In Firstline Transportation Security, Inc. v. United States, 100 Fed.Cl. 359 (Sept. 27, 2011), the Court sustained a post-award bid protest, finding that the agency’s selection of a low-price technically inferior proposal in a best-value procurement was not justified.

Non-price factors were more important than price in the RFP. It was not sufficient for the government to simply state that the proposal’s technical superiority is not worth the payment of the price premium; instead, the government must explain specifically why it does not warrant the premium.

The Court concluded that the best-value analysis performed by the SSEB was both irrational and inconsistent with the evaluation scheme set forth in the RFP – and thus contrary to law. The errors had the effect of converting the best-value procurement contemplated under the RFP into one based on low price and mere technical acceptability.

“In a best-value procurement, the relevant question is not whether the lowest-priced proposal will meet the minimum technical requirements set forth in the RFP; rather, the government must determine which proposal represents the best value to the government.”

Contact Karen S. Hindson of Hindson & Melton LLC for your post-award bid protest questions.