15.506:  Postaward Debriefings

Comptroller General - Key Excerpts

It is a fundamental principle of competitive negotiations that offerors must be provided with the same statements of the agency's requirements so as to provide a common basis for the submission of proposals. Union Carbide Corp. , B-184495, Feb. 26, 1976, 76-1 CPD 134. The Navy asserts that the information it provided Eastern did not in any way change the terms of the solicitation since the solicitation did not discuss the PPV schedule and thus that it did not provide Eastern with a competitive advantage. The information given to Eastern concerning the PPV program, however, was clearly material for purposes of proposal preparation since it provided additional information concerning an important aspect of the agency's requirements. The RFP expressly identified the risks associated with the PPV program--the fact that contract requirements may be eliminated--and warned offerors that the costs of eliminating requirements due to the PPV program would not be negotiated. Thus, as SYMVIONICS notes, a reasonable offeror would have factored the risk of PPV implementation into its prices. [Deleted]. SYMVIONICS further notes that the Navy has eliminated hundreds of housing units under two SYMVIONICS contracts as well as an entire contract for 3,300 housing units, as a result of the PPV program. Because Eastern knows that the risk associated with the PPV program is minimal in this instance, it can more accurately reflect this risk in its pricing in the recompetition. Since the agency provided the information in the context of a post-award debriefing, there was no need at that time to share the information with the other offerors. However, after the agency decided to re-open the competition and seek revised proposals, it was incumbent upon the agency to ensure that all the offerors had the same information concerning the PPV program so that they could compete with the same understanding of the agency's requirements and we sustain this basis of protest. See EMS Dev. Corp. , B-242484, May 2, 1991, 91-1 CPD 427 at 2-3. (SYMVIONICS, Inc., B-293824.2, October 8, 2004) (pdf)

As a preliminary matter, we note that FRS's belief that its proposal was unreasonably evaluated and/or misunderstood was in part the result of issues brought up by the Forest Service in the debriefing (e.g., water supply sources, communications systems) that were not in fact considered weaknesses in the evaluation of FRS's proposal or reasons for the agency's award decision.  See Agency Report, Tab 9, Technical Evaluation of FRS, at 1; Tab 12, Recommendation of TEB; Tab 13, Source Selection Decision.  The agency states that it did not misunderstand FRS's proposal, but only brought up such issues in the debriefing “for the purpose of helping [FRS] write a better proposal next time.”  Agency Report, Tab 2, Statement of TEB Chairman.  The purpose of a debriefing is to furnish the basis for the selection decision and contract award.  10 U.S.C. § 2305(b)(5) (2000); OMV Med., Inc.; Saratoga Med. Ctr., Inc., B-281388 et al., Feb. 3, 1999, 99-1 CPD ¶ 53 at 9 n.3.  While it may be helpful in other contexts for an agency to make suggestions to an offeror for future procurements, here the agency's debriefing remarks were, perhaps quite understandably, misconstrued by the protester.  To the extent that FRS protests that its proposal was unreasonably evaluated in these areas, however, our review of the record does not bear this out.  (Forest Regeneration Services LLC, B-290998, October 30, 2002)  (pdf)

Comptroller General - Listing of Decisions

For the Government For the Protester
Forest Regeneration Services LLC, B-290998, October 30, 2002  (pdf) SYMVIONICS, Inc., B-293824.2, October 8, 2004 (pdf)

U. S. Court of Federal Claims - Key Excerpts

U. S. Court of Federal Claims - Listing of Decisions
For the Government For the Protester


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