Done Right Building Services, Inc.
B-310568, Dec 17, 2007
Done Right Building Services, Inc. protests the award of a contract to NHI/Urban Services Group, Inc., under request for proposals (RFP) No. NAMA-07-R-0002, issued by the National Archives and Records Administration, for operations and maintenance services at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library in Hyde Park, New York. Done Right argues that the agency's evaluation of its proposal and selection of NHI/Urban's proposal for award evidenced bias against Done Right and was unreasonable.
We deny the protest.
B-310568, Done Right Building Services, Inc., December 17, 2007
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.
Agency's evaluation of proposals and source selection are unobjectionable where the record does not support the protester's contention that the agency's evaluation and source selection evidenced bias against the protester and was unreasonable.
Done Right Building Services, Inc. protests the award of a contract to NHI/Urban Services Group, Inc., under request for proposals (RFP) No. NAMA-07-R-0002, issued by the National Archives and Records Administration, for operations and maintenance services at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library in
The RFP provided for the award of a fixed-price contract for a base period of 1 year with four 1-year options to the offeror submitting the proposal determined to represent the best value to the government based upon the evaluation factors of technical understanding and management approach (hereinafter technical understanding), personnel, relevant past performance, and price. RFP at 84. The solicitation stated that the non-price factors were equal in importance, and when combined, would be considered significantly more important than price in determining which proposal represented the best value.
The agency received proposals from three offerors, including Done Right (the incumbent contractor) and NHI/Urban. Done Right's proposal initially received ratings of marginal under each of the non-price evaluation factors, and was informed that its proposal was excluded from the competitive range. Agency Report (AR), Tab 11, Initial TEP Report, at 5-6; Tab 12, Competitive Range Exclusion Letter (
Done Right argues that the agency's evaluation of its proposal and selection of NHI/Urban's proposal for award were unreasonable and evidenced bias against Done Right. With regard to the allegation of bias, Done Right points out that a former employee of Done Right is the Library's current facility manager and acted as the technical evaluation panel (TEP) chairperson for this acquisition, and asserts that this individual is biased against Done Right because he left Done Right under troubling circumstances. Protester's Comments at 2. The protester continues by pointing to what it believes are flaws in the evaluation process that, in the protester's view, evidence bias. As explained in detail below, we have reviewed the record and find no credible evidence of bias or bad faith on the part of the facility manager/TEP chairperson or any other agency officials.
First, in response to Done Right's general allegation of bias, the agency report includes the detailed declaration of the facility manager/TEP chairperson, as well as various other documents, including the facility manager/TEP chairperson's letter of resignation from Done Right. These documents, including the facility manager/TEP chairperson's detailed declaration, do not provide any support for the protester's assertion that the facility manager/TEP chairperson left Done Right under troubling circumstances, nor do they provide any support for the protester's claim of bias.
In contrast to the documents submitted by the agency, the protester has submitted the declarations of Done Right's president and current Library site supervisor, which state, in virtually identical terms, that these individuals had become aware that the facility manager/TEP chairperson had been disappointed and had expressed anger as to the terms of his previous employment at Done Right. Protester's Comments, exhs. A and B. These declarations are devoid of any detail or explanation as to how the president and site supervisor had become aware of the previous facility manager/TEP chairperson's anger or disappointment, nor do they provide any other information in support of the protester's allegation of bias. Prejudicial motives will not be attributed to contracting officials on the basis of unsupported allegations, inference, or supposition, and these general and unsupported allegations provide no basis on which to question the propriety of the actions of the facility manager/chairperson of the TEP, or the agency's evaluation and selection of NHI/Urban for award. See McDonnell Douglas Corp., B-259694.2; B'259694.3,
A more specific and equally unsupported example of bias offered by the protester concerns the agency's evaluation of the proposals submitted by NHI/Urban and Done Right under the personnel factor. In this regard, the protester points out that NHI/Urban stated in its proposal that it recognized the dedication of the incumbent employees and the benefits to Library continuity of operations of their continued service under the new contract, and would thus seek to retain incumbent personnel at the Library. Protester's Comments at 3; see AR, Tab 9, NHI/Urban Proposal, sect. 2, at 1. The protester next points out, based upon its understanding of the record, that NHI/Urban's proposal was initially rated as acceptable under the personnel factor while Done Right's proposal was rated as marginal, even though the proposals offered essentially the same personnel. The protester asserts that this disparate treatment bolsters the evidence of bias against Done Right during the evaluation and source selection processes. Protester's Comments at 3.
We find the protester's argument here to be without merit because as set forth previously and demonstrated by the record, the proposals submitted by NHI/Urban and Done Right each ultimately received the same rating of acceptable under the personnel factor. AR, Tab 20, Source Selection Decision, at 1. In fact, in selecting NHI/Urban's proposal for award, the source selection authority specifically recognized that the proposals of NHI/Urban and Done Right received the same rating under the personnel evaluation factor.
The protester also points to the agency's evaluation of NHI/Urban's and Done Right's proposals under the past performance factor as evidencing bias. Specifically, the protester argues here that the agency's evaluation of past performance evidenced bias because the agency's evaluation of Done Right's proposal as marginal was based upon the agency's assessment of Done Right's performance of two contracts, rather than each of the five contracts referenced in Done Right's proposal, and because, in Done Right's view, the evaluation focused on negative comments regarding Done Right's performance of these contracts. Protester's Comments at 5.
With regard to the number of contracts referenced by the agency during its evaluation of Done Right's proposal under the past performance factor, we note that although agencies are required to evaluate the past performance of all offerors on the same basis, there is no requirement that an agency contact all of an offeror's references, or that an agency contact the same number of references for each offeror. IGIT, Inc., B-275299.2,
Finally, the protester points in a number of instances to the differing conclusions reached by the agency during its initial evaluation of Done Right's proposal and during the reevaluation of Done Right's proposal, and argues that because the proposal was unchanged, and the evaluation results differed, the evaluation must have been tainted by bias. We disagree. It is not uncommon that an agency, in response to a protest filed at the agency or at our Office, decides to reevaluate a proposal with those evaluation results differing from the conclusions initially reached. The mere fact that the evaluators reached differing conclusions does not establish bias, and again, while Done Right asserts that the evaluation of proposals and selection of NHI/Urban's proposal for award was the result of bias against Done Right, the protester's assertions in this regard amount to no more than unsupported allegations, inference, or supposition.
In sum, in the absence of evidence in the record that shows that the agency's evaluation and source selection evidenced bias against the protester or were unreasonable, we find no basis to object to the award.
The protest is denied.
Gary L. Kepplinger
 Done Right has made a number of other related contentions during the course of this protest having to do with its allegations of bias on the part of contracting officials. Although these contentions may not be specifically addressed in this decision, each was considered by our Office and found either to be invalid with regard to the protester's primary argument regarding bias, or invalid or insignificant with regard to the merits of the evaluation and source selection based upon the record as a whole.