Resource Consultants, Inc.

B-290163,B-290163.2: Jun 7, 2002

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A firm protested a Department of Transportation Administrative Service Center (TASC), contract award on behalf of the newly created Transportation Security Administration (TSA) for a wide range of human resources services to establish and support TSA, contending that TSA's evaluation of proposals and source selection decisions was unreasonable. GAO held that TSA's evaluation of proposals and source selection decisions were reasonable and consistent with the solicitation's stated evaluation criteria. Accordingly, the protest was denied.

Resource Consultants, Inc., B-290163; B-290163.2, June 7, 2002 * REDACTION DECISION

 

DIGEST

Attorneys

 

DECISION

Resource Consultants, Inc. (RCI) protests the award of a contract to NCS Pearson, Inc. under request for proposals (RFP) No. DTTS59-02-R-00440, issued by the Department of Transportation's (DOT) Transportation Administrative Service Center (TASC), on behalf of the newly created Transportation Security Administration (TSA), to obtain a wide range of human resources services to establish and support the TSA. RCI challenges as unreasonable the agency's evaluation of proposals and source selection decisions.

We deny the protests.

In the aftermath of the terrorist hijackings and crashes of passenger aircraft on September 11, 2001, the Congress passed, and the President signed, the Aviation and Transportation Security Act (ATSA), Pub. L.
No. 107-71, 115 Stat. 597 et seq. (2001), on November 19, 2001. The
ATSA established the TSA as a new agency within the DOT and tasked it
with security responsibilities for all modes of transportation
overseen by the DOT and other related activities. As part of its
mission to ensure aviation security, the TSA was made responsible for
passenger security, including the qualification, recruitment and
examination of a federal workforce responsible for all phases of
security screening at various security checkpoints throughout
commercial airports. To fulfill this mission, the TSA is required to
hire and deploy more than 30,000 federal security screeners and
thousands of federal security managers, federal law enforcement
officers, and intelligence and support personnel to screen all
passengers and property at 429 domestic airports by November 19, 2002.
Id. Sec. 110(c).

The TASC, which was delegated authority to conduct procurements on
behalf of the TSA, issued this solicitation on January 18, 2002 to
acquire contractor support to develop, implement and execute an
overarching qualification, assessment, staffing, and placement system
and to provide on-going human resources services for airport security
screeners, law enforcement officers and other TSA personnel in
compliance with federal law, regulation and policy to allow the TSA to
meet or exceed the dated mandates and other legislative requirements
of the ATSA. RFP Sec. C.1.0.B. The RFP's scope of work was broadly
written to encompass a wide range of human resources services divided
into four separate modules, three of which are at issue here: Module
1, "Posting and Applicant Intake for Security Screener and Law
Enforcement Job Applications and Additional Postings as Required";
Module 3, "Candidate Selection"; and Module 4, "Day-to-Day Servicing."
RFP Sec. C.2.0.G.

The agency planned to award a single contract for each module, and to
evaluate each module independently of the other modules, but
contractors were not limited to one award. Award was to be made,
without conducting discussions, to the offeror whose proposal provided
the best value. The agency planned to award time-and-material and
labor hour contracts with a cost line item for other direct costs.
Performance was to commence upon award and continue through December
31, 2002.

Proposals would first be evaluated against minimum requirements for
each module on a go/no-go basis. Proposals meeting the minimum
requirements would then be evaluated to ascertain which represented
the best value to the government against technical approach and price
evaluation factors; technical factors were to outweigh price. RFP
Sec. M.A.2. The technical approach evaluation factor was comprised
of two subfactors, past performance and management/technical approach.
Past performance was more important than management/technical
approach. Id. For each module proposed, offerors were required to
provide a total labor price based on total proposed hours, a proposed
mix of labor categories, hour per category comprising the total hours,
loaded hourly rates per category, and other direct costs. The agency
planned to conduct a price reasonableness evaluation. RFP Sec. M.C.

Twenty-five offerors submitted proposals by the February 1 closing
date. Proposals not deemed grossly deficient were referred to a
technical evaluation team, which first evaluated them against the
RFP's minimum requirements, and then evaluated those proposals meeting
the minimum requirements under the solicitation's past performance and
management/technical approach subfactors.

