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Comptroller General of the United States United States Government Accountability Office Washington, DC 20548 DOCUMENT FOR PUBLIC RELEASE The decision issued on the date below was subject to a GAO Protective Order. This redacted version has been approved for public release. Decision Matter of: File: Date: B-298865.3 December 28, 2007 Team BOS/Naples--Gemmo S.p.A./DelJen Philip J. Davis, Esq., William A. Roberts, III, Esq., John W. Burd, Esq., and John R. Prairie, Esq., Wiley Rein LLP, and Reed
    Comptroller General   United States Government Accountability Office Washington, DC 20548of the United StatesDOCUMENT FOR PUBLIC RELEASE The decision issued on the date below was subject to aGAO Protective Order. This redacted version has beenapproved for public release. Decision Matter of: Team BOS/Naples--Gemmo S.p.A./DelJen File: B-298865.3 Date: December 28, 2007Philip J. Davis, Esq., William A. Roberts, III, Esq., John W. Burd, Esq., and John R.Prairie, Esq., Wiley Rein LLP, and Reed L. von Maur, Esq., for the protester.T. Wayne Gray, Esq., Joseph P. Hornyak, Esq., and Megan M. Mocho, Esq., Holland &Knight LLP for Joint Venture Penauillie Italia S.p.A.; Cofathec S.p.A.; SEB.CO S.a.s.;CO.PEL.S.a.s., an intervenor.Damon Martin, Esq., Department of the Navy, for the agency. Jonathan L. Kang, Esq., and Ralph O. White, Esq., Office of the General Counsel,GAO, participated in the preparation of the decision. DIGEST 1. Protest challenging evaluation of offerors’ technical and price proposals is deniedwhere agency’s evaluation was reasonable and supported by the record.2. Protest challenging the adequacy and reasonableness of the agency’s sourceselection decision is denied where the record supports the source selectionauthority’s explanation that certain errors in the selection decision did not affectunderlying rationale. DECISION Team BOS/Naples--Gemmo S.p.A./DelJen (BOS) protests the award of a contract to Joint Venture Penauillie Italia S.p.A.; Cofathec S.p.A. (JVP) under request for proposals (RFP) No. N33191-06-R-0001, issued by the Department of the Navy, NavalFacilities Engineering Command, for base operations services. The protester arguesthat the Navy unreasonably evaluated offerors’ technical proposals, failed to conducta reasonable price realism evaluation, and that the agency’s selection decision wasflawed both because of the above-referenced evaluation errors, and because of certain other errors in the information relied upon by the source selection authority(SSA) in his selection decision.We deny the protest.   BACKGROUNDThe RFP was srcinally issued on January 24, 2006, and sought proposals to providebase operations services for the Navy in the Naples, Italy area. Offerors wererequired to propose facilities management, facility investment, janitorial, pestcontrol, refuse collection and recycling, ground maintenance, street sweeping andexternal area cleaning, service calls, and miscellaneous support services. Thesolicitation consolidated requirements that had been provided under separatecontracts; JVP was the incumbent for most of these contracts. Agency Report (AR)at 2-3. The RFP anticipated the award of a fixed-price contract, with both fixed-pricework and indefinite-delivery orders, for a 1-year base performance period and nine1-year option periods. The RFP stated that proposals would be evaluated on thebasis of the following factors: organizational experience, organizational past performance, management plan, staffing plan and resources, and price. The non- price factors were of equal importance and, combined, were “approximately equal inimportance” to price. RFP § M-1.With regard to the organizational experience criterion, the RFP instructed joint venture offerors to “provide a single page that lists the joint venture partners alongwith the percentage of work each partner is proposed to perform for the [contract]and that briefly describes the specific work that each partner will be performing.”RFP § M-2. The RFP further advised that “if the Joint Venture offeror fails to complywith the requirement in this paragraph, then the Joint Venture offeror cannot beassigned a rating of satisfactory or better for this factor.” Id. As relevant here, the RFP stated that the agency would evaluate offerors’ price proposals as follows:FACTOR 5, PRICE:2. Price proposals will not be given an adjectival rating but may beevaluated for realism, completeness, balance and reasonableness usingmethods described below:i) Realism. Prices are compatible with the scope of solicitation, performance requirements, and proposed technical approach. . . .3. Unrealistic, unreasonable, or unbalanced pricing may cause a proposal to be determined unacceptable, or cause a reduction in price proposal rankings.RFP § M-2. Page 2 B-298865.3  The agency received proposals from 12 offerors by the April 4, 2006, proposal duedate. The agency convened a technical evaluation board (TEB) and price evaluationboard (PEB) to evaluate offerors’ proposals. The TEB and PEB evaluations werereviewed by a source selection board (SSB), whose purpose was to make an awardrecommendation to the contracting officer (CO), who also served as the SSA. Asrelevant here, the initial ratings of the offerors, based on the TEB and PEBevaluations, were as follows: JVP BOSOVERALL TECHNICAL EXCELLENT EXCELLENT-- Organizational Experience Excellent Excellent-- Organizational Past Performance Excellent Good-- Management Approach Excellent Excellent-- Staffing Plan and Resources Excellent ExcellentPRICE [deleted]  € 55.6 million AR, SSB Report, Sept. 1, 2006, at 7. 