Protest spotlight

By John Liang / April 2, 2018 at 3:40 PM

(This occasional feature highlights protests decided by the Government Accountability Office.)

Agency: Army

Awardee: Mantech Advanced Systems International

Protesters: Booz Allen Hamilton, Altamira Technologies Corp.

What GAO found: Booz Allen Hamilton and Altamira Technologies Corp. protested the Army's award of an analytical support services contract to Mantech Advanced Systems International, taking issue with the service's evaluation of "staffing and cost/price proposals, as well as the best-value tradeoff decision."

Booz Allen, Altamira, Mantech and three others submitted bids to the service, according to GAO's decision.

Booz Allen and Altamira claimed that Mantech "failed to comply with solicitation requirement to provide pricing for all proposed subcontractors," but GAO states in its decision that "the solicitation required pricing only for subcontractors proposed to perform the required level of effort identified in the pricing matrix."

The protesters also claimed that the Army "failed to appropriately assess the realism of the awardee's labor rates," but GAO found "the record shows that the agency took into consideration the unique features of the proposal."

Additionally, Altamira and Booz Allen asserted the Army "treated offerors unequally with respect to its cost realism analysis," but GAO found the service "reasonably upwardly adjusted the protester's labor rates because the protester failed to adequately support the rates, and did not adjust the awardee's subcontractors' rates because they were fixed ceiling rates."

Booz Allen and Altamira also took issue with the Army's alleged failure "to engage in meaningful discussions," but GAO ruled the Army "found the protester's overhead rates to be fair and reasonable."

Additionally, GAO shot down Booz Allen's and Altamira's claim that the Army "unreasonably assigned a weakness to an offeror's proposal" regarding staffing at certain facilities that were redacted out of the public cersion of the decision.

Read the full decision here, which was issued Dec. 11, 2017 but released publicly in redacted form the following March 28.