CBF Companions JV, LLC | US GAO – Authorities Accountability Workplace

CBF Companions JV, LLC, of Reston, Virginia, protests the award of a contract to C2 Alaska, LLC, of San Antonio, Texas, beneath request for proposals (RFP) No. 50310221R008, issued by the Securities and Alternate Fee (SEC), for skilled contractor help providers. The protester challenges varied features of the company’s analysis of proposals and supply choice resolution.
DOCUMENT FOR PUBLIC RELEASE
The choice issued on the date beneath was topic to a GAO Protecting Order. This redacted model has been authorized for public launch.
Choice
Matter of: CBF Companions JV, LLC
File: B-419846.2; B-419846.3; B-419846.4
Date: December 14, 2021
Matthew T. Schoonover, Esq., Matthew P. Moriarty, Esq., John M. Mattox II, Esq., and Ian P. Patterson, Esq., Schoonover & Moriarty LLC, for the protester.
Stowell Holcomb, Esq., Jackson Holcomb, LLP, and William Okay. Walker, Esq., Walker Reausaw, for C2 Alaska, LLC, the intervenor.
Jeffrey C. Walker, Esq., Peter Vangsnes, Esq., and John P. Sholar, Esq., Securities and Alternate Fee, for the company.
Michael Worth, Esq., Raymond Richards, Esq., and John Sorrenti, Esq., Workplace of the Basic Counsel, GAO, participated within the preparation of the choice.
DIGEST
1. Protest difficult the technical acceptability of the awardee’s response to a minimal expertise issue is denied the place the awardee’s submission contained all required info and complied with the phrases of the solicitation.
2. Protest grounds difficult the technical acceptability of the awardee’s subcontracting plan and letters of dedication are denied the place the subcontracting plan and letters of dedication complied with the phrases of the solicitation.
3. Protest difficult the company’s interpretation of the solicitation is denied the place the company’s interpretation is affordable and per the solicitation’s phrases.
4. Protest difficult the company’s analysis of offerors’ technical proposals is denied the place the company’s analysis of the awardee’s proposal was performed fairly and in accordance with the solicitation, and the place the protester is unable to reveal aggressive prejudice with respect to the remaining protest grounds.
DECISION
CBF Companions JV, LLC, of Reston, Virginia, protests the award of a contract to C2 Alaska, LLC, of San Antonio, Texas, beneath request for proposals (RFP) No. 50310221R008, issued by the Securities and Alternate Fee (SEC), for skilled contractor help providers. The protester challenges varied features of the company’s analysis of proposals and supply choice resolution.
We deny the protest.
BACKGROUND
The RFP was issued on April 16, 2021, as an 8(a) set‑apart,[1] beneath the aggressive procedures of Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) half 15. RFP at 66, 73; COS/MOL at 36.[2] The company sought proposals for skilled acquisition help providers resembling program evaluation and information governance, administration, communication, litigation, investigations, inspections, examinations, case‑associated administration, auditing and accounting, forensics, statistical evaluation, enterprise and coverage administration help, and different particular initiatives. RFP at 9.
The solicitation contemplated the award of a single indefinite‑supply, indefinite‑amount (IDIQ) contract with one 5‑yr base interval and one 5‑yr possibility interval. Id. at 4. Below the established IDIQ, the company expects to situation time‑and‑supplies, labor‑hours, or mounted‑worth orders. Id. at 5. The utmost worth of the IDIQ contract is $2.5 billion. Id. at 4.
This procurement‑‑known as iPASS 2.0‑‑was performed in two phases.[3] COS/MOL at 37. Within the first stage, offerors have been required to reveal a sure degree of minimal expertise. Id. This stage of the procurement was ruled by a particular discover printed to the federal government‑vast level of entry (GPE) together with the RFP. See id. at 36‑37.The minimal expertise requirement could possibly be happy by the offeror or by a subsidiary or affiliate of the offeror, as long as the subsidiary or affiliate was wholly owned by the identical dad or mum firm because the offeror. Company Resp. to Req. for Dismissal, exh. 1, Particular Discover at 2. Responses to the minimal expertise requirement, due by June 1, have been evaluated on a go/no‑go foundation. Id. at 1‑2. Solely offerors rated as “go” would advance to the second and closing stage of the competitors, which required offerors to submit extra complete proposals. Id. at 2; see additionally COS/MOL at 38.
