A firm protested Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) contract awards for technical reviews of underwriting decisions of private mortgage lenders, contending that: (1) HUD did not properly evaluate its proposal; and (2) the procurements violated prohibitions against personal services contracts. GAO noted that the protester submitted the same proposal in response to all solicitations, but offered different unit prices for each service. GAO held that: (1) although the protester was only rated technically acceptable for some services, the contracting officer included it in the competitive range and allowed it an opportunity to submit best and final offers; (2) the disparity in some technical evaluation scores was not sufficient to render the evaluations improper; (3) the protester's promise to hire a sufficient number of competent, experienced subcontractors was not a commitment to perform the required work; (4) the protester's restrictive options for various combinations of services and relative technical scores excluded it from consideration for individual contracts; and (5) HUD properly conducted the evaluations, regardless of the use of predetermined cut-off scores by some technical evaluation panels. GAO also held that: (1) the protester failed to show that the evaluations were biased in favor of former agency employees and prior individual contractors; and (2) HUD was not prohibited from awarding contracts to individual offerers, since contractor personnel would not be directly supervised by government personnel. Accordingly, the protests were denied in part and dismissed in part.
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