B-311321,B-311321.2, Jun 9, 2008
Guam Shipyard protests the evaluation of proposals and the award of a contract to Gulf Copper Ship Repair, Inc. under request for proposals (RFP) No. N55236-08-R-0006, issued by the Department of the Navy, Southwest Regional Maintenance Center, for alterations to sanitary spaces (low maintenance, sensor-operated washroom facilities) on Barge YRBM-25 in Guam. The protester challenges the reasonableness of the agency's evaluation of proposals and determination to make the award to Gulf Copper, which received a higher past performance rating and offered a higher price than the protester.
We deny the protest.
B-311321; B-311321.2, Guam Shipyard, June 9, 2008
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.
Guam Shipyard protests the evaluation of proposals and the award of a contract to Gulf Copper Ship Repair, Inc. under request for proposals (RFP) No. N55236-08-R-0006, issued by the Department of the Navy,
The RFP, set aside for small businesses, anticipated the award of a fixed-price contract to the firm that submitted the technically acceptable proposal deemed to offer the best value to the agency considering two evaluation factors approximately equal in importance, price reasonableness and performance risk. RFP at 45, 48. The performance risk factor was comprised of two subfactors also of approximately equal importance, past performance (including technical quality, schedule, and management) and price realism.
For the price realism subfactor of the performance risk evaluation factor, offerors were advised that their proposed prices would be compared to the other prices proposed and the independent government estimate (IGE), that low prices could increase the firm's overall performance risk, and that a contract price is realistic if it is high enough to preclude the [c]ontractor from enduring a significant financial loss in performing the requirements of the contract.
Four proposals were received by the scheduled closing time. Discussions were conducted and revised proposals were submitted and evaluated. The protester's revised proposal was the lowest-priced offer received, it was found to be reasonably priced, and its technical proposal was found acceptable. Its performance risk, however, was rated as very high overall. Under the price realism subfactor, the protester's proposed price of $969,334.03 was considered unrealistically low (and evaluated as being approximately 23 percent below the IGE). Under the past performance subfactor, the firm's proposal was evaluated as marginal based on an unfavorable Contract Performance Assessment Report (CPAR) in the agency's automated PPIRS regarding the firm's recent performance of similar work for the agency. The CPAR was the only performance report available in the PPIRS, and the only past performance information considered by the evaluators for the firm since the contract reference Guam had provided for two other contracts failed to respond to the agency's email request for past performance information.
Gulf Copper was found to have proposed a reasonable and realistic price of $1,374,537.50 (which was evaluated as only 2 percent above the IGE). Its proposal, which was rated satisfactory under the past performance subfactor based on its ratings of very good from two references and a rating of satisfactory from the third reference, was rated moderate overall for performance risk. Finding that the $405,200.47 price premium associated with an award on the basis of Gulf Copper's higher-rated past performance and lower performance risk was warranted, the contracting officer determined that Gulf Copper's proposal presented the best value to the government and made award to that firm. This protest followed.
Our Office will examine an agency's past performance evaluation only to ensure that it was reasonable and consistent with the stated evaluation criteria and applicable statutes and regulations, since determining the relative merit of an offeror's past performance is primarily a matter within the contracting agency's discretion. See Pacific Ship Repair and Fabrication, Inc., B-279793,
Here, the agency points out that the past performance reference listed by the protester failed to respond to the agency's email inquiry for relevant survey information. While
As stated above, the agency, consistent with the terms of the RFP, considered a comprehensive, recent, and relevant CPAR that rated the firm's past performance as marginal and showed that
The depth of an agency's price realism analysis is a matter within the sound exercise of the agency's discretion. Comparison of proposed prices with each other and an IGE are recognized price analysis techniques for a price realism review. See Quality Elevator Co., Inc., B-276750,
The protest is denied.
Gary L. Kepplinger
 Under the evaluation scheme used here, a rating of very high performance risk, as was received by the protester's proposal, was to apply to a proposal rated as unsatisfactory for past performance and having a realistic price, or an unrealistically priced proposal rated satisfactory, marginal or unsatisfactory for past performance. Source Selection Plan at attach. 2. A rating of marginal under the past performance subfactor, as Guam's proposal received, was to apply to a proposal that failed to meet some contract requirements, and showed a serious problem for which corrective measures have not yet been identified.
 Guam challenges that the price realism evaluation of Gulf Copper's proposal, contending that substantial travel costs should be imputed to the firm's performance of the contract because, according to Guam, the awardee lacks a sufficient local presence, in terms of local facility, employees, and possessing the required agency agreement for ship repair services. As the agency and intervenor point out, Gulf Copper specifically reported to the agency that it intends to perform the contract with a sufficient number of local employees, thereby eliminating any travel costs; that it currently leases an appropriate facility for the work; and that it holds the noted agency ship repair agreement. As such, we see no basis in the record to question Gulf Copper's status as a local firm, and, consequently, there was no need to factor in travel costs applicable to non-local firms, as