Second stage proposals have been to be submitted in 4 volumes, and have been due by June 18. RFP at 3, 65‑66. The primary quantity was to incorporate the technical proposal for the IDIQ contract. Id. at 66-69. IDIQ technical proposals have been to deal with the next equally weighted non‑worth analysis components: (1) company/subsidiary expertise; (2) administration method and capabilities; (3) enterprise continuity plan; and (4) previous efficiency. Id. at 66‑69, 74. When mixed, the non‑worth components have been thought of considerably extra vital than worth. Id. at 74.
The second quantity was to incorporate the value proposal for the IDIQ contract. RFP at 70. Offerors have been instructed to make the most of an connected IDIQ pricing template for his or her IDIQ pricing submissions. IDIQ pricing submissions could be evaluated for accuracy, completeness, reasonableness, and realism. Id. at 75. The remaining volumes have been to incorporate technical and worth proposals for a seed job order which might be awarded concurrently with the IDIQ contract. Id. at 70‑72, 76.
Ten offerors submitted responses to the primary stage of the iPASS 2.0 procurement. COS/MOL at 38; AR, Exh. 7, Supply Choice Choice Doc (SSDD) at 4.[4] 9 offerors obtained a ranking of go and superior to the following stage. COS/MOL at 38. Of the 9 offerors chosen to advance, two of them voluntarily withdrew their presents and two others didn’t submit proposals in accordance with the submission directions. Id.; AR, Exh.7, SSDD at 4‑6. This left 5 offerors within the competitors, together with CBF Companions and C2 Alaska. The proposals submitted by CBF Companions and C2 Alaska have been rated as follows:
CBF Companions
C2 Alaska
IDIQ Technical Quantity[5]
Corp./Subsidiary Expertise
Meets
Meets
Mgmt. Method & Capabilities
Meets
Exceeds
Enterprise Continuity Plan
Reasonably Doubtless
Extremely possible
Previous Efficiency
Meets
Exceeds
IDIQ Worth Quantity
Affordable/Practical
Affordable/Practical
Activity Order Technical Quantity
Meets
Exceeds
Activity Order Worth Quantity
$19,979,824
$19,648,591
General Ranking
Meets
Exceeds
AR, Exh. 7, SSDD at 8, 11‑18, 24, 32‑34. The supply choice authority decided that the proposal submitted by C2 Alaska represented one of the best worth to the federal government. Id. at 39. Accordingly, C2 Alaska was chosen for award. Id.
On August 17, CBF Companions discovered of the award to C2 Alaska. Protest at 2. CBF Companions well timed requested a debriefing which was offered in writing on August 25. Id. In response to the written debriefing, CBF Companions submitted observe‑up questions. Id. The SEC provided a response on August 31. Id. On September 10, CBF Companions filed this protest with our Workplace.
Dialogue
CBF Companions argues that C2 Alaska’s proposal ought to have been discovered unacceptable for a number of causes, challenges the company’s analysis of C2 Alaska’s proposal, and challenges the company’s analysis of its personal proposal. The SEC responds that the iPASS 2.0 procurement was performed fairly and in accordance with the phrases of the solicitation. Our evaluation first addresses the technical acceptability of the awardee’s proposal in every stage of the procurement. We then handle the challenges to the company’s analysis of the awardee’s proposal. We don’t handle the deserves of the protester’s remaining challenges as a result of we conclude that it’s unable to reveal aggressive prejudice. Accordingly, we deny the protest.[6]
In reviewing a protest difficult an company’s analysis of proposals, our Workplace won’t reevaluate proposals or substitute our judgment for that of the company. Biswas Information. Tech. Sols., Inc., B‑414760.3, B‑414760.4, Oct. 5, 2018, 2018 CPD ¶ 332 at 7. The analysis of proposals is a matter throughout the company’s discretion. NCI Information. Sys., Inc., B‑412680, B‑412680.2, Might 5, 2016, 2016 CPD ¶ 125 at 4. Our position is to look at the report to find out whether or not the company’s judgment was cheap and per the solicitation and relevant procurement regulation and regulation. The Pink Gate Grp., Ltd., B‑410466.8, Might 12, 2017, 2017 CPD ¶ 169 at 4. A protester’s disagreement with an company’s analysis doesn’t present that the analysis was unreasonable. Id.
Stage One–Minimal Expertise Requirement
The protester argues that C2 Alaska was ineligible for award as a result of its response to the minimal expertise requirement‑‑the primary stage of the procurement‑‑ought to have been rejected as unacceptable. Supp. Protest at 4; Feedback at 24. On this regard, CBF Companions alleges that the SEC failed to judge C2 Alaska’s response in accordance with the phrases of the particular discover. Supp. Protest at 4‑5; Feedback at 23‑25.
