Bid Protests — Contractor Project Transition Plan Disputes
In a recent bid protest from DRS Technical Services, Inc., GAO found the Department of the Army, Army Materiel Command for system engineering, failed to properly evaluate DRS’ technical transition plan where it offered less ramp up time and saved the government out-of-pocket expenses.
In this rare case, GAO waived the exception to its timeliness rules.
What GAO Found With the Contractor Transition Plan Evaluation
GAO found that the Army’s solicitation’s evaluation scheme failed to account for differences in offerors’ project transition plans and effectively penalized offerors that proposed to provide full staffing and operational performance on the first day of the task order and rewarded offers that proposed a phased approach to staffing and performance.
GAO also agreed that the Army unreasonably failed to account for the fact that in the awardee’s proposed contractor transition plan, the government would have to pay the incumbent to perform and that under DRS’s technical proposal, its proposed transition plan would actually save the Army money.
What Protestor Did Correctly About the Project Transition Plan at GAO
When companies file a bid protest, they should articulate how the contracting agency failed to consider their proposal as submitted.
- DRS correctly stated the facts about its project transition plan and that the agency overlooked the cost savings
- DRS also target the awardee’s proposal. Failure to do so may still get a bid protest denied because protestors often focus on their own technical proposal evaluation but say nothing about the awardee’s.
- DRS’s GAO protest also went on to state how it was prejudiced by the unreasonable agency evaluation. This is another hurdle that some government contractors fail to overcome.
This GAO protest is unique because although the protestor had a legitimate argument about its contractor project transition plan, GAO seems to be taking more of an interest in issues of significant interest to the procurement community.