In REB ROWE Services, LLC; General Services Administration–Reconsideration, B-410001.6; B-410001.7 (Apr. 4, 2016), the Government Accountability Office (GAO) recently denied a request for reconsideration and clarified that protest grounds are interpreted broadly for timeliness purposes.
This decision is a reminder for protestors and intervenors alike that seemingly untimely protest grounds may still be revived if they involve “the same essential elements” as timely filed protest allegations.
In the underlying procurement, the agency’s evaluation had determined the protestor’s price was unrealistic and assessed performance risk based upon the unrealistically low price. The initial protest was timely filed, and the protestor filed comments on the agency report 11 days after the agency report was filed. The protestor did not specifically invoke price realism until it filed its comments.
GAO sustained the protest based on the agency’s unreasonable price realism analysis, holding that the agency failed to evaluate the protestor’s unique staffing approach during the price realism analysis; “instead [the agency] simply compared [the protestor’s] price to the government estimate and other offerors’ prices.”