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ManTech gets second shot at $800M DIA support contract

ManTech International will get another shot at a Defense Intelligence Agency contract now that it has convinced the Government Accountability Office that the source selection decision was flawed.

Well, GAO didn’t exactly say the decision was flawed. But DIA hurt its case by not providing enough information to GAO to show why the Buffalo Group was chosen for a the task order under the Enhanced Solutions for the IT Enterprise contract, also known as E-SITE.

DIA released a solicitation last March to move regionally provided IT services to an enterprise wide approach. The managed services contract would support global intelligence and command and control assets. The task was competed as a best-value competition.

Some of the requirements included program management, testing and transition planning.

Buffalo Group won the contract with a bid of $771.2 million. ManTech came in with a bid of $846.2 million.

The source selection authority found that ManTech’s proposal was “Slightly Technically Superior” to the Buffalo Group. ManTech also had a “Low” rating for performance risk and Buffalo Group’s rating was “Moderate.”

But Buffalo Group was picked as the “best value.” The source selection authority wrote:

While there is considerable distinction between the technical proposals, and while award to The Buffalo Group may not result in the best performance possible, I have determined after careful assessment that the additional strengths provided by ManTech’s proposal do not warrant paying a significant premium of $74,921,365 (9.71%) above the price offered by The Buffalo Group.

But the problem from GAO’s perspective was that DIA never backed up its claim of “careful assessment.”

In its protest, ManTech argued that the source selection authority didn’t explain its selection decision fully. And GAO found much the same.

DIA provided a heavily redacted Source Selection Decision. “An agency’s overly aggressive efforts to limit document product can, as here, frustrate the mandate of the Competition in Contracting Act,” GAO wrote in its decision.

DIA didn’t provide a substantive comparison or analysis of the two proposals to show that ManTech’s proposal did not warrant the higher price, GAO said.

“Given the lack of meaningful comparison of the proposals, along with the lack of an explanation regarding why ManTech’s significantly higher technically rated proposal was not worth the price premium, we find the agency’s source selection decision to be unreasonable and sustain the protest on this basis,” GAO wrote.

In sustaining ManTech’s protest, GAO wants DIA to make a new source selection decision that has a documented comparative analysis of the proposals with the rationale for any cost or technical tradeoffs.

So ManTech has won another shot but that doesn’t mean it’ll ultimately win the contract. As we often see in bid protests, GAO wants to see the reasoning and logic used. And that goes for agency award decisions as well as the arguments companies used to challenge an award.

DIA may well pick the Buffalo Group again. It just has to do more in showing why.

Posted by Nick Wakeman on Feb 23, 2018 at 3:52 PM

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