Government Contracts Government Didn’t Apply Unstated Evaluation Factor
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Thursday, July 9, 2020

Government Didn’t Apply Unstated Evaluation Factor

By Government Contracts Editorial Staff

There was no merit to the protester’s allegation the government used an unstated evaluation factor because the issue identified by the government was clearly related to, and encompassed by, the corporate experience factor. The request for proposals for specialized medical operations and maintenance services provided that proposals would be evaluated using four non-price factors, including CE. In concluding the protester’s proposal was unacceptable under the CE factor, the government found the protester’s key subcontractor demonstrated significant O&M experience in medical facilities, but the protester failed to show acceptable preventive maintenance experience as a prime contractor. According to the protester, the CE evaluation factor made no mention of “preventive maintenance” experience and it was improper for the government to rate the proposal unacceptable—and eliminate the protester from further consideration—for lack of preventive maintenance experience.

Reasonably Encompassed. The Comptroller General found the RFP contemplated experience that reasonably encompassed preventive maintenance experience. First, preventive maintenance comprised approximately 75 percent of all of the work under the RFP. The RFP expressly defined the term “maintenance” to include preventive maintenance, separately defined the term “preventive maintenance,” and included preventative maintenance requirements throughout. Also, although the CE factor did not expressly use the phrase “preventive maintenance,” O&M services, by their very nature, include preventive maintenance services. Further, the CE factor specifically advised small business offerors like the protester that “[s]mall businesses must demonstrate full spectrum O&M services performed at ambulatory care facilities,” and the “full spectrum” of O&M services necessarily included preventive maintenance services. Finally, the record showed the evaluators were broadly concerned with the protester’s overall lack of O&M services experience. This lack of experience was “more fundamental and far reaching than simply a lack of preventive maintenance experience” because the record indicated the protester lacked any direct O&M experience at all. (NIKA Technologies, Inc., 35 CGEN ¶116,833)

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