several pieces of information, as required by the RFQ. Specifically, Saif did not include information related to the percentage of parts that had been inspected for corrosion or defects, and it did not provide a copy of the specifications or drawings to which the bearings were originally created. Thus, DLA was not able to determine whether Saif’s products complied with the latest revision of the drawing. Because the RFQ required specific information from vendors related to government surplus materials, and because this information was not sufficiently provided by Saif, GAO determined that DLA’s evaluation, and rejection, of Saif’s quotation was reasonable and consistent with the solicitation. GAO denied Saif’s protest.