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Government Improperly Evaluated Awardee's Proposal

The government improperly evaluated an awardee's proposal, according to the Court of Federal Claims, because the proposal did not conform to all of the solicitation's technical requirements, making the government's award decision arbitrary and capricious, and a violation of the Competition in Contracting Act. The protester contended the awardee's proposal to provide a charter party vessel for the military's use as a logistical support ship did not comply with the solicitation's technical requirements. The government argued the awardee's proposal covered all required matters and any omission was minor and subject to waiver at the government's discretion. Both parties moved for judgment on the administrative record. The record supported the protester's assertions the award was an arbitrary and capricious action on grounds the awardee's proposal did not comply with the RFP's technical provisions and the government's technical evaluation committee decision was unsupported and erroneous. The protester also established a second basis for its protest, namely that the government relaxed the RFP specifications for the awardee in violation of the CICA.
"Truncated" Review

Specifically, the awardee's proposal did not detail how its vessel's climate and humidity control system would meet the temperature and humidity specifications. Also, the awardee did not describe the components of its security and communications systems, its maintenance plans, key personnel, and the results of recent inspections. Moreover, the CICA, 10 USC 2305(a)(1)(A), requires solicitations for competitive proposals to include "all significant factors and significant subfactors which the head of the agency reasonably expects to consider in evaluating . . . the relative importance assigned to those factors," and the Federal Acquisition Regulation, at FAR 15.304(d), requires the government to evaluate competitive proposals "solely on the factors specified in the solicitation." Thus, any relaxation of the terms of the solicitation must be extended to all qualified bidders. Here, the administrative record revealed the government's truncated technical review relaxed the solicitation standards for the awardee, but the protester was not afforded the same consideration. (Red River Holdings, LLC v. U.S., FedCl, 53 CCF 79,143)

(The news featured above is a selection from the news covered in the Government Contracts Report Letter, which is published weekly and distributed to subscribers of the Government Contracts Reporter. )


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