Robbins-Gioia, LLC

B-402199,B-402199.2,B-402199.3: Feb 3, 2010

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Robbins-Gioia, LLC, of Alexandria, Virginia, protests the award of a contract to ManTech SRS Technologies, Inc. (ManTech), of Newport Beach, California, under request for proposals (RFP) No. HSBP1209R2340, issued by the Department of Homeland Security, Bureau of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) for Program Management Office Support Services (PMOSS) in support of the Secure Border Initiative (SBI) effort. Robbins-Gioia challenges the agency's evaluation of offerors' proposals and argues that its discussions with the agency were inadequate.

We deny the protest.

B-402199; B-402199.2; B-402199.3, Robbins-Gioia, LLC, February 3, 2010

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


Matter of: Robbins-Gioia, LLC

File: B-402199; B-402199.2; B-402199.3

Date: February 3, 2010

Thomas J. Madden, Esq., Paul A. Debolt, Esq., James Y. Boland, Esq., and Jeffery M. Chiow, Esq., Venable LLP, for the protester.
Paul F. Khoury, Esq., John R. Prairie, Esq., Julie A. Dunne, Esq., and Jon W. Burd, Esq., Wiley Rein LLP, for ManTech SRS Technologies, Inc., the intervenor.
Corey J. Lastinger, Esq., Bureau of Customs and Border Protection, for the agency.
Edward Goldstein, Esq., and Christine S. Melody, Esq., Office of the General Counsel, GAO, participated in the preparation of the decision.


Protest challenging agency's selection of higher technically rated proposal at a higher evaluated cost is denied where agency reasonably evaluated offerors' proposals and identified various discriminators to justify selection of the higher-cost proposal.


Robbins-Gioia, LLC, of Alexandria, Virginia, protests the award of a contract to ManTech SRS Technologies, Inc. (ManTech), of Newport Beach, California, under request for proposals (RFP) No. HSBP1209R2340, issued by the Department of Homeland Security, Bureau of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) for Program Management Office Support Services (PMOSS) in support of the Secure Border Initiative (SBI) effort. Robbins-Gioia challenges the agency's evaluation of offerors' proposals and argues that its discussions with the agency were inadequate.

We deny the protest.


The RFP, issued on April 29, 2009, contemplates the award of a single indefinite'delivery/indefinite-quantity (ID/IQ) contract (concurrent with the issuance of an initial task order--task order 01--under the contract) for PMOSS in support of the SBI program, which has been established to secure America's borders and reduce illegal immigration. The term of the contract is for 1 year, plus two 1-year option periods. RFP, at 3. According to the RFP, task orders may be awarded on a cost-plus fixed-fee, cost-plus award-fee, or firm-fixed-price basis.[1] Task order 01, which is specifically for support of the program management office (PMO) was to be awarded on a cost-plus award-fee basis. Id.

As set forth in the statement of work, the scope of the solicited services includes: "support in all aspects of planning, developing, revising, coordinating, managing and implementing program and project management processes, tools and procedures . . . [as well as] functional support for tasks by ensuring each work product is complete and providing analytical tools and techniques to ensure continual process toward implementing the SBI." RFP, at 10. The statement of work also set forth numerous functions and activities required under the contract, specifically: performance planning and metrics; budget and financial management support; program management support; program control support; systems engineering support; organizational development and quality management support; planning and business operations; operational requirements; integrated logistics support and planning; deployment; environmental planning and real estate support; organization and administration support; and transitional planning and support. Id.

As it relates to the protest, in order to provide offerors with a greater understanding of the SBI program requirements, the solicitation included several attached documents, which describe the SBI program, and the program management office activities, mission, and goals. Agency Report (AR), at 36. One of these documents specified the SBI program mission and top three goals, one of which is the creation of "a center of excellence for acquisition and program management." AR, Tab 7A, SBI Goals Strategic Planning. A separate document informed offerors that one of the goals of the SBI Program is "to establish a Center of Excellence (COE) -- a Systems Program Office (SPO) Program Management Office (PMO) that will act as a solutions provider (acquire/develop/deploy) for CBP and possibly other agencies within the Department of Homeland Security" and indicated that "[t]ransitioning the existing SBI organization to a functioning and successful organization that can be recognized as a COE will take a dynamic and evolving plan, and will require a clear understanding of roles and responsibilities." AR, Tab 7A, SBI Systems Program Office, at ii.

