Protest of DHS CISA Budget, Acquisition, and Contract Support Services contract denied

“DIGEST – Protest that the solicitation contained ambiguous and vague evaluation criteria is denied where the criteria is intelligible and informs prospective vendors of the basis for the evaluation.”

“BACKGROUND – On May 6, 2020, CISA issued the solicitation for budget, acquisition, and contract management support services.1 Agency Report (AR) Tab 4, RFQ at 1; RFQ, Statement of Work (SOW) at 2-3; Contracting Officer’s Statement of Facts (COS) at 2. The RFQ contemplated the award of a single time-and-materials task order contract to be performed over a 1-year base period and two 1-year option periods. RFQ at 1-2. The RFQ delineated eight specific tasks for the selected contractor, including: program management; procurement strategic planning and execution support; contract management support; budget formulation support; budget execution support; finance and budget management support; surge support; and transitioning out. RFQ, SOW at 3-11. The RFQ advised that award would be made on a best-value tradeoff basis considering the following factors: past experience, management approach, staffing approach, and price. RFQ, Instructions and Evaluation Criteria at 8-13. The RFQ specified that past experience would be considered the most important non-price factor, and also that, when combined, the non-price factors would be considered significantly more important than the price factor.2 Id. at 13.”

“DISCUSSION – FAST raises multiple allegations challenging the evaluation criteria for the past experience and management approach factors as ambiguous and vague, and claims that such ambiguity and vagueness prevents vendors from competing on a common basis. Protest at 6-11. We note at the outset that a contracting agency must provide vendors with sufficient detail in a solicitation to enable them to compete intelligently and on a relatively equal basis; nevertheless, there is no legal requirement that the solicitation remove every potential uncertainty from each vendor’s interpretation. ACME Endeavors, Inc., B-417455, June 25, 2019, 2019 CPD ¶ 224 at 3. We have reviewed all of the protester’s challenges, and conclude that none provides us with a basis to sustain the protest. We discuss the principal allegations below. Past Experience Under this factor, FAST alleges that the evaluation criteria requiring each vendor to detail its experience providing procurement planning and execution services is ambiguous. FAST mostly highlights multiple phrases within the criteria, such as “at the tactical level,” “ability to support,” “ability to independently develop and define,” and “transcend beyond [the] status quo,” as confusing and susceptible to varying interpretations…”

“DECISION – Federal Acquisition Services Team OASIS JV, LLC (FAST), of Virginia Beach, Virginia, protests the terms of request for quotations (RFQ) No. 70RCSA20Q00000028, issued by the Department of Homeland Security, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) for budget, acquisition, and contract support services. FAST complains that the RFQ’s evaluation criteria are unreasonably vague or ambiguous. We deny the protest.”

Read the full 11-page decision here.


This topic contains 0 replies, has 1 voice, and was last updated by  Jackie Gilbert 5 months, 3 weeks ago.

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