With at least eight offerors submitting proposals for each module, the
agency concluded that there was adequate price competition and that
the requirement for price reasonableness was satisfied. Source
Selection Official (SSO) Decision at 7; Federal Acquisition Regulation
(FAR) Sec. 15.404-1(b)(2)(i). The RFP's requirements were broad in
scope due to the inherently uncertain nature of the requirements and
the government's desire to seek out a variety of proposed solutions,
and the agency anticipated and received wide price variances based on
a wide range of proposed approaches and labor hours. Since many
proposals were based on differing sets of assumptions for required
workloads, some proposals were not considered realistic because the
hours proposed were too low to accomplish the requirements, and other
proposals were considered realistic for their proposed solutions but
their solutions were not as comprehensive as other offerors'
solutions, the SSO concluded that the total proposed prices did not
represent "real" price differences. As a result, on a
module-by-module basis, the agency compared offerors' proposed labor
hours, loaded labor rates, and other direct costs to see if a
similarity in these breakdowns would support price reasonableness.
The SSO ultimately concluded that, given their widely disparate
approaches and levels of comprehensiveness, none of the offerors
demonstrated an approach that would offer a comparable technical
solution at a much lower price as compared to any other offeror. /1/
SSO Decision at 8.

Under Module 1, NCS's proposal was rated outstanding under both
technical approach subfactors and overall, with a proposed price of
$10,183,748 using 68,121 hours. RCI's proposal was rated outstanding
under the past performance subfactor, acceptable under the
management/technical approach subfactor, and outstanding overall, with
a proposed price of $[DELETED] using [DELETED] hours. Under Module 3,
both proposals were rated outstanding under both technical approach
subfactors and overall. The agency evaluated NCS's proposed price at
$36,919,512 using 456,005 hours, and RCI's proposed price at
$[DELETED] using [DELETED] hours. /2/ Under Module 4, both proposals
were rated outstanding under both technical approach subfactors and
overall. NCS's proposed price was $29,065,166 using 326,480 hours and
RCI's proposed price was $[DELETED] using [DELETED] hours.

The SSO's source selection decision set forth the basis for his
conclusions regarding price reasonableness, as discussed above, and
compiled a table of the "pros" and "cons" of each offeror's technical
proposal, on a module-by-module basis. In his trade-off analyses for
each module, the SSO found that NCS had the best technical proposal
and clearly demonstrated the capability to perform the requirements in
the necessary time frame; other offerors also had strong technical
proposals, but had identified weaknesses. The SSO found that NCS's
higher price was indicative of its comprehensive technical approach
and realistic workload assumptions, whereas other offerors' lower
proposed prices were the result of either unrealistic assumptions or a
less comprehensive approach. The SSO concluded that, if consistent
approaches and workload assumptions were used, no offeror proposed an
approach that indicated the government would ultimately pay less than
it would to any other offeror, and found that NCS's approach provided
the clearest assurance it could accomplish the requirements in the
congressionally-mandated timeframes. SSO Decision at 8-10. NCS was
awarded a contract for all four modules.

After RCI filed these protests challenging the agency's evaluation of
proposals and source selection decisions, the agency determined that
contract performance was in the best interests of the United States
and that urgent and compelling circumstances existed which
significantly affected the interests of the United States, and which
would not permit waiting for our decision, and executed an override of
the statutory stay of performance of the contract. See 31 U.S.C. Sec.
3553(d)(3)(C)(i) (2000).

We first address the contention made by the agency and NCS that our
Office lacks jurisdiction to hear this protest. In this regard, under
the Competition in Contracting Act of 1984 (CICA), our Office has
jurisdiction to resolve bid protests concerning solicitations and
contract awards that are issued "by a Federal agency." 31 U.S.C. Sec.
3551(1)(A) (1994). CICA provides that the term "Federal agency" has
the meaning given the term by section 3 of the Federal Property and
Administrative Services Act of 1949, 40 U.S.C. Sec. 472 (1994). That
Act defines the term "Federal agency" as including any executive
agency, and defines the term "executive agency" as including any
executive department or independent establishment in the executive
branch of the government. 40 U.S.C. Sec. 472(a),(b). Neither the
agency nor NCS disputes that the TSA is a federal agency for purposes
of CICA.