Regarding staffing for the effort, the RFP informed offerors that CBP ultimately intends to reduce its reliance on private contractor support by in'sourcing these support activities to government employees. In this regard, offerors were provided with an initial "notional" staffing plan comprised of 120 full-time-equivalent (FTE)[2] contractor personnel and an "end state" staffing of 47 contractor FTEs. RFP, at 99. This shift from contractor to in-house resources would be achieved over a 2-year period, according to the RFP. Id. While the RFP disclosed CBP's "notional" staffing, it specified that "[t]he offeror's actual staffing plan is expected to represent their proposed solution." Id. The RFP further instructed offerors that their staffing plans "should not merely respond to the 'notional' staffing plan"; rather, their staffing plans should be what they believe are "appropriate to meet the PMO's requirements and acquisition program strategy." Id.

The RFP provided that award would be made to the offeror whose proposal represented the "best value" to the government considering cost/price and four technical evaluation factors: (1) management and staffing approach; (2) technical approach; (3) past performance; and (4) small business utilization and small business subcontracting plan. Under the announced evaluation scheme, "[a]ll technical (non-cost) evaluation factors, when combined, are more important than cost. Technical Evaluation Factor 1 is more important than Factors 2, 3, and 4. Factors 2, 3, and 4 are of equal importance." RFP, at 108. Additionally, the RFP provided that the agency would assess the level of risk associated with an offeror's costs and proposed approach, with ratings of either high, moderate, low, or not applicable. RFP, at 110.

As it relates to the protest, under factor 1, management and staffing approach, offerors were required to describe, and the agency to evaluate, their "staffing plan and solution for supporting SBI organizations" and their "methodology for leveraging and tailoring the skills of personnel resources to the SBI acquisition program." RFP, at 101, 108. Under factor 2, technical approach, offerors were required to address their "understanding of SBI's mission, goals, acquisition program environment and program management strategy; and why the offeror is best qualified to support the SBI PMO." RFP, at 102. Offerors would be evaluated on their demonstrated understanding of SBI's "program environment, strategy, and integrated management framework." RFP, at 109.

On June 11, 2009, the agency received seven timely proposals in response to the RFP, including proposals from Robbins-Gioia and ManTech. The agency assembled a team of evaluators (the technical evaluation team (TET)), which completed an initial evaluation of the proposals submitted. Based on the initial evaluation, the agency established a competitive range for the purpose of holding discussions composed of the proposals of Robbins-Gioia, ManTech, and one other offeror. After holding discussions with offerors, obtaining final proposal revisions (FPR), and completing its evaluation of offerors' FPRs, the agency selected ManTech for award.

In the final analysis, the agency rated the competitive range offerors as follows:

Technical Factors



Offeror A

Factor 1 -- Management Approach & Staffing Plan




Factor 2 -- Technical Approach




Factor 3 -- Past Performance




Factor 4 -- Small Business Subcontracting




Overall Rating




Total Evaluated Cost




AR, Tab 10F, Price Negotiation Memorandum at 5-6.

While each offeror received an overall adjectival rating of "good," the agency concluded that ManTech's proposal was superior to the others and represented the best value to the government, notwithstanding the fact that its evaluated cost was nearly $3 million greater than the cost of Robbins-Gioia's proposal. In selecting ManTech for award, the source selection authority (SSA) concluded that ManTech's higher cost was justified by "the benefits and advantages" associated with ManTech's proposal. Specifically, the SSA noted that while all offerors had "good program management experience, process and tools to meet SBI PMO requirements," they differed in terms of their "proposed staffing plan and how each offeror leveraged proposed personnel." AR, Tab 10i, Source Selection Decision Document, at 3. As explained in the SSA's decision, ManTech "proposed a staffing plan with many more engineers than the other offerors." Unlike ManTech's proposal, the SSA noted, Robbins-Gioia's proposal "did not specify the type of degree earned by each proposed staff member; and the proposal allocated many more Subject Matter Experts (SME) than engineers." Id. This difference was significant to the SSA because, as he explained, "[a]cquiring individuals experienced in Systems engineering and various engineering disciplines, is critical to the SBI program," noting that "[a] current gap in the quality of contracted support has been the lack of engineering expertise to support SBI program/project managers." Id.