The SEC contends that C2 Alaska’s response to the minimal expertise requirement was acceptable, and that its evaluation of C2 Alaska’s submission was cheap. Supp. COS/MOL at 8. As defined beneath, we deny this problem.
As beforehand mentioned, the primary stage of the procurement was ruled by a particular discover printed to the GPE together with the solicitation. See Company Resp. to Req. for Dismissal, exh. 1, Particular Discover at 1. The particular discover required offerors to submit one current instance (from April 2018 to current) of a contract through which the offeror used no less than 150 contractor personnel. Id. at 2. This submission could be evaluated on a go/no‑go foundation; solely offerors assembly the minimal expertise requirement of the particular discover would advance to the following stage of the procurement. Id. at 1‑2. The particular discover contained the next situation:
This requirement shall solely be happy by the prime or a subsidiary/affiliate (Prime and Subsidiary have to be wholly owned by the identical dad or mum firm/company). Any reliance on subsidiary expertise is permitted solely the place the subsidiary will play a considerable position within the efficiency of the contract ensuing from this solicitation.
Id. at 2.
In response to the minimal expertise requirement, C2 Alaska submitted a undertaking carried out by an affiliated firm, [deleted] (Affiliate 1). Supp. Company Report (AR), Exh. 10, C2 Alaska Go/No-Go submission at 3. C2 Alaska’s submission acknowledged that C2 Alaska and Affiliate 1 are each wholly-owned subsidiaries of the Chenega Company. Id. C2 Alaska’s submission detailed Affiliate 1’s expertise on a number of job orders issued beneath the identical IDIQ contract, and confirmed that greater than 150 contractor personnel have been utilized in contract efficiency. Id. Moreover, C2 Alaska’s submission included a signed settlement between C2 Alaska and Affiliate 1 which obligated Affiliate 1 to offer issues like advisory providers, personnel sources, and administration help to C2 Alaska, in addition to to help C2 Alaska in containing prices. Id. at 7.
The protester argues that C2 Alaska’s response to the minimal expertise issue doesn’t reveal that Affiliate 1 will play a considerable position in performing the iPASS 2.0 contract. Feedback at 24. Because the particular discover permitted offerors to submit the expertise of affiliated entities solely the place the affiliated entity would play a considerable position within the iPASS 2.0 contract, the protester argues that it was unreasonable for the company to think about the expertise of Affiliate 1 when evaluating C2 Alaska’s proposal. Supp. Protest at 5; Feedback at 25.
We discover no advantage to this problem. The particular discover required offerors to submit an instance of a accomplished undertaking. Particular Discover at 1. The company discovered that the undertaking submitted by C2 Alaska contained all the info required and met the established standards. Supp. AR, Exh. 11, Go/No‑Go Dedication at 2. That’s, the undertaking was accomplished by an affiliated firm wholly owned by a typical dad or mum firm, the undertaking concerned greater than 150 contractor personnel, and the work was carried out between April 2018 and the current. Id. Additional, we discover that the contemporaneous report helps C2 Alaska’s declare that Affiliate 1 will probably be considerably concerned in performing the iPASS 2.0 contract. For instance, C2 Alaska’s response included a signed settlement committing Affiliate 1 to play a considerable position by offering varied sources resembling administration help, help containing prices, and in any other case helping in contract efficiency. See Supp. AR, Exh. 10, C2 Alaska Go/No-Go submission at 7. Accordingly, this protest floor is denied.[7]
Subcontracting Plan and Letters of Dedication
CBF Companions additionally raises challenges concerning the analysis of the awardee’s subcontracting plan and letters of dedication, points that pertain to the second stage of the procurement. As related to the subcontracting plans, the RFP contemplated that offerors might enter into teaming agreements to “extra absolutely meet the calls for of the necessities being requested by the SEC.” RFP at 72. If an offeror proposed an method using a teaming settlement, the offeror was required to submit a subcontracting plan and letters of dedication from its teaming companions. Id. Subcontracting plans wanted to reveal “the Offeror/Prime’s plan to carry out no less than 51% of all providers.” Id. As to letters of dedication, the solicitation required that they embody: (1) signatures of the respective events; (2) statements on the division of duties, relationship of the events, and tasks of the events; and (3) statements on the dealing with of any disputes which will come up. Id. at 72.
C2 Alaska’s Subcontracting Plan
CBF Companions argues that the company’s analysis of C2 Alaska’s subcontracting plan was unreasonable and inadequately documented.[8] Protest at 27‑29; Second Supp. Protest at 5; Feedback at 17‑20. On this regard, the protester alleges that C2 Alaska’s subcontracting plan lacked any particulars as to how the agency would truly carry out 51 % of the work, for instance, by explaining how the agency would divide duties or monitor work allocations. Feedback at 18. The protester additionally argues that the contemporaneous report doesn’t include any help for the company’s resolution to simply accept C2 Alaska’s plan. Id. at 17‑20.
