B-173218(3), NOV 16, 1971

B-173218(3): Nov 16, 1971

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ALTHOUGH PROTESTANT'S PRICE WAS $34. THE PROTEST IS THEREFORE DENIED. INC.: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JULY 6. THE PROPOSALS SUBMITTED IN RESPONSE TO THE SOLICITATION WERE FORWARDED TO AN EVALUATION COMMITTEE FOR TECHNICAL EVALUATION AND A DETERMINATION AS TO WHETHER THE VARIOUS PROPOSERS' PRICES WERE ACCEPTABLE OR REASONABLE. AWARD WAS MADE TO URBAN EAST CONSULTANTS. THE PROPOSAL OF THE AWARDEE WAS GRADED HIGHEST TECHNICALLY WITH 80 POINTS WHILE THAT OF YOUR FIRM WAS TIED WITH TWO OTHER PROPOSERS FOR NINTH PLACE FROM A TECHNICAL STANDPOINT WITH AN EVALUATED PRICE DIFFERENTIAL OF $34. SBA JUSTIFIES THE AWARD AT A HIGHER PRICE SINCE THE TECHNICAL SCORE OF THE AWARDEE'S PROPOSAL WAS SIGNIFICANTLY HIGHER THAN THAT OF OTHER PROPOSALS AND DETERMINED TO BE MOST ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT CONSIDERING ALL FACTORS INCLUDING PRICE.

B-173218(3), NOV 16, 1971

BID PROTEST - NEGOTIATED PROCUREMENT - TECHNICAL SUPERIORITY DECISION DENYING PROTEST AGAINST AWARD OF A CONTRACT TO URBAN EAST CONSULTANTS, UNDER A PORTION OF A NEGOTIATED SOLICITATION (REGION IV) ISSUED BY THE SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION. ALTHOUGH PROTESTANT'S PRICE WAS $34,449 LOWER THAN SUCCESSFUL OFFEROR'S, IT RANKED NINTH FROM A TECHNICAL STANDPOINT, WHILE URBAN EAST RECEIVED THE HIGHEST RATING WITH 80 OUT OF 100 POINTS. IN NEGOTIATED PROCUREMENTS, FACTORS OTHER THAN PRICE MAY BE CONSIDERED AND THE CONTRACTING AGENCY PROPERLY JUSTIFIED AWARD AT A HIGHER PRICE BASED ON THE TECHNICAL SUPERIORITY OF THE AWARDEE'S PROPOSAL. THE PROTEST IS THEREFORE DENIED.

TO MANAGEMENT ANALYSTS, INC.:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JULY 6, 1971, PROTESTING AGAINST THE AWARD OF A CONTRACT TO URBAN EAST CONSULTANTS, UNDER THE REGION IV PORTION OF NEGOTIATED SOLICITATION NO. SBA-406-MA-71-RFP-1, ISSUED BY THE SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION (SBA) ON APRIL 16, 1971.

THE SOLICITATION, ISSUED IN IMPLEMENTATION OF SECTION 406 OF THE ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY ACT OF 1964, AS AMENDED (42 U.S.C. 2906B), COVERED THE PROCUREMENT OF THE PROFESSIONAL SERVICES OF CONSULTANT FIRMS TO PROVIDE TECHNICAL AND MANAGEMENT ASSISTANCE TO INDIVIDUALS AND ENTERPRISES ELIGIBLE FOR ASSISTANCE UNDER SECTION 402 OF THE ACT, WITH SPECIAL ATTENTION TO SMALL BUSINESS CONCERNS LOCATED IN URBAN OR RURAL AREAS OF HIGH PROPORTIONS OF UNEMPLOYMENT OR LOW INCOME INDIVIDUALS. THE PROPOSALS SUBMITTED IN RESPONSE TO THE SOLICITATION WERE FORWARDED TO AN EVALUATION COMMITTEE FOR TECHNICAL EVALUATION AND A DETERMINATION AS TO WHETHER THE VARIOUS PROPOSERS' PRICES WERE ACCEPTABLE OR REASONABLE. THE EVALUATION COMMITTEE SELECTED URBAN EAST CONSULTANTS, AS HAVING SUBMITTED THE PROPOSAL WHICH, IN ITS OPINION, PROMISED THE GREATEST VALUE TO THE GOVERNMENT FROM A TECHNICAL AND PRICE STANDPOINT. THEREFORE, BY TELEGRAM OF JUNE 15, 1971, AWARD WAS MADE TO URBAN EAST CONSULTANTS.

YOU PROTEST THE AWARD OF THIS CONTRACT AT A PRICE IN EXCESS OF THAT WHICH YOU SUBMITTED. SBA REPORTS THAT, OF THE 16 RESPONSIVE PROPOSALS SUBMITTED FOR REGION IV, THE PROPOSAL OF THE AWARDEE WAS GRADED HIGHEST TECHNICALLY WITH 80 POINTS WHILE THAT OF YOUR FIRM WAS TIED WITH TWO OTHER PROPOSERS FOR NINTH PLACE FROM A TECHNICAL STANDPOINT WITH AN EVALUATED PRICE DIFFERENTIAL OF $34,449 IN FAVOR OF YOUR FIRM. SBA JUSTIFIES THE AWARD AT A HIGHER PRICE SINCE THE TECHNICAL SCORE OF THE AWARDEE'S PROPOSAL WAS SIGNIFICANTLY HIGHER THAN THAT OF OTHER PROPOSALS AND DETERMINED TO BE MOST ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT CONSIDERING ALL FACTORS INCLUDING PRICE. WE CONCUR AND CONCLUDE THAT THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE AWARD GIVE US NO BASIS UPON WHICH TO INTERPOSE A LEGAL OBJECTION. SEE OUR DECISION B- 171580, JUNE 21, 1971, WHICH STATES:

"THE SELECTION OF THE CONTRACTOR BEST QUALIFIED FOR AWARD IN A NEGOTIATED PROCUREMENT IS TO BE MADE BY THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE CONCERNED IN THE EXERCISE OF ITS SOUND JUDGMENT AS TO THE BEST INTEREST OF THE GOVERNMENT. B-149344, DECEMBER 26, 1962. UNDER FORMALLY ADVERTISED PROCUREMENTS AWARD MAY BE MADE ONLY TO THE LOWEST RESPONSIVE AND RESPONSIBLE BIDDER; HOWEVER, THIS RULE IS NOT NECESSARILY APPLIED TO NEGOTIATED PROCUREMENTS. IN THE LATTER SITUATION, THE CONTRACTING AGENCY IN ITS DISCRETION MAY RELY UPON FACTORS OTHER THAN PRICE. SEE B 155983, MARCH 31, 1965. OUR OFFICE HAS SPECIFICALLY UPHELD THE AWARD OF A NEGOTIATED CONTRACT ON THE BASIS OF FACTORS OTHER THAN PRICE. B 159032, AUGUST 1, 1966."