GAO: Agencies Must Consider Information Gathered by Reverse Auction Providers

What are federal contractors supposed to do when FedBid (now Unison) requests additional information related to a proposal and the awarding agency ignores that information in its awarding decision?

GAO recently held that the agency must consider all information gathered by reverse auction providers.

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GAO: Past Performance Should Relate to Solicited Services

Past performance is an important evaluation factor in many solicitations. Essentially, it allows an agency to guess as to the likelihood of an offeror’s successful performance under a solicitation by looking to its history of performance on similar projects in the past.

GAO recently confirmed it is “axiomatic” that past performance examples should align with the solicitation’s requirements. If an offeror submits unrelated examples, it risks a downgraded past performance score.

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Don’t Forget the Email Attachment—Protest Denied

A protester recently lost an effort to get an agency to consider a late proposal arguing that it was emailed to the agency on the due date.

Even though the quote would have been less expensive than the awardee’s and this was a lowest-price technically-acceptable procurement, GAO denied the protest finding that the email was a few hours late and did not include the attached quotation.

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Inconsistency Killed the Cat: GAO Sustains Protest Where Agency Inconsistently Evaluated Proposal

GAO generally defers to an agency’s judgment when it comes to the evaluation of proposals. This deference flags, however, when an agency evaluates competing proposals inconsistently; or, in other words, treats offerors disparately.

Let’s take a look at how GAO, in a recently sustained protest, found that the agency’s evaluation was unreasonable.

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GAO Denies Costs in Deja Vu Protest

One GAO protester is starting to feel like Bill Murray’s character from Groundhog Day, and not in a good way. In a recent series of protests, a contractor challenged the terms of various solicitations as unduly restrictive of competition. These protests resulted in successive corrective actions.

Growing weary of continually protesting the same issue without tangible resolution, the protester finally requested GAO recommended it be reimbursed for its costs. Unfortunately for the protester, GAO had less sympathy for its situation.

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Agencies May Evaluate Contractor Responsibility under FSS Orders, Says GAO

Contractor responsibility is to be considered before every federal contract award, but what about task orders issued under an FSS contract? Are contractors still subject to responsibility inquiries when competing for orders?

According to GAO, the answer is, “yes.”

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In Recent Decision, GAO Finds Agency Documentation Lacking

When choosing the most appropriate awardee for any federal contract, agencies are required to fully document all procurement decisions and their rationale, especially when those decisions could narrow the competition.

In Soft Tech Consulting, Inc., B-416934 (Comp. Gen. Feb. 1, 2019), GAO held that the Department of Homeland Security failed to adequately document its evaluation decision in a procurement for software development services and recommended that DHA reevaluate all offers from square one.

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