Synergy Enterprise Innovation & Options, Inc.–Reconsideration


The choice issued on the date beneath was topic to a GAO Protecting Order. This redacted model has been authorized for public launch.


Matter of:  Synergy Enterprise Innovation & Options, Inc.–Reconsideration

File:  B-419812.3

Date:  December 15, 2021

Anuj Vohra, Esq., Christian N. Curran, Esq., and William B. O’Reilly, Esq., Crowell & Moring LLP, for the requester.
Tyler Ellis, Esq., Elin Dugan, Esq., and Azine Farzami, Esq., United States Division of Agriculture, for the company.
Charmaine A. Stevenson, Esq., and John Sorrenti, Esq., Workplace of the Common Counsel, GAO, participated within the preparation of the choice.


Request for reconsideration is dismissed the place the requesting social gathering fails both to show that our prior choice incorporates errors of reality or legislation, or to current new data not beforehand thought-about that might warrant reversal or modification of prior choice.

Synergy Enterprise Innovation & Options, Inc., an 8(a) small enterprise of Reston, Virginia, requests that we rethink our choice in Alpha Omega Integration, LLC,
B-419812, B-419812.2, Aug. 10, 2021, 2021 CPD ¶ 302.  In that call, we sustained Alpha Omega’s protest of the issuance of a process order to Synergy, beneath request for quotations (RFQ) No. 12314421Q0006, issued by america Division of Agriculture (USDA) for Enterprise Utility Programs (EAS) Data Expertise Help Companies.  Synergy contends that our choice incorporates an error of legislation as a result of it failed to handle proof within the document that demonstrates Alpha Omega is ineligible for award.

We dismiss the request for reconsideration. 

On February 3, 2021, the company issued the solicitation for USDA EAS, beneath the provisions of Federal Acquisition Regulation subpart 16.5, to corporations holding Chief Data Workplace-Options and Companions 3 (CIO-SP3) governmentwide acquisition contracts (GWAC), as an 8(a) set-aside.  Alpha Omega Integration, LLC, supra at 2.  The solicitation anticipated the issuance of a fixed-price, labor-hour process order beneath the CIO-SP3 small enterprise GWAC for one base yr and 4 1-year choice durations.  Id.  Award was to be made utilizing a best-value tradeoff, contemplating previous efficiency, technical, and oral shows (listed in descending degree of significance), and worth.  Id.  The RFQ acknowledged that non-price components, when mixed, have been extra essential than worth.  Id. at 2-3.

The RFQ acknowledged that the analysis would contain two phases.  Id. at 3.  Underneath section 1, the company would consider previous efficiency references for distributors, together with previous efficiency references for main subcontractors, teaming companions and/or joint ventures.  Id.  Previous efficiency could be evaluated with regard to magnitude, complexity, and similarity in comparison with the EAS requirement, and assigned general previous efficiency confidence rankings, as follows:  substantial confidence, passable confidence, restricted confidence, no confidence, or unknown confidence.  Id.  In section 2, the company would carry out an advisory “down-select,” and consider the remaining quotations beneath the technical method, oral shows, and worth components.  Id.  The RFQ acknowledged that the company deliberate to ask three distributors to take part in section 2 and inform the remaining distributors that they have been unlikely to be a viable competitor for award.  Id.   

The company obtained eight quotations in response to the RFQ, together with quotations from Alpha Omega and Synergy.  Id. at 4.  The company carried out the section 1 analysis of previous efficiency and invited three vendors–including Alpha Omega and Synergy–to take part in section 2.  Id.  Alpha Omega and Synergy submitted section 2 quotations, and the company’s last analysis of the quotations was as follows:


Alpha Omega


Previous Efficiency

Substantial Confidence

Substantial Confidence

Technical Strategy

Excessive Confidence

Excessive Confidence

Oral Presentation

Some Confidence

Some Confidence

LCAT Pricing (CLINs 1, 2, 12)[[1]]



Staff-Primarily based Pricing (1, 2, 12)



Staff-Primarily based Pricing (3-11)




Id.  The contracting officer, who additionally served because the supply choice authority, chosen Synergy for the duty order award.  Id. at 5-6.

