Beware of the Sloppy Key Person Resume

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In this protest, the agency found the protester ineligible because the resume for a key person failed to demonstrate that the proposed person met minimum requirements. The protester argued this determination was unreasonable. GAO sided with the agency, noting several problems with the resume, including overlapping full-time jobs and a failure to describe duties in past positions. The agency reasonably determined that the resume failed to demonstrate the required experience.

Missing Link Communications, LLC d/b/a Missing Link Security, GAO B-420288.2 et al.


The Office of the Comptroller of Currency issued an RFQ seeking cyber defense and engineering services. Twenty three vendors submitted quotations. The agency awarded the contract to MindPoint Group, LLC. An unsuccessful vendor, Missing Link Communications protested. In response to the protest, the agency took corrective action to reevaluate.

During the reevaluation, the agency determined that Missing Link’s proposal was unacceptable because it failed to demonstrate that its proposed key program manager met minimum requirements. The agency again found the MidPoint represented the best value. Missing Link protested.

Legal Analysis

Evaluation of Key Personnel

Missing Link alleged the evaluation of its program manager was unreasonable. Missing Link contended that its proposed program manager had 12 years of experience, which exceeded the requirement for eight years of experience.

But GAO noted several problems with the program manager’s resume. The resume’s position descriptions did not indicate whether the jobs had been performed for a federal customer.The resumes listed full-time employment with two different agencies that overlapped. The resume also included a position with another agency but didn’t provide any description of the duties performed. The RFQ required that the program manager’s resumes must clearly describe their specialized work experience. The RFQ further advised that if it was not possible to determine from a resume whether minimum qualifications were met, the resume might receive an unfavorable rating. In light of this language, GAO found that the agency had reasonably downgraded Missing Link’s program manager.

Unequal Evaluation

Missing Link also alleged that the agency disparately evaluated the program manager resumes by reading Missing Link’s narrowly while ignoring portions of other vendors’ resumes that failed to comply with the RFQ’s requirements. As an example, Missing Link argued that MindPoint’s program manager resume had an ambiguous description of experience working for a federal contractor.

GAO was not convinced. As an initial matter, unlike Missing Link, MIndPoint’s program manager clearly exceeded the required years of experience. What’s more, GAO did not think the description of the program manager’s experience was ambiguous.

Missing Link is represented by Elizabeth N. Jochum, Samrath Barot and Amanda C. DeLaPerriere of Blank Rome LLP. The intervenor, MindPoint, is represented by Denis R. Hurley of Williams & Connolly LLP. The agency is represented by Eric C. Crane of the Department of Treasury. GAO attorneys Kasia Dourney and Alexander O. Levine participated in the preparation of the decision.