In re: Blinderman Construction Co., Inc.
This protest demonstrated that the Army's failure to award the contract to Blinderman Construction (Blinderman) was unreasonable in several respects. Most notably, the process inadvertently unduly restricted competition by requiring definitive selection criteria that went beyond the statutory intent of the Small Business Act, 13 CFR § 121 et seq. Further, because of the undue restriction, the Army failed to properly evaluate Blinderman's bid under the requirements of a Best Value Decision using a Price Performance Trade Off Process utilizing their Source Selection Procedures enunciated in the solicitation at Section 00112, beginning at page 8 of 208. See Exh. 1. Additionally, the most highly rated offeror, The Sheffield-Korte JV, rated slightly higher than Blinderman, triggering the Trade-off procedures. It should be also noted that the published target ceiling for this project was $22,340,000.00 and while Blinderman's bid conformed to this target ceiling, Sheffield-Korte's did not. Finally, because Factor I, past performance, required projects to be submitted that exceeded the requirements under the small business Act's Limitations in Subcontracting provisions, and this factor was listed as most important in order of importance, the requirement had an even greater effect on small business in general. Because the Army failed to properly evaluate the trade-off criteria in the source selection documents, and unduly restricted competition, the Army did not properly evaluate and score Blinderman's proposal.
The Army determined to take corrective action and reevaluate the proposals and as a result Blinderman was awarded the contract.
Practice area(s): Administrative Law, Construction / Development, Contracts / Agreements, Government, Lawsuits / Disputes, Litigation, Administrative Law
Court: Government Accounting Office