Protest Alleging Deficiencies in Evaluation of Proposals

B-194519: Mar 4, 1980

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A company protested the award of a contract for management and technical assistance services, alleging deficiencies in the evaluation. The firm claimed that, as the incumbent contractor, it had previously performed the contract in an excellent manner and its proposal was several thousand dollars lower than the awardee's. The record indicated that the evaluation was conducted in accordance with a specific evaluation point system set forth in the request for proposals which gave due weight to the technical and price merits of the proposals. GAO had some reservations concerning the way the points were allocated in the evaluation and believed that the sytem used may have been inappropriate, especially the allocation of points for price to very low-priced proposals which were technically unacceptable. However, agencies have broad discretion in determining how they will point-score proposals, and while a different scoring approach would have produced a different result in this case, GAO would not object to the award since the scoring did not produce an irrational result. The protest was therefore denied, but the agency was advised that selection officials must be aware of possible misleading results that could flow from the evaluation approach utilized.