Link: GAO Opinion
Agency: Department of the Air Force
Disposition: Protest denied.
General Counsel P.C. Highlight:
GAO denied the protest of Vectronix, Inc. based on the award of a contract to Argon ST under a request for proposals (RFP), issued by the Department of the Air Force to develop a Line of Sight-Short (LOS-S) device.
The RFP informed the offerors that the agency would select up to two awardees based on technical, past performance, and price factors. The technical factor included three subfactors: performance requirements; system engineering and program management; and product support and training. The agency opened discussions with Vectronix after an initial evaluation found the protester’s proposal technically unacceptable. Vectronix’s proposal proved better following several rounds of discussions, involving almost 50 evaluation notices. Vectronix submitted its FPR by the deadline, but it was ultimately found to be technically unacceptable.
Vectronix argues that the agency improperly failed to consider its responses to evaluation notices in conducting the final technical evaluation, resulting in an improper technical evaluation. GAO concluded that the instruction sent to offerors in the request for FPRs instructed offerors to review the entire package and ensure the content was correct and reflected any changes brought about by discussion. Offerors were also informed that the FPR would supersede any previous revisions they had submitted. Vectronix’s FPR contained the same deficiencies that the agency had initially identified in its first proposal. Therefore, the agency’s evaluation of Vectronix’s proposal, finding that it was unacceptable for failing to meet the technical requirements was reasonable.