In addition, the SSA highlighted the fact that ManTech "clearly understands and supports the SBI PMO goal of creating and sustaining an acquisition program management Center of Excellence (CoE)." Id. This was in contrast to Robbins'Gioia, which "fail[ed] to appreciate the significance of the CoE concept as part of the PMO function." Id. As explained by the SSA, Robbins-Gioia "only marginally increased its staffing resources by increasing their quantity of proposed FTEs to include the CoE effort as an option, and allocated only [DELETED] to various personnel to perform an assessment of CoE requirements." Id. The SSA was concerned that Robbins-Gioia's staff "[would] not be equipped to lead the CoE efforts . . . and initial funding of Task Order #1 would not be sufficient to address the recommendations that would be forthcoming from [Robbins-Gioia's] assessment of 'enhanced support options.'" Id.

Upon learning of the agency's selection decision, Robbins-Gioia filed this protest.


Robbins-Gioia raises numerous allegations challenging the SSA's selection of ManTech for award. These allegations principally concern the agency's technical evaluation and the particular discriminators identified by the SSA to justify the selection of ManTech's proposal for award. As an initial matter, Robbins-Gioia generally complains that the SSA's selection decision was flawed because it "does not reflect that the SSA considered [the] monetized value to the government" of ManTech's perceived technical advantages. Third Supp. Protest at 28-29. This argument is without merit. While agencies are required to document their rationale for a source selection decision, including any tradeoffs, they are not required to quantify the specific cost or price value difference when selecting a higher-priced, higher technically rated offeror. See Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) sect. 15.308;[3] Advanced Fed. Servs. Corp., B-298662, Nov. 15, 2006, 2006 CPD para. 174. Based on the record in this case, the SSA's selection clearly, and adequately, documents the rationale for the award decision. The selection decision reflects a documented comparative assessment of the proposals submitted by ManTech and Robbins-Gioia, to include specific discriminators in ManTech's favor as compared with the proposal submitted by Robbins-Gioia. The SSA documented the significance of these discriminators and concluded that the advantages of ManTech's proposal were worth the cost premium as compared with Robbins-Gioia's inferior, yet lower cost proposal. No further analysis, or consideration of "monetized value," was required to justify CBP's selection of ManTech's proposal for award.

Throughout its protest Robbins-Gioia also argues that the bases identified by the agency to justify its selection of ManTech's proposal did not provide a valid basis for discriminating between the proposals submitted by the two offerors. Specifically, Robbins-Gioia contends that the agency's consideration of the offerors' different approaches to achieving the SBI Center of Excellence objective as a discriminator was unjustified because this objective was not identified as requirement in the RFP. To the extent it was proper to consider this aspect of offerors' proposals, Robbins'Gioia argues, the agency's evaluation was fundamentally flawed because the agency did not have an adequate understanding of the Center of Excellence objective; the agency improperly considered offerors' Center of Excellence approach under both factors 1 and 2; the agency misevaluated the proposal submitted by Robbins-Gioia by erroneously concluding that its Center of Excellence approach was merely an "option"; and there was no reasonable basis for discriminating between ManTech's Center of Excellence approach, and the approach proposed by Robbins'Gioia.

The evaluation of an offeror's proposal is a matter within the agency's discretion. IPlus, Inc., B-298020, B-298020.2, June 5, 2006, 2006 CPD para. 90 at 7, 13. In reviewing a protest against an agency's evaluation of proposals, our Office will not reevaluate proposals but instead will examine the record to determine whether the agency's judgment was reasonable and consistent with the stated evaluation criteria and applicable procurement statutes and regulations. See Shumaker Trucking & Excavating Contractors, Inc., B-290732, Sept. 25, 2002, 2002 CPD para. 169 at 3. A protester's mere disagreement with the agency's judgment in its determination of the relative merit of competing proposals does not establish that the evaluation was unreasonable. VT Griffin Servs., Inc., B-299869.2, Nov. 10, 2008, 2008 CPD para. 219 at 4. On the record here, we see no basis to question the agency's evaluation of the offerors' proposals or its selection decision based on the discriminators identified by the SSA.

