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The awardee received a marginal rating under the technical factor. The protester argued the awardee should’ve been found unacceptable. GAO said while the awardee’s approach raised concerns, those concerns weren’t fatal.

Systems and Proposal Engineering Company, GAO B-421494
  • Marginal or Unacceptable – The agency assessed the awardee a marginal rating under the technical factor. The protester argued the agency should have found the awardee technically unacceptable. The protester contended the awardee hadn’t demonstrated knowledge with one of the most critical aspects of the SOW. But GAO found the protester’s argument amounted to disagreement. The agency had concerns about the awardee’s approach. But those concerns didn’t apply to the entirely of the awardee’s approach and did not rise to an unacceptable level.
  • Cost Realism – The protester argued the agency should’ve performed a more in-depth cost realism analysis of the awardee’s proposal. Again, GAO found this argument amounted to disagreement. The record showed the realism analysis was reasonable. Nothing in the solicitation required a more in-depth analysis.
  • Best Value Tradeoff – The agency selected the awardee’s lower-rated, lower-priced proposal. The protester claimed the agency ignored the value and cost savings presented in its own proposal. GAO said the agency reasonably concluded the technical advantages in the awardee’s proposal didn’t justify the cost premium.

The protester is represented by Daniel Strouse, Rhina Cardenal, and Pablo Nichols of Cordatis LLP. The agency is represented by Nikki R. Musick of the Navy. GAO attorneys April Y. Shields and Christian Sklarew participated in the decision.

–Case summary by Craig LaChance, Senior Editor