The company argues that the protester is basically studying necessities into the solicitation. The SEC explains that the solicitation’s directions on the submission of subcontracting plans required that plans embody info demonstrating that the offeror would carry out 51 % of the work. Second Supp. COS/MOL at 2. The company states that the technical analysis panel (TEP) reviewed subcontracting plans to make sure they contained info demonstrating that the offeror would carry out nearly all of the work. Id. at 11‑12. The company explains that its analysis of “how the offeror relied on its subcontractor . . . or the way it proposed to truly use its subcontractors in contract efficiency” was performed beneath the company/subsidiary expertise issue and the administration method and capabilities issue “primarily based on all the data submitted within the proposals,” not on the subcontracting plan. Id. at 2, 12. Lastly, the company argues that whether or not the awardee performs in accordance with the subcontracting plan is a matter of contract administration, outdoors of GAO’s bid protest jurisdiction. COS/MOL at 29‑30.
In reviewing an company’s analysis, we don’t restrict our evaluation to contemporaneous proof, however take into account all info offered, together with the events’ arguments and explanations. Remington Arms Co., Inc., B‑297374, B‑297374.2, Jan. 12, 2006, 2006 CPD ¶ 32 at 10. We give little weight to reevaluations and judgments made within the warmth of litigation. Boeing Sikorsky Plane Assist, B‑277263.2, B‑277263.3, Sept. 29, 1997, 97‑2 CPD ¶ 91 at 15. Nonetheless, publish‑protest explanations that present detailed rationale for contemporaneous conclusions and easily fill in beforehand unrecorded particulars will typically be thought of, as long as these explanations are credible and per the contemporaneous report. Science Purposes Int’l. Corp., Inc., B‑408270, B‑408270.2, Aug. 5, 2013, 2013 CPD ¶ 189 at 8 n.12.
As a normal matter, an company’s judgment as as to if a small enterprise offeror will have the ability to adjust to a subcontracting limitation presents a query of duty not topic to our evaluation. Dorado Servs., Inc., B‑408075, B‑408075.2, June 14, 2013, 2013 CPD ¶ 161 at 11. Nonetheless, the place a proposal, on its face, ought to lead an company to conclude that an offeror has not agreed to adjust to the subcontracting limitation, the matter is one in every of proposal acceptability. Specific Med. Transps., Inc., B‑412692, Apr. 20, 2016, 2016 CPD ¶ 108 at 5.
The SEC’s clarification of the way it reviewed subcontracting plans is affordable and per the contemporaneous report. C2 Alaska’s teaming agreement–which contained the subcontracting plan–stated that C2 Alaska is the proposed prime contractor, and that C2 Alaska has entered into teaming preparations with a complete of eight different enterprise entities. AR, Exh. 3c, C2 Teaming Settlement at 4.[9] The teaming settlement acknowledged in related half: “C2 Alaska will carry out no less than 51% of all iPASS 2.0 providers. That is demonstrated by the letters of dedication with Chenega subsidiaries and subcontractors as proven in . . . this Subcontracting Plan.” Id. (emphasis omitted). Every letter of dedication contained an announcement studying: “[C2] Alaska shall carry out 51% of the price of the contract incurred for personnel, as required by the provisions of 13 C.F.R. § 125.6 and 13 C.F.R. § 124.510 to all contractual obligations.” Id. at 7, 11, 15, 19, 23, 27, 31, 35.
Based mostly on this report, we discover no advantage to the protester’s argument right here. There’s nothing within the phrases of the solicitation requiring the company to judge subcontracting plans because the protester describes. The SEC reviewed the plans to make sure that offerors demonstrated a dedication to carry out no less than 51 % of the work‑‑that is all that was required. See COS/MOL at 30, 39‑40; Supp. COS/MOL at 24. Nothing within the phrases of the solicitation prevented the SEC from accepting C2 Alaska’s subcontracting plan as submitted. Nothing on the face of C2 Alaska’s subcontracting plan indicated that the agency wouldn’t carry out the required 51 % of the work. We discover the company’s clarification of the way it reviewed and accepted C2 Alaska’s subcontracting plan cheap, credible, and per the contemporaneous report. This protest floor quantities to disagreement with the company’s resolution, due to this fact, it’s denied.
