MindPoint Group, LLC

B-418875.2,B-418875.4: Oct 8, 2020

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MindPoint Group, LLC (MPG), a small business of Alexandria, Virginia, protests the award of a contract to CENTERPOINT, Inc. (Centerpoint), a small business of Leesburg, Virginia, under request for quotations (RFQ) No. 140D0420Q0189, issued by the Department of the Interior (DOI), on behalf of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), for cybersecurity support services in support of HHS's Office of the Chief Information Officer. MPG raises various challenges to the agency's evaluation of MPG's and Centerpoint's quotations.

We deny the protest.

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.

Decision

Matter of:  MindPoint Group, LLC

File:  B-418875.2; B-418875.4

Date:  October 8, 2020

Attison L. Barnes, Esq., Tracye W. Howard, Esq., Gary S. Ward, Esq., and Sarah Hansen, Esq., Wiley Rein LLP, for the protester.
Edward J. Tolchin, Esq., Offit Kurman Attorneys at Law, for CENTERPOINT, Inc., the intervenor.
Robert D. Banfield, Esq., and William B. Blake, Esq., Department of the Interior, for the agency.
Lois Hanshaw, Esq., and Evan C. Williams, Esq., Office of the General Counsel, GAO, participated in the preparation of the decision.

DIGEST

1.  Protest challenging the agency’s evaluation of quotations and award decision is denied where record shows that the evaluation was reasonable and consistent with the terms of the solicitation.

2.  Protest that awardee’s proposal is unacceptable because the awardee failed to notify the agency before award that a proposed key person was unavailable is denied where the record does not clearly indicate that the proposed key person was unavailable prior to award.

3.  Allegation that the agency failed to conduct a price realism analysis is denied because the protester has not demonstrated that the awardee’s price was unrealistic.

DECISION
 

MindPoint Group, LLC (MPG), a small business of Alexandria, Virginia, protests the award of a contract to CENTERPOINT, Inc. (Centerpoint), a small business of Leesburg, Virginia, under request for quotations (RFQ) No. 140D0420Q0189, issued by the Department of the Interior (DOI), on behalf of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), for cybersecurity support services in support of HHS’s Office of the Chief Information Officer.  MPG raises various challenges to the agency’s evaluation of MPG’s and Centerpoint’s quotations.

We deny the protest.

BACKGROUND

On March 26, 2020, DOI issued the RFQ as a small business set-aside and sought quotations from vendors holding Federal Supply Schedule (FSS) contracts under General Services Administration (GSA) Information Technology Schedule 70.  Agency Report (AR), Tab 2, RFQ at 1.  The solicitation, issued under the FSS procedures of Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) subpart 8.4, contemplated the issuance of a time-and-materials task order--with fixed billing rates and not-to exceed ceilings--for cybersecurity support services to be performed over a 1-year base period and four 1‑year option periods.[1]  Id. at 1-2. 

Award would be made on a best-value tradeoff basis, considering four evaluation factors, listed in descending order of importance: (1) technical approach; (2) management approach and key personnel (key personnel); (3) past performance; and (4) price.  Id. at 11-12.  The RFQ stated that non-price factors collectively are significantly more important than price.  Id. at 12.

Nineteen vendors, including MPG and Centerpoint, submitted quotations by the May 4 closing date.[2]  Contracting Officer’s Statement (COS) at 2.  After the initial screening, and after evaluating the remaining quotations, the agency concluded that Centerpoint’s quotation offered the best value to the government.  AR, Tab 19, Award Summary at 63.  Specifically, the agency concluded that Centerpoint’s quotation offered the strongest technical approach and lowest price ($115,592,447), and that its responses assessed under the key personnel and past performance factors were stronger or just as strong as those provided in any other quotation except, as relevant here, MPG’s.  Id.  In this regard, although the agency noted that MPG’s quotation was the strongest overall--i.e., second strongest for the technical approach and key personnel factors and strongest for past performance--the agency concluded that the strength of MPG’s quotation, with an offered price of $153,452,088, did not warrant paying a $38 million price premium.  Id.

