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VXL Enterprises, LLC

B-421599.8 Dec 18, 2023
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VXL Enterprises, LLC, located in Alexandria, Virginia, protests the award of multiple indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity (IDIQ) contracts under request for proposals (RFP) No. FA4890-22-R-0021 which was issued by the Department of the Air Force to acquire operations, logistics, and training support services. The protester challenges the agency's evaluation of its proposal under the past performance factor.

We deny the protest.
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DOCUMENT FOR PUBLIC RELEASE
The decision issued on the date below was subject to a GAO Protective Order. This version has been approved for public release.

Decision

Matter of: VXL Enterprises, LLC

File: B-421599.8

Date: December 18, 2023

Edward J. Tolchin, Esq., Offit Kurman, P.A., for the protester.
Ashley Ruhe, Esq., Erika Whelan Retta, Esq., Nicholas T. Iliff, Jr., Esq., Isabelle P. Cutting, Esq., Beatrice K. Foster, Esq., and Rachel M. Howard, Esq., Department of the Air Force, for the agency.
Paula A. Williams, Esq., and Evan D. Wesser, Esq., Office of the General Counsel, GAO, participated in the preparation of the decision.

DIGEST

Protest challenging the agency’s evaluation of the protester’s past performance is denied where the record demonstrates that the agency’s evaluation was reasonable, consistent with the terms of the solicitation, and adequately documented.

DECISION

VXL Enterprises, LLC, located in Alexandria, Virginia, protests the award of multiple indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity (IDIQ) contracts under request for proposals (RFP) No. FA4890-22-R-0021 which was issued by the Department of the Air Force to acquire operations, logistics, and training support services.[1] The protester challenges the agency’s evaluation of its proposal under the past performance factor.

We deny the protest.

BACKGROUND

On January 4, 2022, the Air Force issued the RFP seeking proposals to provide counter-narcotics and global threats operations, logistics, and training support services. RFP at 96.[2] The RFP was issued under the procedures of Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) subpart 15.3 as supplemented. Id. at 108. The solicitation anticipated award of multiple IDIQ contracts with a 9-year ordering period under which task and delivery orders will be issued. Id. at 174. The RFP sought to procure the requirements using two pools under which offerors could submit proposals. Pool 1, for operations and logistics, was assigned North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code 561210, Facilities Support Services, and was open to large and small businesses. Id. at 96, 108. Pool 2, for training support, was assigned NAICS code 611430, Professional and Management Development Training, and was restricted to small business concerns. Id. The overall ceiling for the IDIQ contracts is $960 million. Id. at 109. This protest concerns pool 1, operations and logistics, for which VXL submitted a proposal.

As relevant here, the RFP’s performance work statement (PWS) for pool 1, operations and logistics, states that the contractor will provide personnel, services, equipment, and construction as necessary to support start-up of a new, restart of a former, or conduct sustainment of an existing program, project, process, initiative, or directive. This includes procurement (purchase or lease) of necessary services, equipment and material that directly or indirectly support the mission and objective of a counter-narcotics operation. Id. at 120-121. More specifically, PWS paragraph 2.1, and its corresponding subparagraphs 2.1.1 through 2.1.7, describe the specific requirements for the required operations and logistics support services in seven categories. Id.
at 120-122.[3]

The RFP contemplated that IDIQ contracts would be awarded to all offerors who are deemed qualified. Id. at 108. A qualifying offeror is defined as an offeror who is determined to be responsive and responsible in accordance with FAR section 9.104-1 and who, based upon the results of an integrated assessment of proposals, receives a “substantial confidence” assessment rating in past performance and an “acceptable” rating in technical capability. Id. Although the source selection includes an integrated assessment, the RFP stated that the utilized evaluation methodology is not a tradeoff since cost/price would not be evaluated. Id.

Offerors were advised that proposals would be evaluated based on two factors: past performance; and technical capability (comprised of three subfactors). Id. at 110. Under the evaluation criteria, the past performance factor (the only factor at issue here) was more important than the technical capability factor. Id. at 108. Technical capability would be evaluated as acceptable or unacceptable on the subfactor and factor level. Id. at 112. Cost/price would not be evaluated; rather, cost/price will be evaluated for each individual task or delivery order. Id. at 111. Offerors were instructed to submit separate past performance and technical capability proposal volumes. Id. at 98.

