Kearney & Company
B-298436.2, Oct 4, 2006
Kearney & Company protests the rejection of its quotation as technically unacceptable under General Services Administration (GSA), Federal Supply Service, Services Acquisition Center, request for quotations (RFQ) No. XPN-B-XS014, for various financial management services for the Department of Homeland Security. Kearney asserts that the agency improperly evaluated its quotation.
We deny the protest.
B-298436.2, Kearney & Company, October 4, 2006
Agency reasonably rejected protester's quotation as technically unacceptable where quotation failed to provide technical/management information for team member under planned teaming arrangement, making it impossible for agency to fully evaluate quotation.
Kearney & Company protests the rejection of its quotation as technically unacceptable under General Services Administration (GSA), Federal Supply Service,
The RFQ, issued on
Award was to be made on a best value basis, with evaluation factors of past performance, demonstrated technical/management capability, socioeconomic support, and price. Under the technical/management factor, firms were required to describe their technical approach, including corporate visibility, emphasis, and involvement of the offeror in the effective management of work efforts, employee recruitment, pre-security screening of staff, and compensation and retention plans. RFQ at 10. For evaluation purposes, as relevant here, price was equal in weight to the past performance and technical/management factors combined. Award was to be made without discussions. The RFQ provided no specific instructions for responding with a contractor teaming arrangement (CTA).
Thirty-three vendors timely submitted quotations. After determining that four quotations were unacceptable, the agency awarded BPAs to nine firms. Kearney, which submitted its quotation as the team leader under a CTA with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC), was informed by letter dated July 12 that its quotation was rejected as technically unacceptable because (1) it lacked sufficient detail to allow for a definitive assessment under the demonstrated management/ technical capability factor for SINs 520 12 and 520 13, and (2) PWC's quoted rates exceeded those under its FABS schedule contract.
In reviewing an agency's technical evaluation of vendor submissions under an RFQ, we will not reevaluate the quotations; we will only consider whether the agency's evaluation was reasonable and in accord with the evaluation criteria listed in the solicitation and applicable procurement statutes and regulations. American Recycling Sys., Inc., B-292500,
There was nothing unreasonable in the agency's evaluating PWC as part of Kearney's quotation. In evaluating proposals (or, as here, quotations), an agency reasonably may consider a firm's ability to perform the work required under the solicitation where the firm is a member of the offeror's proposed team involved in the contract effort, and the solicitation does not prohibit such consideration. See Wackenhut Servs., Inc., B'276012.2,
Here, the solicitation did not prohibit the agency from evaluating this aspect of
Prejudice is an essential element of a viable protest; we will not sustain a protest against an alleged evaluation error unless the protester was prejudiced by the agency's actions. See Shilog Ltd., Inc., B-261412.4,
The protest is denied.
Gary L. Kepplinger
 While our decision refers to the award of a BPA, which is the terminology used by the parties here, the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) in fact refers to the establishment of a BPA against an FSS contract. FAR sections 8.403(a)(2), 8.404(b). GSA's terminology reflects the fact that, although the agency proceeded under the FSS, it actually conducted the procurement much like a negotiated procurement under FAR part 15.
 Under a CTA, two or more GSA Schedule contractors work together, by complementing each other's capabilities, to offer a total solution to meet an ordering activity's requirement. CTAs under GSA schedule contracts differ from traditional prime contractor/subcontractor arrangements in that (1) each team member has privity of contract with the government, (2) each team member is responsible for its duties laid out in the CTA document, and (3) each team member must have a GSA schedule contract. Under GSA acquisition policy, CTAs are encouraged in response to government agency requirements. This information, submitted with the agency report, comes from GSA's website, www.gsa.gov/contractorteamarrangements. Agency Report, Tab 6.