The record demonstrates that the agency properly considered the offerors' different approaches to addressing CBP's goal of establishing the SBI PMO as an acquisition and program management Center of Excellence, and that the agency properly evaluated the offerors' different approaches under evaluation factors 1 and 2.[4] As noted above, materials accompanying the solicitation, which provided information concerning the mission, goals, and objectives of the SBI PMO, informed offerors that the creation of a "Center of Excellence" within the SBI PMO was one of three principal goals of the SBI program. As such, it was reasonable for the agency to consider and evaluate how offerors addressed this objective given that the RFP expressly provided, under factor 2, that offerors were required to address "their understanding of SBI's mission, goals, acquisition program environment and program management strategy." RFP, at 102. Similarly, the Center of Excellence approach was properly considered under factor 1, which required offerors to describe their staffing approach to support the SBI PMO. In fact, Robbins-Gioia's own proposal reflects that it was aware of the Center of Excellence objective, and that it would be a basis for evaluation, since it addressed its Center of Excellence approach throughout its proposal, in particular, as it related to both evaluation factors 1 and 2. See, e.g., Robbins'Gioia Final Proposal Revision Part I, Tab A at 3, 6, 7, 9, 30; Tab B at 1, 2, 7.

While Robbins-Gioia addressed the Center of Excellence concept in its proposal, and thereby reflected an understanding of the Center of Excellence objective, the CBP found, and the record reflects, that its approach lacked detail regarding how it would facilitate meeting this goal, particularly as compared to the proposal submitted by ManTech.[5] Robbins-Gioia's proposal in several instances merely restates the Center of Excellence concepts with minimal detail explaining how it would position the agency to achieve this objective. To the extent the agency characterized Robbins-Gioia's Center of Excellence approach as merely an "option" for future "assessments," this characterization is consistent with a reasonable understanding of Robbins-Gioia's proposal. Where Robbins-Gioia's proposal presented details regarding "how" it would facilitate the Center of Excellence concept, these details were presented in the context of an "option" for further "assessments." Robbins-Gioia Final Proposal Revision, Tab A at 7. Moreover, the agency's understanding of Robbins-Gioia's proposal as merely establishing the possibility for future development of the Center of Excellence concept is consistent with the agency's finding that Robbins-Gioia's proposal devoted a mere [DELETED] toward achieving the Center of Excellence goal, hours which were dedicated to its proposed optional "assessments."[6] AR, Tab 9b(1), FPR Technical Evaluation Report for Robbins'Gioia, at 7.

By contrast, ManTech's proposal included greater specificity regarding how it would facilitate the Center of Excellence goal, to include proposing a senior learning manager to focus on "creating a learning environment within the PMO to assist SBI in achieving their goals of workforce development and establishing a Center of Excellence in acquisition and management." ManTech Final Proposal, File 6, Tab A, Management and Staffing, at 3. In addition, ManTech proposed a "knowledge partnership" concept, which would provide CBP with a variety of professional training and degree certification opportunities for government personnel through several institutions, to include a partnership with the Stevens Institute of Technology, which ManTech noted had experience establishing a Center of Excellence for the Department of Homeland Security. AR, Tab 9b(1), FPR Technical Evaluation Report for ManTech, at 8, 11. Ultimately, Robbins-Gioia's challenges reflect little more than its mere disagreement with the agency's assessments regarding the differences between the proposals. Such disagreement does not provide a basis for our Office to conclude that the agency's evaluation was unreasonable or otherwise improper. VT Griffin Servs., Inc., supra.

Robbins-Gioia further contends that the CBP fundamentally lacked an understanding of its own Center of Excellence needs and that it could not properly assess the advantages associated with offerors' proposals. In support of this contention, the protester highlights exchanges among TET evaluators concerning the fact that the three offerors whose proposals were in the competitive range had different approaches to addressing the Center of Excellence initiative. Analysis of fundamentally different technical approaches to achieving a particular goal is inherent in a procurement of this nature, which required offerors to propose a solution to an agency objective. Thus, recognition of the different approaches proposed by the offerors, and the efforts of the TET to assess the advantages associated with each approach, does not suggest, as the protester argues, that the agency was incapable of assessing the advantages associated with the different technical approaches it considered. Rather, the record reflects the agency's considered judgments of the relative strengths of the offerors' approaches in support of the SBI Center of Excellence initiative and we have no basis to conclude that such judgments were unreasonable.