On June 22, the agency made award to Centerpoint.  On June 29, the agency providedMPG a brief explanation of award.  On July 2, MPG timely protested to our Office. 

DISCUSSION

MPG raises various challenges to the agency’s evaluation of MPG’s and Centerpoint’s quotations under the technical approach and key personnel factors, as well as the evaluation of Centerpoint’s price quotation.[3]  We have reviewed the protester’s arguments and conclude that none provides a basis to sustain the protest.[4]

Technical Approach

The protester raises numerous challenges to the agency’s evaluation of quotations under the technical approach factor.  For example, the protester asserts that the agency’s evaluation of multiple questions in MPG’s technical approach quotation was flawed, the agency failed to recognize discriminators in MPG’s approach, and the agency erred in concluding that Centerpoint’s technical approach quotation was comparatively stronger than MPG’s.  Protest at 16-17.  The protester also contends that the agency conflated responses in the evaluation of two questions, double-counted certain advantages for the awardee, and failed to compare vendors’ responses to another question.  Comments and Supp. Protest at 11-18.  We find no basis to sustain MPG’s challenges to the agency’s evaluation and discuss a few representative example below.

Where, as here, an agency issues an RFQ to FSS contractors under FAR subpart 8.4 and conducts a competition, we will review the record to ensure that the agency’s evaluation is reasonable and consistent with the terms of the solicitation.  Tech. & Telecomms. Consultants, Inc., B-413301, B-413301.2, Sept. 28, 2016, 2016 CPD ¶ 276 at 4.  In reviewing a protest challenging an agency’s technical evaluation, our Office will not reevaluate the quotations; rather, we will examine the record to determine whether the agency’s evaluation conclusions were reasonable and consistent with the terms of the solicitation and applicable procurement laws and regulations.  Electrosoft Servs., Inc., B-413661, B-413661.2, Dec. 8, 2016, 2016 CPD ¶ 7 at 5.  A protester’s disagreement with the agency’s judgment, without more, does not establish that an evaluation was unreasonable.  OPTIMUS Corp., B-400777, Jan. 26, 2009, 2009 CPD ¶ 33 at 4.

For the technical approach factor, vendors were required to answer six questions to demonstrate their competency relative to the cybersecurity support services requirement.  RFQ at 8.  As relevant here, question no. 4 required a firm to demonstrate the ability to perform governance, risk, compliance, and privacy services for accomplishing the performance work statement (PWS) requirements.  Id. at 12.  Also relevant here, question no. 6 required firms to demonstrate the ability to perform infrastructure management services for accomplishing the requirements of the PWS.  Id.  The government would evaluate the depth, completeness, and effectiveness of the firm’s response to each question.  Id.

By way of example, MPG challenges the agency’s conclusion that MPG’s response to question no. 4 addressed only three of the four elements associated with privacy services.  Protest at 17.  For each element, the protester contends that its quotation met the requirement and cites to the specific portion of its quotation that allegedly meets the requirement.  Id.  In response, the agency explains why the claimed experience for each element was either unclear or failed to adequately demonstrate experience performing the tasks identified in the PWS.  Memorandum of Law (MOL) at 7-8; COS at 8-10.  In replying to the agency’s explanations, the protester continues to argue that the experience identified in its quotation is sufficient to meet the RFQ’s requirements.  Comments and Supp. Protest at 13-14. 

