Link: GAO Decision
Protestor: Silicon Ro Foundation
Agency: Department of the Navy
Disposition: Protest Denied.
Protest that contract award was improper because awardee did not attend a scheduled site visit is denied where the solicitation did not require that vendors visit the site on a specific date, and the record shows that the awardee visited the construction site prior to scheduled site visit
General Counsel P.C. Highlight:
Silicon Ro Foundation protested the award to Ricostar Tulcea LTD of a contract for the renovation of two schools in Romania. Silicon Ro argued that the award was improper because Ricostar did not attend the agency’s site visit, thereby automatically disqualifying its quotation.
The GAO agreed with the agency’s argument that while the performance technical statement (PTS) required that vendor visit the sites in order to measure and quantify the work, the PTS did not specifically require that vendors attend the agency-sponsored site visit. Based on documentation from the agency showing that Ricostar visited the site the day before the agency-sponsored site visit, the GAO found no merit to the argument that the award was improper.
Although a solicitation may have explicit prerequisites before submitting an offer, there may be some flexibility as to how and when potential offerors complete these steps. Failure to attend an agency-sponsored site visit is not fatal to an offer when the offeror arranges to complete the site visit at another time. A disappointed offeror should review the solicitation for such flexibility before protesting the award.