Link: GAO Opinion
Agency: Department of the Army
Disposition: Protest denied.
Keywords: Taking Exception to RFP Requirements
General Counsel P.C. Highlight: An Agency may not accept a proposal that takes exception to the Agency’s stated requirements.
W. Gohman Construction protested the award of a contract under a Department of the Army request for proposals (RFP) for the construction of a readiness center in Minnesota. The RFP was issued as a small business set-aside and contemplated the award of a fixed-price construction contract. A note in the RFP advised offerors that temporary utilities related to the project would be the responsibility of the contractor.
The contract was to be awarded to the “best value” proposal considering the specified evaluation factors and price. After the proposals were submitted, the source selection board determined that Gohman had qualified its offer by stating that its price did not include fees for water and sewer access. In response, the Army declared Gohman ineligible for the award. Gohman filed an agency level protest, stating that the SAC/WAC fees were not required, but this was denied by the Army.
The protester then protested to GAO. GAO agreed with the Agency. The GAO said the solicitation was clear in that offerors were to pay the cost of all utilities during construction and that Gohman’s proposal price specifically excluded the costs of sewer and water access. Because Gohman’s price proposal took exception to the RFP requirements, Gohman’s proposal was not capable of being accepted by the Government.