Link: GAO Decision
Protestor: SIMMEC Training Solutions
Agency: Naval Supply Systems Command
Disposition: Protest Denied.
Protest challenging an agency’s past performance evaluation is denied, where the agency reasonably assessed offerors’ past performance in accordance with the solicitation’s evaluation criterion.
General Counsel PC Highlight:
SIMMEC Training Solutions protested the award to Tier-One Quality Solutions (TQS) of a contract for combat first aid instruction. Award was to be made on a best value basis, considering technical acceptability, past performance and price. Although SIMMEC provided 8 past performance references, the agency only considered the first 3, which it determined not to be relevant because they were below the magnitude threshold of $279,000. TQS submitted three past performance references, of which the agency concluded that one was relevant as to both scope and magnitude.
The GAO found reasonable the agency’s determination that SIMMEC did not have the relevant past performance, noting that SIMMEC did not challenge that the actual value of its past performance is similar in magnitude to the contract requirements. The GAO also found no reason to object to the agency’s crediting of TQS with the past performance of its subcontractor, as the solicitation neither prohibited nor mentioned the evaluation of such information. Finally, the GAO declined to consider SIMMEC’s argument that TQS did not provide required certifications in its proposal, on the grounds that compliance with such requirements was a matter of contract administration.
Where a solicitation requires that offerors submit a certain number of past performance references, offerors should focus on submitting references that satisfy the criteria in the solicitation, rather than providing as many references as possible. Depending on the terms of the solicitation, the agency may only be permitted to consider the first references submitted, regardless of the relevance of later submitted references.