B-310716, Group GPS Multimedia, January 22, 2008
DOCUMENT FOR PUBLIC RELEASE
The decision issued on the date below was subject to a GAO Protective Order. This redacted version has been approved for public release.
1. Awardee’s proposal submitted in response to a solicitation for audio-visual products and services was reasonably evaluated, where the agency reasonably considered the awardee’s proposed approach consistent with the evaluation factors set forth in the solicitation.
2. Awardee’s proposal that included a particular labor category to perform service contract work was not legally objectionable where the proposal, submitted in response to a solicitation that provided for the award of a fixed-price contract, did not violate any solicitation provisions; contention that the use of the proposed labor category would violate the Service Contract Act will not be considered by GAO because it is a matter for consideration by the Department of Labor and whether contract requirements are met during the performance of the contract is a matter of contract administration.
Group GPS Multimedia protests the award of a contract to K-MAR Industries, Inc., under request for proposals (RFP) No. W9124N-07-R-0004, issued by the Department of the Army, for audio-visual products and services. The protester argues that the agency’s evaluation and selection of K-MAR’s proposal for award were unreasonable.
The RFP, issued as a 100-percent set-aside for small
businesses, provided for the award of a fixed-price contract for a base period
of 11-months with four 1-year options.
The contractor will be required to “provide all personnel, management,
supervision, equipment, tools, supplies, materials, transportation, and any
other items necessary” (with the exception of certain government-furnished
property and services) to furnish the audio-visual products and services in
accordance with the solicitation’s performance work statement (PWS). RFP at 29.
The tasks listed in the solicitation to be performed by the contractor
include, for example, still photography products and services, video products
and services, audio products and services, as well as media duplication and
The solicitation informed offerors that award would be made to the offeror submitting the proposal determined to represent the best value to the government based upon the evaluation factors of technical capability, past performance, and price. The technical capability factor was comprised of three equally important evaluation subfactors: quality control plan, organizational structure/staffing, and management plan. The evaluation results under the technical capability factor were considered significantly more important than the evaluation results under the past performance factor, and the non-price factors combined were considered equal in importance to price, in determining which proposal represented the best value to the government. RFP amend. 4, at 44-45.
The agency received proposals from seven offerors, including Group GPS and K‑MAR. The record reflects that the two members of the technical evaluation team were unable to reach a consensus with regard to the overall rating to be assigned to the proposals of Group GPS and K-MAR under the technical capability factor, and given this, each evaluator prepared a memorandum detailing the bases for their respective determinations as well as their summary evaluation results. Group GPS’s proposal was evaluated as “exceptional” under the technical capability factor by one evaluator and “marginal” by the other evaluator, while K-MAR’s proposal was evaluated as “exceptional” under the technical capability factor by one evaluator and “acceptable” by the other evaluator. Group GPS’s past performance was rated “acceptable,” while K-MAR’s past performance was rated “exceptional.” Group GPS’s proposed price was $3,891,186 and K-MAR’s proposed price was $3,391,946. Agency Report (AR), Tab 33, Source Selection Decision, at 4-5.
The source selection authority (SSA) reviewed the
proposals of Group GPS and K‑MAR, as well as the evaluation results, and
assigned ratings under the technical capability factor of “acceptable” to Group
GPS’s proposal and “exceptional” to K‑MAR’s proposal.
Group GPS argues that the agency’s evaluation of K-MAR’s proposal as exceptional under the technical capability factor was unreasonable. Specifically, Group GPS contends that K-MAR’s proposal should have been downgraded under the staffing element of the organizational structure/staffing plan subfactor to the technical capability factor, because, in the protester’s view, K-MAR’s staffing plan, which proposes [DELETED] to perform a number of tasks, is inadequate.
In reviewing protests against allegedly improper evaluations,
it is not our role to reevaluate proposals.
Rather, our Office examines the record to determine whether the agency’s
judgment was reasonable and in accord with the evaluation factors set forth in
the RFP. The protester’s mere
disagreement with the agency’s judgment does not establish that an evaluation
The record reflects that the agency was fully aware of K-MAR’s proposed use of [DELETED] to perform a number of the requirements set forth in the RFP. Indeed, as noted, this aspect of K-MAR’s proposed approach was considered by the SSA to be a strength of K-MAR’s proposal. As noted by the SSA, K‑MAR’s proposal details K-MAR’s training program, and describes the benefits to the agency of having [DELETED] capable of performing [DELETED]. AR, Tab 33, Source Selection Decision, at 7-8; Tab 21, K-MAR’s Proposal, at 21-30. Although the protester clearly disagrees, our review of the record leads us to conclude that the agency’s evaluation of K-MAR’s proposed staffing was sufficient, and we find no basis to question the agency’s evaluation of K-MAR’s proposal as “exceptional” under the staffing element of the organizational structure/staffing plan subfactor to the technical capability factor.
The protester also argues that K-MAR’s proposed [DELETED] labor category is inconsistent with the terms of the SCA, and that by using the wage rates applicable to [DELETED] in calculating its proposal, K-MAR received “a substantial and unfair advantage” that allowed K-MAR “to submit a much less expensive bid.” Protester’s Comments at 5-6.
On a fixed-price contract, as here, under which the
awardee is required to pay the actual SCA wages and benefits out of whatever
price it offers, and where the proposal contains no indication that the company
will not meet its statutory obligations in this regard, labor rates or benefits
that are less than the SCA-required rates or benefits may constitute a below-cost
offer but one which is legally unobjectionable.
Biospherics, Inc., B-285065,
We deny the protest.
Gary L. Kepplinger
 The RFP provided that proposals would be evaluated under the technical capability factor and each of its subfactors as either “exceptional,” “acceptable,” “marginal,” or “unsatisfactory.” RFP at 44-45.
 Contrary to the protester’s argument, K‑MAR’s proposal expressly addresses the staffing of the service counter requirements. RFP at 30; AR, Tab 21, K‑MAR’s Proposal, at 21-30.