Instead, both the agency and NCS argue that the ATSA provides that TSA
procurements are subject to the Federal Aviation Administration's
(FAA) Acquisition Management System (AMS) under 49 U.S.C. Sec.
40110(d) (1998 Supp. IV), and that 49 U.S.C. Sec. 40110(d)(2)(F)
specifically exempts procurements subject to the AMS from our bid
protest jurisdiction. In support of their position, the agency and
NCS rely on section 101(o) of the ATSA:

(o) ACQUISITION MANAGEMENT SYSTEM.--The acquisition management system
established by the Administrator of the Federal Aviation
Administration under section 40110 shall apply to acquisitions of
equipment, supplies, and materials by the Transportation Security
Administration, or, subject to the requirements of such section, the
Under Secretary may make such modifications to the acquisition
management system with respect to such acquisitions of equipment,
supplies, and materials as the Under Secretary considers appropriate,
such as adopting aspects of other acquisition management systems of
the Department of Transportation.

While 49 U.S.C. Sec. 40110(d)(2)(F) does exempt procurements subject
to the AMS from our bid protest jurisdiction, /3/ this provision of
the ATSA unambiguously limits the application of the AMS to the TSA's
acquisitions of "equipment, supplies, and materials." The procurement
at issue here is not an acquisition of "equipment, supplies, and
materials" but, rather, an acquisition of services. In matters
concerning the interpretation of a statute, the first question is
whether the statutory language provides an unambiguous expression of
the intent of the Congress. If it does, the matter ends there, for
the unambiguous intent of the Congress must be given effect. Chevron
U.S.A. Inc. v. Natural Res. Def. Council, Inc., 467 U.S. 837, 842-43
(1984).

We find that the statutory language at issue here unambiguously limits
the application of the AMS to the TSA's acquisitions of "equipment,
supplies, and materials," and end our inquiry by concluding that
neither this nor any other provision of the ATSA exempts the TSA's
acquisitions of services from our bid protest jurisdiction.

We do not agree with NCS that, in drafting the ATSA, the Congress
simply tracked the language of the statute it previously used to
permit the FAA Administrator to develop and implement the AMS, and
intended to make the same language applicable to the TSA. The
statutory authority for the AMS is couched in inclusive terms,
directing the FAA Administrator to develop and implement an
acquisition management system that "addresses the unique needs of the
agency and, at a minimum, provides for more timely and cost-effective
acquisitions of equipment and materials." Pub. L. No. 104-50, Sec.
348(a), 109 Stat. 436, 460 (1995), codified at 49 U.S.C. Sec.
40110(d). In contrast, the language in the ATSA is a clear limitation
on the applicability of the AMS to the TSA's acquisitions of
"equipment, supplies, and materials." In any event, neither the ATSA
nor its legislative history evidence congressional intent to simply
grant to the TSA the same procurement authority as was previously
granted to the FAA. On the contrary, while the conference report on
the ATSA indicates that the House amendment had provided that the TSA
would have the "same procurement and personnel authority as the FAA,"
H.R. Conf. Report No. 107-296, at 54 (2001), the conference substitute
contains no such language. Id. We recognize that the practical
effect of our interpretation of this provision is that protests of TSA
acquisitions may take two different tracks depending upon the nature
of the acquisition, but conclude that this interpretation is mandated
by the specific language of the statute. Unless the Congress changes
the statutory language, our Office will consider protests of TSA
acquisitions of services.

Turning to the merits of the protests, RCI argues that various aspects
of the evaluation of its own proposal and of the NCS proposal, as well
as the source selection decisions flowing from those evaluations, are
unreasonable.

The evaluation of technical proposals is primarily the responsibility
of the contracting agency, and our Office does not make an independent
evaluation of their merits. Rather, we examine the agency's
evaluation to ensure that it is reasonable and consistent with the
stated evaluation criteria and with applicable procurement statutes
and regulations. The protester bears the burden of showing that the
evaluation is unreasonable, and the fact that it disagrees with the
agency does not render the evaluation unreasonable. ESCO, Inc.,
B-225565, Apr. 29, 1987, 87-1 CPD Para. 450 at 7. Our review of the
record shows that RCI has not met that burden.

Under Module 1, "Posting and Applicant Intake for Security Screener
and Law Enforcement Job Applications and Additional Postings as
Required," offerors were required to implement an automated process to
distinguish qualified candidates from unqualified candidates,
determine the highest band qualification for qualified candidates, and
place candidates on appropriate referral lists. NCS's proposal was
rated outstanding under both technical approach subfactors and
overall. RCI's proposal was rated outstanding under the past
performance subfactor, acceptable under the management/technical
approach subfactor, and outstanding overall.

