Link: GAO Decision
Protestor: Spectrum Security Services, Inc.
Agency: Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement
Disposition: Protest Denied.
Protest that agency improperly rejected quotation in Federal Supply Schedule (FSS) acquisition conducted under Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) part 8.4 is denied where protester’s FSS contract did not include all items and rates required by the solicitation.
General Counsel PC Highlight:
Spectrum Security Services, Inc. protested the exclusion of its quotation under an RFQ for detention officer services in the southwest United States. The RFQ was issued to holders of FSS 84, Special Item Number (SIN) 246-54 (protective service occupations) contracts and contemplated the establishment of a single blanket purchase agreement. Spectrum was excluded from competition because its FSS contract did not include pricing for several of the locations to be serviced under this RFQ.
The GAO disagreed with Spectrum’s arguments that the RFQ did not clearly require detention officer services in all locations in the RFQ to be on a vendor’s FSS pricelist prior to the closing time of the RFQ, and that the agency could have discerned Spectrum’s pricing for the additional locations based on Spectrum’s pricing formula. The GAO noted that, when an agency purchases from an existing FSS, all items quoted and ordered must be on the vendor’s schedule contract as a precondition for receiving the order. The GAO found that the cases cited by Spectrum supported the agency’s decision to exclude Spectrum from competition for submitting a quotation including items and rates that were not on its FSS schedule.
Vendors holding FSS contracts may only quote items and rates that are currently listed on their FSS schedule. If a vendor is in the process of negotiating a new FSS contract, it may not quote rates from that proposed contract, but rather must only quote rates under its current contract. A quotation that includes items and rates not covered by the vendor’s current FSS contract may result in the exclusion of that quotation from the competition.