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I am a contracting officer assisting in the planning of a source selection for an ACAT system. As part of the source selection process, the customer is adamant about including significant field testing as part of the evaluation process. The system is highly sensitive in that just about everything could affect its performance including weather, time of day, harsh language, etc. As to be expected, everyone on my end, especially legal, is worried about risk of a protest from the losing offeror. Any ideas, useful guidance, prior examples... anything would be helpful and appreciated.
SchruteBeets posted a topic in Contract Award ProcessNash & Cibinic in February talked about combining source selection procedures. In the recent case linked here, K-MAR B-411262, the Air Force's approach to best value is interesting. One the one hand the AF told offerors that past performance, evaluated qualitatively not pass/fail, is significantly more important than price. On the other other hand the AF essentially stated it would rank-order proposals by price and then evaluate past performance of only the lowest priced proposal and if that offeror was rated substantial confidence for past performance then the evaluation process would stop. The Air Force did just that and K-MAR protested because its proposal and its past performance wasn't considered. Protest denied. In a footnote the GAO notes that K-MAR failed to protest the RFP's evaluation scheme prior to the deadline for proposals. What if K-MAR had timely protested the RFP's best value evaluation process, do you think the GAO would have sustained that protest? Is it wise to use this AF approach that past performance is more important than price but then not consider other offerors' past performance? http://www.gao.gov/products/B-411262,B-411262.2#_ftnref5
Hello All, I have been around Federal contracting for about 13 years, but unfortunately my skill set is somewhat weak in the source selection arena. I have researched this question on WIFCON, AAP, and the DOD SS Guide, but I think I have over-saturated my noggin and would like to see if I can get a straightforward answer from you fine folks. When utilizing LPTA under FAR 15, what recourse does a contracting officer have, if any, when all proposals exceed the government's estimate, and the government believes its estimate is valid (correctly priced). There is a reference in FAR 15.306(e)(3) that mentions that you can tell an offeror that their proposal is high in terms of price, but is that reason alone to enter into discussions? I am sure that I could ramble on with questions, but I will let you folks respond first. Thank you very much! Micah Kruse