On Could 3, Alpha Omega filed a protest with this Workplace.  Amongst different issues, the agency argued that the company’s best-value tradeoff choice was unreasonable, inadequately documented, and did not justify the company’s conclusion that Synergy’s citation warranted paying a worth premium.  On August 10, our Workplace sustained the protest as a result of we concluded that the supply choice authority failed to offer an sufficient rationale for the tradeoff willpower, and thus, we couldn’t conclude that the choice choice was affordable.  Id. at 7.  We really useful that the company conduct and doc a brand new best-value tradeoff evaluation, in line with our choice.  Id. at 9.

On August 18, Synergy requested that we rethink our choice to maintain Alpha Omega’s protest.  Req. for Recon. at 1.  Synergy contends that proof within the document “confirms” that Alpha Omega was ineligible for award as a result of its proposal did not adjust to the RFQ’s previous efficiency submission necessities, proof which our Workplace failed to handle when sustaining the protest.  Id. at 1-2.  Synergy argues that this omission constitutes an error of legislation as a result of Alpha Omega’s ineligibility for award eliminates any chance of prejudice to Alpha Omega regardless of the failings our Workplace recognized within the best-value tradeoff choice.  Id. at 4.

Underneath our Bid Protest Laws, to acquire reconsideration, the requesting social gathering should set out the factual and authorized grounds upon which reversal or modification of the choice is deemed warranted, specifying any errors of legislation made or data not beforehand thought-about.  4 C.F.R. § 21.14(a); see additionally The i4 Group Consulting, LLC–Recon.,
B-418842.2, Oct. 8, 2020, 2020 CPD ¶ 326 at 3.  The repetition of arguments made throughout our consideration of the unique protest and disagreement with our prior choice don’t meet this commonplace.  Gunnison Consulting Grp., Inc.–Recon., B-418876.5,
Feb. 4, 2021, 2021 CPD ¶ 101 at 3.  Our Workplace will summarily dismiss a request for reconsideration that doesn’t meet this commonplace.  4 C.F.R. § 21.14(c); see, e.g., AeroSage, LLC–Recon., B-417247.4, July 9, 2019, 2019 CPD ¶ 251 at 3.

Right here, Synergy’s request for reconsideration repeats arguments made throughout our consideration of Alpha Omega’s protest and disagrees with our choice.  In its feedback on the company report, Synergy argued that the protester was ineligible for award as a result of Alpha Omega’s previous efficiency proposal didn’t embrace the required minimal of 5 references for the prime contractor and its main subcontractors, teaming companions, and/or joint ventures.  Intervenor Feedback at 2-9.  In keeping with Synergy, Alpha Omega’s citation included solely 4 of the 5 required references as a result of Alpha Omega’s fifth reference was for an ostensible father or mother firm of Alpha Omega’s sole main subcontractor.  Id. at 5. 

On this foundation, Synergy argued that the protest needs to be denied as a result of “had the Company acknowledged this shortcoming in [Alpha Omega’s quotation], USDA would have rejected the [quotation] outright or, at a minimal, assigned [Alpha Omega] a decrease score beneath the RFQ’s most essential analysis issue, precluding any chance of prejudice.”  Id. at 9; see additionally Intervenor Supp. Feedback at 3 (“[Alpha Omega’s quotation] ought to have been discovered non-responsive and by no means made it previous the primary section of the analysis.”).  Regardless of this argument, our choice concluded as follows:  “Primarily based on this document, we discover that the company did not conduct an sufficient tradeoff and that this failure competitively prejudiced Alpha Omega, on condition that its citation had the bottom evaluated worth and presumably may have been considered as the perfect worth citation on that foundation.”  Alpha Omega Integration, LLC, supra at 8.

