60-Second Sustains: Rice Solutions, LLC

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Elizabeth N. Jochum

Rice Solutions, LLC
B-420475

  • GAO sustained the protester’s allegation that the Department of Health and Human Services had engaged in unequal discussions.
  • Once an agency chooses to conduct discussions, it must do so with all offerors in the competitive range under FAR 15.306(d)(1).
  • Here, the Agency did not dispute that it engaged in discussions with only the awardee, but claimed it had established “a de facto competitive range of one.”
  • GAO found that the record was devoid of any documentation or support for the Agency’s contention that a competitive range had been established before holding discussions with only one offeror, the awardee.
  • GAO stated, “[w]here, as here, there is no record or evidence that the agency established a competitive range, we will not infer the existence of a de facto competitive range, in order to validate an agency’s omission of an offeror during its conduct of discussions.”

60-Second Sustains: Eccalon, LLC

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Elizabeth N. Jochum

Eccalon, LLC
B-420297; .2

  • GAO sustained the protester’s challenge where the Defense Department considered a factor that was not reasonably encompassed within the evaluation criteria.
  • The RFQ provided that the agency would evaluate technical approach to determine the extent to which the approach demonstrated understanding of the requirements, feasible methods to accomplish required tasks, and reliable methods for ensuring quality deliverables.
  • In comparing the protester and awardee’s quotations, though, the agency found that the protester’s approach was only “somewhat superior” because it relied on “experience and not necessarily innovation.”
  • GAO found this conclusion inconsistent with the RFQ’s evaluation criteria, which did not put offerors on notice that their approach would be devalued if rooted in experience rather than innovation.
  • GAO found no clear nexus between the identified evaluation criteria and the agency’s consideration of experience and innovation and sustained the protest accordingly.

60-Second Sustains: Insight Technology Solutions, Inc.

Welcome to our new series “60-Second Sustains”! We’ll keep you updated on who is winning bid protests and why. Hit the subscribe button on the right to get timely updates right in your inbox!

Elizabeth N. Jochum

Insight Technology Solutions, Inc.
B-420133.2, .3, .4

  • Protester alleged that the awardee misrepresented the experience of one of its proposed key personnel, claiming the individual had 9 years of relevant experience when in fact the individual did not meet even the minimum required 5 years of experience.
  • The protester pointed to the proposed key person’s LinkedIn profile in support of the argument that the individual had less than the required experience.
  • GAO agreed that the awardee materially misrepresented the individual’s relevant experience and found the agency relied on that misrepresentation in making its source selection decision.
  • GAO recommended, as a result, that the Agency exclude the awardee’s proposal from the competition.
  • GAO also found that the agency had engaged in disparate treatment by crediting the awardee for its approach to back-filling vacancies, but not crediting the protester’s proposal despite “nearly identical” language.
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