Link: GAO Decision
Protestor: Y&K Maintenance, Inc.
Agency: Department of the Army
Disposition: Protest Sustained in part, Denied in part.
- Protest of an agency’s evaluation of the awardee’s proposal under a key personnel experience evaluation factor is sustained where the agency did not evaluate the experience of the awardee’s proposed key personnel consistent with the solicitation’s stated evaluation criteria.
- Protest based on an alleged violation of the Procurement Integrity Act is denied, where, consistent with Federal Acquisition Regulation requirements, the agency investigated the alleged disclosure of information by an agency employee to another offeror and found that the documents provided were publicly available and not procurement sensitive and where the protester has not shown that it was competitively prejudiced
General Counsel PC Highlight:
Y&K Maintenance, Inc. protested the award to SEM Service Co., Ltd. of a contract for operation and maintenance of the Medical Command-Korea facilities. The RFP was issued as a local source set-aside, and required the contractor to meet the accreditation standards of The Joint Commission (TJC). Proposed key personnel were required to have certain amounts of experience at TJC-accredited hospitals. Two companies protested prior to the receipt of offers, arguing that the personnel requirements were overly restrictive. The proposals of Y&K and SEM were initially deemed unacceptable due to the lack of experience in TJC-accredited facilities. The agency engaged in discussions and accepted revised proposals, with both Y&K and SEM being deemed acceptable after revisions.
The GAO sustained Y&K’s argument that the agency did not evaluate SEM’s proposed key personnel consistent with the terms of the RFP. The personnel proposed by SEM had experience at TJC-accredited ambulatory health care facilities (outpatient clinics), which have different accreditation standards than hospitals. SEM had also failed to provide required documentation about the facilities at which the proposed personnel had worked. The GAO then rejected Y&K’s argument that the agency failed to investigate an alleged violation of the Procurement Integrity Act, pointing out that the record reflected an adequate investigation which had concluded that the released information was in fact publicly available. The GAO recommended that the agency reevaluate proposals under the key personnel experience evaluation criteria consistent with the RFP and, if necessary, conduct discussions and obtain revised proposals.
Where an RFP provides for specific experience or qualifications for key personnel, offerors must ensure that their proposed key personnel do in fact meet the criteria. Where, as here, particular accreditation standards vary depending on the type of facility, offerors must provide key personnel that have experience at the relevant type of facility.