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MacB falls short in bid to keep incumbent Army contract

MacAulay-Brown has failed in its attempt to convince the Government Accountability Office that the Army didn’t follow its own solicitation when it picked Deloitte & Touche for cyber analytics services.

According to the GAO decision, MacB’s bid was significantly higher at $100.4 million compared of Deloitte's of $54.9 million.

The Army liked both bids, giving them both strengths and no weaknesses and rating them “outstanding” under the non-price factors. The Army picked Deloitte’s lower price because it couldn’t justify paying an 82.7-percent premium for an evenly-rated proposal.

But in its protest, MacB said that the Army’s price realism evaluation was unreasonable. The company also claimed that the Army changed its requirements before the award to Deloitte and that the Army used a simplified acquisition procedure.

On the price realism analysis, MacB alleged that Deloitte’s bid was so low it wouldn’t cover the cost of the ongoing work under the incumbent contract, which it holds.

But while the Army says it didn’t perform a formal price realism evaluation, it did compare the prices bid on the fixed price contract by developing an independent government cost estimate, or ICGE. Deloitte’s price was 10-percent higher than what the IGCE estimated, which led the Army to decide that price was reasonable.

The Army also argued that the new contract has a narrower scope than the incumbent contract, such as hosting infrastructure, artificial intelligence and development of an advanced dashboard.

GAO rejected MacB’s argument that the price analysis was flawed. “We find we have no basis to question the reasonableness of the agency’s IGCE, and, by extension, the agency’s price evaluation,” GAO wrote.

MacB also argued that the requirements changed after proposals were submitted but before award. The Army told the bidders that one of four infrastructures would not be available to deploy the solution.

But the Army says the company is misrepresenting its communication. The work on the infrastructure was being cancelled under another contract and not this specific one in question. GAO ruled there was no change in requirements.

On the streamlined acquisition question, MacB failed to convince GAO on that one as well. The company claimed that Deloitte would not be able to deploy its solution to the cloud without MacB’s software, which they don’t have permission to use. Deloitte should have been dinged for this, according to MacB.

But GAO rejected MacB’s assertion that no other firm could meet the cloud requirement because the Army competed the contract as full and open. And the time to protest that point was before proposals were submitted. GAO found that MacB was “untimely” in raising this point.

With the protest denied, transition of the work from MacB to Deloitte can begin.

Posted by Nick Wakeman on Apr 08, 2019 at 1:12 PM

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