Link: GAO Decision
Protestor: Triad Logistics Services Corporation
Agency: Department of the Air Force
Disposition: Protest Denied.
Protester did not establish prejudice associated with agency’s failure to amend solicitation to account for 2-month reduction in base period of performance
General Counsel PC Highlight:
Triad Logistics Services Corporation protested the award to Shilo Services, Incorporated of a contract for transient aircraft services, including transient aircraft management control, arrival, processing, and departure services. After receiving 13 offers, the agency conducted discussions to ascertain whether the offerors understood the specific staffing requirements in the RFP; the agency then accepted revised proposals. Receipt of revised proposals delayed the beginning of the base period by two months, reducing it from nine to seven months.
The GAO first noted that a contract’s period of performance is generally considered to be a material solicitation requirement, and that the FAR requires contracting officers to amend the solicitation when it changes the requirements or terms and conditions. It declined to sustain the protest, however, on the grounds that the protestor had failed to demonstrate that it was prejudiced by the failure to amend the solicitation. The protestor failed to assert that it would have reduced its unit price by an amount that would have overcome the awardee’s price advantage.
Disappointed offerors must always carefully consider whether they qualify as an interested party before they attempt to protest the award of the contract. Although the contracting agency may in fact have violated federal procurement law, unless the offeror can demonstrate that that violation prejudiced them in some way, the GAO will not sustain the protest.