The RFP stated that the evaluation process would begin with the evaluation of proposals under the past performance factor within the proposed NAICS pool. Id. at 110. For past performance, the agency would evaluate the offeror’s recent, relevant, and quality performance based on information in the contract references submitted by the offeror, past performance questionnaires (PPQs), and data independently obtained from other government sources such as the contracting performance assessment reporting system (CPARS). Id. at 100-101. The RFP required offerors to submit past performance information (PPI) sheets for a minimum of three, but no more than five, contract references. Id. at 99. Additionally, the offeror was to submit a PPI narrative describing how each contract reference is relevant either individually, or in the aggregate, in demonstrating the offeror’s ability to perform the full range of PWS requirements for the proposed NAICS pool. Id. at 100.

According to the RFP, each contract reference would be assigned a relevancy rating of either very relevant, relevant, somewhat relevant, or not relevant and the “greater the similarities in scope, magnitude, and complexity of the referenced effort” to the solicited requirements, “the higher the relevancy score for that reference.” Id. at 111. The relevancy rating definitions were: very relevant--effort involved essentially the same scope and magnitude of effort and complexities the solicitation requires; relevant--effort involved similar scope and magnitude of effort and complexities the solicitation requires; somewhat relevant--effort involved some of the scope and magnitude of effort and complexities this solicitation requires; and, not relevant--effort involved little or none of the scope and magnitude of effort and complexities the solicitation requires. Id.

The agency then would assess the offerors’ quality of performance on recent and relevant contracts, and assign a performance confidence assessment of substantial confidence, satisfactory confidence, neutral confidence, limited confidence, or no confidence. Id. at 111-112. The confidence assessments relevant to the protest were: substantial confidence--the government has a high expectation that the offeror will successfully perform the required effort; and satisfactory confidence--the government has a reasonable expectation that the offeror will successfully perform the required effort. Id. at 111.

Next, upon completion of the past performance evaluation, only those proposals assigned a past performance rating of substantial confidence would be evaluated under the technical capability factor. Id. at 110. Finally, an IDIQ contract would be awarded to each offeror whose proposal received a past performance rating of substantial confidence and a technical capability rating of acceptable. Id.

The Air Force received 41 timely proposals, including one from VXL, for pool 1, operations and logistics. COS at 8. VXL submitted three past performance contract references for itself and two for Vectrus Systems Corporation (Vectrus), one of its teaming partners: (1) VXL as the prime providing mud boat training task order services under the predecessor training support IDIQ contract; (2) VXL as the prime providing advanced driver training task order services under the predecessor training support IDIQ contract; (3) VXL as the prime providing civil affairs brigade task order services under the Special Operations Forces Core Services IDIQ contract; (4) Vectrus as the prime providing base operations and security support services in Kuwait; and (5) Vectrus as the prime providing base life support and sustainment task order services under the Logistics Civil Augmentation Program IDIQ contract. AR Exh. 5, VXL Past Performance Proposal at 7-16.

Consistent with the terms of the solicitation, the agency’s evaluation team reviewed the PPI for each contract reference submitted by VXL and rated each as recent. AR Exh. 10, Source Selection Evaluation Board (SSEB) Final Report at 814. The evaluators then evaluated the references for relevancy and concluded that PPI No. 1, No. 2, and No. 5, were relevant and PPI No. 3, and No. 4, were somewhat relevant. Id. The evaluation team performed a quality assessment of VXL’s and its teaming partner’s performance from available CPAR reports and PPQs, which ranged from generally satisfactory to exceptional. Id. Based on the protester’s evaluated past performance record, the agency assigned VXL’s proposal a past performance rating of satisfactory confidence. Id. at 815. Since VXL received a past performance rating less than substantial confidence, its proposal was not evaluated further. Consequently, VXL was ineligible for award.

