In theory, best value procurements provide the government with an opportunity to select a higher priced proposal where the higher price is justified by the technical superiority of the proposal. In practice, though, the technical factors of a best value procurement can seemingly relegate price to a secondary consideration.
In a recent decision, however, GAO confirmed that price is an essential evaluation consideration in any best-value decision.
While GAO regulations allow GAO to recommend an agency reimburse a protester’s costs if the agency takes corrective action, recouping costs can still be an uphill battle.
In AeroSage, LLC, B-416381.6 (Comp. Gen. Mar. 13, 2019), decided before GAO last week, a protester requested $26,450 in costs, but was only reimbursed its initial filing fee, approximately 1 % of that amount.
Federal contractors not so infrequently find themselves in a position where they are unable to complete performance of a contract by the agreed-upon deadline. So, what happens when the delay is neither party’s fault, but the government denies extension of the period of performance or provides inadequate extensions?
In IAP Worldwide Services, Inc. (ASBCA Nos. 59397, 59398, and 59399), the Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals found under the legal theory of “constructive acceleration” that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers was liable for extra costs incurred by IAP due to the Corps insistence of timely contract delivery despite excusable delays.
Under the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act, the DoD has the discretion to forego a price or cost evaluation in connection with the award of certain multiple-award contracts.
The 2017 NDAA includes some important changes that are sure to impact federal procurements. Section 825 of the NDAA, which allows DoD contracting officers to forego price or cost evaluations in certain circumstances, is one of these changes.
When an agency performs a cost realism evaluation under a solicitation involving significant labor costs, the agency must evaluate offerors’ proposed rates of employee compensation, not just offerors’ fully burdened labor rates.
In a recent bid protest decision, the GAO held that an agency erred by basing its realism evaluation on offerors’ fully burdened labor rates, without considering whether the direct rates of compensation were sufficient to recruit and retain qualified personnel.
In discussions, a procuring agency is not required to inform a prospective contractor that its costs are higher than those of its competitors, unless those costs are so high as to be unreasonable.
This important potential limitation on the scope of discussions was at issue in a recent GAO bid protest decision, in which the GAO held that an agency had not erred by failing to inform an offeror that its proposed costs were approximately $3 million higher than the awardee’s.