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2020 U.S. Comp. Gen. LEXIS 79

Comptroller General of the United States

March 12, 2020

B-417805.5; B-417805.6; B-417805.7

Opinion

DECISION

NCI Information Systems, Inc. (NCI), of Reston, Virginia, protests the issuance of a task order to DCS Corporation (DCS), of Alexandria, Virginia, under request for proposals (RFP) No. RS3-19-R-0001, issued by the Department of the Army, Army Contracting Command--Aberdeen Proving Ground, for a wide variety of systems engineering and technical assistance (SETA) services. The protester contends that the agency's evaluation and selection decision are unreasonable.

We deny the protest.

BACKGROUND

The Army issued the RFP on February 13, 2019, to holders of the Army's Responsive Strategic Sourcing for Services multiple-award, indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity (IDIQ) contracts to provide systems engineering and technical support services for the Army's Program Manager for Soldier Protection and Individual Equipment (PM-SPIE). Contracting Officer's Statement and Memorandum of Law (COS/MOL) at 2. The procurement was conducted pursuant to Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) § 16.505 procedures. Agency Report (AR), Tab 6, RFP, at 23. The RFP contemplated award of a cost-plus-fixed-fee and cost-reimbursement task order on a best-value tradeoff basis with a period of performance [*3]  consisting of a 12-month base period and four 12-month option periods. Id. at 1.

The RFP stated that a task order would be awarded to the offeror whose proposal represented the best value to the government under the following four evaluation factors: technical, past performance, small business participation, and cost/price. RFP at 14. The technical factor included the following subfactors: transition plan; recruitment, retention, and staffing; key personnel/resumes; and corporate experience. Id. at 15. The agency was to assign the following adjectival ratings under the recruitment, retention, and staffing subfactor: outstanding, good, acceptable, and unacceptable. Id. For all other technical subfactors and the small business participation plan factor, the agency was to assign a rating of acceptable or unacceptable. 1 Id. To be considered for award, a proposal must have received a rating of acceptable or greater in every non-cost/price factor and subfactor. Id. For purposes of the best-value tradeoff, the technical factor was significantly more important than past performance, which was more important than cost/price. Id. at 14.

The RFP stated that the agency would evaluate the cost/price factor to ensure that proposed costs were fair, reasonable, and realistic in accordance with FAR § 15.404-1. RFP at 20. The RFP further stated: "For purposes of this solicitation, each offeror's proposed direct labor rates will be analyzed. If more than 16% of the individual direct labor rates[] are determined to be unrealistic, the Offeror's entire cost proposal may be determined to be unrealistic and unawardable." Id. at 21 (emphasis omitted). In addition, the RFP stated that the government would evaluate proposals in accordance with FAR provision 52.222-46, Evaluation of Compensation for Professional Employees. Id.

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2020 U.S. Comp. Gen. LEXIS 79 *

Matter of: NCI Information Systems, Inc.

CORE TERMS

small business, offerors, Protest, rates, compensation plan, subcontractors, proposals, subfactor, argues, corrective action, retention, tradeoff, recruitment, evaluated, staffing, employees, key personnel, direct labor, solicitation, unavailable, best-value, incumbent, percent, professional employee, unacceptable, Contracting, outstanding, reevaluate, benefits, transition plan