Process Used by Department of Education To Award Contracts for Operation of Indian Education Resource and Evaluation Centers

HRD-81-100: Published: Apr 10, 1981. Publicly Released: Jun 10, 1981.

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GAO was asked to examine the process followed by the Department of Education to review proposals and award contracts for the operation of Indian Education Resource and Evaluation Centers to serve five different geographic regions. Specific interest was expressed concerning Region II from which only two proposals were received.

On April 17, 1980, The Department issued a request for proposals (RFP) for the operation of five Indian Education Resource and Evaluation Centers. According to the RFP, each proposal was to be evaluated in accordance with specified criteria. The scoring was to be based on how well the proposals met the criteria, with 100 points being the maximum possible score. An additional 25 points was to be awarded to proposals from sources which could show proof of being an Indian tribe, organization, or institution. The 27 proposals received were evaluated and scored by agency-appointed panels. Each proposal was classified either as unacceptable or capable of being made acceptable. The panels met with offerors whose proposals were classified as capable of being made acceptable to obtain clarification on questions raised by the panels. Offerors whose proposals were subsequently determined to be acceptable were asked to submit best and final offers. After considering the technical and cost aspects of the best and final offers, the project officer recommended a contractor to the contracting officer, who made the final selection. For Region II, the panel rated one of the two proposals received as technically unacceptable and stated that it could not be made acceptable through reasonable negotiations. Accordingly it was recommended that the contract be awarded to the other offeror.

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