SSA vs. SSEB: Protest Sustained Where Ratings Changes Weren’t Reasonable

In a best value acquisition, the final decision is typically made by a Source Selection Authority. But what happens when the SSA disagrees with the ratings assigned by the evaluators, such as a Source Selection Evaluation Board?

The SSA has a good deal of discretion, but that discretion isn’t unlimited. In a recent decision, GAO sustained a protest where the SSA’s disagreements with the SSEB didn’t appear to be reasonable. 

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Agency’s “Cut-And-Paste” Proposal Evaluation Upheld

An agency’s evaluation of proposals was not improper even though the Source Selection Authority “cut and paste” portions of a selection document used in a similar procurement–including typographical errors and a reference to a firm that had not submitted a proposal.

The GAO’s recent decision highlights an uncomfortable truth of government contracting: while the government can (and often does) demand nearly perfect proposals, the government may be able to get by with sloppy or lazy evaluations.

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