Government Contracts Unclear if Awardee Met RFQ’s Schedule and Testing Requirements
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Thursday, February 14, 2019

Unclear if Awardee Met RFQ’s Schedule and Testing Requirements

By Government Contracts Editorial Staff

The Comptroller General sustained a protest of a Federal Supply Schedule order for lift deck beds because the government did not reasonably consider whether the awardee’s bed met a solicitation requirement for quoted items to be listed on the vendor’s schedule contract and comply with the contract’s testing requirements. The request for quotations required all quoted items to “comply with current [General Services Administration] test requirements and be on the GSA contract schedule.” Following a round of discussions, the government issued an RFQ amendment changing the technical specifications for the beds. The awardee submitted a revised drawing that referenced the same model number as its quoted bed, but the modified bed differed from the one on the awardee’s FSS schedule contract. The protester argued the beds quoted by the awardee and another vendor were not on their GSA schedules and therefore did not comply with the RFQ requirement for quoted items to be listed on a schedule and comply with GSA’s testing requirements. According to the protester, the beds were substantially different and were “nothing more than untested, theoretical beds drawn on a piece of paper.”

Record Insufficient. The government maintained the quoted beds were permissible “customized versions” under language in the FSS solicitation stating “[c]ontractors are permitted to quote customized versions of a current [schedule] product solution at the order level as long as [the products] [a]dhere to the technical requirements of Schedule 71 ….” However, there was no indication the government meaningfully considered whether the vendors’ modified bed designs qualified as customized versions of their schedule items. Similarly, there was no contemporaneous documentation showing the government concluded that the modified beds complied with the GSA schedule technical requirements, including the applicable testing requirements. The lack of such consideration was unreasonable in light of the significant differences between the design of the bed, as listed on the vendors’ GSA schedules, and the design of the bed, as quoted by each vendor. The Comptroller General recommended the government reevaluate quotations consistent with the RFQ evaluation factors and make a new source selection decision. (Hi-Tech Bed Systems Corp., 34 CGEN ¶116,256).

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