Protest spotlight

By Marjorie Censer / November 18, 2020 at 12:38 PM

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

Agency: Army

Protester: Leidos

What GAO found: The Army earlier this year issued a request for task order proposals through the Solutions for Intelligence Analysis 3 -- or SIA-3 -- contract vehicle.

"The agency sought to procure analytical support services for Army counterintelligence, counter terrorism, and human intelligence operations," GAO writes in its decision.

GAO notes the RTOP said offerors "were required to identify the components of their labor rates, and were specifically cautioned that '[t]he Prime is responsible for ensuring that the subcontractor provide a full and complete labor rate build that provides complete transparency for the direct labor rate component and each indirect rate applied to it along with profit or fee regardless of contract type.'"

The Army rejected Leidos' proposal as noncompliant, GAO says, "because one of its subcontractors did not identify the components of its labor rates."

Leidos filed a bid protest, contending the agency did not adequately document its decision to reject the proposal and that the rejection was unreasonable because the company submitted fixed-price commercial rates and pledged to pay employees "in accordance with the minimum direct labor rates."

However, GAO dismisses these arguments and backs the service.

"[W]e conclude that the agency reasonably rejected the firm's proposal because our review confirms that Leidos did not submit full and complete labor rate information for one of its subcontractors," GAO writes. "While Leidos may argue that full and complete labor rates were unnecessary because the firm intended to comply with the agency's minimum direct labor rates, we do not find that argument persuasive since the firm was required to identify the labor rate components so that the agency could independently verify that aspect of the firm's proposal."

The protest was denied.

Read the decision here.