The U.S. Government Accountability Office officially ruled against Booz Allen Hamilton’s protest over an OASIS task order worth over $700 million for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance support for the Department of the Air Force (AF) Air Combat Command (ACC). The contract that was disputed is a new procurement with no incumbent, however it is a consolidation of several existing contracts. Booz Allen challenged the agency’s evaluation of their proposal and the source selection decision.
To offer a background, on November 2, 2018, GSA issued the task order request (TOR) to vendors holding indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity (IDIQ) contracts under the GSA One Acquisition Solution for Integrated Services unrestricted pool. GSA received proposals from BAH and Leidos, both of which offering oral presentations.
The anticipated award was based on a best-value tradeoff considering price, technical and management approach, and corporate experience. The contracting officer, acting as the source selection authority (SSA), compared the two proposals and concluded that no tradeoff was necessary because Leidos’ proposal was rated more highly and priced more competitively than Booz Allen’s and they were notified on March 15, 2019 that the agency decided to award the task order to Leidos. After receiving a debriefing, a protest followed, along with two additional supplements to the protest.
The evaluation matrix from GAO.gov
Booz Allen challenged GSA’s evaluation of the proposals and the source selection decision. In addition, Booz Allen also alleges that the agency treated offerors unequally in both the evaluation of proposals and the conduct of discussions.
While Thomas H. Armstrong, General Counsel at the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that there were indeed errors in the evaluation (the corporate experience was more equal than reported, for example), they weren’t substantive enough to make Booz Allen’s proposal competitive with Leidos. Based on this finding, the protest was officially denied on July 3, 2019.