Contractors continue to be concerned about the impact that the filing of protests or claims will have on their past performance evaluations in negotiated procurements.  While it is never a good idea to file a frivolous protest or claim, it is improper for procurement officials to downgrade past performance evaluations simply because a contractor has

This article describes a GAO decision that highlights how difficult it is to prevail on a protest that challenges an agency’s rating of a proposal where the protest is not supported by anything more than a difference of opinion as to how much weight, or what score, should be assigned to a particular evaluation factor. Absent a showing that there was no rational basis for an agency’s evaluation, contractors should not expect the GAO to overturn an evaluation.

The GAO published a decision today that was originally issued on July 19, 2006, but delayed in being made public because of the need for redactions.  The case involved a protest by East-West Industries, Inc. against the award of a contract to Regent Manufacturing, Inc.   The solicitation was issued under request for proposals (RFP) No. FA8518-04-R-70801, advertised by the Department of the Air Force for multi-aircraft canopy cranes (MACC). East-West challenged the past performance and risk evaluations of its and Regent’s proposals. The protest was denied.

In its decision, East-West Industries, Inc. , B-297391.2; B-297391.3, the GAO stated that in reviewing a protest of an agency’s proposal evaluation, “our review is confined to determining whether the evaluation was reasonable and consistent with the terms of the solicitation and applicable statutes and regulations.” The GAO found that the evaluation of protester’s proposal under the past performance evaluation factor was unobjectionable where the agency reasonably concluded that only one of four prior contracts was of a magnitude and complexity essentially the same as the solicitation’s, and thus met the solicitation’s definition of very relevant. Since only one contract was rated very relevant and the protester received exceptional performance ratings under only two of its three relevant contracts, the GAO determined that the agency reasonably concluded that East-West’s performance record warranted assigning the firm a very good/significant confidence rating based on there being little doubt–rather than no doubt–as to its successful performance.Continue Reading It is Difficult to Successfully Challenge an Agency's Past Performance and Risk Evaluation

The Navy recently awarded three cost-plus-award-fee, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity (ID/IQ) contracts to Fluor International, Inc., URS-IAP, LLC (a joint venture of URS Corporation and IAP Worldwide Services, Inc.) and Atlantic Contingency Constructors, LLC (a limited liability company managed by The Shaw Group) for global contingency construction. Each contract was for a base year with four one year options, and the value of each contract was approximately one billion dollars. The contractors were to provide construction and related engineering services in response to war fighting needs, global natural disasters, and humanitarian assistance.

The awards were made following a "best value" evaluation based on experience, past performance, contingency planning, management, small business utilization, and cost. Non-cost factors were considered more important than cost. A disappointed offeror, Kellogg Brown & Root Services, Inc. (“KBR”), filed a GAO protest asserting that the Navy misevaluated the proposals under technical and cost factors. The GAO agreed and issued a decision sustaining the protest.Continue Reading GAO Recommends Navy Return To Square One in Award of Billion Dollar Contracts