The Insider

Protest spotlight

April 21, 2017 |
Marjorie Censer
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(This occasional feature highlights protests decided by the Government Accountability Office.)

Agency: Naval Facilities Engineering Command

Protester: Fluor Federal Solutions

What GAO found: Fluor Federal Solutions protested the terms of the request for proposals issued by the Navy for base operations support services at two Florida locations, arguing the solicitation's scope "is ambiguous, such that offerors cannot meaningfully price their proposals and proposals received cannot be meaningfully compared," according to GAO's report.

Fluor was the incumbent on the program, which it won in 2007, GAO notes. In August, the Navy released the new RFP; in December, Fluor filed its protest.

"Fluor alleges that the solicitation contains a patent ambiguity by failing to provide information sufficient for offerors to compete intelligently and on a relatively equal basis," GAO writes. "The protester contends that, in large part, the remedy to this ambiguity is for the agency to include Fluor’s proprietary data in the solicitation after Fluor has waived its rights in the data."

However, GAO disagreed, writing that it found "the RFP provides sufficiently detailed information to allow offerors to compete intelligently and on a relatively equal basis."

GAO also argues the Navy does not need to release Fluor's proprietary data.

"Overlooking the issue of whether the agency is obligated to release any data marked as 'proprietary,' Fluor has failed to articulate how this specific information -- which is largely in code – is necessary for offerors to respond to the solicitation," the report adds. "Furthermore, the data reflects Fluor's own technical approach, and it is not immediately clear how knowing whether Fluor was able to complete tasks on schedule would assist another offeror."

GAO partly denied and partly dismissed the protest. 

Read the decision here.

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