Protesters often file bid protests challenge a government contracting agency’s past performance evaluation confidence ratings of their proposals. Common concerns include the agency’s assignment of an unsatisfactory past confidence ratings. Agencies often find that your past performance examples or references were not relevant. This is where the initial controversy begins.
Under bid protest regulations and GAO case law, the evaluation of an offeror’s past performance is within the discretion of the contracting agency. GAO will not normally engage in substituting the agency’s evaluation of past performance confidence ratings.
GAO will hear a bid protest on the merits if there is reason to believe that the agency past performance evaluation conclusions were unreasonable or undocumented. GAO will also look to see whether the evaluation was conducted fairly, reasonably, and in accordance with the solicitation’s evaluation scheme. See Honeywell Tech. Solutions, Inc., B-400771, B-400771.2, Jan. 27, 2009, 2009 CPD ¶ 49 at 22.
Assignment of Performance Evaluation Confidence Ratings
Procurement law states that agencies must conduct their past performance evaluation in a manner consistent with the terms of the solicitation. In addition, the source selection team must adequately document the rationale behind the decision. Failure to provide adequate documentation can lead to a GAO protest being sustained.
- Agencies should be documenting the quality of your past performance examples
- They should also document the assignment of past performance confidence ratings
- Simply assigning relevancy ratings may not be enough
Source Selection Decision
When digesting the solicitation’s source selection, technical evaluations that include past performance evaluation confidence ratings could be deemed flawed if the underlying past performance scoring is also flawed.
In other words, if past of the source selection is flawed, then there is a good chance that the overall evaluation is flawed. These are all essential issues when deciding to file a GAO protest based on your past performance evaluation confidence ratings.