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Comptroller General of the United States
June 1, 2020
Weston-ER Federal Services, LLC (Weston-ER), 1 of West Chester, Pennsylvania, protests the issuance of an indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity (IDIQ) contract to APTIM Federal Services, LLC (APTIM), of Alexandria, Virginia, by the Department of the Army, Corps of Engineers (Corps), issued under request for proposals (RFP) No. W9128F19R0060, for rapid, immediate, and emergency response environmental remediation and other mission-related support services. The protester challenges [*2] the agency's evaluation of proposals and the source selection decision.
We sustain the protest.
The RFP, issued on July 30, 2019, contemplated award of an IDIQ contract for environmental remediation services and response actions in support of the Corps, Omaha District, and its customers in the contiguous United States (CONUS), the South Atlantic Division area of responsibility (AOR), and the Pacific Ocean Division AOR. 2 AR, Tab 14, RFP at 1-6. The RFP stated that the agency would issue both fixed-price and cost-reimbursement task orders during the ordering period, consisting of a 3-year base period and 4-year option period, or until the $ 80 million contract capacity is expended, whichever occurs first. Id. at 6-7.
The RFP included the following technical evaluation factors, listed in descending order of importance: previous experience, organizational structure, resumes of key personnel, past performance, and small business participation [*3] plan. RFP at 94. To evaluate cost/price, the RFP required that offerors provide a variety of cost information and propose rates that would be binding for future fixed-price and cost-reimbursement task orders. Id. at 103-108. The RFP also required that offerors complete a cost spreadsheet, using their proposed rates, to identify the costs of performing a sample project. Id. at 108-109. For purposes of the best-value tradeoff, the total evaluated price was the total proposed cost in the cost spreadsheet for the sample project. Id. at 130. All evaluation factors other than price, when combined, were significantly more important than cost or price. Id. at 123. Award would be made to the offeror whose proposal was considered by the source selection authority (SSA) to be the best value to the government using a tradeoff selection method. Id. at 122.
The agency was to evaluate proposals under the previous experience, organizational structure, resumes of key personnel, and small business participation plan factors by identifying strengths, weaknesses, and/or deficiencies, and assigning the following adjectival ratings: outstanding, good, acceptable, marginal, and unacceptable. 3 Id. at 123, 126. Under the past performance factor, the agency was to first [*4] evaluate for relevance and assign the following ratings: very relevant, relevant, somewhat relevant, and not relevant. Id. at 124. The agency would next assess the likelihood that the offeror would successfully perform the RFP's requirements, based on the relevancy of the project and the contractor's performance on the project. Id. at 125. In this review, the agency assigned the following ratings: substantial confidence, satisfactory confidence, limited confidence, no confidence, and unknown confidence (neutral). Id. The Corps received four proposals by the August 30 due date, including proposals from Weston-ER and APTIM. Contracting Officer's Statement (COS) at 5. The source selection evaluation board (SSEB) evaluated proposals to identify strengths and weaknesses, and assigned a consensus rating for each factor. AR, Tab 6, SSEB Report at 4-14. The SSA, who also served as the contracting officer, reviewed the SSEB report and performed an independent evaluation of proposals, including in some instances adding and/or removing strengths and weaknesses. COS at 3-4, 6; see also AR, Tab 5, Source Selection Decision (SSD) at 6, 11-12. The SSA's final evaluation results were as follows:
Full case includes Shepard's, Headnotes, Legal Analytics from Lex Machina, and more.
2020 U.S. Comp. Gen. LEXIS 311 *
Matter of: Weston-ER Federal Services, LLC
protester, weakness, offerors, past performance, projects, argues, remediation, solicitation, proposals, previous experience, ratings, site, completion, cost-reimbursement, disparate, evaluated, shipyard, ships, confidence, factors, final cost, time-and-materials, environmental, challenges, assigned, satisfactory, tradeoff, unstated, best-value, islands