Protesting an agency’s technical proposal evaluation and management evaluation factors, and ultimate source selection decision can be problematic you do not show that the Source Selection Board acted unreasonably or failed to follow the RFP requirements.
Technical Proposal Evaluation of Management Factors
In a recent GAO protest, for example, the protestor argued that because it “led the 10-year incumbent contract as the offeror managing the most ships, it was entitled to a higher technical/management evaluation rating than any other offeror when applying a best-value tradeoff.
Arguments related to being an incumbent contractor often fail if the argument substantially rests on the position that being an incumbent should somehow allow for higher technical evaluation scores. The Agency’s response will almost often refute the argument if it shows that the awardee also had sufficient technical strengths to warrant the award.
- Bid protests should articulate the specific error that the agency made when conducting a technical proposal evaluation.
- Technical evaluation arguments that merely suggests that a higher or lower score should be given, without anything else, most often fail.
A government contracting agency’s technical proposal assessment of management factors is seen by GAO and other courts as a matter within the discretion of the source selection team. GAO will only examine the agency’s evaluation make sure that it was reasonable and consistent with the solicitation’s stated evaluation criteria and with applicable statutes and regulations.
- If your argument in the bid protest lends itself with a mere disagreement with the agency’s decision, the protest will fail.
In the above protest, GAO found no reason to question the agency’s technical evaluation and the finding that despite any strengths from protestor being the incumbent, the focus was really on the awardee’s comparable technical strengths.
Price Evaluation: In the above case, the protestor also challenged the agency’s price evaluation. GAO found that although price realism is not generally evaluated in awarding fixed-price contracts, since such contracts place the risk and responsibility for contract costs on the contractor, government contracting agencies may provide for a price realism analysis in a solicitation to measure an offeror’s understanding of the solicitation requirements, or to avoid the risk of poor performance from a contractor who is forced to provide services at little or no profit. GAO cited The Cube Corp., B‑277353, Oct. 2, 1997, 97-2 CPD ¶ 92 at 4 and Ameriko, Inc., B-277068, Aug. 29, 1997, 97-2 CPD ¶ 76 at 3 to support its decision.
Focusing on Agency Error is Key: Federal contracting agencies have a wide range of discretion when evaluating technical/ management factors in technical proposals. Focusing on where the agency diverted away from the solicitation’s requirements, or a showing of failure to follow procurement law is always the bedrock of winning a bid protest. This is true for both GAO protests or bid protests filed at the US Court of Federal Claims.
For additional questions or help with filing a bid protest challenging the agency’s technical proposal evaluation, management factors or pricing, call our bid protest lawyers at 1-866-601-5518. FREE INITIAL CONSULTATION.