Based on the record before us, the protester has not established that the agency’s evaluation was unreasonable.  Although MPG asserts that the agency should have found the claimed experience sufficient to meet the requirement, our review of the record shows that the agency reasonably concluded that MPG’s responses were either unclear or lacked needed detail.  See AR, Tab 18A, MPG Quotation at 23-24, 31.[5] 

For instance, firms were required to show experience providing privacy training and awareness.  RFQ at 3.  In its quotation, the protester identified experience assisting with the development of a privacy compliance module for Information System Security Officer (ISSO) training that was delivered to ISSOs.  Protest at 17 (citing AR, Tab 18A, MPG Quotation at 31).  The agency determined that it was unclear whether the training was only a smaller component of a larger training, or whether it qualified as privacy-specific training on its own.  AR, Tab 19, Award Summary at 39; COS at 9.  The agency explains that this distinction is important because the contractor would not only work with the Office of Privacy and Information Management to develop and update privacy trainings, but also would be responsible for taking the lead in executing various privacy program campaigns.  MOL at 8; COS at 9-10.  In response, the protester contends that MPG “could not have been clearer when it cited experience developing the ‘Privacy Compliance module’ for ISSO training.”  Comments and Supp. Protest at 16. 

We find the agency’s evaluation unobjectionable.  In our view, without more details regarding the training, the cited experience does not clearly indicate whether the training was privacy-specific.  Even the protester’s attempt to assert, through its filings with our Office, that the claimed experience is clearly privacy-specific fails to clarify the nature of the training.  Comments and Supp. Protest at 16.  While MPG generally contests the agency’s findings, a protester’s disagreement with the agency’s evaluation judgments, without more, is insufficient to establish that an evaluation was improper or lacked a reasonable basis.  OPTIMUS Corp., supra at 6.  As a result, MPG’s arguments here do not provide a basis for our Office to disturb the agency’s evaluation conclusions.

As another example, MPG contends that the agency improperly determined that MPG’s response to question no. 6 minimally demonstrated or referenced knowledge and exposure to Palo Alto networks or firewalls in general.  Protest at 17.  In support of its contention, MPG asserts that under the key personnel factor of its quotation, the resume of its Palo Alto Networks Senior Engineer substantively demonstrated five years of concentrated experience with Palo Alto network solutions and firewalls.  Id.

For question no. 6, the RFQ required that a vendor’s technical approach address its ability to perform infrastructure management service.  RFQ at 12.  The agency would evaluate the depth, completeness, and effectiveness of the firm’s response.  Id.  In contrast, under the key personnel factor, the agency would evaluate the currency, quality, and depth of a key person’s experience with PWS tasks.  Id. at 14. 

Here, MPG offers only information from the key personnel section of its quotation to contend that the agency’s evaluation of the technical approach factor was unreasonable.  In this regard, MPG fails to show that its technical approach offered the information required by the solicitation.  Additionally, given the different scope of the technical approach and key personnel factors, MPG’s reliance on the key personnel section of its quotation to challenge the agency’s technical approach evaluation is misplaced, and its protest in this regard is without merit.  Our Office has long explained that vendors bear the burden for failing to submit an adequately written quotation, and contracting agencies evaluating one section of a quotation are not obligated to go in search of needed information which the firm has omitted or failed to adequately present.  See FedResults, Inc., B-414641, Aug. 8, 2017, 2017 CPD ¶ 271 at 6.  On this record, we find no basis to question the agency’s conclusions and deny this protest ground.[6]

Material Changes in Key Personnel

MPG also raises various challenges to the agency’s evaluation of the key personnel factor.  For example, the protester contends that the agency failed to recognize discriminators in MPG’s key personnel quotation and improperly evaluated Centerpoint’s ability to retain employees.  Protest at 24; Comments and Supp. Protest at 18.  In addition, MPG contends that Centerpoint knew of material changes in proposed staffing, yet failed to notify the agency of such changes before award.  Protester Supp. Comments at 3.  While we find no basis to sustain these challenges, our discussion below focuses on the protester’s challenge to changes in the awardee’s proposed key personnel.

Our Office has explained that vendors are obligated to advise agencies of material changes in proposed staffing, even after submission of proposals.  Council for Logistics Research, Inc., B-410089.2, B-410089.3, Feb. 9, 2015, 2015 CPD ¶ 76 at 6-7.  This premise is grounded in the notion that a firm may not properly receive award of a contract based on a knowing material misrepresentation in its offer.  M.C. Dean, Inc.,
B-418553, B-418553.2, June 15, 2020, 2020 CPD ¶ 206 at 4.  While an offeror generally is required to advise an agency where it knows that one or more key employees have become unavailable after the submission of proposals, there is no such obligation where the offeror does not have actual knowledge of the employee’s unavailability.  DZSP 21, LLC, B-410486.10, Jan. 10, 2018, 2018 CPD ¶ 155 at 10. 