After completing its evaluation, the agency made award to eight offerors whose proposals were assigned a past performance rating of substantial confidence and a rating of acceptable under the technical capability factor. Upon learning that it was an unsuccessful offeror, VXL filed an initial protest with our Office challenging the evaluation of its proposal and the award decisions, which our Office docketed as B-421599, Apr. 10, 2023. We subsequently dismissed the protest as academic after the Air Force advised it would reevaluate VXL’s proposal and make a new award decision. VXL Enterprises, LLC, B-421599, May 22, 2023 (nondigested decision).

The agency reevaluated proposals and reaffirmed its initial evaluation of VXL’s proposal under the past performance factor. AR Exh. 12, Source Selection Decision Document Addendum at 17. On September 18, the Air Force informed VXL that its past performance proposal ratings remained the same, its overall confidence rating remained satisfactory confidence, and therefore, it was not considered a qualifying offeror eligible for award. Id., Exh. 13, Unsuccessful Offeror Letter. VXL received an enhanced debriefing and this protest followed.

DISCUSSION

VXL protests the evaluation of its past performance, arguing that the agency unreasonably evaluated the relevancy of its past performance contract references. Protest at 16-17; Comments at 5-14. Specifically, the protester argues that the agency erred in assigning relevancy ratings for three contract references, along with an overall assessment rating of satisfactory confidence because the three contract references covered all the PWS requirements. Comments at 6. According to the protester, had the agency properly evaluated the submitted references, each would have received a relevancy rating of very relevant, resulting in an overall confidence assessment of substantial confidence. Id. In support, the protester provides a line-by-line comparison of the contract references to the PWS requirements to buttress its claim that these three references should have received a higher relevancy rating. Id. at 6-13.

In its response, the Air Force counters that its well documented past performance evaluation of VXL’s proposal was reasonable and consistent with the solicitation criteria. The agency argues that the relevancy ratings assigned were based on the protester’s failure to sufficiently explain how the three contract references at issue aligned with the entirety of the PWS requirements for pool 1, operations and logistics. See generally, COS at 14, 16-17; Memorandum of Law (MOL) at 12-14, 16-17.

Where a protester challenges an agency’s past performance evaluation, we will review the evaluation to determine if it was reasonable and consistent with the solicitation’s evaluation criteria, procurement statutes and regulations, and to ensure that the agency’s rationale is adequately documented. Linchpin Solutions, Inc., B-419564, May 10, 2021, 2021 CPD ¶ 200 at 4; D&G Support Services, LLC, B-419245,
B-419245.3, Jan. 6, 2021, 2021 CPD ¶ 15 at 8. The evaluation of an offeror’s past performance, including the agency’s determination of the relevance and scope of an offeror’s performance history, is a matter of agency discretion, which we will not find improper unless the agency’s assessments are unreasonable or inconsistent with the solicitation’s evaluation criteria. See, e.g., Sterling Medical Assocs., Inc., B-418674, B-418674.2, July 23, 2020, 2020 CPD ¶ 255 at 8; CSR, Inc., B-413973, B-413973.2, Jan. 13, 2017, 2017 CPD ¶ 64 at 5.

Before turning to the merits of the protester’s allegations, we first address some anomalies in the protester’s presentation of its arguments. In its protest, and consistent with the numbering utilized by the agency, the protester identified five contract references. PPI No. 1 was a prime task order for mud boat training performed by VXL; this reference was evaluated as relevant. PPI No. 2 was a prime task order for advanced diver training performed by VXL; this reference was evaluated as relevant. PPI No. 3 was a prime task order for civil affairs brigade support performed by VXL; this reference was evaluated as somewhat relevant. PPI No. 4 was a prime contract reference for base operations and security support performed by Vectrus, VXL’s teaming partner; this reference was evaluated as somewhat relevant. PPI No. 5 was a prime task order for providing life and base operations supports performed by Vectrus; this reference was evaluated as relevant. See Protest at 6-8, 10-15.

In its protest, the protester made specific arguments with respect to PPI references 1, 2, 4, and 5, specifically arguing that “[a]t a minimum, PPI-1, 2, 4, and 5 should have been deemed ‘very relevant.’” Protest at 16. Thus, the protester did not originally contest the “somewhat relevant” rating assigned to PPI No. 3, its civil affairs brigade support task order, notwithstanding that the agency had provided the protester in its debriefing with a detailed evaluation of the reference. See id. at 12-13 (summarizing basis for agency’s evaluation).

