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By Nick Wakeman

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Nick Wakeman

Deloitte loses FDA contract to Guidehouse after objections to resume

Below is a familiar pattern with bid protests.

A company loses a competition and then files a protest with the Government Accountability Office. The agency then takes a corrective action involving tweaks to a requirement, more discussions with bidders and so on. GAO dismisses the protest, then a new award goes to the original winner.

But that’s not the pattern the Food and Drug Administration followed with its $112 million blanket purchase agreement for IT services to support the agency's budget, acquisition and planning systems.

Deloitte won the BPA and Guidehouse filed a protest, then submitted a pair of supplements to that protest. The FDA then took a corrective action, amended the solicitation and held new exchanges with the two companies.

But this time, the FDA's second try at an award went to Guidehouse. Deloitte protested and lost, according to a new GAO decision.

Deloitte learned it was disqualified because the resume of a key person in its proposal didn’t have the amount of experience the solicitation required. Key personnel needed a minimum of 10 years of experience working with Oracle EPM, OBIEE framework or custom user interface applications.

In their proposal, Deloitte listed the person as having 21 years of experience and more than 10 years in each individual area.

But the FDA evaluation team that analyzed the person’s resume concluded he or she had 8.5 years of experience in Oracle EPM and OBIEE.

Deloitte argued the person worked with the technology before Oracle acquired Hyperion in 2007.

The FDA countered that it gave the person proper credit and landed on the lower number after removing time overlaps in the resume.

GAO rejected Deloitte’s arguments and said that while Deloitte provided an aggregate number of years of the person’s experience, details in the resume didn’t match that aggregate number.

“As such, we find no basis upon which to conclude that the agency was unreasonable in finding that Deloitte’s quotation was unacceptable,” GAO wrote.

So as I read this, does it mean Deloitte could have won if it had written a better resume?

Posted by Nick Wakeman on Jan 14, 2020 at 11:01 AM


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