1  The SSB noted that three offerors, including JVP, submitted incomplete price proposals. The SSB recommended, and the SSA agreed, that these offerors shouldnot be considered further for award. With regard to the remaining offerors, the SSBdisagreed with the evaluation methodology of the TEB because of “severalinconsistently-, or wrongly-, applied strengths, weaknesses, deficiencies, and ratingsto the proposals.” AR, SSB Report, Sept. 1, 2006, at 2-3. The SSB reevaluated thenine remaining offerors’ technical proposals, using revised evaluation methodologiesto correct the TEB’s errors. As relevant here, the agency identified four strengths forBOS’s proposal under the staffing plan and resources evaluation factor:(1) proposed staffing plan is very well detailed and shows a more thanadequate number of Managers and QCs; (2) proposed number of FTEsis more than adequate and well distributed among the various Annexes; (3) proposed number of FTEs for both the Prime andSubcontractor Management system is also more than adequate;(4) proposed list of equipment includes all required instruments foreach different ELIN in a more than adequate number. AR, TEB Report, Aug. 29, 2006 at 7; SSB Report, Sept. 1, 2006, at 9-10. The SSB alsoassigned a strength that the TEB had recognized under the management approachfactor to BOS’s evaluation under the staffing plan and resources factor: “proposal 1 The agency used an evaluation scheme of Excellent, Good, Satisfactory, Marginal,and Poor. Offerors without relevant past performance were assigned a rating of Neutral. Page 3 B-298865.3  describes in detail the implementation of quality control and safety programs.” AR,TEB Report, Aug. 29, at 7; SSB Report, Sept. 1, 2007, at 9-10. In the end, however, theSSB did not change BOS’s overall technical rating of “excellent.” Id. at 8-9.Following the SSB’s reevaluations, the board recommended award to BOS becauseits proposal was the lowest-priced and highest technically rated. Id. at 19. The SSAagreed with the SSB’s recommendation, and the Navy awarded the contract to BOSon September 15. Following a debriefing by the Navy, JVP filed a protest with ourOffice challenging the Navy’s determination that its proposal was ineligible foraward. On January 3, 2007, we denied the protest, concluding that the Navy hadreasonably rejected JVP’s proposal as incomplete based on the company’s failure tosubmit required pricing information. See Joint Venture Penauillie Italia S.p.A.;Cofathec S.p.A.; SEB.CO S.a.s.; CO.PEL.S.a.s., B-298865; B-298865.2, Jan. 3, 2007,2007 CPD ¶ 7. Following our Office’s decision in that protest, JVP filed a protest atthe Court of Federal Claims (COFC), challenging the award to BOS. Prior to theCOFC’s resolution of the protest, the Navy took voluntary corrective action byreopening the competition. AR at 6.In February 2007, the Navy reevaluated the technical proposals of the three offerors,including JVP, that had been eliminated from award consideration due to theirincomplete price proposals. AR, Business Clearance Memorandum (BCM), Feb. 26,2007. After applying the revised technical evaluation methodology adopted in theSeptember 2006 SSB report, the SSB revised JVP’s proposal ratings under theorganizational experience and organizational past performance evaluation factorsfrom “good” to “excellent.” Id. at 3-4. The agency determined that JVP’s proposalremained at the “excellent” level under the management approach and staffing planand resources evaluation factors. Id. at 4.On March 23, the agency requested revised proposals from offerors. The agency provided offerors’ with their technical evaluation ratings, a summary of theirevaluated strengths and weaknesses, and an assessment of their proposed pricerelative to the government’s estimate and the lowest-priced offeror’s proposal. TheNavy also issued amendment No. 7 to the RFP, which added new requirements to the performance work statement, including, as relevant here, a recycling program.The Navy received revised proposals from the offerors, including JVP and BOS,which were evaluated by the SSB; the agency did not, as it did in the initialcompetition, use a TEB or PEB. In its evaluation of BOS’s revised proposal underthe staffing plan and resources factor, the SSB credited the company with a strongrecycling plan and noted updates to BOS’s corporate experience and past performance references. AR exh. 9, SSB Report, June 5, 2007, at 4-5. The SSBconcluded, however, that the individual and overall technical evaluation ratings forBOS did not merit revision. Id. In its price realism analysis, the agency identifiedareas where it concluded that BOS’s proposed price either was too low orunbalanced. Id. at 15-17. Page 4 B-298865.3
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