Link: GAO Decision
Protestor: XtremeConcepts Systems
Agency: Department of the Navy
Disposition: Protest Denied.
Protest is denied where protester’s proposal was evaluated as inferior to awardee’s under every evaluation factor and subfactor and protester fails to show that the evaluation or agency actions were unreasonable or improper.
General Counsel PC Highlight:
XtremeConcepts Systems protested the issuance to GBL Systems Corporation of a task order for engineering support for the development of test capabilities associated with net-centric testing of joint mission areas. The RFP, issued as a 100 percent small business set-aside, was limited to contractors who are contract holders under the Navy SeaPort-e contract. After conducting several rounds of discussions with Xtreme and GBL, the agency requested FPRs, and then made award to GBL after determining that it represented the best value to the government.
The GAO denied Xtreme’s claim that GBL’s proposal failed to comply with solicitation restrictions on subcontracting, noting that GBL proposed to use only one subcontractor which was to perform less than 1 percent of the total cost of performance of the task order. The GAO also rejected Xtreme’s objection that its debriefing failed to acknowledge the strength of its key personnel, pointing out that the contemporaneous evaluation documentation showed that the agency considered the resumes of Xtreme’s key personnel but found that they did not demonstrate experience relevant to the work for this requirement. Finally, the GAO found that the agency had not coerced Xtreme into increasing its proposed cost/price during discussions, based on a record indicating that the agency merely expressed concerns regarding the realism of Xtreme’s low labor rates in both written and oral discussions.
Disappointed offerors should always request a debriefing to better understand the evaluation of their proposal, as well as the rationale behind the agency’s source selection decision. When deciding whether to pursue a bid protest, disappointed offerors should carefully consider whether they merely disagree with the agency’s award decision, or whether there appear to be improprieties in the procurement which support pursuing a protest. The GAO will generally reject arguments objecting to the evaluation of proposals so long as the agency has adequately documented its conclusions and those conclusions are reasonable in light of the stated evaluation criteria.