Although the protester only objected to the relevancy evaluations for four of its five contract references, the agency report addressed the basis for its evaluation of all five references, as well as the basis for its overall confidence assessment. See, e.g., MOL at 8-19; COS at 10-19. In its report, the agency provided a detailed analysis explaining why it determined that the protester’s references did not adequately demonstrate relevant performance in all of the PWS’s areas to warrant very relevant ratings, or an overall substantial confidence assessment.

In its comments, the protester pivoted its arguments in response to the agency’s position in its report that VXL’s references did not cover all areas of the PWS. Although the protester argued that it did in fact demonstrate relevant performance in all PWS areas, its comments “focus[ed] solely on past performances 1, 2, and 5.” Comments at 6. The accompanying chart in its comments purportedly addressing these three references, however, did not correspond to the contract reference numbering previously utilized by the protester and agency. In this regard, while references 2 and 5 correlated to the same numbering previously used for those references, the protester’s reference to PPI No. 1 now referred to its civil affairs brigade support task order, which the protester and agency had previously referred to as PPI No. 3; as addressed above, the protest did not make any allegation of agency error with respect to the evaluation of this task order’s relevance. Compare Protest at 7, 12-13 with Comments at 6-9. The protester’s pivot presents a number of procedural issues.

First, we conclude that the protester has abandoned its objections to the relevancy ratings assigned to its mud boat training task order (PPI No. 1) and its teaming partner’s base operations and security support contract (PPI No. 4). In this regard, the protester’s protest objected to the relevancy ratings assigned to these references, and the agency report substantively responded to the protester’s objections. Where, as here, the agency submits a detailed response to protest arguments, and the protester makes no further mention of an issue, or merely references an issue but does not substantively reply to the agency’s detailed position, we deem the issues abandoned. Trajen, Inc.; Maytag Aircraft Corp., B-296334 et al., July 29, 2005, 2005 CPD ¶ 153 at 4 n.3.

Second, the introduction of objections for the first time in VXL’s comments with respect to PPI No. 3, the civil affairs brigade support task order, presents material piecemeal presentation concerns. Under our Bid Protest Regulations, a protest not based on an apparent solicitation impropriety must be filed within 10 days after the basis of protest is known, or should have been known, whichever is earlier. 4 C.F.R. § 21.2(a)(2). Where a protester files supplemental protest grounds, each new ground must independently satisfy the timeliness requirements of our Bid Protest Regulations, which do not contemplate the piecemeal presentation or development of protest issues. FR Countermeasures, Inc., B-295375, Feb. 10, 2005, 2005 CPD ¶ 52 at 9. This is true even if the supplemental protest grounds may be merely “examples” of flaws in the agency’s evaluation generally alleged in the initial protest since such staggered presentation of “examples,” each of which involves different factual circumstances and requires a separate explanation from the agency, precisely constitutes the piecemeal presentation of issues that our timeliness rules do not permit. Id.

As addressed above, the protester was fully debriefed on the basis for the agency’s somewhat relevant evaluation of the civil affairs brigade support task order, and could, but did not, object to the evaluation in its protest. To the extent that it first raised objections to the agency’s evaluation of this reference in its comments, the protester’s objections to PPI No. 3 are untimely because they were improperly presented in a piecemeal fashion.

Turning to the substance of the protester’s remaining challenges, we find the agency’s assessment of relevancy of VXL references 2 and 5 to be reasonable, as well as the overall satisfactory confidence rating. As explained above, the RFP explicitly defined the degrees of relevancy in terms of similarity of the scope, magnitude, and complexity of the effort in comparison to the PWS for pool 1, the operations and logistics requirements. See RFP at 111. In this regard, the evaluation record shows that the evaluation team cross-referenced VXL’s performance under each contract reference to the specific sections of the solicitation’s PWS requirements. Using this approach, the evaluation team reached evaluative conclusions regarding the relevance of the scope of work for VXL’s contract references compared to the PWS requirements. AR Exh. 10, SSEB Final Report at 797-813.

