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Error-Laden Procurement for Medical Services Enjoined

A procurement for medical services was flawed, according to the Court of Federal Claims, because the government did not evaluate the awardee's professional employee compensation plan as required by the professional services clause at FAR 52.222-46. The protester, the incumbent contractor providing health care services to military families, contended the government failed to evaluate the awardee's price proposal in accordance with FAR 52.222-46, Evaluation of Compensation for Professional Employees, which was incorporated by reference into the request for proposals. One purpose of the evaluation is to assess an "offeror's ability to provide uninterrupted high quality work," and a proposal that provides for compensation levels lower than those of predecessor contractors must be evaluated "on the basis of maintaining program continuity, uninterrupted high-quality work, and the availability of required competent professional service employees" (FAR 52.222-46(b)).

Range of Errors

The court found no indication the government's evaluation focused on the requirements of FAR 52.222-46 when it compared the labor rates for all employment categories in the awardee's compensation plan to the protester's proposed plan, which reflected the same compensation levels as the protester paid under its bridge contracts. The government failed to compare individual professional services categories, which would have shown the awardee proposed lower compensation for a significant number of professionals. Therefore, the government should have conducted the recompetition analysis required by FAR 52.222-46(b), but there was no support for its contention the analysis was performed. Labor cost information was walled off from the technical evaluation, and the record contradicted the contracting officer's assertion he complied with FAR 52.222-46. The court concluded the protester suffered prejudice and injunctive relief was warranted for a "range" of procurement errors, including an insufficient explanation and unequal treatment in the technical evaluations and an arbitrary assignment of an "unknown" rating for the awardee's past performance. (CRAssociates v. U.S., et al., FedCl, 54 CCF 79,460)




(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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