Under FAR Part 16 Task Order Solicitation, Agency Can Establish Competitive Range Without Notification

Under FAR Part 15 negotiated procurements, an agency must give notice and an opportunity to request a debriefing to offerors eliminated from the competitive range. But the notice requirement does not apply for task and delivery order procurements under FAR Part 16 where FAR Part 15 is inapplicable.

A recent GAO decision highlights this distinction.

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GAO: Offeror Improperly Excluded For “Neutral” Past Performance

An agency acted improperly by excluding an offeror from the competitive range simply because the offeror received a “neutral” past performance score.

In a recent bid protest decision, the GAO wrote that the FAR precludes evaluating an offeror unfavorably because of a “neutral” or “unknown” past performance rating–and that the prohibition on unfavorable treatment prevents an agency from excluding an offeror from the competitive range on the basis of a neutral rating.

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No Size Appeal If Outside Competitive Range, Says SBA OHA

An unsuccessful offeror lacked the ability to file a valid SBA size appeal involving the size status of a competitor, because the unsuccessful offeror was eliminated from the competitive range–and its elimination had been upheld in a GAO bid protest decision.

In a recent size appeal decision, the SBA Office of Hearings and Appeals confirmed that an offeror that cannot possibly be awarded the contract ordinarily lacks standing to file a size appeal.

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GAO: Unequal Opportunity To Revise Pricing Was Improper

An agency acted improperly by inviting the ultimate contract awardee to revise its pricing, but not affording that same opportunity to a competitor–even though the awardee didn’t amend its pricing in response to the agency’s invitation.

According to a recent GAO bid protest decision, merely providing the awardee the opportunity to amend its pricing was erroneous, regardless of whether the awardee took advantage of that opportunity.

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SBA Size Protests: Protester Must Be In Competitive Range

A small business cannot file a viable SBA size protest if the small business has been excluded from the competitive range, or if its proposal has otherwise found to be non-responsive or technically unacceptable.

In its recent final rule addressing the limitations on subcontracting, the SBA also clarifies when small businesses can–and cannot–file viable size protests.

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GAO To Contractors: Use Your Own Words

In a recent decision, the GAO played seventh-grade English teacher, reminding offerors to use their own words to get full proposal-writing credit.

In the case of Res Rei Development, Inc., B-410466.7 (Oct. 16, 2015), the agency found a proposal unacceptable because, in its view, the offeror had simply restated the terms of the solicitation. The GAO agreed with the agency’s decision, writing that a proposal that merely restates the requirements of the solicitation without adding detail and insight into how the offeror would manage and execute the contract can be found unacceptable.

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Prime Doesn’t Submit Teaming Agreement, Loses Evaluation Credit

A prime contractor submitting a proposal for a design-build project was not entitled to take advantage of the experience of its designer because the prime failed to submit a teaming agreement between itself and the designer.

In a recent bid protest decision, the GAO held that the agency properly viewed the designer as a subcontractor, and acted reasonably–under the specific terms of the solicitation–in refusing to award experience credit for the designer’s work because the prime did not submit a teaming agreement. Continue reading