The SSO considered the NCS proposal to have 11 "pros" and no "cons,"
and considered the RCI proposal to have 7 "pros" and 2 "cons"--its
failure to address in greater detail the technology that would drive
its database system, and the fact that its technical approach was more
of a process than an execution plan. /4/ Since several other offerors
had higher technical ratings and lower pricing than RCI, the SSO did
not consider RCI's proposal in his tradeoff decision. RCI argues that
its acceptable rating under the technical/management approach
subfactor was unwarranted.

RCI contends that there was no RFP requirement to describe the
technical configuration and specifications for the computer system
that would house the candidate management system, and no RFP
requirement that this database be designed to run on TSA computers.
As the agency explains, however, its concern that RCI failed to
address in detail the technology that would drive its database system
was not with systems architecture, but with RCI's failure to include
details about the functional capabilities of its database and how it
would work with existing government systems. /5/ RCI's objection that
the agency is not procuring the database system and does not need this
detail does not address the agency's reasonable concern that it could
not ascertain RCI's ability to meet the requirements using its
database without having details about the functional capabilities of
that database.

As for the second "con" identified by the SSO, the agency explains
that RCI's proposal showed the steps it would take to meet the
requirements but lacked details about how its plan would be
specifically implemented, a failure that was exacerbated by the lack
of a specific timeline. As a result, RCI's proposal did not
demonstrate how it would apply sufficient resources to process the
required number of applicants in a timeframe that would permit
subsequent actions, such as assessing candidates, and hiring,
training, and deploying huge numbers of personnel, to take place while
still ensuring that the TSA's overall requirements would be met. In
this regard, section L.C.(2) of the RFP required offerors to provide a
detailed plan for managing and accomplishing each module to include
ensuring the timely delivery of services. RCI's referral to various
parts of its proposal has not persuaded us that this information
encompasses the detail of concern to the agency and gives us no basis
to find its conclusions unreasonable.

RCI next argues that the SSO unreasonably selected the higher-priced
NCS proposal over its lower-priced proposal under Module 3, "Candidate
Selection."

The SSO's tradeoff analysis shows that he found seven "pros" and no
"cons" in NCS's technical proposal, and eight "pros" and one "con" in
RCI's technical proposal--its proposal of only [DELETED] candidate
assessment sites. The agency evaluated NCS's proposed price as
$36,919,512, using 456,005 hours, and RCI's proposed price as
$[DELETED] using [DELETED] hours.

In response to the protests, the SSO provided a declaration in which
he elaborated on his source selection decision. /6/ The SSO explained
that while NCS's proposal was evaluated as having no technical
weaknesses, RCI's proposal was evaluated as having one weakness he
considered very significant: it was not clear to him that RCI's
proposal of only [DELETED] candidate assessment sites would be
adequate to get the job done in the required timeframe. The SSO also
stated he had a significant concern regarding RCI's price proposal
using only [DELETED] hours to do the work, as compared with the
456,005 hours proposed by NCS. The SSO explained that Module 3
included the interviewing process, which called for the development of
interviewing protocols, training interviewers, conducting and scoring
the interviews, making and gaining approval of salary recommendations,
extending offers of employment, negotiating offers of employment,
processing the entry onto duty, and entering all relevant information
relative to the above processes into the appropriate databases. The
SSO's conservative estimate was that, to hire 30,000 to 50,000 people,
it would be necessary to conduct approximately 60,000 to 100,000
interviews. The SSO believed that [DELETED] hours was a severe
underestimate of the hours that would ultimately be required to simply
perform the interviews, let alone to perform the rest of the required
work. Considering both of his concerns with RCI's proposal, the SSO
determined that NCS's significant strengths and lack of weaknesses
merited its additional cost.

RCI's argument that the SSO failed to consider whether NCS's proposal
to perform the requirements using 456,005 hours was excessive compared
with its own proposal to perform the requirements using [DELETED]
hours is undermined by its concession that it actually intended to
propose a price of $[DELETED] for Module 3 using [DELETED] hours. /7/
In our view, this confirms the SSO's concern that RCI's proposed hours
and resulting price were unrealistic to perform the required tasks.
Moreover, in light of the large number of expected candidates and
their geographic dispersion, RCI has given us no basis to discount the
SSO's concern regarding the sufficiency of RCI's proposal of only
[DELETED] candidate assessment sites.

Module 4, "Day-to-Day Servicing," included all facets of human
resources services to include maintenance of official personnel
folders, reporting to the office of personnel management central
personnel data file, staffing, recruitment,
compensation/classification, employee relations, labor relations,
benefits and retirement counseling, record keeping and maintenance,
office of workers' compensation tasks, and other requirements.

