Wednesday, November 23, 2016

A Matter for Contract Administration, Not for a Bid Protest

Dorado Services protested the award of an Air Force contract for waste collection services to a competitor, GEO International Management. Dorado argued that GEO's proposal was non-compliant with the solicitation's subcontracting limitations, making it ineligible for award.

 While Dorado argued that GEO's proposal did not comply with the solicitation's subcontracting limitation (i.e. at least 50 percent of the cost of personnel for contract performance will be spent for employees of the concern or employees of other HUBZone small business concerns), the Air Force responded that there was nothing on the face of GEO's proposal that should have or would have led the government to conclude that the awardee was not going to comply with the solicitation's subcontracting limitations. The Comptroller General found no basis to question the Air Force's evaluation. The Comptroller General stated:
An agency's judgment as to whether a small business offeror can comply with a limitation on subcontracting provision is generally a matter of responsibility. However, where a proposal, on its face, should lead an agency to the conclusion that an offeror has not agreed to comply with the subcontracting limitation, the matter is one of the proposal's acceptability. In this regard, a proposal that fails to conform to a material term or condition of the solicitation, such as the subcontracting limitation, is unacceptable and may not form the basis for an award. An offeror, however, need not affirmatively demonstrate compliance with subcontracting limitations in its proposal.
The GAO reviewed the record and confirmed that GEO's proposal did not contain any information that should have led the Air Force to conclude the firm could not or would not comply with the relevant subcontracting limitations. Moreover, the protester, Dorado, has not shown any aspect of GEO's proposal that shows the firm will not comply with these subcontracting limitations.

The GAO concluded that whether GEO will, in fact, comply with these restrictions during contract performance is a matter of contract administration, and not for our Office's review.

You can read the full Comptroller General decision here.

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