In evaluating PPI No. 2, the advanced driver training task order under the predecessor IDIQ, the evaluators found that the PPI demonstrated VXL’s prior performance related to “certain areas of the operations and logistics portion” of the PWS. However, the evaluators noted:

[T]he task order was performed under the (predecessor) Training Support IDIQ and only demonstrates experience performing certain areas of the operations and logistics portion . . . of the PWS. The PPI did not sufficiently cover PWS paragraphs 2.1.5 (referred to as incidental training), 2.1.6 (referred to as construction), and 2.1.7 (referred to as mission operations). Based on this comparison of PPI-2 to the requirements of the PWS, the PPI involved similar scope and magnitude of effort and complexities this solicitation requires because the PPI showed certain elements of the PWS requirements. Therefore, this PPI was assigned a rating of Relevant.

Id. at 802.

In evaluating PPI No. 5, Vectrus’s task order for base life support and sustainment services under the Logistics Civil Augmentation Program V IDIQ contract, the evaluation record indicates that although the PPI demonstrated VXL’s teaming partner’s performance of certain related PWS requirements, the PPI did not meaningfully address the full range of services required by the PWS. See MOL at 16-17 citing AR Exh. 10, SSEB Final Report at 811. More specifically, the evaluators found that the “PPI did not sufficiently cover PWS paragraphs 2.1.3 (referred to as movement of personnel and equipment), 2.1.4 (referred to as lifecycle management), 2.1.5 (referred to as incidental training), and 2.1.6 (referred to as construction).” AR Exh. 10, SSEB Final Report at 811. Nonetheless, the evaluators concluded that this PPI involved similar scope, magnitude of effort and complexities because Vectrus performed certain elements of the PWS requirements. The agency assigned PPI No. 5 a rating of relevant. Id.
at 811-812.

After evaluating three of VXL’s references, including PPI No. 2 and No. 5, as relevant, and the remaining two references as somewhat relevant, the agency summarized the basis for its overall relevancy assessment. Specifically, the agency explained that:

In all, the PPIs documented performance by V[X]L which, in aggregate, demonstrated their ability to execute portions of the areas within [the] operations and logistics support spectrum with the scope, magnitude, and complexity of effort this solicitation requires. Areas sufficiently addressed include Equipment Acquisition (2.1.1), Maintenance and Refurbishment (2.1.2), Movement of Personnel or Equipment (2.1.3),Lifecycle Management (2.1.4), and Mission Operations (2.1.7). Areas not sufficiently addressed include Incidental Training (2.1.5), and Construction (2.1.6).

In the aggregate of the PPIs, not all areas of the PWS were sufficiently covered, with much of the informationbeing restatements of the PWS and/or lacking in detail to evaluate the work performed. Based on an integrated evaluation of the offeror’s past performance record, considering recency, relevancy, and quality in accordance with the provisions of the RFP and PWS, the Government has a reasonable expectation that the offeror will successfully perform the required effort.

AR Exh. 10, SSEB Final Report at 814-815.

VXL raises a number of objections to the agency’s evaluation, none of which we find sufficient to sustain the protest. For example, VXL repeatedly argues that the record shows the agency improperly required all references to cover all PWS areas in order to be evaluated as very relevant, and in order to receive a substantial confidence rating. See, e.g., Protest at 16; Comments at 6. The record, however, does not demonstrate that the agency imposed any such requirement. Rather, the record shows that the agency looked across all the references to see whether they collectively demonstrated sufficient relevant performance of the PWS requirements. For example, the agency found that the protester had sufficiently demonstrated relevant past performance with PWS 2.1.7, mission operations, even though only two of VXL’s past performance references (PPI Nos. 1 and 5) demonstrated relevant experience in that area. See, e.g., AR Exh. 10, SSEB Final Report at 798, 802, 806, 808, 811-812, 814. In contrast, the agency found that VXL had failed to sufficiently demonstrate relevant experience with PWS 2.1.6, construction, where none of its references demonstrated sufficient relevant experience, or PWS 2.1.5, incidental training, where only one reference (PPI No. 1) demonstrated sufficient experience. See id. Thus, the protester’s argument in this respect is untethered to the actual contemporaneous evaluation record.

