GAO bid protest-meaningful discussion

GAO Bid Protest-Meaningful Discussion

GAO bid protest turns on whether the Department of the Army offered meaningful discussion to disappointed bidder

Download File

This  case study is about a January 22, 2014, GAO bid protest named Matter ofGeo Marine, Inc. (GMI)/Burns & McDonnell Engineering, Inc., Joint Venture. In their protest, GEO Marine, Inc. (GMI), alleged in their GAO bid protest that their proposal was rejected without adequate discussion of their deficiencies. Specifically, the agency, the Department of the Army, Corps of Engineers, identified as a weakness the fact that GMI had not positioned the work turbine generators in the area designated in the performance work statement and had not explained its reasons for deviating from the RFP requirements.

After initial discussions, GMI provided an explanation of moving the turbines. The company stated that it had relied on data from the National Renewal Energy Laboratory regarding prevailing wind direction that was different from prevailing wind direction information included in the RFP. The Agency then came back and changed GMI’s changes of placement from a weakness to a “significant weakness.” The agency then eliminated GMI’s proposal from further consideration after assigning it a marginal rating under technical approach factor.

In its GAO bid protest, GMI argued that after changing its concern from a “weakness” to a “significant weakness” the Department of the Army was required to engage in further discussions. In essence, GMI alleged that the Agency’s discussions were not meaningful.

In denying GMI’s GAO bid protest, the agency stated that it found no merit in the company’s protest. The decision reads, “Discussions, when conducted, must identify proposal deficiencies and significant weaknesses that reasonably could be addressed in order to materially enhance the offeror’s potential for receiving award. Serco Inc., B-405280, Oct. 12, 2011, 2011 CPD ¶ 237 at 11.[2] However, agencies are not required to reopen discussions to afford an offeror an additional opportunity to revise its proposal where a weakness or deficiency is first introduced in the firm’s revised proposal.” Raytheon Co., B-403110.3, Apr. 26, 2011, 2011 CPD ¶ 96 at 7.

The GAO found that in GMI’s case, the agency engaged in meaningful discussions initially about the weaknesses in the company’s proposal. However, rather than remedy the issues identified, GMI’s explanations intensified the Department of the Army’s concerns for GMI’s technical solutions. The GAO determined that it was evident that the Agency realized that the GMI’s placement of the wind turbine generators was based on inaccurate information, but was not obligated to engage in any further discussions, since the concerns were originally related after the original proposal.

Contact US

About the author

Whitcomb Law PC Joe Whitcomb, a former United States Army Ranger, is a veteran of both the United States Army and Air Force. After his military career, Joe attended law school at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law. From there, he went on to work as staff attorney for the Social Security Administration where he learned the nuances of administrative law generally and Social Security disability law specifically. He has dedicated his legal career helping individuals and businesses with their interactions with federal and state governments.

Bid Protests

, , , , , , , , , ,

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Whitcomb Law PC is certified by the VA's Center for Verification and Eligibility (CVE) as Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business (SDVOSB)