I recently spoke on a panel in which we covered some of the common mistakes contractors make in their proposal process that create issues preventing them from receiving an award. One of the topics discussed was the importance of strictly following the instructions of a solicitation in preparing and submitting your proposal. Contractors are always seeking an edge to differentiate themselves from the competition. Differentiation in the form of a snazzy graphic, or some truly innovative solution will rarely get a contractor into trouble. However, this quest to stand out could sometimes result in a contractor trying so hard to be clever in its reading of the solicitation that it ends up only outsmarting itself, and potentially jeopardizing its opportunity to win the award.
This appears to have been the case in a recent decision issued by GAO in LOGMET LLC, B-412220.2, December 23, 2015. LOGMET LLC involved a solicitation issued by the Army for logistics services at Fort Rucker, Alabama and Eglin Air Force Base, Florida. The protest involved a challenge to the Army's decision to eliminate the protester from the competition on the basis of a non-compliant proposal. At issue was the cost/price matrix submitted by the protester, and whether it conformed to the solicitation's requirements.
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