The Paintworks, Inc.

B-292982,B-292982.2: Dec 23, 2003

Contact:

Ralph O. White
(202) 512-8278
WhiteRO@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

The Paintworks, Inc. protests the award of a contract to Meneses & McFadden/Cartor/VHC Joint Venture (MMF) under request for proposals (RFP) No. F61040-03-R-0008, issued by the Department of the Air Force for a paint booth facility at Lajes Field, Azores, Portugal. Paintworks primarily contends that the agency unreasonably credited MMF with the experience and past performance of its subcontractor, Spray Systems, Inc.

We deny the protest.

B-292982; B-292982.2, The Paintworks, Inc., December 23, 2003




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.

Decision

Matter of: The Paintworks, Inc.

File: B-292982; B-292982.2

Date: December 23, 2003

James S. DelSordo, Esq., for the protester.
Maj. Lawrence M. Anderson, and Capt. Kenneth L. Hobbs, Department of the Air Force, for the agency.
Susan K. McAuliffe, Esq., and Christine S. Melody, Esq., Office of the General Counsel, GAO, participated in the preparation of the decision.

DIGEST

Protest of evaluation of proposals is denied where record shows agency's evaluation was reasonable and consistent with the solicitation's evaluation factors and applicable procurement rules.

DECISION

The Paintworks, Inc. protests the award of a contract to Meneses & McFadden/Cartor/VHC Joint Venture (MMF) under request for proposals (RFP) No. F61040-03-R-0008, issued by the Department of the Air Force for a paint booth facility at Lajes Field, Azores, Portugal. Paintworks primarily contends that the agency unreasonably credited MMF with the experience and past performance of its subcontractor, Spray Systems, Inc.

We deny the protest.

The solicitation required installation of a paint booth facility (large enough for oversized vehicles) on a concrete slab. Award was to be made to the firm offering the best value to the agency in terms of technical capability (rated on a pass/fail basis), and a tradeoff between past/present performance and price (where performance and price were of equal importance). For the evaluation of past/present performance, offerors were to provide information about their relevant experience providing paint booths or similar work; either government or private industry references were to be provided for similar services performed within the past 5 years. Adjectival performance ratings were to be assigned, ranging from unsatisfactory to exceptional; firms with limited or no recent performance experience were to be rated as neutral/unknown.

Shortly after the RFP was issued, Paintworks requested information from the agency about local subcontractors to possibly perform some of the work. In response, the agency issued a list of four local general construction contractors (including MMF) that had performed work at Lajes Field; the agency cautioned offerors that it did not endorse any of the firms, and that the list was made available only to assist offerors in locating local firms. Paintworks asked the agency if the listed firms were planning to submit their own proposals under the RFP. The agency responded that it did not know if any of the firms would do so. A site visit was held by the agency for prospective offerors. Paintworks personnel did not attend the site visit, but instead arranged for a representative from one of the local firms (not MMF) to attend on its behalf.

Four proposals were received and evaluated, and clarifications were conducted. Paintworks' proposal, at $506,338, was rated as very good for past/present performance. MMF's proposal, at $394,951.03, was also rated as very good for past/present performance. On September 24, an award was made to MMF, the firm deemed to have offered the best value to the agency. This protest followed.

Paintworks argues that MMF has no experience installing paint booths, and thus does not warrant a past/present performance rating of very good. In this regard, the protester acknowledges that MMF's subcontractor, Spray Systems, may have substantial experience manufacturing and installing paint booths. Paintworks argues, however, that the agency unreasonably credited MMF with the experience of its subcontractor, since the solicitation did not expressly provide for consideration of subcontractor experience and, in any event, while Spray Systems is manufacturing the paint booth, MMF plans to install it.[1]

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 RFP criteria and applicable procurement statutes and regulations. See Rolf Jensen & Assocs., Inc.,
B-289475.2, B-289475.3, July 1, 2002, 2002 CPD 110 at 5. The protester's mere disagreement with the agency's judgment does not establish that an evaluation was unreasonable. Id.

The record here shows that in evaluating MMF's past/present performance, the agency gave MMF credit for Spray Systems' substantial experience in manufacturing and providing paint booths, for which Spray Systems received ratings of very good and exceptional from each of its references.[2] The experience of a proposed subcontractor properly may be considered in determining whether an offeror meets experience or past performance requirements where the solicitation does not expressly prohibit its consideration. See Federal Acquisition Regulation
15.305(a)(2)(iii); Rolf Jensen & Assocs., Inc., supra, at 6. Given the absence of any prohibition in the RFP on consideration of a subcontractor's relevant experience, and in view of Spray Systems' positive references, it was reasonable for the agency to favorably consider Spray Systems' experience in evaluating the awardee's ability to perform the RFP's requirements.

As to the planned installation of the paint booth by MMF, the record shows that the agency knew of MMF's abilities to perform the various trade specialties needed to properly install the paint booth, based on MMF's prior work for the agency, which included relevant building, electrical, plumbing and fire suppression work. MMF's past/present performance surveys for the work showed ratings of at least very good for MMF's performance of each contract reviewed. In light of the RFP's provision for the agency's consideration of a firm's similar work in assessing the firm's ability to perform here, the similarities in the trade specialties in MMF's prior work to those required for installation of the paint booth, and the agency's knowledge of MMF's ability to manage and perform relevant work, the record provides no basis to question the reasonableness of the agency's past/present performance rating of very good for MMF.

In sum, in light of MMF's substantially lower price and favorable past/present performance rating, which was equal to the protester's rating, we see no basis to question the agency's determination that MMF offered the best value to the agency.[3]

The protest is denied.

Anthony H. Gamboa
General Counsel



[1]
[2]
[3]

Aug 22, 2014

Aug 21, 2014

Aug 19, 2014

Aug 18, 2014

Aug 14, 2014

Aug 13, 2014

Looking for more? Browse all our products here