Link: GAO Decision
Agency: National Security Agency
Disposition: Protests Denied.
Agency reasonably rejected the protesters’ proposals as technically unacceptable in accordance with the terms of the solicitation where the agency reasonably concluded that the proposals failed to offer a program manager who satisfied the experience requirements of the solicitation.
General Counsel PC Highlight:
The Kenjya Group, Inc. and Academy Solutions Group, LLC protested the award to Advantage Engineering & IT Solutions, Inc. of a contract for enterprise management and support (EM&S) services at Fort Meade, Maryland. The RFP required that all offerors provide eight resumes representing each candidate proposed to fulfill the three labor categories for the contract; the resumes must demonstrate that the individuals proposed satisfied the minimum requirements of each labor category, as well as the performance requirements in the SOW. The initial offers of both protestors as well as Advantage were deemed technically unacceptable, and the agency amended the RFP to emphasize the need for experience in a business environment and to indicate that a background in program management or IT systems development alone would not be sufficient to meet the SOW’s requirements. In its revised proposal, Kenjya proposed a new program manager and a new senior systems engineer, and provided additional information for the remaining resumes; Academy and Advantage proposed the same personnel, but added additional information. Kenjya and Academy were still found technically unacceptable, and award was made to Advantage.
The GAO first found that the agency’s evaluation of Kenjya’s proposal was reasonable, noting that the proposed program manager’s resume failed to indicate whether he had five years of IT program management experience in a corporate-level business and enabler environment designing and integrating IT-based solutions. The GAO also found the agency’s evaluation of Academy’s proposal to be reasonable. It noted that much of the experience of the proposed personnel were operational mission focused efforts, rather than corporate-level business and enabler environments.
Offerors bear the burden of ensuring that their proposals comply with the terms of the RFP. Where offerors are asked to propose personnel bringing very specific experience to the contract performance, offerors must ensure that the resumes provided with their proposal contain sufficient detail to indicate that the personnel have the requisite experience in the appropriate setting.