To rebut the agency’s position that the protester failed to sufficiently demonstrate relevant experience with two of the seven required PWS areas, specifically 2.1.5, incidental training, and 2.1.6, construction, and thus only warranted an overall satisfactory confidence assessment, VXL raises specific objections to the agency’s evaluation of those PWS areas with respect to only PPI Nos. 2 and 5. In both instances, the protester contends that its proposal adequately demonstrated relevant experience. We disagree.

PWS subparagraph 2.1.5 requires the:

Provision of training associated or incidental to equipment acquired under an Order, to include new equipment training and operator training and/or maintainer training. Provision of personnel with specified experiential and/or technical training and/or technical capabilities to share and impart knowledge, skills, information, and perspective. These capabilities will only be utilized as incidental to an operation and/or logistics effort. Stand-alone training of Subject Matter Experts (SME) for these purposes may more appropriately utilized the [pool 2] Training Support Services identified in paragraph 2.2 and subparagraphs.

RFP at 121.

With respect to PPI No. 2, VXL’s proposal, in its entirety, stated in response to the foregoing requirement that “V[X]L provided training associated with [task order]-specific equipment to the Mexican Marines through bilingual SMEs with specific experiential and technical capabilities to share and impart knowledge, skills, information on the maintenance and service of mission equipment.” AR Exh. 5, VXL Past Performance Proposal at 21. As to PPI No. 5, VXL’s proposal does not specifically address the solicitation’s incidental training requirements. See id. at 24. In its comments on the agency report, VXL points to the following quote from the quality management section of its proposal to support its assertion that the reference provided for incidental training: “Vectrus facilitated transfer of services between the outgoing performance contractor and incoming performance contractor across the three operating sites.” Comments at 12 (quoting AR Exh. 5, VXL Past Performance Proposal at 24).

As to PPI No. 2, the agency acknowledged the cited training, but noted that there was insufficient explanation demonstrating that the training was associated or incidental to any equipment acquired under the referenced order. Furthermore, the agency found that the training delivered through SMEs was better categorized as stand-alone training covered by PWS paragraph 2.2. AR Exh. 10, SSEB Final Report at 802. As to PPI No. 5, the agency found that the reference did not sufficiently demonstrate experience with incidental training. Id. at 811.

Contrary to the protester’s objections, we find no basis to object to the agency’s evaluation. As to PPI No. 2, we agree with the agency that the protester failed to adequately explain to what extent the equipment at issue was acquired under the order, as opposed to being the provision of general training not incidental to acquired equipment. We also find reasonable the agency concluding that the contemporaneous proposal failed to specifically address incidental training with respect to PPI No. 5; furthermore, the protester’s reference in the protest to its teaming partner’s transition of contract responsibilities fails to demonstrate any reasonable nexus to training that the subcontractor provided with respect to equipment acquired under the order.

We also find no merit to the protester’s complaints as to the level of supporting detail that the agency allegedly was seeking from offerors. In this regard, VXL argues that the “PPI references were not intended, and could not be, detailed discussions of what the offeror did. It was a summary.” Comments at 13. This objection to the relevancy ratings assigned reflects its disagreement with the agency’s conclusions but does not demonstrate that the evaluation here was unreasonable. See, e.g., Chloeta Fire, LLC, B-416448, July 17, 2018, 2018 CPD ¶ 248 at 5; FN Mfg., LLC, B-402059.4, B-402059.5, Mar. 22, 2010, 2010 CPD ¶ 104 at 7. In this regard, the solicitation provided that offerors were responsible for describing how their contract references demonstrated the offeror’s ability to perform the full range of PWS requirements for the proposed NAICS pool. RFP at 100. It is an offeror’s responsibility to submit a well-written proposal, with adequately detailed information which clearly demonstrates compliance with the solicitation and allows a meaningful review by the procuring agency. Orion Tech., Inc., B-405077, Aug. 12, 2011, 2011 CPD ¶ 159 at 5.

