Advant-EDGE Solutions, Inc.
B-400367.2: Nov 12, 2008
Advant-EDGE Solutions, Inc. (AES) of North East, Maryland protests the award of a contract to NEIE Medical Waste Services, LLC (NEIE) of Portsmouth, Virginia under request for proposals (RFP) No. VA-248-07-RP-0094, issued by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for biomedical waste services. AES challenges the agency's evaluation of the proposals.
We deny the protest.
B-400367.2, Advant-EDGE Solutions, Inc., November 12, 2008
2. Evaluation of protester's proposal was unobjectionable where, due to weakness associated with sharps exchange program, agency reasonably evaluated proposal as satisfactory and, although it experienced difficulty in contacting protester's past performance references, reasonably evaluated past performance as low risk.
The RFP, set aside for small disadvantaged veteran-owned small businesses (SDVOSB), sought proposals for all labor, equipment, containers, transportation and supervision required to pick-up, transport, incinerate and/or acceptably dispose of biomedical infectious waste, pharmaceutical and veterinary waste, chemotherapy waste, biological/pathological waste, contaminated waste, and VA sharps containers, from three VA medical facilities in Florida. Proposals were to include per-pound pricing based on estimated quantities of waste at each of the medical facilities. The RFP contemplated the award of a fixed-price requirements contract for a base period, with 4 option years.
Proposals were to be evaluated for best value on the basis of three factors--technical capability, past performance, and price. The two non-price factors were equally important and, combined, were equal in importance to price. With regard to past performance, the RFP required submission of at least three references for the offerors' most recent and relevant contracts performed for biomedical waste service.
Eight offerors, including
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Very Low Risk
In reviewing the evaluation record, the contracting officer, as source selection authority (SSA), noted that NEIE's proposal had multiple strengths and exceeded the minimum requirements. With regard to
Licenses and permits
The RFP's performance work statement (PWS) required the successful contractor to pick-up, transport, and treat and/or dispose of medical waste in accordance with all applicable county, Florida state, and federal (Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Transportation) laws, policies and guidelines, as well as VA infectious medical waste requirements. PWS sect. D.1.2. The contractor was also required to maintain all necessary medical waste permits and licenses for the disposal and treatment of such waste.
This argument is without merit. The RFP did not require any specific license or permit as a precondition to receiving award but, rather, only required that the contractor maintain all necessary permits and licenses and that it perform the work in accordance with applicable laws. Whether an offeror, prospectively, was capable of meeting this performance requirement was a matter of the firm's responsibility. See SourceLink
In its comments on the agency report,
Sharps Exchange System
In reviewing an agency's technical evaluation, we will not reevaluate proposals, but will examine the record to ensure that it was reasonable and in accordance with the stated evaluation criteria and applicable procurement statutes and regulations. Harris Corp., B-299864 et al.,
The evaluation here was reasonable. The RFP provided for the collection of various types of biomedical waste at each facility's pick-up area using contractor-furnished containers. RFP paras. D.1.1, D.4. VA personnel were responsible for distributing these containers throughout the facilities and for returning them to the waste pick-up area. RFP para. D.5.1. Contractors were not responsible for providing sharps containers, which were to be purchased and stocked by VA. RFP para. D.1.1. However,
The evaluation was reasonable. The RFP requested at least three past performance references for offerors' most recent and relevant contracts for biomedical waste services. RFP para. 5.1.5.
The agency states that it had difficulty contacting any of
Since we find no error in the agency's evaluation of the proposals, and price and technical factors were weighted equally, there is no basis to question the SSA's determination that the technical advantages of NEIE's proposal justified its price premium.
The protest is denied.
Gary L. Kepplinger
 The term sharps refers to items, such as needles, that must be disposed of in a safe, secure manner. Agency Report (AR) at 5.
 We reach the same conclusion with regard to
 In any event, an agency's judgment as to whether a small business offeror will comply with a limitation on subcontracting provision is a matter of responsibility, and the contractor's actual compliance with the provision is a matter of contract administration. Coffman Specialties, Inc., B-284546, B-284546.2,
 In any event,