B-194519(2),L/M, MAR 4, 1980

B-194519(2),L/M: Mar 4, 1980

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SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION: ENCLOSED IS A COPY OF OUR DECISION OF TODAY DENYING THE PROTEST BY FIRST ANN ARBOR CORPORATION OF THE AWARD OF A CONTRACT TO ALAM AND COMPANY FOR PROVIDING MANAGEMENT AND TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE TO SMALL BUSINESS FIRMS IN THE DETROIT AREA. WE HAVE RESERVATIONS REGARDING THE POINT- SCORING OF PROPOSALS IN THIS CASE. WERE INCLUDED IN THE POINT -SCORING FOR PRICE. WE DO NOT UNDERSTAND WHAT PURPOSE IS SERVED BY INCLUDING SUCH PROPOSALS IN THE PRICE SCORING. WE ARE CONCERNED BECAUSE OF THE POSSIBLE MISLEADING RESULTS THAT CAN FLOW FROM SUCH AN APPROACH. THE PROTESTER AND NOT THE AWARDEE WOULD HAVE RECEIVED THE HIGHEST OVERALL SCORE AND. THAT THEY BE REMINDED THAT ULTIMATELY CONTRACT AWARDS SHOULD BE BASED ON DETERMINATIONS OF WHAT IS IN THE GOVERNMENT'S BEST INTERESTS.

B-194519(2),L/M, MAR 4, 1980

PRECIS-UNAVAILABLE

A. VERNON WEAVER, SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION:

ENCLOSED IS A COPY OF OUR DECISION OF TODAY DENYING THE PROTEST BY FIRST ANN ARBOR CORPORATION OF THE AWARD OF A CONTRACT TO ALAM AND COMPANY FOR PROVIDING MANAGEMENT AND TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE TO SMALL BUSINESS FIRMS IN THE DETROIT AREA.

ALTHOUGH WE DENIED THE PROTEST, WE HAVE RESERVATIONS REGARDING THE POINT- SCORING OF PROPOSALS IN THIS CASE. AS THE DECISION INDICATES, PROPOSALS THAT HAD NO REASONABLE CHANCE FOR AWARD BECAUSE OF THEIR TECHNICAL INFERIORITY, BUT WHICH OFFERED VERY LOW PRICES, WERE INCLUDED IN THE POINT -SCORING FOR PRICE. WE DO NOT UNDERSTAND WHAT PURPOSE IS SERVED BY INCLUDING SUCH PROPOSALS IN THE PRICE SCORING, AND WE ARE CONCERNED BECAUSE OF THE POSSIBLE MISLEADING RESULTS THAT CAN FLOW FROM SUCH AN APPROACH. FOR EXAMPLE, HAD THE TWO PROPOSALS WHICH RECEIVED ZERO AND 12 TECHNICAL EVALUATION POINTS, RESPECTIVELY, NOT BEEN POINT SCORED ON PRICE UNDER THE SCORING SYSTEM UTILIZED, THE PROTESTER AND NOT THE AWARDEE WOULD HAVE RECEIVED THE HIGHEST OVERALL SCORE AND, SINCE THE SCORING DICTATED THE AWARDEE, THE CONTRACT AS WELL.

WE RECOMMEND THAT YOUR SELECTION OFFICIALS BE ADVISED OF THE POSSIBLE DISTORTIONS THAT CAN RESULT FROM THE POINT-SCORING APPROACH USED IN THIS CASE, AND THAT THEY BE REMINDED THAT ULTIMATELY CONTRACT AWARDS SHOULD BE BASED ON DETERMINATIONS OF WHAT IS IN THE GOVERNMENT'S BEST INTERESTS, RATHER THAN ON THE RESULTS OF POINT-SCORING ALONE.

WE ALSO FEEL CONSTRAINED TO BRING TO YOUR ATTENTION THE FACT THAT THIS DECISION COULD HAVE BEEN ISSUED SOME TIME AGO BUT FOR THE DELAY WE ENCOUNTERED IN OBTAINING RELEVANT DOCUMENTS FROM YOUR AGENCY. FIRST ANN ARBOR, THE INCUMBENT CONTRACTOR FOR THESE SERVICES, CONTENDED THAT IN VIEW OF ITS EXPERIENCE AND QUALIFICATIONS YOUR AGENCY'S EVALUATORS SHOULD HAVE GIVEN IT A POINT SCORE HIGHER THAN ITS COMPETITOR.

IN HIS INITIAL REPORT DATED MAY 15, 1979, YOUR ASSOCIATE GENERAL COUNSEL FORWARDED COPIES OF THE SOLICITATION AND A TABULAR SUMMARY OF THE EVALUATION OF PROPOSALS. HOWEVER, HE DID NOT INCLUDE THE PROPOSALS OF FIRST ANN ARBOR AND ALAM OR ANY DETAILED INFORMATION AS TO HOW THESE PROPOSALS WERE EVALUATED. AS A RESULT OF A SERIES OF TELEPHONIC REQUESTS FROM OUR OFFICE, WE WERE PROVIDED WITH THE EVALUATION OF FIRST ANN ARBOR IN JUNE; THAT FIRM'S PROPOSAL IN AUGUST; AND THE INDIVIDUAL SCORE SHEETS FOR ALAM'S PROPOSAL WERE LOST AND COULD NOT BE LOCATED.

WE THINK IT IS OBVIOUS THAT IN CASES OF THIS NATURE WE SHOULD BE PROVIDED WITH THE COMPETITORS' PROPOSALS AND THE EVALUATION THEREOF, SINCE WITHOUT THEM WE CANNOT DETERMINE WHETHER THE EVALUATION WAS REASONABLE AND CONSISTENT WITH THE EVALUATION CRITERIA. WE BELIEVE THAT HAD THESE DOCUMENTS BEEN INCLUDED IN YOUR AGENCY'S INITIAL REPORT, AS REQUIRED BY FEDERAL PROCUREMENT REGULATIONS SEC. 1-407-8(2), CONSIDERABLE EFFORT BY ALL PARTIES COULD HAVE BEEN SAVED AND THE DECISION ISSUED MORE EXPEDITIOUSLY.

WE WOULD APPRECIATE YOUR ADVISING THE APPROPRIATE PERSONNEL OF THE NEED TO FURNISH US COMPLETE AND TIMELY REPORTS, WITH ALL RELEVANT DOCUMENTS, WHENEVER A REPORT ON A PROTEST IS REQUESTED. WE WOULD FURTHER APPRECIATE YOUR ADVICE ON THE ACTIONS TAKEN IN RESPONSE TO THIS LETTER.