We similarly find that the agency reasonably evaluated VXL’s past performance with respect to subparagraph 2.1.6, construction, which requires:

Design, construction of new and/or renovation, remodel, upgrade and/or repair of existing facilities to support operations and/or logistics endeavors. Such efforts may include design, construction, procurement and installation or renovation/remodel of dormitories, shelters, check points, barracks, wharfs, docks, training facilities, hangars, live fire shoot houses and/or any support buildings or infrastructure / services for such facilities to make them fully functional. Projects may include permanent structures, portable, modular and/or containerized facilities, and/or infrastructure and site work in support of construction or installation efforts. These Orders may require the Contractor to provide all professional design, permitting, labor, materials, supervision and management necessary to produce a complete and usable facility or a complete and usable improvement to an existing facility that meets the intended form, fit and function specified in the Orders’ requirements.

RFP at 121-122.

As with its absence of a citation to the incidental training task, VXL’s proposal with respect to PPI No. 5 does not specifically make reference to the construction task. AR Exh. 5, VXL Past Performance Proposal at 24. Rather, the protester argues that the agency should have inferred that the following proposal passage relates to both the construction and separate maintenance (2.1.2) requirements: "Vectrus responded to 24 Priority-1; 718 Priority-2; & 2,582 Priority-3 service orders, remaining 100 [percent] compliant with contract requirements. Through over 2,095 preventative maintenance checks, Vectrus technicians corrected deficiencies before facility residents were aware of them.” Comments at 12 (quoting AR Exh. 5, VXL Past Performance Proposal at 24).

The contemporaneous record reflects that the agency credited VXL for this past performance but did so only with respect to PWS 2.1.2 requirements, not PWS 2.1.6 requirements. AR Exh. 10, SSEB Final Report at 811. Specifically, PWS 2.1.2 requires “[r]epair, refurbishment, modification, upgrade, overhaul, installation, or any other actions to keep items in serviceable condition, to return those items to service, or to update or upgrade a capability. RFP at 121. Based on our review of the record, we find no basis to object to the agency’s evaluation.

First, the protester’s scant proposal quote does not reference, let alone materially address, the detailed requirements of the PWS’s construction services. In this regard, nothing in the two sentences relied upon by the protester addresses the bulk of the design, construction, renovation, remodel, or upgrade requirements in the PWS. Furthermore, even assuming that the reference demonstrated partial experience with the full scope of the PWS’s construction services, it would be the only reference submitted by the protester to do so. As discussed above, none of the other references included construction.[4] Thus, even assuming this singular reference demonstrated some relevant experience, we find no basis to conclude that the agency’s evaluation that the protester had failed to demonstrate sufficient relevant construction experience based on this singular reference would be unreasonable.

In sum, the record demonstrates that the agency extensively and reasonably documented its assessment of whether the protester’s past performance references were similar in scope and complexities to the solicited PWS requirements. Based on these assessments, the agency assigned VXL’s proposal a confidence assessment rating of satisfactory confidence. We find these conclusions to be reasonable.

The protest is denied.

Edda Emmanuelli Perez
General Counsel

 

[1] The awardees are: Next Evolution Logistics Solutions, of Durham, New Hampshire; Resicum International, LLC, of Warrenton, Virginia; Cambridge International Systems, Inc., of Arlington, Virginia; Culmen International, LLC, of Alexandria, Virginia; Fluor Intercontinental, Inc., of Greenville, South Carolina; Patriot Group International, Inc., of Warrenton, Virginia; PAE Applied Technologies, LLC, of Arlington, Virginia; and Obera LLC, of Herndon, Virginia. Agency Report (AR) Exh. 13, Unsuccessful Offeror Letter
at 1.

[2] Citations to the RFP are to the conformed version, including page numbers assigned by the agency, provided in the agency report as exhibit 3.

[3] The contracting officer outlined the seven specific PWS categories and the abbreviated phrase used to refer to each subparagraph category in her contracting officer’s statement (COS). COS at 7-8 citing, RFP at 121-122. We use the abbreviated phrases in this decision.

[4] The protester expressly conceded that construction “[d]oes not apply” to PPI No. 2, Comments at 10, and declined to challenge the agency’s findings with respect to PPI No. 1 and No. 4. As to its untimely challenge to the evaluation of PPI No. 3, we note that the protester relies exclusively on the following passage to support construction related activity: “VXL was responsible for the repair, refurbishment, and modification of mission essential equipment such as threat tracking and target location equipment.” Comments at 8. Nothing in this cited provision, however, has any bearing on facilities as contemplated by the construction requirements.

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