As relevant to the key personnel factor, the RFQ identified 11 key personnel positions, including the Cybersecurity Infrastructure Architect (referred to as Cybersecurity Architect or proposed key person), and required vendors to offer resumes and letters of commitment for each proposed key person position.  RFQ at 6.  Vendors were required to provide letters of commitment and certify that the personnel would be available at the time of award for no less than six months.  Id. at 7.  The RFQ stated that key personnel could not be substituted during the first six months of contract performance unless necessitated by sudden illness, death, or termination of employment.  Id. at 39.

Based on the record, the relevant chronology of events is as follows.  By the May 4 closing date, Centerpoint offered a resume and letter of commitment for the Cybersecurity Architect as required by the RFQ.  See Id. at 6; AR, Tab 17A Centerpoint Technical Quotation at 55-57, 76.  On June 8, Centerpoint emailed the agency to inquire about the status of the acquisition.  Email #5, Emails between Centerpoint and Agency, June 8, 2020 (10:41 a.m.).[7]  The agency responded that it expected to make award during the week of June 15.  Id. (11:13 a.m.).  On June 9, the awardee reached out to the proposed key person, who informed Centerpoint that the “wait for the contract award was taking a toll on his family” and that he would be “pursuing another offer.”  Declaration of Centerpoint President at 1.  As a result, Centerpoint’s President states that he believed the proposed key person would remain on the team if the award was promptly made; he also stayed in contact with the key person.  Id.  On June 18, the intervenor again inquired as to the status of the acquisition and when award would be made.  Email #5, Emails between Centerpoint and Agency, June 18, 2020 (1:57 a.m.). 

On June 22, the agency notified Centerpoint of award and Centerpoint’s President claims that he immediately contacted the proposed key person to discuss his starting date.  Declaration of Centerpoint President at 1.  The next day, Centerpoint posted a job listing to its website for the Cybersecurity Architect position out of “an abundance of caution.”  Intervenor Supp. Comments at 2.  On June 26, the intervenor notified the agency that its “[Cybersecurity Architect] decided to pursue other interests and [would] not be joining [the contract].”[8]  AR, Tab 29, Email from Centerpoint to Agency, June 26, 2020.  Despite Centerpoint’s June 26 representation that the employee would not be available, on July 22--nearly a month after award--the proposed key person signed a revised employment letter agreeing to perform the same role he was proposed to perform in Centerpoint’s quotation.  Declaration of Centerpoint President, exh. 1, Post‑award Employment Letter.

Based on information identified in the intervenor’s comments, the protester argues that Centerpoint knew before award of the proposed key person’s unavailability and failed to inform the agency.  Protester Supp. Comments at 3.  MPG also asserts that Centerpoint’s decision to ignore its obligation to notify the agency of the key person’s unavailability compromised the integrity of the competition and left its quotation unacceptable due to a material change in its proposed staffing.  Id.

The agency argues that Centerpoint lacked actual knowledge of the key person’s unavailability.  Agency Resp. to Req. for Additional Briefing at 2 (Sept. 28, 2020).  In this regard, the agency contends that the June 9 communication was a courtesy notice that the key person would be entertaining or actively pursuing other potential employment opportunities, rather than an actual notice of unavailability.  Id. at 2-3.  For its part, the intervenor argues that the June 9 communication represents an example of personnel indecisiveness and was not definite enough to indicate unavailability, thereby requiring notice to the agency.  Intervenor Resp. to Req. for Additional Briefing at 1-2.  In addition, the agency and intervenor essentially contend that because the proposed key person is once again committed to Centerpoint and ready to perform, MPG would not have been competitively prejudiced even if the key person had become unavailable before award.  Id. at 3; Agency Resp. to Req. for Additional Briefing at 5. 

