Link: GAO Decision
Protestor: Wilson 5 Service Company, Inc.
Agency: General Services Administration
Disposition: Protest Denied.
Protest that agency misevaluated protester’s proposal under technical/inspection factor is denied where record shows that the agency’s evaluation was consistent with the terms of the solicitation.
General Counsel PC Highlight:
Wilson 5 Service Company, Inc. protested the award to Urban Services Group, Inc. of a contract for operations and mechanical maintenance services at the Robert A. Young Federal Building in St. Louis, Missouri. The RFP, issued as a small business set-aside, contemplated award on a best value basis, with certain subfactors being evaluated as Go/No-Go, and the remaining being assigned point scores which were then weighted. The RFP provided minimum requirements necessary to meet the standard of each factor or subfactor, as well as a number of items the agency would consider to be “value added.” Although Wilson offered the lowest price, it was eliminated after receiving a No-Go rating under the work experience subfactor. After an agency-level protest, the agency reevaluated Wilson’s proposal, adjusting the No-Go rating to Go; however, it still concluded that the higher-priced Urban represented the best value to the government.
The GAO found reasonable the agency’s assignment of an acceptable rating to Wilson’s under the personnel subfactor, agreeing that its proposal met the solicitation’s specific requirement to identify the types of subcontractors, but that it did not include specific information identified as value added. The GAO disagreed that Wilson should have received the highest rating when it did not include value added information, and further was found to have several weaknesses and deficiencies under the personnel factor. The GAO then found no basis to question the agency’s judgment that Wilson’s proposal had failed to meaningfully identify the cause of maintenance discrepancies and describe a procedure to prevent them.
The GAO generally will not disturb an agency’s evaluation so long as it is reasonable and consistent with the terms of the solicitation. An agency is not obligated to assign the highest evaluation score available simply because a proposal contains strengths or is not assessed any weaknesses. Although a disappointed offeror may argue that it should have received a higher evaluation rating, the GAO will not sustain a protest of technical evaluations unless the protestor can show that the ratings were inconsistent with the evaluation criteria in the RFP. Furthermore, unless the protestor can also demonstrate that it was prejudiced by the evaluation, the GAO may agree with the unreasonableness of the evaluation and yet deny the protest.