Link: GAO Decision
Protestor: XTec, Inc.
Agency: Department of Homeland Security
Disposition: Protest Denied.
Protest against evaluation of proposal is denied where the record reasonably supports the agency’s evaluation of the protester’s proposal based on a diagram included in the proposal that reflected that the protester’s technical approach did not satisfy the solicitation’s requirements
General Counsel PC Highlight:
XTec, Inc. protested the award to Secure Mission Solutions LLC of a contract for an access control and visitor management system. The procurement was conducted in a two-phase process, beginning with a preliminary response that the agency would utilize to pre-qualify offerors for participation in phase II; award in phase II was to be made on a best-value basis, considering technical, lifecycle costs, past performance, and price. Of the nineteen proposals received in phase I, six were selected to participate in phase II, in which four of the six submitted proposals. Award was made to Secure Mission Solutions despite its higher price, after the SSA determined that XTec’s proposed design/technical approach did not satisfy the RFP requirements and stipulations.
The GAO found reasonable the agency’s determination that XTec’s design/technical approach was unsatisfactory because it indicated that XTec would house major new segments of the system in geographic regions outside the Washington, D.C. area in violation of the RFP’s requirements. It disagreed with the assertion that the agency’s interpretation of a diagram in XTec’s proposal as indicating that XTec’s approach was based on remote hosting was unreasonable.
Offerors bear the burden of submitting adequately written proposals. Offerors should be careful about providing any extraneous information that could be reasonably interpreted by the agency as being part of the proposal, particularly if that information could be interpreted in a manner that makes the proposal unacceptable. Offerors must ensure that they address all aspects of the RFP completely and thoroughly, but they should be cautious about including additional information that could contradict solicitation requirements.