Government Contracts RFP Reasonably Omitted Past Performance Evaluation Factor
Thursday, April 22, 2021

RFP Reasonably Omitted Past Performance Evaluation Factor

By Government Contracts Editorial Staff

A challenge to the terms of a request for proposals for communications strategies and support services was rejected because the government reasonably determined past performance was not an appropriate evaluation factor for the acquisition. The RFP, issued under FAR Parts 12 and 15 commercial item acquisition procedures, provided that award would be made on a best-value tradeoff basis, considering technical and price factors. The RFP did not include past performance as an evaluation factor. According to the protester, the government unreasonably decided not to evaluate past performance because it concluded it would not be able to assess offerors’ likelihood of successful performance based on their past performance records.

Documented Rationale. The Comptroller General explained that under FAR 12.206, past performance information should be considered in accordance with the procedures set forth in FAR Subpart 15.3. However, under FAR 15.304(c)(3)(iii), past performance does not have to be evaluated if the contracting officer documents the reason why past performance is not an appropriate evaluation factor for the acquisition. Here, the government documented its determination and adequately explained why evaluating past performance was not appropriate. The government noted that the types of communication services to be acquired were not particularly complex or difficult and that assessing only the proposed technical approach would provide sufficient indication as to the likelihood of successful performance. The government also explained that reviewing past performance information for communications services that are generally performed favorably was unnecessary and would not yield significant data for evaluative purposes. The protester provided no basis to question the government’s conclusion, and its arguments only represented a difference of opinion regarding whether each offeror’s past performance record would add significant value to the evaluation. (Pathfinder Consultants, LLC, 36 CGEN ¶117,180)

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