B-296231.2,B-296231.3: Sep 7, 2005
- Full Report:
Med Optical protests the award of a contract to Vision MarketPlace, Inc. (VMP) by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) under request for proposals (RFP) No. 54618-05 to supply prescription eyeglasses and eye exams to veterans in Broward County, Florida. Med Optical primarily asserts in its original protest that the awardee failed to offer a facility that dispenses eyeglasses and eye exams and is located within 5 miles of the nearest VA medical facility, as required by the RFP, and that the agency improperly evaluated VMP's past performance. In a supplemental protest, Med Optical asserts that its ranking was improperly reduced from second to fourth place during the reevaluation of proposals.
We deny the protest.
B-296231.2; B-296231.3, Med Optical, September 7, 2005
DOCUMENT FOR PUBLIC RELEASE
The decision issued on the date below was subject to a GAO Protective Order. This redacted version has been approved for public release.
Med Optical protests the award of a contract to Vision MarketPlace, Inc. (VMP) by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) under request for proposals (RFP) No. 546'18-05 to supply prescription eyeglasses and eye exams to veterans in
Award was to be made to the firm determined to have submitted the proposal deemed most advantageous to the government. In addition to price, the RFP contained the following technical evaluation factors: demonstrated capability, quality assurance, personnel qualifications, and past performance. The RFP also identified subfactors for each of these criteria. Each of these four factors was of equal importance; when considered together, they were significantly more important than price. The solicitation stated that offerors were to submit past performance information directly related to the [d]epth and relevancy of work experience in providing similar services for similar customers, and to [p]rovide at least three (3) references, letters or recommendations. RFP at 55-56.
On February 18, six proposals were opened for the
After the technical evaluation team analyzed the proposals, award was made to VMP. Med Optical protested that award on April 13, challenging the acceptability of VMP's proposal under the facility location requirement and the agency's evaluation of VMP's past performance. On May 12, the VA notified our Office that, while it rejected the allegations contained in Med Optical's protest, it would nevertheless take corrective action due to problems the agency found with the evaluations. We dismissed the protest on May 13.
After the proposals were reevaluated, the average point scores for both VMP and Med Optical declined. VMP remained the offeror with the highest rating on the technical factors, while Med Optical dropped from second to fourth place, having been downgraded for weaknesses under two evaluation factors--quality assurance plan and personnel qualifications. VMP also offered the lowest price of all the offerors; Med Optical's price was substantially higher than VMP's. By letter dated May 23, the protester was notified that VMP was once again the awardee for
Med Optical alleges that VMP's proposal should have been found unacceptable for failing to offer a facility located within 5 miles of the nearest VA medical facility; that the agency improperly evaluated VMP's past performance; and that the agency's reevaluation improperly lowered the score of Med Optical's proposal in the reevaluation, specifically, that the agency improperly scored Med Optical's proposal under the personnel qualifications and demonstrated capability factors.
As a preliminary matter, Med Optical argues that, with respect to
As noted above, VMP's proposal listed four locations for
Med Optical also challenges the agency's evaluation of VMP's past performance. Where a solicitation requires the evaluation of an offeror's past performance, we will examine the agency's evaluation to ensure that it was both reasonable and consistent with the solicitation's evaluation criteria, and with procurement statutes and regulations. Hanley Indus., Inc., B-295318,
The solicitation requested that offerors supply information related to the depth and relevance of work experience in providing similar work to similar customers, and at least three references, letters, or recommendations. VMP satisfied the solicitation requirements by listing as references the four offices noted above, and included several letters of recommendation in its proposal. Based on its review of this information, the agency gave VMP the highest score available for past performance.
Med Optical challenges the agency's favorable rating of VMP's past performance, and offers the names of several current and former VA officials who Med Optical alleges could offer testimony concerning problems with VMP's past performance. The contracting officer here states that there were no complaints made or filed against [VMP] under previous contracts. Contracting Officer's Statement at 1. Although Med Optical alleges that the agency has knowledge of VMP's allegedly poor past performance and names VA officials who it asserts could substantiate the allegation, Med Optical offered no evidence that the contracting officials for this procurement had any reason to know of any poor past performance on the part of VMR. Thus, because VMP's proposal satisfied the requirements of the RFP, and because the contracting officials had no knowledge of alleged poor performance by VMP, our review of the record leads us to conclude that the agency's evaluation of VMP's past performance was both reasonable and consistent with the RFP's evaluation terms.
Med Optical also asserts that the agency's evaluation of its proposal, in the areas of personnel qualifications and demonstrated capability, was unreasonable. We need not address these issues since the record shows that the protester was not prejudiced by any alleged errors in these areas. Our Office will not sustain a protest unless the protester demonstrates a reasonable possibility that it was prejudiced by the agency's actions, that is, unless the protester demonstrates that, but for the agency's actions, it would have had a substantial chance of receiving the award. McDonald-Bradley, B-290126,
The protest is denied.
Anthony H. Gamboa
 We dismissed another protest ground, that the agency had improperly evaluated Med Optical's proposal, for failing to set forth detailed legal and factual grounds for a protest.
 In connection with this protest ground, Med Optical argues that the agency reduced its score, and lowered its ranking in the reevaluation, in retaliation for Med Optical having filed its first protest. Contracting officers are presumed to act in good faith; we will not attribute unfair or prejudicial motives to procurement officials on the basis of inference or supposition. Pride Mobility Prods. Corp., B-292822.5,