C2 Alaska’s Letters of Dedication
CBF Companions argues that C2 Alaska’s letters of dedication did not adjust to the solicitation. Second Supp. Protest at 3‑6. On this regard, the protester factors to the solicitation’s directions stating that letters of dedication shall include statements on the division of duties and the tasks of the events. Id. at 3; see RFP at 72. The protester alleges that the company’s evaluation of C2 Alaska’s letters of dedication was unreasonable as a result of the letters are “primarily similar boilerplate” and lack any quantity of element concerning the division of duties or the tasks of the teaming companions. Second Supp. Protest at 6.
The SEC claims that C2 Alaska’s letters of dedication have been absolutely compliant with the RFP and that the company’s evaluation of the letters was cheap. Second Supp. COS/MOL at 2. The company explains that the dedication to perform–not particular particulars of performance–was the important thing consideration when reviewing letters of dedication. Id. at 3‑4. As with the analysis of subcontracting plans, the small print of efficiency have been evaluated as a part of the technical analysis beneath the company/subsidiary expertise issue and the administration method and capabilities issue. Id.
We discover that this protest floor lacks advantage. There’s nothing within the phrases of the solicitation requiring the company to judge letters of dedication in the best way argued by the protester. The solicitation required letters of dedication to incorporate “statements on the division of duties, relationship of the events, and tasks of the events[.]” RFP at 72. C2 Alaska submitted eight letters of dedication. Every letter contained a piece titled “division of duties,” and a piece titled “relationship of the events and tasks of the events.” AR, Exh. 3c, C2 Teaming Settlement at 7‑9, 11‑13, 15‑17, 19‑21, 23‑25, 27‑29, 31‑33, 35‑37. Importantly, every letter demonstrated a dedication to carry out as required and described sure actions that the subcontractor may carry out. Whereas the statements offered by C2 Alaska have been largely normal in nature, our studying of the solicitation finds that such an method was acceptable beneath its phrases. See RFP at 72‑75. This protest floor is denied.
The Company Fairly Evaluated C2 Alaska’s IDIQ Technical Proposal
CBF Companions challenges the reasonableness of the analysis of C2 Alaska’s IDIQ technical proposal. The protester argues that the phrases of the solicitation prohibited the company from contemplating the capabilities of teaming companions beneath each the administration method and capabilities issue, and the enterprise continuity plan issue. Protest at 21; Feedback at 10‑15. As it’s undisputed that C2 Alaska relied on the capabilities of its teaming companions beneath these components and that the company positively evaluated C2 Alaska’s proposal in these areas, the protester asserts that the analysis was unreasonable. See id. The company argues that the RFP allowed for consideration of teaming companion capabilities beneath the technical components in query, and that its analysis of C2 Alaska’s IDIQ technical proposal was cheap. COS/MOL at 22‑23.
Our evaluation right here begins by addressing the diverging interpretations of the solicitation. We then handle the reasonableness of the company’s analysis. As defined beneath, we discover that the solicitation allowed the company to think about the capabilities of teaming companions beneath the focused components, and we conclude that the analysis of C2 Alaska’s IDIQ technical proposal was cheap.
The Company’s Interpretation of the Solicitation is Affordable
Part L.8.3 of the RFP addressed using teaming agreements and knowledgeable offerors that the company would settle for proposals using the capabilities of teaming companions. RFP at 72. The RFP’s analysis procedures acknowledged in related half: “The Authorities will consider every Offeror, subsidiaries and subcontractors, as relevant.” Id. at 73.
Of the 4 non-price analysis components, the RFP expressly mentioned using subcontractors, subsidiaries, or associates for the company/subsidiary expertise and previous efficiency components however didn’t handle the identical for the administration method and capabilities issue, and the enterprise continuity plan issue. Id. at 67, 69. On this regard, the company/subsidiary expertise issue allowed offerors to submit the expertise of a completely owned subsidiary of a typical dad or mum firm provided that the subsidiary would play a considerable position within the efficiency of the iPASS 2.0 contract. Id. at 67. The previous efficiency issue acknowledged that offerors might submit previous efficiency info of first‑tier subcontractors if these subcontractors could be utilized in contract efficiency. Id. at 69. The RFP was silent concerning using subcontractors, subsidiaries, or associates for the opposite two components. It’s this categorical language showing in two of the 4 components that drives the moment dispute.
The protester argues that the solicitation required the offeror alone to reveal its functionality to satisfy the solicitation’s necessities beneath every of the 4 non‑worth components. Protest at 21‑23; Feedback at 11‑12. The protester claims that the solicitation created an exception to this normal rule beneath the company/subsidiary expertise and previous efficiency components by expressly addressing the doable use of expertise and previous efficiency belonging to teaming companions. Protest at 23; Feedback at 10‑11. Nonetheless, for the reason that solicitation didn’t expressly handle the company’s capability to think about the capabilities of teaming companions beneath the administration method and capabilities issue and the enterprise continuity plan issue, CBF Companions argues that the company’s consideration of the capabilities of C2 Alaska’s teaming companions beneath these components was not allowed. Feedback at 9‑12.
