Link: GAO Opinion
Agency: Department of the Navy
Disposition: Protest denied.
Keywords: Lost proposal
General Counsel P.C. Highlight: An offeror bears the burden of submitting a complete and adequately written proposal and it runs the risk that its proposal will be evaluated unfavorably where it fails to do so.
Tetra Tech Tesoro, Inc. (Tetra) protests the award of contracts, by the Department of the Navy, under a request for proposals (RFP) for indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity (ID/IQ) construction contracts for a wide range of construction in the mid-Atlantic region.
The RFP sought proposals for the award of approximately six ID/IQ design-build/design-bid-build construction contracts, and provided for the issuance of future task orders to complete projects under those contracts. Each contract was one year, with four one-year option periods, and the maximum value of all six contracts was $750 million. The procurement was conducted in accordance with FAR Subpart 36.3, which provides for a two-phase design-build selection procedure, under which firms that submit phase one proposals are evaluated, and, based on that evaluation, the agency selects which offerors will be invited to participate in phase two.
Tetra was one of the offeror’s invited to participate in phase two after phase one ratings were established. Phase two consisted of the evaluation of a subcontracting plan, management plan and quality control, task order execution plan, design narrative, and price. The Navy received Tetra’s phase two proposal, which the Navy alleges did not include a subcontracting plan. Based on the absence of the plan, the contracting specialist evaluated Tetra as having a deficiency and gave it the lowest rating under the subcontracting plan factor.
Tetra challenges its ratings under the subcontracting plan, task order, and design narrative factors, and its overall rating. GAO states that an offeror bears the burden of submitting an adequately written proposal and it runs the risk that its proposal will be evaluated unfavorably where it fails to do so.
Tetra argues that its proposal contained a subcontracting plan, but the Navy lost it. The Navy argues that Tetra’s proposal never included it. GAO states that Tetra provided no evidence that convincingly established that the subcontracting plan was included despite sworn affidavits from employees and a copy of the proposal that it allegedly submitted, which did contain the subcontracting plan. GAO’s review of the record also establishes that the Navy handled the proposal with appropriate care, noticed that the subcontracting plan was missing, and used diligence in confirming that the plan had not been mislaid by the Navy. GAO finds that the agency’s conclusion is reasonable that Tetra had not submitted the subcontracting plan and that the agency also acted reasonably in assigning Tetra a poor rating as a result. The protest is denied.