Link: GAO Opinion
Agency: Department of Defense
Disposition: Protest denied.
General Counsel P.C. Highlight:
GAO denied the protest of WingGate Travel, Inc., regarding the Department of Defense (DOD), Defense Human Resource Activity’s award of a contract to Semont Travel, doing business as Travco, under a request for proposals (RFP), for travel management services to support the commercial travel office.
The RFP, a small business set-aside, contemplated the award of up to six indefinite-quantity/indefinite-delivery, fixed-price contracts to provide travel management services to support official travel activities of authorized DOD travelers for six separate travel areas (one award per travel area) within the continental United States. WingGate’s protest concerned the competition for commercial travel office services for Travel Area 2, with locations throughout the country. Award was to be made to the responsible offeror whose proposal was most advantageous to the government considering technical, past performance, and price. Technical was more important than past performance, and when combined, they were significantly more important than price.
WingGate specifically challenged the selection of Travco’s lower-rated, lower-priced proposal as reflecting the best value to the government and contended that the agency failed to follow the announced evaluation criteria when it placed too much emphasis on price in its source selection decision. The record did not support WingGate’s contention that the selection of Travco was inconsistent with the RFP’s evaluation scheme. In this regard, the source selection decision reflected the source selection authority’s (SSA) recognition that technical and past performance, when combined, were significantly more important than price. The decision also includes a detailed discussion of each of WingGate’s technical strengths, as well as an explanation as to why WingGate’s proposal was rated exceptional under the technical factor while Travco’s was rated acceptable, one rating level lower. Notwithstanding WingGate’s recognized advantage under the technical factor, the SSA nonetheless concluded that the strengths of WingGate’s proposal did not warrant payment of the 14% premium associated with that proposal. Although WingGate disagreed with that judgment, it did not show it to be unreasonable.