In reply, the protester argues that the record shows the Cybersecurity Architect rescinded his commitment, giving Centerpoint actual knowledge that the key person would be unavailable before award, and that Centerpoint therefore failed to fulfill its obligation to notify the agency that the key person was unavailable.  Protester Resp. to Req. for Additional Briefing at 4.  Additionally, MPG argues that the intervenor’s post-award efforts to re-hire the Cybersecurity Architect are not dispositive of prejudice, and, more importantly, would not have absolved Centerpoint of its duty to notify the agency if the proposed key person had become unavailable before award.[9]  Protester Resp. to Req. for Additional Briefing at 10-11.   

While the situation presents a close call, based on our review of the record, we cannot conclude that Centerpoint had actual knowledge that the key person was unavailable prior to award.  Here, on June 9, the proposed key person informed Centerpoint that “he would be pursuing another offer.”  Declaration of Centerpoint President at 1.  In our view, this statement is not sufficiently definite to communicate unequivocally that the proposed key person would be unavailable.  We recognize that by its own admission, Centerpoint “learned that there might be a problem” with the Cybersecurity Architect’s commitment about a week and a half prior to award.  Id.  Thus, in this respect, the record indicates that Centerpoint had reason to question whether the proposed key person would be available.  From our perspective, however, a reason to question the proposed key person’s availability is not equivalent to having actual knowledge that the key person is unavailable.  Accordingly, on these facts, we are not prepared to conclude that the proposed key person’s intention to pursue another opportunity, without more, constitutes actual knowledge of unavailability that would have required Centerpoint to notify the agency prior to award that the proposed key person was unavailable.

Price Realism Analysis

Next, MPG challenges the agency’s price evaluation.  Protest at 29.  MPG contends that the agency was required to conduct a price realism analysis, but failed to do so.  Id. at 29-31.  MPG also asserts that the agency failed to recognize that Centerpoint achieved its low price by proposing less-experienced labor categories.  Comments and Supp. Protest at 22. 

In response, the agency contends that the solicitation did not require a price realism analysis and the agency conducted only a price reasonableness analysis.  MOL at 5.  The agency also explains that the primary basis for the awardee’s low price was the result of the lower prices on its underlying GSA schedule contract.  Id. at 14; Supp. MOL at 13. 

As stated above, the RFQ provided that the price factor would be evaluated for reasonableness.  RFQ at 16.  The RFQ also stated that the agency “reserved the right,” but was not required, to conduct a realism analysis to determine whether proposed labor rates were realistic for the work to be performed and would allow for the recruitment and maintenance of a skilled workforce.  Id. at 16.  The RFQ required firms to complete a pricing spreadsheet with information such as, labor hours, information on discounts,[10] and labor categories.[11]  Id. at 10.  In addition, the pricing spreadsheet included the government’s estimates for labor, labor categories, and level of effort (LOE); the RFQ permitted deviation from these elements, provided firms included an explanation of how the deviation would benefit the government or allow for successful completion of the PWS requirements.  Id. at 10-11. 

While an agency may conduct a price realism analysis in awarding a time-and-materials contract for the limited purposes of assessing whether an offeror or vendor’s low price reflects a lack of technical understanding or risk, vendors or offerors must be advised that the agency will conduct such an analysis.  PricewaterhouseCoopers Pub. Sector, B-415129.3, July 31, 2018, 2018 CPD ¶ 272 at 2.  Where, as here, an agency states in a solicitation that it “reserves the right” to conduct a price realism analysis, the decision to conduct such an analysis is a matter within the agency’s discretion.  Guident Techs., Inc., B-405112.3, June 4, 2012, 2012 CPD ¶ 166 at 13 n.9.  In addition, where, as here, a solicitation contemplates a fixed-price or fixed-rate task order to be issued against a vendor’s FSS contracts, and identifies the number of hours involved, the “realism” of a vendor’s proposed pricing is not ordinarily considered because the fixed-price or fixed-rate contracting vehicle places the risk and responsibility for contract costs and ensuing profit or loss on the contractor.  Belzon, Inc., B-404416 et al., Feb. 9, 2011, 2011 CPD ¶ 40 at 9.  However, where an agency elects to conduct a price realism evaluation, we will review that evaluation for reasonableness.  See Science Applications Int’l Corp., B-407013, Oct. 19, 2012, 2012 CPD ¶ 308 at 5-6; Netizen Corp, B-418281 et al., Feb. 21, 2020, 2020 CPD ¶ 85 at 8. 

