Decision Released in Protest denial of Department of Justice ICITAP and OPDAT support IDIQ

DIGEST –

  1. Protest that the awardee’s professional compensation plan was unrealistic is denied where the record shows the agency reasonably determined that awardee’s professional compensation plan was sufficient to recruit and retain personnel.
  2. Protest that the awardee’s proposal did not conform to a material solicitation requirement is denied where the record shows the agency reasonably evaluated the awardee’s technical proposal in accordance with the terms of the solicitation.
  3. Protest that the agency unreasonably made its source selection decision is denied where the agency compared the proposals, determined that they were technically equal, and selected the lower-priced proposal in accordance with the terms of the solicitation.

BACKGROUND – On July 15, 2017, the DOJ issued the RFP to procure administrative, logistical, professional, and technical services to support the International Criminal Investigative Training Assistance Program (ICITAP) and the Office of Overseas Prosecutorial Development, Assistance, and Training (OPDAT).  Combined Contracting Officer’s Statement and Memorandum of Law (COS/MOL) at 2; RFP, at 2.  ICITAP and OPDAT primarily partner with foreign countries to develop criminal investigative and prosecutorial institutions.  RFP, at 9-10.  The selected contractor would provide supplies and services to plan, develop, implement, and present training courses, conferences, and technical seminars.

The RFP contemplated the award of an IDIQ contract to be performed over a 2‑month transition period, a 1-year base period, and six 1-year option periods.  RFP, amend. 2, at 2.  Task orders could be issued on a fixed-price, time-and-material, or labor-hour basis.

Award would be made on a best-value tradeoff basis considering technical merit and price factors.  RFP, at 86.  For the technical merit factor, the agency elected to use a numerical, weighted scoring system.  Id. at 87.  Offerors could receive a maximum point score under four subfactors, including:  management (45 points); corporate experience (20 points); past performance (20 points); and staffing (15 points).  Id.  For price, offerors were advised that the agency would determine whether proposed prices were realistic.  Id. at 86, 88.  The RFP also incorporated Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) provision 52.222-46 “Evaluation of Compensation for Professional Employees” by reference.

DISCUSSION – Engility primarily alleges that the agency unreasonably failed to assign risk to PAE’s technical proposal based on PAE’s low price.  Supp. Protest at 3-9.  Engility also alleges that the DOJ unreasonably evaluated PAE’s technical proposal, and improperly made its source selection decision.  Id. at 9-12; Protest at 23-27.  We have reviewed all of Engility’s allegations and find no basis to sustain the protest.  We discuss the chief allegations below.

Evaluation of PAE’s Professional Compensation Plan

Engility argues that the DOJ failed to conduct a proper price realism evaluation of PAE’s professional compensation.  Engility asserts that the DOJ failed to recognize that PAE’s staffing approach represented a risk of unsuccessful performance.  Engility also asserts that the DOJ failed to compare PAE’s fringe benefits plan against the incumbent contractor’s and the other offerors’ plans.  We disagree.

DECISION – Engility Services, LLC, of Reston, Virginia, protests the award of an indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity (IDIQ) contract to PAE Government Services, Inc., of, Arlington, Virginia, under request for proposals (RFP) No. DJJI-17-RFP‑1037, issued by the Department of Justice (DOJ) for training support services.  Engility alleges that the DOJ unreasonably evaluated PAE’s price and technical proposals.

We deny the protest.

Read the full 9-page decision here.

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