Both proposals were rated outstanding under both technical approach
subfactors and overall. NCS proposed a price of $29,065,166 with
326,480 hours and RCI $[DELETED] with [DELETED] hours. The SSO's
tradeoff analysis shows that he found NCS had six "pros" and one
"con"--it was unclear whether the firm had provided labor relations or
benefit services to other clients. The SSO found that RCI's proposal
had seven "pros" and two "cons"--the proposal assumed centralized
processing and none of its past/current projects were of the size and
scope of this project.

In his post-protest declaration, the SSO explained why he found the
NCS proposal to be superior. The SSO did not believe that the one
weakness in the NCS proposal, its failure to demonstrate that it had
provided labor relations or benefits support to other customers,
threatened the firm's ability to successfully complete the project in
the time mandated by the Congress, and did not consider this weakness
significant. On the other hand, RCI's proposal had two weaknesses.
While the SSO questioned whether RCI's assumption that there would be
centralized processing was a good assumption, he considered RCI's
second weakness, its failure to demonstrate that any of its
past/current projects met the TSA requirements in size and scope, to
be much more significant. He considered the fact that RCI had never
undertaken a project of this size and scope before to be a very
significant weakness that could threaten its ability to complete the
project within the mandated timeframes, and contrasted this
significant weakness with the significant strengths in the NCS
proposal. He noted that the NCS proposal was credited with a
well-prepared, thoughtful, and creative plan and considerable
practical experience, and stated that the NCS proposal indicated it
was currently maintaining 30,000 personnel folders on other projects.
He concluded that this reflected favorably on the firm's ability to
complete the project within the mandated timeframes.

RCI first contends that the SSO failed to adequately consider NCS's
weakness regarding its lack of labor relations and benefits to other
customers. We do not agree. As the agency explains, the purpose of
this procurement is to assist the TSA in finding, evaluating, and
hiring an enormous number of passenger screeners and law enforcement
officers to be deployed at 429 airports nationwide in less than one
year. To accomplish this task, certain skills are required and, as
the agency explains, some are more important than others. At the
outset of the TSA's existence, the 10-month period covered by this
contract, the agency believes there will be little need for labor
relations experience and the only significant role played by human
resources regarding benefits concerns retirement benefits, which
should not be an issue during this short-lived contract. While RCI
objects that these are just hypotheses on the part of the agency, we
find them reasonable justifications in support of the agency's
conclusion.

RCI next argues that the agency irrationally considered its assumption
of centralized processing to be both a strength and weakness.
However, as the agency cogently explains, the fact that RCI assumed
that there would be centralized processing was a strength in concept,
but was a weakness in practice because RCI did not fully and
adequately explain how such an approach would be implemented to meet
the scope of the TSA's requirements--the ability to provide day-to-day
personnel servicing support to more than 30,000 recently hired
employees nationwide. The agency was concerned, for example, that a
centralized processing facility in one time zone might not be
available to provide support during the work hours of TSA personnel
dispersed across various other time zones. RCI's objection that this
feature of its proposal could just as easily have been a strength does
not address the agency's concerns, which we find reasonable.

RCI finally argues that it did have a project of the size and scope of
the TSA project, referring to a contract listed in its proposal under
which it stated that it maintained official personnel folders for
28,000 students who passed through a training center on an annual
basis. As the agency explains, while 28,000 students pass through the
training center each year, RCI's proposal stated that there were only
approximately 7,000 students there at any one time, and the agency
could only conclude that the firm probably maintained 7,000 files at
one time, less than one-fourth of the minimum TSA requirement of more
than 30,000 files. RCI's response--that the successful contractor
would begin performance by maintaining just one file and build up over
time--does not address the agency's concern that, at some point, the
contractor will be maintaining approximately 30,000 files, and its
conclusion that it could not ascertain that RCI had experience on that
scale.