Whereas our Workplace opinions all points raised by protesters, our choices could not essentially deal with with specificity each problem raised; this follow is in line with the statutory mandate that our bid protest discussion board present for “the cheap and expeditious decision of protests.”  See Entry Decoding, Inc., B-413990.2, June 12, 2018, 2018 CPD ¶ 224 at 4.  Likewise, though our overview of protests essentially consists of the consideration of arguments made by an intervenor permitted to take part within the protest, see 4 C.F.R. § 21.3(c), our choices additionally often don’t deal with these arguments.  Right here, we dismiss Synergy’s request for reconsideration as a result of the repetition of its argument made throughout our consideration of the underlying protest, and disagreement with our choice, don’t meet our commonplace for granting the request.  See Gunnison Consulting Grp., Inc.–Recon., supra.

Citing our choice in VS2, LLC, B-418942.4, B-418942.5, Feb. 25, 2021, 2021 CPD
¶ 108, Synergy moreover argues that our failure to handle its argument constitutes an error of legislation “as a result of GAO has beforehand instructed that intervenors should proactively establish flaws in a protester’s proposal that might defeat a displaying of prejudice, or else are deemed to have waived such arguments.”  Req. for Recon. at 4.  We disagree with this characterization. 

VS2, LLC introduced a singular set of info the place the solicitation introduced a low-cost/worth, technically acceptable foundation for award to the offeror that was discovered technically acceptable beneath the technical and small enterprise participation plan components, and obtained a considerable confidence score beneath the previous efficiency issue.  VS2, LLC, supra at 2; see additionally Vectrus Mission Options Corp.; Vanquish Worldwide, LLC, B-418942 et al., Oct. 27, 2020, 2021 CPD ¶ 87 at 2 n.3 (indicating that the solicitation expressly acknowledged that price/technical tradeoffs wouldn’t be made).  As acknowledged there, we sustained Vectrus’s protest in opposition to the preliminary award to VS2 as a result of the company improperly utilized an upward most possible price adjustment that resulted in Vectrus’s proposal not having the bottom price/worth; however for this error, Vectrus was entitled to award beneath the specific phrases of the solicitation, thus we really useful that the company award the duty order to Vectrus if in any other case correct.  VS2, LLC, supra at 2-3. 

We later dismissed VS2’s protest of the company’s subsequent award to Vectrus as premature, partly, as a result of VS2 for the primary time raised arguments difficult the company’s analysis of Vectrus’s previous efficiency that, if made throughout Vectrus’s protest, would have constituted a well timed procedural problem to Vectrus’s standing as an social gathering with standing to file its protest.  Id. at 4-5.  We additional concluded that VS2’s protest was an premature request for reconsideration of our choice to maintain Vectrus’s protest and suggest that Vectrus obtain the award.  Id. at 6.

In contrast to VS2, LLC, right here the solicitation states that the premise for award will probably be a best-value tradeoff the place the non-price components are extra essential than worth.  Extra importantly, in sustaining Alpha Omega’s protest, our Workplace didn’t suggest that the company make an award to Alpha Omega.  In any occasion, the contemporaneous document filed by the company didn’t help Synergy’s argument.  On the contrary, the document confirmed that the company thought-about 5 previous efficiency references included in Alpha Omega’s citation, assigned a score of considerable confidence, and invited the agency to take part in section 2 of the procurement.  Alpha Omega Integration, LLC, supra at 4; Company Report, Exh. 24, Analysis Staff Suggestion Memo at 10.  Certainly, Synergy’s argument represents its disagreement with the company’s analysis of the protester’s citation, specifically, the company’s acceptance of one of many previous efficiency references included in Alpha Omega’s citation for its main subcontractor beneath the phrases of the RFQ. 

Since we now have sustained Alpha Omega’s protest and really useful that the company conduct and doc a brand new best-value tradeoff analysis–as against recommending award to the protester, as within the Vectrus decision–our Workplace won’t opine on the propriety of the company’s analysis of Alpha Omega’s citation presently.  Because the company has but to implement its corrective motion, any problem to the company’s analysis of Alpha Omega’s citation is untimely.[2]  Nonetheless, in mild of Synergy’s request for reconsideration, the company could select to handle its acceptance of Alpha Omega’s citation beneath the phrases of the RFQ in its corrective motion, as acceptable.

The request for reconsideration is dismissed.

Edda Emmanuelli Perez
Common Counsel


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