Monday, December 28, 2015

GSA Didn't Evaluate Proposals Correctly

GSA issued a solicitation for 20 fixed-price, indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity (IDIQ) construction contracts for repair and alteration services. The solicitation was set aside for small businesses. As typical of these kinds of solicitations, award was to be made on a best value basis among which was "total evaluated price or cost."

The "total evaluated price or cost" factor was somewhat unique because GSA only wanted the G&A rate from each of the bidders. Although unstated, the G&A rate may have been the only variable as Davis-Bacon probably applied to the labor portion. The other unique thing about the G&A rate was the requirement that the bidders provide either "certified financial statements" or DCAA report substantiating its proposed G&A rate. We're not sure what "certified financial statements" are in this context. If the solicitation meant "audited financial statements" its unlikely that the document would contain the level of detail necessary to substantiate a G&A rate. Nevertheless, that was the solicitation's wording.

Ultimately GSA asked eight of the offerors to verify and confirm their rates because those eight offerors proposed a G&A rate that was not supported by their certified financial statements or a DCAA audit.

One of the offerors whose proposal did not make the cut, protested the award on the basis that GSA's evaluation of price proposals was inconsistent with the RFP requirement that offerors' proposed G&A rate be verified and substantiated using certified financial statements or DCAA reports. The protester asserted that instead, GSA accepted from eight of the 12 awardees "post-bid commitments" of G&A rates that were either unsubstantiated or unexplained by financial data (and in some instances, directly contradicted by the financial data).

The Comptroller General (CG) sustained the appeal on the basis that the RFP unequivocally stated that the proposed G&A rates would be evaluated using a cost analysis based upon verification of the offerors' cost submissions for their G&A rates and confirming that the submissions are in accordance with the contract cost principles and procedures described in FAR Part 31. The CG found that GSA's acceptance of the unsupported G&A rates was unreasonable and inconsistent with the solicitation requirements.

You can read the entire case by clicking here.

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