The record shows that the agency evaluated prices for reasonableness and concluded that it was not necessary to conduct a price realism analysis.  AR, Tab 19, Award Summary at 21, 64.  The agency found that Centerpoint submitted its quotation in a competitive environment and that the firm’s quotation was the lowest priced among 13 technically acceptable quotations.  Id. at 64.  Additionally, the technical evaluation committee (TEC) reviewed the price quotations to ensure they were commensurate with the vendor’s technical solutions and determined that the quoted labor categories and mix of hours across the selected labor categories were consistent with the outlined technical approach.  Id. at 60.  The agency also evaluated the estimated LOE, which was provided to all firms in the pricing spreadsheet.  Id. at 61.  Although the RFQ permitted firms to deviate from the government’s estimated LOE with explanation, neither MPG’s, nor Centerpoint’s quotations departed from the government’s estimates.  Id.  In addition, the agency analyzed discounted rates and compared the labor rates for the 13 firms against each other.  Id. at 62.

As an initial matter, the agency was not required to perform a price realism analysis here.  We have explained that where the solicitation “reserved the right” to conduct a price realism analysis, an agency is not required to perform such an analysis.  See, e.g., Esegur-Empresa de Seguranca, SA, B-407947, B-407947.2, Apr. 26, 2013, 2013 CPD ¶ 109 at 4.  However, even if the agency had elected to conduct a price realism evaluation, we find no basis to sustain the protest.  In this regard, MPG fails to allege facts that would support a conclusion that Centerpoint’s price was unrealistic. 

Here, the record shows that the TEC determined that Centerpoint’s technical approach was consistent with the awardee’s quoted labor categories, and the mix of hours across the selected labor categories.  AR, Tab 19, Award Summary at 60.  Additionally, despite the protester’s assertions to the contrary, the record also shows that the agency recognized and considered that Centerpoint’s labor rates were lower.  Id. at 62-63.  In this regard, the record supports the agency’s finding that Centerpoint’s labor rates were lower because its GSA schedule rates started out lower than the rates of other firms, not because it proposed less-experienced labor categories.  Id.  In the absence of a supported allegation that the awardee’s price is unrealistic, our Office has no basis to sustain the protest.  Netizen Corp, supra at 9; Millenium Data Sys., Inc., B-292357.2, Mar. 12, 2004, 2004 CPF ¶ 48 at 10.

Best-Value Determination

Finally, MPG contends that the agency’s best-value determination was unreasonable because, in MPG’s view, the record does not support the selection of Centerpoint’s lower-rated, lower-priced quotation over MPG’s higher-rated, higher-priced quotation. Protest at 32.  As a related claim, MPG argues that the agency failed to consider comparative, value-added discriminators between the quotations in the non-price evaluation factors.  Id.

Where, as here, a procurement conducted pursuant to FAR subpart 8.4 provides for award on a “best value” basis, it is the function of the source selection authority to perform a price/technical tradeoff, that is, to determine whether one quotation’s technical superiority is worth its higher price.  SoBran, Inc., B-408420, B-408420.2, Sept. 10, 2013, 2013 CPD ¶ 221 at 4; InnovaTech, Inc., B-402415, Apr. 8, 2010, 2010 CPD ¶ 94 at 6.  The extent to which technical superiority is traded for a lower price is governed only by the test of rationality and consistency with the stated evaluation criteria.  See Amyx, Inc., B‑410623, B-410623.2, Jan. 16, 2015, 2015 CPD ¶ 45 at 17. 

