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DTRA's lack of documentation draws GAO's ire

The Government Accountability Office has sharply rebuked the Defense Threat Reduction Agency for the way it handled the evaluations for a contract to help the agency assess nuclear weapon systems.

Among several issues GAO found, one was that DTRA allowed the ultimate winner in CENTRA to exceed the page limits on some of the resumes it submitted. DTRA’s argument to GAO was that if it extracted the text and the margins, the content would have fit on two pages instead of three.

As you can imagine, GAO did not like that one bit. “The agency does not cite to any authority to support its argument, nor can we find any, that would permit evaluators to extract and manipulate the text of an offeror’s proposal in order to satisfy the pagination requirements set forth in an RFP,” GAO wrote.

CENTRA first won the five-year, $61.8 million contract in June over five other bidders that included incumbent ENSCO and another challenger in PAE. Both ENSCO and PAE filed protests with GAO.

In its protest, PAE complained about how DTRA marked weaknesses in the company's small business plan as well as for one of its subject matter experts. GAO said this was unreasonable because DTRA didn’t document how it made that judgment.

In another area, DTRA didn’t follow the evaluation criteria set forth in the solicitation.

GAO also dinged DTRA's cost realism evaluation because the agency didn’t document how it reached its conclusions.

“The record only contains conclusory statements about the results of the cost evaluation, but does not provide any details about the substance of the evaluation,” GAO wrote.

That failure prejudiced ENSCO, according to GAO.

Of the three companies, ENSCO had the highest bid at $79 million. CENTRA’s bid was $61.8 million and PAE came in at $53.7 million.

GAO wants DTRA to redo the evaluations including management approach, cost realism and a new best-value tradeoff analysis. CENTRA could still win but let’s hope DTRA writes everything down this time.

Posted by Nick Wakeman on Dec 11, 2017 at 1:08 PM

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