Source selection officials have broad discretion in determining the
manner and extent to which they will make use of the technical and
price evaluation results, and their judgments are governed only by the
tests of rationality and consistency with the stated evaluation
criteria. Chemical Demilitarization Assocs., B-277700, Nov. 13, 1997,
98-1 CPD Para. 171 at 6. Where, as here, the RFP allows for a
price-technical tradeoff, the selection official retains discretion to
select a higher-priced but also technically superior submission, if
doing so is in the government's best interest and is consistent with
the solicitation's stated evaluation and source selection scheme. 4-D
Neuroimaging, B-286155.2, B-286155.3, Oct. 10, 2001, 2001 CPD Para.
183 at 10. Here, technical factors were to outweigh price, and past
performance was the most important technical/management subfactor.
The SSO found that NCS submitted the superior proposal for each
module, and that its higher price was indicative of its comprehensive
technical approach and realistic workload assumptions. He also
considered that the danger of selecting an inferior but less expensive
offer involved accepting a greater risk that the project might not be
accomplished as well or as timely as required, and the fact that, in
either case, the result would be to increase the risk to the United
States of a successful terrorist attack. SSO Declaration at 2. In
other words, the SSO was aware of the technical advantages of NCS's
proposal, and specifically determined that those advantages were worth
NCS's higher price. This is all that is required for a proper
tradeoff, and the fact that RCI believes the price premium is too
great is not sufficient to establish that the SSO's determination was
unreasonable. Id. at 11; General Servs. Eng'g, Inc., B-245458,
Jan. 9, 1992, 92-1 CPD Para. 44 at 11.

The protests are denied.

Anthony H. Gamboa
General Counsel

 

1. RCI's allegation that the agency failed to conduct an adequate price reasonableness evaluation is unpersuasive. The government may use various price analysis techniques and procedures to ensure a fair and reasonable price, including the comparison of proposed prices received in response to the solicitation; normally, adequate price competition establishes price reasonableness. FAR Sec. 15.404-1(b)(2)(i). The agency recognized that offerors' differing assumptions and approaches might diminish the reliability of their proposed prices for purposes of comparison, and went on to compare their proposed rates and other direct costs. The depth of an agency's price analysis is a matter within the sound exercise of the agency's discretion, see HSG Philipp Holzmann Technischer Servs. GmbH, B-289607, Mar. 22, 2002, 2002 CPD Para. 67 at 6, and RCI has given us no basis to question the adequacy of the agency's price reasonableness determination. As for RCI's contention that the agency failed to conduct a cost realism analysis, where, as here, a solicitation provides for the award of a time-and-materials contract with fixed-price burdened labor rates, there is no requirement that the agency conduct a cost realism analysis in the absence of a solicitation provision requiring such an analysis. See General Atomics, B-287348, B-287348.2, June 11, 2001, 2001 CPD Para. 169 at 7; ENMAX Corp., B-281965, May 12, 1999, 99-1 CPD Para. 102 at 10.

2. As discussed below, RCI's evaluated price for Module 3 was neither the price it actually proposed nor the price it intended to propose.

3. Section 40110(d)(2) lists provisions of federal acquisition law that shall not apply to the acquisition management system; one of these is "Subchapter V of chapter 35 of title 31, relating to the procurement protest system." 49 U.S.C. Sec. 40110(d)(2)(F).

4. The technical evaluation team identified separate weaknesses for both offerors regarding a lack of a detailed timeline, but the SSO did not consider this to be a separate "con" for either proposal.

5. The RFP stated that "[i]nteroperable database capability is required to capture, assess, link, and report information used to prioritize local hiring, capture data for trend analysis, and integrate this data with the global management of an applicant/candidate/new hire database and feed TSA [human resources] systems," and offerors were required to "ensure that all data capture can be linked, integrated and/or imported into the [DOT] [human resource] systems." RFP Secs. C.2.0.B, D.

6. Notwithstanding RCI's apparent request that we accord the SSO's post-protest explanation little weight, such explanations that provide a detailed rationale for contemporaneous conclusions, as is the case here, simply fill in previously recorded details, and will generally be considered in our review of the rationality of selection decisions, so long as those explanations are credible and consistent with the contemporaneous record. Jason Assocs. Corp., B-278689 et al., Mar. 2, 1998, 98-1 CPD Para. 67 at 6-7.

7. In its proposal for Module 3, RCI apparently inadvertently inserted its intended pricing for Module 2 ($21,040,322 using 96,682 hours), and vice versa. It is not clear why the agency believed that RCI's proposed price for Module 3 was $18,472,266.

* DOCUMENT FOR PUBLIC RELEASE

The decision issued on the date below was subject to a GAO Protective Order. This redacted version has been approved for public release.

 

Nov 16, 2017

  • HBI-GF, JV
    We deny the protest.
    B-415036
  • Epsilon Systems Solutions, Inc.
    We dismiss the protest because it raises a matter of contract administration over which we do not exercise jurisdiction.
    B-414410.4

Nov 15, 2017

Nov 14, 2017

Nov 9, 2017

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