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The protester claimed the contracting officer was biased. The protester said this bias resulted from the protester’s escalation of a request for an equitable adjustment on the incumbent contract. GAO, however, saw no evidence of bias. 

Texas Waste Company, LLC, GAO B-421363.2 
  • Solicitation – The solicitation stated the agency would evaluate the lowest priced offer. If the offeror fell into the highest quality of past performance, no other offers would be evaluated. Here, the protester submitted the lowest offer. But the agency found the protester only had satisfactory past performance. Accordingly, the agency selected the next Lowes-priced offeror. 
  • Exemplary Past Performance – The protester argued it had exemplary past performance on the incumbent contract and thus should have received higher past performance rating. GAO, however, found no evidence to support this statement. Indeed, the protester’s CPARS on the incumbent contract showed only satisfactory performance. 
  • Disparate Treatment – The protester argued the agency gave undue weight to negative aspects of the protester’s performance on the incumbent contract. At the same time, the protester argued, the agency minimized negative aspects of the awardee’s performance under the same incumbent contract. GAO didn’t see any unequal treatment. The awardee received a higher past performance rating because it submitted two relevant references while the protester only submitted one. 
  • Bias – The protester said the CO refused to award the contract to the protester due to personal grievance and petty vengeance. The protester reasoned the CO was biased because the protester had escalated a complaint about an equitable adjustment on the incumbent contract. The protester alleged its escalation resulted in the CO being removed from the incumbent contract. But GAO found the allegations were unsupported. Indeed, the CO had not been removed from the incumbent contract. Rather, the CO’s supervisor had handled the equitable adjustment as a matter of workload management. 

The protester is represented by Laurence Schor and Scott D. Boyle of Asmar, Schor & McKenna PLLC. The agency is represented by Natica C. Neely of the Department of Veterans Affairs. GAO attorneys Uri R. Yoo and Alexander O. Levine participated in the decision. 

–Case summary by Craig LaChance, Senior Editor