Robbins-Gioia also challenges the other primary discriminator identified by the agency in its selection of ManTech's proposal--ManTech's greater level of engineering staffing. As with the Center of Excellence discriminator, the record reflects that this second justification for selecting ManTech's proposal for award was based on a detailed and reasonable comparative assessment of the offerors' proposals. In a slide presentation accompanying the solicitation, the SBI Executive Director indicated that the program was "[e]specially weak in system engineering" and emphasized that one of the roles of the contractor would be to "[p]rovide skills for critical capabilities that are not readily accessible through government hiring--e.g., System Engineering." AR, Tab 7A, SBI Industry Day Briefing Slides, Mar. 30, 2009, at 28. The record reflects that ManTech proposed more individuals under the "engineer" and "senior engineer" labor categories than did Robbins-Gioia. In addition, although not required by the RFP, ManTech provided a program staffing table, identifying the specific degrees held by each individual proposed across all labor categories--Robbins-Gioia did not include comparable information regarding its staffing in its proposal. This additional information reflected that a significant number of the individuals proposed by ManTech in the non-engineering specific labor categories, such as the "subject matter expert" labor category, also had engineering degrees. Given the different levels of engineering staff and detail regarding the engineering qualifications of offerors' proposed staff, the agency's identification of ManTech's superior engineering staffing as a discriminator was justified and reasonable.[7]

Robbins-Gioia also argues that the agency's evaluation of its staffing approach was improper because the agency converted the RFP's "notional" staffing of 120 FTEs into a "hard baseline." According to the protester, the agency faulted its proposed staffing approach merely because it provided to use fewer than the notional level of 120 FTEs. The record does not support the protester's contentions in this regard. The two highest technically rated offerors, ManTech and Robbins-Gioia, both proposed the fewest number of FTEs, and both were below the notional 120 FTE level ([DELETED], respectively). While the TET had concerns regarding Robbins-Gioia's proposed staffing, the agency's concerns stemmed from a perception that Robbins-Gioia "did not provide adequate detail or justification to explain their approach to staff utilization, in satisfying all requirements of the RFP." AR, Tab 9b(1), FPR Technical Evaluation Report for Robbins-Gioia, at 7. In particular, as discussed above, the TET was concerned that Robbins-Gioia's staffing of only [DELETED] allocated to "assessments" associated with the Center of Excellence objective was "minimal." Id. Thus, the concern was not that the staffing was too low as compared to the solicitation's notional staffing levels, per se, but rather that Robbins-Gioia's justifications for its staffing levels were not convincing in light of the agency's understanding of the staffing needed to perform the SBI PMO requirements. Ultimately, it is an offeror's responsibility to submit an adequately written proposal. See Herndon Sci. and Software, Inc., B-245505, Jan. 9, 1992, 92-1 CPD para. 46.

In any event, the SSA explains that after conversations with the members of the TET, he did not consider Robbins-Gioia's staffing approach, in particular its Center of Excellence approach, to be a weakness; rather, Robbins-Gioia's approach was simply not as effective as the approach proposed by ManTech. SSA Statement, at 3. Based on the record, the premise of the protester's argument, that the agency used the notional FTE values identified in the solicitation as a fixed baseline for purposes of evaluation, is unsupported and without merit.

As a final matter, Robbins-Gioia argues that the agency failed to reasonably consider the advantages associated with Robbins-Gioia's incumbency and the risks associated with ManTech's proposal. The record does not support the protester's assertions. The TET identified several specific strengths associated with Robbins-Gioia's incumbency, to include, among others, Robbins-Gioia's established record of working closely with PMO, as well as the fact that its key personnel were performing SBInet support contracts, they have background investigation clearances, and would be available on the first day of contract performance, and its transition risk was minimized since its proposed staffing plan was composed largely of incumbent personnel.[8] AR, Tab 9b, FPR Technical Evaluation Report for Robbins-Gioia, at 3, 5, 13. Moreover, the SSA specifically noted these positive aspects of Robbins-Gioia's proposal in his selection decision. AR, Tab 10i, Source Selection Decision Document, at 4.

The SSA also noted that ManTech's proposal presented some risk because its employees may not have completed CBP background investigations, which could create staffing delays. The SSA, however, discounted this risk as a discrimination since it would apply to any non-incumbent and is "largely beyond the capability of the offeror to correct." Id. This analysis was entirely consistent with the solicitation, which advised offerors that in assessing risk, the agency would not consider the degree to which offerors proposed staff with completed background investigations:

The ability to provide personnel with completed background investigations (BI) on the date of contract award is not considered a factor in the Risk Assessment because this is beyond the control of offerors and dependent on the Government's ability to timely process BIs.

AR, Tab 7D, Agency Questions and Answers No. 4, May 13, 2009.

