B-175523(2), AUG 28, 1972

B-175523(2): Aug 28, 1972

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GAO IS OF THE VIEW THAT THE EVALUATION FACTORS PROMULGATED BY BLM WERE NOT TRUE INDICATORS OF A PILOT'S ABILITY TO PERFORM AT THE LOWEST COST TO THE GOVERNMENT. IT IS RECOMMENDED THAT ANY FUTURE. SIMILAR PROCUREMENTS SHOULD ADOPT AN OBJECTIVE TEST FOR MEASURING A PILOT'S ABILITY IN THOSE AREAS WHICH WILL AFFECT THE COST TO THE GOVERNMENT. SECRETARY: ENCLOSED IS A COPY OF OUR DECISION OF TODAY CONCERNING THE PROTEST OF ANCHORAGE HELICOPTER SERVICE. ALTHOUGH WE HAVE DENIED THE PROTEST. AS FOLLOWS: "*** WHILE THE LOWEST PRICE OR LOWEST COST TO THE GOVERNMENT IS PROPERLY THE DECIDING FACTOR IN SOURCE SELECTION IN MANY INSTANCES. WHERE A HIGHLY TECHNICAL AND SPECIALIZED PERFORMANCE IS REQUIRED OF THE CONTRACTOR.

B-175523(2), AUG 28, 1972

BID PROTEST - EVALUATION FACTORS - OBJECTIVE V. SUBJECTIVE LETTER REGARDING DECISION OF TODAY WHICH DENIED A PROTEST BY ANCHORAGE HELICOPTER SERVICE, INC., AGAINST THE AWARD OF A CONTRACT TO CONDOR HELICOPTER, INC., UNDER AN RFP ISSUED BY THE BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT (BLM). ALTHOUGH THE PROTEST HAS BEEN DENIED, GAO IS OF THE VIEW THAT THE EVALUATION FACTORS PROMULGATED BY BLM WERE NOT TRUE INDICATORS OF A PILOT'S ABILITY TO PERFORM AT THE LOWEST COST TO THE GOVERNMENT. ACCORDINGLY, IT IS RECOMMENDED THAT ANY FUTURE, SIMILAR PROCUREMENTS SHOULD ADOPT AN OBJECTIVE TEST FOR MEASURING A PILOT'S ABILITY IN THOSE AREAS WHICH WILL AFFECT THE COST TO THE GOVERNMENT.

TO MR. SECRETARY:

ENCLOSED IS A COPY OF OUR DECISION OF TODAY CONCERNING THE PROTEST OF ANCHORAGE HELICOPTER SERVICE, INC., AGAINST THE AWARD OF A CONTRACT TO CONDOR HELICOPTER, INC., OF VENTURA, CALIFORNIA, UNDER REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS NO. P-2-200, ISSUED JANUARY 10, 1972, BY THE BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT.

ALTHOUGH WE HAVE DENIED THE PROTEST, WE INVITE YOUR ATTENTION TO THAT PART OF THE DECISION IN WHICH WE DISCUSS THE EVALUATION FACTORS USED BY BLM TO DETERMINE PILOT QUALIFICATION. FEDERAL PROCUREMENT REGULATIONS (FPR) 1-3.805-1 PROVIDES, IN PERTINENT PART, AS FOLLOWS:

"*** WHILE THE LOWEST PRICE OR LOWEST COST TO THE GOVERNMENT IS PROPERLY THE DECIDING FACTOR IN SOURCE SELECTION IN MANY INSTANCES, AWARD OF A CONTRACT PROPERLY MAY BE INFLUENCED BY THE PROPOSAL WHICH PROMISES THE GREATEST VALUE TO THE GOVERNMENT IN TERMS OF POSSIBLE PERFORMANCE, ULTIMATE PRODUCTIBILITY, GROWTH POTENTIAL, AND OTHER FACTORS."

IN THE INSTANT PROCUREMENT, WHERE A HIGHLY TECHNICAL AND SPECIALIZED PERFORMANCE IS REQUIRED OF THE CONTRACTOR, AND PAYMENT WILL BE BASED IN PART UPON COSTS INCURRED, WE AGREE THAT AN AWARD NEED NOT BE MADE TO THE OFFEROR QUOTING THE LOWEST FIXED PRICE IF IT CAN BE DEMONSTRATED THAT A MORE QUALIFIED CONTRACTOR CAN REASONABLY BE EXPECTED TO COMPLETE THE CONTRACT IN A LESSER NUMBER OF ORDERED FLYING HOURS, AND SUCH PERFORMANCE WILL THEREFORE RESULT IN THE LOWEST ACTUAL COST TO THE GOVERNMENT. SEE B- 173267, DECEMBER 7, 1971.

IN THIS REGARD, HOWEVER, OUR OFFICE IS OF THE VIEW THAT THE EVALUATION FACTORS PROMULGATED BY BLM WERE NOT TRUE INDICATORS OF A PILOT'S ABILITY TO PERFORM AT THE LOWEST COST TO THE GOVERNMENT. SPECIFICALLY, WE QUESTION WHETHER THE FACT THAT ONE PILOT HAS A GREATER NUMBER OF HOURS OF EXPERIENCE WITH THE HOVERSIGHT THAN A SECOND PILOT PROVIDES ANY VALID INDICATION THAT THE FIRST PILOT IS, IN FACT, MORE PROFICIENT THAN THE SECOND. ACCORDINGLY, WE RECOMMEND THAT ANY FUTURE, SIMILAR COST- REIMBURSEMENT TYPE PROCUREMENTS SHOULD ADOPT AN OBJECTIVE TEST (FOR EXAMPLE, A UNIFORM PILOT'S TEST) IN MEASURING A PILOT'S ABILITY IN THOSE AREAS IN WHICH HIS PERFORMANCE WILL AFFECT THE ULTIMATE COST TO THE GOVERNMENT. WE BELIEVE THIS METHOD WOULD BE MORE LIKELY TO RESULT IN AWARD OF A CONTRACT TO THE OFFEROR WHO ACTUALLY IS CAPABLE OF PERFORMING THE CONTRACT AT THE LOWEST COST TO THE GOVERNMENT.

THE FILES FORWARDED TO OUR OFFICE BY A LETTER DATED MAY 25, 1972, FROM THE DIRECTOR OF SURVEY AND REVIEW ARE RETURNED.