The company contends that the RFP expressly permitted offerors to suggest options involving using subcontractors, subsidiaries, or associates. COS/MOL at 23‑28. Opposite to the protester’s interpretation, the company claims that full consideration of an offeror’s proposal beneath every issue was allowed‑‑to incorporate any proposed use of teaming companions‑‑as long as such consideration was not in any other case restricted or conditioned. Id.
The place a protester and company disagree over the which means of solicitation language, we resolve the matter by studying the solicitation as an entire and in a way that offers impact to all of its provisions. DAI International, LLC, B‑416992, Jan. 17, 2019, 2019 CPD ¶ 25 at 4. To be legitimate, an interpretation have to be per the solicitation when learn as an entire and in an affordable method. Am. West Laundry Distribs., B‑413377, Sept. 27, 2016, 2016 CPD ¶ 275 at 3; Miracle Sys., LLC, B‑408947, Dec. 24, 2013, 2014 CPD ¶ 15 at 3.
A holistic studying of the solicitation helps the SEC’s interpretation. That’s, the solicitation allowed the company to think about the capabilities of the offeror and its teaming companions when evaluating all 4 components until in any other case restricted or conditioned. The RFP’s directions expressly allowed companies to suggest options using teaming agreements, and the RFP’s analysis procedures contemplated the consideration of teaming companions. Id. at 72‑73.
We predict the one cheap interpretation of the solicitation is that supplied by the SEC. The language addressing using teaming companions beneath the company/subsidiary expertise and the previous efficiency components in all fairness learn to restrict or situation the extent of teaming companion utilization beneath solely these components. Because the remaining components didn’t handle teaming companions, the company’s consideration of teaming companion capabilities beneath these components was not restricted or conditioned in any manner. Studying the solicitation because the protester suggests produces an absurd consequence; that’s, the company could be barred from evaluating features of a proposal addressing the involvement of entities presumably performing virtually half of the work known as for on this 10‑yr, multibillion greenback contract. As such, this protest floor is denied.
The Company’s Analysis of C2 Alaska’s Proposal was Affordable
CBF Companions additionally challenges the SEC’s analysis of C2 Alaska’s IDIQ technical proposal beneath the primary three non‑worth components.[10] Protest at 20‑24; Supp. Protest at 5‑6; Feedback at 9‑10, 26‑28. We focus on a consultant pattern of those challenges beneath. As beforehand talked about, we’ve reviewed all the protester’s allegations and discover no foundation to maintain the protest.
CBF Companions argues that C2 Alaska’s IDIQ technical proposal ought to have been rated as “doesn’t meet” beneath the company/subsidiary expertise issue. Protest at 24; Supp. Protest at 5; Feedback at 26‑27. The protester alleges that the company’s analysis of C2 Alaska’s proposal displays the expertise of two affiliated corporations wholly owned by C2 Alaska’s dad or mum firm, and that C2 Alaska’s proposal doesn’t reveal that these entities will play a considerable position in performing the iPASS 2.0 contract. Feedback at 26‑27. Since using teaming companion expertise was restricted beneath this issue to these taking part in a “substantial position” in touch efficiency, the protester asserts that the company’s analysis was unreasonable. Id. The problem right here is whether or not C2 Alaska’s proposal incorporates enough proof to reveal the substantial involvement of its associates. We conclude that it does.
The place a protester challenges an company’s analysis of company expertise, we evaluation the analysis to find out if it was cheap, per the acknowledged analysis standards, and adequately documented. Addx Corp., B‑414749 et al., Aug. 28, 2017, 2017 CPD ¶ 275 at 7. An company might attribute the expertise of a dad or mum or affiliated firm to the offeror the place the agency’s proposal demonstrates that the sources of the dad or mum or affiliate will have an effect on the efficiency of the offeror. Inquiries, Inc., B‑418486, et al., Might 27, 2020, 2020 CPD ¶ 182 at 8. The related consideration is whether or not the sources of the dad or mum or affiliated firm‑‑its workforce, administration, amenities, or different sources‑‑will probably be offered or relied upon for contract efficiency such that the dad or mum or affiliate could have significant involvement in contract efficiency. Id.; see Fluor Daniel, Inc., B‑262051, B‑262051.2, Nov. 21, 1995, 95‑2 CPD ¶ 241 at 12. We’ve got beforehand discovered cheap an company’s resolution to attribute the expertise of affiliated entities to an offeror the place an affiliate’s staff have been used as key personnel and the place an affiliate dedicated its monetary sources to performing the contract at situation. See IAP-Hill, LLC, B‑406289 et al., Apr. 4, 2012, 2012 CPD ¶ 151 at 3‑5.
