Reevaluation Differed from Initial Evaluation, Why Was GAO Unconcerned?

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Following a protest, the agency took corrective action to reevaluate. The reevaluation of the protester’s proposal differed from the initial evaluation. The protester argued the agency had to reconcile these differences. GAO didn’t agree. An agency only needs to reconcile evaluations when the results are “starkly different.” Here, the differences weren’t that stark. In fact, the reevaluation was more favorable to the protester.

CACI, Inc. –Federal, GAO B-420729.2


The Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) issued an RFP seeking information technology services. After evaluating proposals, DIA selected Boeing Intelligence & Analytics for award. CACI, Inc.—Federal, an unsuccessful offeror, protested. DIA took corrective action to reevaluate. Following the corrective action, DIA selected Boeing again. CACI filed a second protest.


Reconciling of Evaluations

CACI noted the reevaluation of its proposal after corrective action differed from the original evaluation. CACI argued DIA should have reconciled the evaluations.

But it’s not unusual for a reevaluation to differ from an initial evaluation. Different evaluators can reasonably reach different conclusions. An agency is only required to reconcile if the evaluations are “starkly different.” Here, the differences between the evolutions was not that stark. Indeed, the second evaluation viewed CACI’s proposal more favorably.

Adjectival Ratings

CACI objected to the good ratings it received under the non-price factors. CACI contended it should’ve received outstanding ratings. GAO wasn’t feeling it. The essence of an evaluation is reflected in the record itself, not the adjectival ratings. The record here showed DIA gave sufficient consideration to CACI’s proposal and reasonably assessed the good ratings.

Additional Strengths

CACI argued that its proposal should’ve received additional strengths. DIA reasonably found CACI’s proposal met but did not exceed the solicitation requirements.

Disparate Treatment

CACI alleged DIA had assessed strengths to features of Boeing’s proposal but didn’t assess strengths to CACI for similar features. But GAO found CACI’s and Boeing’s proposal were not substantially indistinguishable. Boeing’s proposal was clearer and offered greater detail with thorough examples.

CACI is represented by Robert K. Tompkins, Gordon Griffin, Hillary J. Freund, and Richard Areal of Holland & Knight LLP. The intervenor, Boeing, is represented by Scott M. McCaleb, John R. Prairie, Jon W. Burd, J. Ryan Frazee, and W. Benjamin Phillips, III of Wiley Rein LLP. The agency is represented by James E. Durkee, Max D. Houtz, William S. Whitman, and Lieutenant Colonel Jason R. Hull of the Defense Intelligence Agency. GAO attorneys Heather Self and Peter H. Tran participated in the decision.

–Case summary by Craig LaChance, Senior Editor

GAO - CACI, Inc.--Federal