GAO: Agency Should Have Considered Experience Of Contractor’s Personnel

A procuring agency’s assignment of a “significant weakness” on the basis of a contractor’s supposed lack of experience was unreasonable because the agency did not consider the experience of the contractor’s personnel.

In BAE Systems Technology Solutions & Services, Inc., B-405664, B-405664.2 (Dec. 12, 2011), the GAO sustained a bid protest, holding in part that the agency erred by overlooking the experience of the protester’s personnel.

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GAO: Agency Failed To Identify Proposal Weaknesses In Discussions

A procuring agency failed to conduct meaningful discussions where it merely asked a contractor to clarify its understanding of a certain portion of the solicitation, rather than informing the contractor of specific proposal weaknesses relating to that same portion of the solicitation.

The GAO’s bid protest decision in Nexant, Inc., B-407708, B-407708.2 (Jan. 30, 2013) demonstrates that when an agency has identified specific weaknesses in a contractor’s proposal, discussions must be sufficiently detailed to enable the contractor to understand the agency’s concern and have the opportunity to improve its proposal.

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GAO: Task Order Discussions Must Identify Weaknesses

An agency must identify weaknesses or deficiencies in an offeror’s proposal when the agency conducts discussions as part of a task order competition, according to a recent GAO bid protest decision.

In Mission Essential Personnel, LLC, B-407474, B-407493 (Jan. 7, 2013), the GAO held that a procuring agency erred by failing to inform an offeror of two weaknesses or deficiencies in its proposal.  The GAO concluded that discussions must include this information even when the procurement is a task order competition conducted under FAR part 16.

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GAO: “5-7 Days” Is Not “7 Days”

“What a Difference a Day Makes,” goes the classic song.

For one contractor, a day–or rather, two days–made a  big difference in its proposal evaluation.  Although the solicitation called for offerors to save laboratory specimens for 7 days, the offeror’s proposal stated that it saves specimens “5-7 days.”  Not surprisingly, the GAO found that the procuring agency properly assigned the offeror a weakness.

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