Below the company/subsidiary expertise issue, the RFP required every offeror to offer an general description of its personnel sources and any teaming preparations that handle the offeror’s expertise associated to the iPASS 2.0 necessities. RFP at 67. Descriptions of personnel sources have been required to deal with schooling, work expertise, and any particular {qualifications}. Id. Reliance on the expertise of subsidiaries or associates wholly owned by the offeror’s dad or mum firm was allowed the place these entities would play a considerable position in contract efficiency. Id. The analysis of proposals was to “concentrate on the energy and depth of the Offeror’s work expertise, because it pertains to the necessities of [the] RFP.” Id. at 74.
Related right here, C2 Alaska’s proposal acknowledged:
[Affiliate 1] and [deleted] [(Affiliate 2)], fellow subsidiaries of C2 Alaska and wholly owned subsidiaries of Chenega Company, could have a considerable position in efficiency of the SEC’s iPASS 2.0 contract by way of their roles as subcontractors, personnel sources transferring to C2 Alaska, and shared company sources. Moreover, significant involvement and dedication is demonstrated by the executed Contractor Efficiency Help Agreements[.]
AR, Exh. 3a, C2 Alaska IDIQ Technical Quantity at 76.[11] The proposal included signed agreements between C2 Alaska, Affiliate 1, and Affiliate 2. Id. at 149‑150. These agreements dedicated each Affiliate 1 and Affiliate 2 to have significant involvement in performing the iPASS 2.0 contract. Id.
When the company evaluated C2 Alaska’s company/subsidiary expertise, it credited C2 Alaska with expertise of its associates. AR, Exh. 7, SSDD at 13. For instance, C2 Alaska obtained a energy beneath this issue for its teaming preparations since Affiliate 1 is the incumbent on the iPASS pilot contract and the SEC discovered that this could “guarantee continuity of labor with out lack of effectivity[.]” Id.
We conclude that the company’s resolution to attribute the expertise of Affiliate 1 and Affiliate 2 to C2 Alaska was cheap. Our evaluation of the report exhibits that these two associates have affirmatively dedicated themselves to substantial involvement within the iPASS 2.0 contract, by, for instance, offering managers and help employees, containing prices, sharing info techniques expertise, and implementing high quality administration techniques. AR, Exh. 3a, C2 Alaska IDIQ Technical Quantity at 76, 149‑150. The agreements signed by each associates with C2 Alaska affirmatively state that Affiliate 1 and Affiliate 2 will play a considerable position in efficiency of the iPASS 2.0 contract. See id. Additional, the contemporaneous report sufficiently explains the company’s analysis of C2 Alaska’s proposal beneath the company/subsidiary expertise issue.[12] See AR, Exh. 7, SSDD at 12‑13. This protest floor is denied.
CBF Companions Can’t Set up Aggressive Prejudice
Lastly, CBF Companions challenges two of the weaknesses assigned to its IDIQ technical proposal beneath the administration method and capabilities issue.[13] See AR, Exh. 7, SSDD at 17‑18 (detailing these weaknesses). The protester argues that the company unreasonably assessed weaknesses for CBF Companions’s proposed method to recruitment and retention and for the supposed complexity of its administration construction. Protest at 10, 11, 12‑16; Feedback at 2‑9. With regard to the second weak spot, CBF Companions additional alleges that the SEC disparately evaluated its proposal as in contrast with C2 Alaska’s proposal, as, based on the protester, C2 Alaska proposed an identical administration construction and was not assigned a weak spot. Feedback at 9. Right here, even when the protester have been to reach these arguments, we discover no chance of aggressive prejudice.
Aggressive prejudice is an important component of each viable protest. twenty second Century Techs., Inc., B‑412547 et al., Mar. 18, 2016, 2016 CPD ¶ 93 at 9. The place the protester fails to reveal that, however for the company’s actions, it could have a considerable probability of receiving the award, there isn’t a foundation for locating prejudice, and our Workplace won’t maintain the protest. Id.
