Link: GAO Opinion
Agency: Department of the Army
Disposition: Protest denied.
Keywords: Technical Evaluation
General Counsel P.C. Highlight: The evaluation of a vendor’s proposal or quotation is a matter within the agency’s discretion. In reviewing a protest against an agency’s evaluation, GAO will not reevaluate quotations but instead will examine the record to determine whether the agency’s judgment was reasonable and consistent with the stated evaluation criteria and applicable procurement statutes and regulations
Torres Advanced Enterprise Solutions, LLC (Torres), protests the issuance of a task, under a task order request (TOR) for the performance of security services at Contingency Operation Station (COS) Kalsu, Iskandariyah, Iraq, issued by the Department of the Army (Army).
The TOR was issued to firms who hold contracts under the Army’s Theater Wide Internal Security Services II indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for security guard services for U.S. military installations in Iraq. The TOR sought quotations for security services at COS Kalsu, and anticipated issuance of a fixed-price task order with a base period of 1 year with two 6-month options. Torres is the incumbent contractor providing security services at COS Kalsu. The TOR stated that the task order would be issued to the contractor that submitted the lowest priced technically acceptable quotation. To be technically acceptable, a quotation must include: (1) a mobilization plan that met the timeline set forth in the performance work statement (PWS), and (2) a manning chart that met the staffing requirements of the PWS.
Torres asserts that the awardee’s quotation was technically unacceptable based on deficiencies in its mobilization plan. GAO states that the evaluation of a vendor’s proposal or quotation is a matter within the agency’s discretion. In reviewing a protest against an agency’s evaluation, GAO will not reevaluate quotations but instead will examine the record to determine whether the agency’s judgment was reasonable and consistent with the stated evaluation criteria and applicable procurement statutes and regulations. A protester’s mere disagreement with the agency’s judgment in its determination of the relative merit of competing quotations does not establish that the evaluation was unreasonable.
Torres argues that the awardee’s mobilization plan did not address the TOR requirement to provide a “plan for integrating with and shadowing the incumbent contract/military unit.” The agency found that the awardee’s mobilization plan met all of the requirements of the TOR. Torres argues that the awardee’s plan was unacceptable because it did not “address how the awardee will develop site-specific orders, plans and procedures, all of which are essential to the effective transition and performance of the task order,” and that the awardee’s plan did not address “security protocols and strategies and the allocation for personnel resources [that] must be developed and vetted before transitioning fully to contract performance.” The TOR, however, does not include any of these requirements; instead, the TOR required a “plan for integrating with and shadowing the incumbent contract/military unit.” GAO finds that the agency reasonably concluded that the awardee’s quotation addressed the requirements of the TOR.
GAO argues that Torres’ arguments amount to mere disagreement with the agency’s judgment, and therefore do not provide a basis to sustain the protest.
Next, Torres asserts that the agency failed to consider information concerning the awardee’s performance of a contract awarded by the Department of State (DOS) for security services at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, as detailed in a report issued by the DOS’s inspector general (DOSIG). However, the TOR did not provide for the evaluation of past performance and GAO states that the argument here is, essentially, a complaint that the agency should have considered the awardee’s past performance. The protest is denied.