[Protest of Exclusion From Competitive Range Under Employment and Training Administration RFP]

B-211117: Oct 24, 1983

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A firm protested the exclusion of its proposal from the competitive range under a request for proposals (RFP) for personal property management services issued by the Employment and Training Administration (ETA). The protester stated that ETA excluded its proposal solely because it lacked prior experience in contracting with ETA. Since the RFP did not indicate that such experience was required, the protester contended that the exclusion of its proposal from the competitive range for this reason was improper and that it was therefore entitled to be reimbursed the costs of preparing its proposal. The RFP stated that proposals should include sufficient information to indicate "the previous experience and effectiveness of the firm in similar or related work and to demonstrate the firm's current capacity to provide the services offered." The protester contended that it was informed at a debriefing that only those offerers with prior experience in property management with ETA were considered for award. ETA reported that it explained at the debriefing that the protester's proposal was rated lower than those in the competitive range because most of the protester's experience had been in food service rather than property management and because its proposal did not reflect an ability to assume complete operation of the property management support system shortly after award as required by the RFP. GAO found that the evaluation of the protester's proposal was reasonable and consistent with the evaluation criteria listed in the solicitation. Therefore, it concluded that ETA had a reasonable basis to exclude the protester from the competitive range. Accordingly, the protest and claim were denied.

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