Government Contracts Incumbent Failed to Show Transition Plan Evaluation Was Unequal
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Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Incumbent Failed to Show Transition Plan Evaluation Was Unequal

By Government Contracts Editorial Staff

The Comptroller General rejected the protester’s allegations of disparate treatment because there was no basis for concluding the evaluation of the parties’ transition plans was unequal. The request for proposals for acquisition and integrated logistics support services provided for award based on a best-value tradeoff that considered technical approach, past performance, and cost/price. Under the management approach/plan subfactor, offerors were required to address four plans, including a transition plan. Concluding the awardee’s transition plan offered a low risk approach, identified a dedicated and experienced transition manager, and used a program for corporate recruiting, the technical evaluation team assessed the awardee a significant strength for its transition plan response. The protester, which was the incumbent, did not receive a strength or significant strength in this area. The source selection authority determined that, despite nearly identical ratings, the awardee’s $214 million proposal offered a slight advantage over the protester’s $224 million proposal under the technical and past performance factors.

Proposal Differences. To prevail on an allegation of disparate treatment, a protester must show that the government unreasonably downgraded its proposal for features that were substantively indistinguishable from, or nearly identical to, those contained in other proposals (35 CGEN ¶116,824). Here, although the protester contended its proposal was nearly identical to the awardee’s, this allegation was not borne out by the record. Both parties proposed a dedicated transition manager, but the protester did not specifically demonstrate that its transition manager intended to focus on incorporating the government’s priorities in the manner proposed by the awardee. To the extent the protester contended the government should have viewed its incumbent personnel as equal to the awardee’s recruiting program, the government reasonably concluded the protester’s mention of pre-existing management and project staff was not as detailed as the awardee’s description of its recruiting program. Further, the government found the awardee’s recruiting program reduced average staff placement time and identified candidates more quickly. Finally, in assessing the significant strength for the awardee, the government noted another feature of the awardee’s transition approach, but in its protest filings, the protester did not identify a comparable feature in its proposal. (CACI, Inc.-Federal, 36 CGEN ¶117,204)

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