The record here reflects that the evaluators compared the vendors’ responses for each question under each factor and determined the strength of each vendor’s quotation on an individual basis and as compared to the other vendors.  AR, Tab 19, Award Summary at 54-61.  The award decision accurately acknowledges that MPG’s key personnel and past performance quotations were viewed as stronger than Centerpoint’s, but nevertheless concludes that the stronger responses did not outweigh Centerpoint’s price advantage.  Id. at 63-64.  The decision also notes that Centerpoint’s technical approach was the strongest of all vendors and its key personnel and past performance quotations were, comparatively, as strong as any other quotation, including MPG’s.  Id.  Thus, we find that the record adequately supports the agency’s selection decision.

The protest is denied.

Thomas H. Armstrong
General Counsel

 

[1] The RFQ also sought to award task orders for advanced cybersecurity support services and security information and event management.  RFQ at 1.  Neither service is at issue in this protest.

[2] Quotations first were to be evaluated by reviewing a vendor’s ability to meet certain minimum requirements on a pass/fail basis; technically unacceptable quotations would be rejected and the remainder of such quotations would not be further evaluated.  Id. at 5, 11.  Six vendors, not including MPG and Centerpoint, were eliminated for failing to meet the minimum requirements.  AR, Tab 19, Award Summary at 14.

[3] MPG initially challenged the agency’s evaluation of the minimum requirements and past performance, but withdrew these arguments in its comments.  Comments and Supp. Protest at 4 n.2.  Accordingly, we do not further consider these arguments.

[4] MPG also raises other collateral arguments.  Although not addressed in this decision, we have considered the protester’s various arguments and conclude that none provides a basis to sustain this protest.

[5] Citations are to the pages in the Adobe pdf version of the document provided by the agency.

[6] To the extent the protester contends that the agency disparately evaluated MPG’s and Centerpoint’s quotations under questions nos. 4 and 6, we disagree.  The record shows that for question no. 6, the protester, unlike Centerpoint, failed to address Palo Alto firewall network services, and for question no. 4, Centerpoint, unlike MPG, addressed all four areas of privacy services.  See AR, Tab 19, Award Summary at 30-31, 39-40.  The record supports the agency’s differing treatment of the two quotations, based on the distinctions noted by the agency in the contemporaneous evaluation documents.  Electrosoft Servs., Inc., supra at 8.

[7] After filing of the agency report, the agency provided additional documents, including multiple emails that were identified by number.  Our citations are to the number of the email identified by the agency.

[8] In this email, the intervenor proposed a substitute for the key person position. AR, Tab 29, Email from Centerpoint to Agency, June 26, 2020.  The contracting officer used the substitutions process outlined in the RFQ to accept the substitute.  AR, Tab 32, Memorandum to File at 1.

[9] To the extent the agency and intervenor assert that MPG would not be competitively prejudiced even if Centerpoint had failed to notify the agency of the proposed key person’s pre-award unavailability because the intervenor re-hired the Cybersecurity Architect after award, we disagree.  As we have explained previously, we do not consider post-award actions in our determination of competitive prejudice.  See Aerospace Design & Fabrication, Inc., B-278896 et al., May 4, 1998, 98-1 CPD ¶ 139 at 8 (awardee’s misrepresentation of availability of key personnel during competition was prejudicial despite key personnel accepting employment after award); M.C. Dean, supra at 6 n.7 (protester was competitively prejudiced by awardee’s failure to notify agency of key person’s unavailability before award, due to failure to obtain required security clearance, even though agency-specific security clearance process would occur after award).  

[10] The government requested that firms provide discounts, including proposed percentage of discounts, and discounted and non-discounted rates, which would be evaluated to determine whether prices were fair and reasonable.  RFQ at 10. 

[11] The RFQ requested that firms ensure a one-to-one correlation between the labor category names provided in the RFQ and the GSA schedule labor category names provided in the quotation.  Id.