Regarding the agency's risk assessment, Robbins-Gioia further complains that the agency failed to properly consider the risk resulting from ManTech's failure to provide a completed staffing chart, and instead identifying 19 of its non-key employees as "To Be Determined [TBD]." Third Supp. Protest at 73-75. Section L.7.1 of the solicitation, however, expressly permitted offerors to identify non-key personnel as "TBD." Moreover, ManTech committed in its proposal to hire SBI incumbent staff to fill positions and committed to identifying the individuals it would use to the fill the positions within 5 business days of contract award. Based on this record, we have no basis to conclude that the agency's evaluation was inconsistent with the RFP, or otherwise unreasonable.

The protest is denied.

Lynn H. Gibson
Acting General Counsel

[1] Offerors were required to submit fixed-price, fully burdened labor rates for various labor categories, which were set out in the RFP. RFP, at 3-4.

[2] The RFP defined one FTE as equating to 1,960 productive labor hours over a 1-year period.

[3] As relevant here, FAR sect. 15.308 states that "[a]lthough the rationale for the selection decision must be documented, that documentation need not quantify the tradeoffs that led to the decision."

[4] As a general matter, Robbins-Gioia contends that the members of the TET merely deferred to the findings of a single evaluator in the consensus report. In support of this assertion, Robbins-Gioia highlights the fact that the consensus report includes the findings of one of the evaluators, while the findings of other evaluators, as reflected in their worksheets, are not reflected in the final report, in some instances. There is nothing unusual or improper, however, with evaluators reaching different conclusions and assigning different ratings when evaluating a proposal, since both subjective and objective judgments are involved. The mere presence of such apparent inconsistencies does not give rise to a valid protest basis. See Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital, B-311385, June 19, 2008, 2008 CPD para. 128 at 3 n.2. Rather, given the consensus process described by the agency, which involved extensive evaluation discussions by the members of the TET, the documented consensus evaluation findings and ratings are the only findings of consequence.

[5] Robbins-Gioia argues that the agency failed to hold meaningful discussions regarding alleged deficiencies in the staffing, to include the Center of Excellence objective. Discussions, when conducted, must be meaningful; that is, discussions may not mislead offerors and must identify deficiencies and significant weaknesses in each offeror's proposal that could reasonably be addressed in a manner to materially enhance the offeror's potential for receiving award. PAI Corp., B-298349, Aug. 18, 2006, 2006 CPD para. 124 at 8. Agencies are not required to "spoon-feed" an offeror during discussions; agencies need only lead offerors into the areas of their proposals that require amplification. LaBarge Elecs., B-266210, Feb. 9, 1996, 96-1 CPD para. 58 at 6. Declarations from members of the TET and the contracting officer describe extensive oral discussions with Robbins-Gioia regarding its staffing approach, to specifically include the Center of Excellence objective. The protester has not contested the factual statements contained in the declarations or provided its own contrary declarations. Based on the record, the protester's allegations in this regard are without merit.

[6] The protester has not challenged the agency's specific finding that its staffing approach for the Center of Excellence concept was limited to [DELETED], nor has the protester pointed to other aspects of its staffing devoted to achieving the Center of Excellence objective.

[7] In justifying the advantage associated with ManTech's greater emphasis on engineering staffing, the SSA noted that "[a] current gap in the quality of contracted support has been the lack of engineering expertise to support the SBI program/project managers." AR, Tab 10L, Source Selection Decision Document, at 3. Based on this statement, Robbins-Gioia, as one of several incumbent contractors, concludes that the agency improperly used negative past performance concerning Robbins-Gioia to justify the selection of ManTech's proposal. Robbins-Gioia's allegations in this regard are misplaced. The cited language does not appear to be an indictment of the performance by any incumbent contractors. Rather, it merely reflects the SSA's understanding of deficiencies regarding the state of the existing SBI program. Moreover, the record reflects that Robbins-Gioia's past performance was rated "excellent," and there is no indication of any concerns regarding its incumbent performance.

[8] Robbins-Gioia complains that the agency's evaluation of its staffing approach was inconsistent because on the one hand the agency found that its staffing approach was expected to minimize transition risks, but on the other hand its overall staffing was considered minimal. Because the record reflects that the agency's considerations were addressing two separate aspects of the evaluation--continuity of incumbent staff versus overall staffing levels--there was no inconsistency with the agency's evaluation of the protester's staffing.

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