Government Contracts Record Didn’t Support Past Performance or Realism Evaluations
Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Record Didn’t Support Past Performance or Realism Evaluations

By Government Contracts Editorial Staff

Protests of a contract award for depot-level aircraft maintenance support services were sustained because the past performance and cost realism evaluations were unreasonable. Under the request for proposals’ past performance evaluation factor, the government was to evaluate relevancy under six areas, including “the offeror’s role in the past performance effort, and its proposed role under the contract” and “scope, magnitude, and complexity.” The evaluators concluded one of the awardee’s references, an aviation maintenance contract, involved essentially the same scope, complexity, and magnitude, and rated the contract as very relevant. The protesters contended the government erred in assigning the contract the highest possible relevancy rating because it did not involve significant depot level maintenance-specific work, the primary type of work required by the RFP. According to the protesters, the contract was primarily for lower-level O- and I-level maintenance and other ancillary services, not DLM.

Inconsistent Consideration. The Comptroller General agreed with the protesters that the record did not demonstrate the extent of the awardee’s DLM-specific work on the reference contract. The contemporaneous record showed that when the government evaluated the past performance of the other offerors, it considered the extent of DLM-specific work and pursued clarification when a reference did not adequately delineate the extent of DLM-specific work. However, the awardee’s proposal did not specifically segregate DLM-specific hours from hours performed on non-DLM functions, but the government still credited the awardee for the entirety of the maintenance service hours claimed. Since there was no reasonable explanation addressing the apparent inconsistent consideration regarding the amount of DLM-specific work for the awardee’s reference contract, there was no basis for concluding the past performance evaluation was reasonable.

Realism Not Considered. Further, the record suggested the government accepted the awardee’s proposed overhead rates without critical review. The awardee represented that it would establish a new project-specific overhead pool specifically for the awarded contract, but the proposed rates differed significantly from the awardee’s historical rates, and the awardee did not explain the basis for the wide variance. The cost evaluators recognized the inherent limitations of the awardee’s historical overhead rate data in analyzing realism, but instead of seeking an alternative means to evaluate realism or investigating the reasons for the significant variances between the proposed and historical rates, the evaluators simply accepted the proposed rates and noted that the rates presented cost risk to the government. The government’s acceptance of the proposed overhead rates without making any realism assessment was not reasonable. The Comptroller General recommended the government reevaluate the awardee’s past performance and proposed overhead rates and make a new source selection determination. (Tyonek Global Services, LLC, et al., 34 CGEN ¶116,572)

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