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Sometimes the Government seeks the best overall value, and at times simply lowest cost. But even when low price is determinative, the bidder must still meet minimum technical qualifications. In a recent case, Level 3 Communications lost a major contract with the Dept. of Defense to Verizon, whose bid exceeded theirs by nearly $40 million. Level 3 was disqualified for what it thought were trivial reasons. When Level 3 protested, it got no relief from GAO, but the Court of Federal Claims came to their rescue. More at Petrillo & Powell's Patterns of Procurement.
Is it standard procedure within anyone's agency to rank all proposals when accomplishing a source selection utilizing an evaluation rating method other than numerical? For example, if you utilize the new DOD Source Selection Procedures and you evaluate Past Performance, Technical Approach and Price, assigning a performance confidence assessment rating to past performance and a combined color code and risk rating to each technical approach factor (or subfactor, if used), does the Source Selection Authority make a tradeoff decision amongst all offerors to determine who wins, who is ranked second, who is ranked third, etc? If so, what are the benefits/advantages of doing so? What are the disadvantages?