A recent protest by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) brought up the importance of reading, comprehending and adhering to a solicitations requirements, especially those involving past permanence and experience. Failure to provide the necessary requirements led to an offeror’s elimination from consideration for a major GSA contract.
According to the GAO’s decision in Dougherty & Associates, Inc., B-413155.9 (Sept. 1, 2016), the solicitation warned potential offeror’s that their experience must be documented as evidence for government validation and failure to do so may result in proposal being rejected. Out of 115 proposals the GSA received, Dougherty & Associates (DAI), Inc. was selected for consideration. The GSA sought clarification from DAI regarding three separate purchase orders that were not identified as a collection of task orders and it was unclear how they were linked.
The GSA notified DAI its proposal was eliminated from consideration for failure to comply with specified requirements. The GSA went on to explain the experience project in question contained three separate purchase orders and was not identified as a collection of task orders as the bid required. DAI filed a protest arguing the GSA had improperly eliminated DAI based on unreasonable reading of DAI’s proposal. The GAO explained the project specifically asked for submission of a single contract, task, order, purchase order, or a collection of task orders – BUT not both.
Let DAI’s situation serve as a reminder to fully read, understand, and follow the specific requirements of a solicitation, especially those involving experience or past performance, to avoid proposal mistakes. Keep in mind, agencies can reduce the playing field by rejecting proposals with minor infractions and proposal mistakes from the terms of the solicitation.
Don’t make proposal mistakes – contact us today to find out how.
KDuncan & Company is dedicated to providing knowledge and support for small government contractors about concerns regarding government contracting. For questions on areas such as as cost proposals, accounting systems, DCAA compliance, and incurred cost audits, reach out to KDuncan & Company.