DHS prevails in the first of many EAGLE II protests

Tuesday - 2/4/2014, 3:34am EST

The Homeland Security Department came out on top on the first of more than three dozen protests of the massive EAGLE II IT services contract.

The Government Accountability Office Monday denied the protest of ICF International, saying DHS' "evaluation was reasonable and in accord with the terms of the solicitation."

ICF protested the awards under the program support services functional category (FC-2), not FC-1 for service delivery. Under FC-1, 46 unsuccessful bidders protested to GAO before DHS decided to reconsider the bids.

DHS awarded contracts to 11 vendors on Aug. 1 under the unrestricted portion of FC-2 of the enterprise acquisition gateway for leading edge solutions (EAGLE II). The contract has a $22 billion ceiling over the seven-year contract.

"The source selection authority (SSA) concluded that ICF 'did not present a sufficient combination of non-price and price attributes to be considered to represent the best value to the government,'" GAO wrote in its decision. "Instead, the SSA determined that the 11 proposals recommended for award were the 'most highly rated and qualified offerors to support the EAGLE II program' and award was made to these offerors on July 31, 2013."

ICF, which ranked 17 out of 28 bidders, protested its exclusion from the contract, saying DHS "under counted" the number of FC-2 services that were related to its corporate experiences, because it received only a "satisfactory" rating.

The company also says it deserved a higher rating because its corporate experience examples related to more FC-2 services, as compared to some of the awardees.

GAO said it didn't review ICF's submission, but rather whether DHS' decision was reasonable.

"We have reviewed the record in its entirety and conclude that the agency's evaluation under the corporate experience factor was reasonable and in accord with the solicitation," GAO said. "Specifically, in considering the type of work contemplated by the performance work statement that offerors had previously performed, the agency assessed both the experience and the offerors' overall qualifications. DHS did not rely solely on a mathematical 'raw count' of FC2 services identified in the submissions, as the protester asserts."

ICF also had a higher overall price than nine of the 11 winners, and DHS rated it lower on the biggest non-price evaluation factor, GAO said.

"We see no basis to question the agency's determination that the 11 highest-rated proposals represented a better value to the government than did ICF's proposal," GAO stated.

An ICF spokesman said the company doesn't comment publicly on bid protest decisions.

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