Bid Evaluation

Friday, November 2nd, 2012



There is a large undercurrent of complaints about the bid evaluation practices in the UK Public Sector. We are aware of widespread dissatisfaction with:

I.            the actual process

II.            the arrangement feedback given to unsuccessful bidders

III.            the point blank refusal to have face to face debriefs and

IV.            the potential for swinging decisions to a favourite supplier.

Our readers will be interested in the information on the US Government Accountability Office (Legal Decisions & Bid Protests) website. We have had reason to research the Emergint Technologies Inc. B – 407006 decision dated Oct 18, 2012. In this, the protestor argued that the evaluation of its proposal and the agency’s source selection trade-off determination were unreasonable. The protest was sustained. The recommendation is that the agency re-evaluate the protestor’s proposal and make a new price/technical trade-off decision. In terms of price, it was not insignificant. The successful bidder’s price was $78,992,868. The protestor’s price is deleted in the report. There are some illuminating points. “The evaluators also observed that the protestor’s total evaluated price was lower than the government estimate.” The critical reader will now say, “So what?” They would also ask who produced the estimate. They would also ask if the evaluators actually know how many different pricing strategies there are, including penetration pricing.

There was a technical evaluation panel who reviewed the proposals. The winning bidder’s total score was 87.6 and the protestors total score was 79.3. The protestor challenged the agency’s evaluation of its technical proposal, arguing that many of the weaknesses identified by the evaluators were based on an incomplete or incorrect reading of the proposal (our emphasis). Specific examples are cited to make the allegation substantial.

One of the weaknesses identified in the protestor’s bid was that they were PMing projects on a task order. The panel found this was an erroneous assumption and a lack of understanding. The protestor’s challenge was accepted by the Agency who then argued that the error, whilst in error, had not disadvantaged the protestor. The ‘legal decision’ panel found to the contrary, adding that “This argument is not supported by the underlying record.” and “We do not agree with the agency that the protestor suffered no prejudice.” There is a lot more where that comes from!

BFL send a message to evaluation panels in the UK. You are being watched!

We also make some predictions:

  1. There will be many more challenges under the Remedies Directive.
  2. Some evaluation outcomes will not stand scrutiny.
  3. Some evaluation panel members are going through the motions and not applying sufficient due care and attention.

The public sector will, increasingly, shut out SMEs because of the false safety regulator that only large firms can deliver government services (if you don’t believe us check the amount of aggregation contracts playing into the hands of companies such as Capita, BT and others).

So, what can we do for you?  We can probably help you achieve your objectives – through our consultancy, training and coaching services – let’s start a conversation.

If you can spend a few minutes on the phone with me, I can assess the potential ROI of working with us.

If this is interesting to you, please email me and I’ll set something up.

Or call me on 01744 20698