Even when we have been to agree with the protester on these grounds, the consequence would solely influence CBF Companions’s technical ranking beneath the administration method and capabilities issue. At greatest, the protester’s ranking beneath this issue could be upgraded to the very best ranking of “exceeds.” Even with this elevated ranking, CBF Companions could be decrease‑rated than C2 Alaska beneath the enterprise continuity plan issue and the previous efficiency issue, and equally rated beneath the company/subsidiary expertise issue and the administration method and capabilities issue. See AR, Exh. 7, SSDD at 8, 11‑18, 24, 32‑34. CBF Companions’s job order proposal would stay decrease‑rated and better‑priced than C2 Alaska’s. Id.
For these causes, we conclude that CBF Companions is unable to reveal that it could have a considerable probability of award, and thus, is unable to reveal aggressive prejudice. Accordingly, we deny the challenges to those weaknesses.
The protest is denied.
Edda Emmanuelli Perez
Basic Counsel
[1] Part 8(a) of the Small Enterprise Act, 15 U.S.C. § 637(a), establishes the 8(a) Enterprise Improvement Program. 13 C.F.R. § 124.1. The aim of the 8(a) program is to help eligible small deprived enterprise issues compete within the American financial system although enterprise growth. Id.
[2] The contracting officer explains that the solicitation was amended a complete of 5 instances. Mixed Contracting Officer’s Assertion and Memorandum of Regulation (COS/MOL) at 36. Modification 0004, launched as a conformed solicitation, was issued on Might 25. Id. at 36‑37. The contracting officer explains that modification 0005 didn’t include any substantive adjustments. Id. Our citations to the RFP cite to modification 0004. See Company Resp. to Req. for Dismissal, exh. 2, RFP.
[3] iPASS stands for built-in skilled acquisition help providers. RFP at 3. iPASS 2.0 is the successor contract to the iPASS pilot contract. See COS/MOL at 36.
[4] Citations to the SSDD consult with the Adobe PDF web page numbers.
[5] The company/subsidiary expertise issue and the administration method and capabilities issue used a ranking scale of: exceeds, meets, or doesn’t meet. AR, Exh. 7, SSDD at 7. The enterprise continuity plan issue used a scale of: extremely possible, reasonably possible, or unlikely. Id. at 7‑8. The previous efficiency issue used a scale of: meets, doesn’t meet, or impartial. Id. at 8. IDIQ technical volumes didn’t obtain an general ranking. See id. at 7‑8; RFP at 73‑75.
[6] The protester makes numerous collateral arguments. Whereas we don’t handle every of the allegations raised, we’ve reviewed all of them and discover no foundation to maintain the protest.
[7] The protester additionally argues that the company’s analysis of the minimal expertise requirement is inadequately documented. We deny this problem as properly. The contemporaneous report demonstrates that the company verified every offeror’s compliance with the necessities of the particular discover as required by the particular discover and solicitation. See Supp. AR, Exh. 11, Go/No‑Go Dedication at 2.
[8] As a part of the unique protest allegation, CBF Companions argued that C2 Alaska lacks that capability to carry out no less than 51% of the work. Protest at 28. After the company stories have been filed, the protester revised this argument and targeted on the reasonableness of the company’s analysis of C2 Alaska’s subcontracting plan and the documentation contained within the contemporaneous report. See Feedback at 17‑19. To the extent that CBF Companions challenged C2 Alaska’s capability to carry out 51 % of the required work, we discover that the argument was deserted.
[9] Citations to C2 Alaska’s teaming settlement are to the Adobe PDF web page numbers.
[10] The unique protest additionally challenged the company’s analysis of C2 Alaska’s proposal beneath the previous efficiency issue. See Protest at 26‑27. Though the memorandum of regulation didn’t present an in depth response to this problem, the company report incorporates contemporaneous documentation explaining the analysis of C2 Alaska’s previous efficiency. AR, Exh. 6, TEP Consensus Report at 9; AR, Exh. 7, SSDD at 15‑16. Because the protester didn’t pursue this allegation in its feedback, we deem this floor deserted and won’t handle it additional. See Enter. Sols. Realized, Inc.; Unissant, Inc., B‑409642, B‑409642.2, June 23, 2014, 2014 CPD ¶ 201 at 5 n.6.
[11] Citations to C2 Alaska’s IDIQ technical quantity are to the Adobe PDF web page numbers.
[12] We word that the protester doesn’t problem any particular features of C2 Alaska’s proposal beneath this issue, reasonably, it merely challenges the company’s consideration of the awardee’s associates.
[13] In its protest, CBF Companions challenged a number of features of the company’s analysis of its proposal. See Protest at 10‑19. The protester expressly deserted a number of of those challenges. Feedback at 1 n.1, 2 n.2. Our dialogue right here addresses the remaining challenges to the company’s analysis of CBF Companions’s proposal.
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