Link: GAO Decision
Protestor: Wegco, Inc.
Agency: General Services Administration
Disposition: Protest Denied.
Protest that agency improperly determined protester’s proposal to be technically unacceptable is denied where the proposal failed to comply with the solicitation’s requirements relating to proof of licenses for key personnel.
General Counsel PC Highlight:
Wegco, Inc. protested the award to PM Services Company of a contract for building operation and maintenance services. The solicitation, listed as a small business set-aside, indicated that award would be made to the lowest-priced, technically acceptable offeror, with technical acceptability being based on four factors: past performance, relevant experience, key personnel, and management capabilities. Wegco’s proposal was determined to be technically unacceptable for failure to provide proof of licenses or certifications for its key personnel, as required by the solicitation.
Although Wegco provided resumes for its key personnel including statements regarding what licenses and certifications each individual had, the GAO found reasonable the agency’s conclusion that these representations did not comply with the RFP’s requirement to “provide proof.” Pointing out that each federal procurement stands alone, the GAO disagreed with Wegco’s claim that the agency was “unreasonably interpreting” the solicitation’s licensing requirement because in other solicitations the agency had specifically requested copies of licenses from certain personnel. Finally, the GAO declined to apply the “close at hand” principle, generally applicable to past performance evaluation where the agency has a prior relationship with the offeror, to licensing information necessary for technical acceptability.
Offerors bear the burden of submitting adequately written proposals which comply with all requirements of the RFP. Where the submission of necessary licenses and certifications affects the technical acceptability of a proposal, offerors must ensure that they provide the requested licenses and certifications as part of their proposal package or risk having their proposal eliminated from the competition. Descriptions of relevant licenses may be insufficient where the RFP requires “proof.”