Thursday, January 23, 2014

When Bidding, Pay Close Attention to All Evaluation Factors

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers issued a solicitation to renovate a barracks at Fort Benning. The award was to be made on a best-value basis considering the following four factors

  1. designer specialized experience
  2. contract duration and schedule
  3. design and construction teaming approach, and
  4. price

Concerning price the solicitation contained a $30 million cap for both design and construction. Offers exceeding the cap were to be ineligible for the award.

For purposes of award, factor 1 was the most important, followed by 3 and then 2. These three factors when combined, were equal in importance to price (factor 4).

Four offers were submitted. A three-member technical evaluation board evaluated the non-price evaluation factors. IAP-Leopardo Construction (IAP) put up a very impressive bid. It scored equal to or higher then the winning bidder on the three non-price evaluation factors. However, IAP was subsequently removed from further consideration because its bid exceeded the $30 million cap. IAP appealed to the Comptroller General's office.

IAP claimed that discussions with the Corps on non-price evaluation factors obligated the agency to inform IAP that its proposal was ineligible for award because its price exceeded the cost limitation. Specifically, IAP claimed the Corps engaged in inadequate discussions.

The Comptroller disagreed and denied the protest. Whatever discussions ensued, were not significant enough so as to require IAP to modify its proposal nor was the agency obligated to inform or remind IAP that its proposal exceeded the cap.

You can read the entire case here.

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