By Government Contracts Editorial Staff
The Comptroller General sustained a protest of a contract award for rifle magazine pouches because the awardee’s proposal failed to meet mandatory solicitation requirements. The request for proposals identified three elements under the technical performance factor: compatibility, weight, and “marine preference.” For weight, the RFP required the product to have a threshold weight of no more than 0.24 pounds to be acceptable, and it specified an objective weight of 0.20 pounds or less. The government assigned the awardee’s proposal an “outstanding” rating under the technical performance factor, while the protester was rated “good.” The government selected the awardee’s $3.6 million proposal over the protester’s $2.2 million proposal notwithstanding the associated price premium. According to the protester, the awardee’s product did not meet the RFP’s weight requirements.
Only Part of Product Weighed. The record showed the government weighed the awardee’s product without necessary attachment clips and found the product complied with the weight requirement because it weighed less than the 0.24-pound threshold weight. However, the government did not explain why it weighed the product without the clips. The clips appeared to be an essential component of the overall product since they were needed for affixing the product to a pouch attachment ladder system. The government’s actions also appeared to be inconsistent with guidance provided during market research stating “[t]he total system would be evaluated for weight.” The government’s failure to weigh all of the system to determine whether it complied with the RFP’s requirements was of “particular concern” because the awardee itself advertised the offered product as weighing 0.30 pounds, approximately 0.06 pounds heavier than the RFP’s threshold weight. Since the record did not establish that the awardee’s product met the RFP’s weight requirement, the government erred in finding the product was technically acceptable. (High Noon Unlimited, Inc., 34 CGEN ¶116,601).
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