July 2017 Bid Protest Review™: The Challenger Can Have the Best Evaluated Transition-In Plan

This article reviews the recently published protest decision Matter of: Booz Allen Hamilton Inc., B-414283; B-414283.2. Award was to be made on a best-value basis, with the Government conducting a tradeoff analysis comparing the offerors’ technical proposal ratings and total cost. Technical was more important than cost. A transition-in plan was part of the technical evaluation (but was not determinative in the protest result).

Incumbent Booz Allen’s transition plan met, but did not exceed, requirements. On the other hand, challenger SAIC’s transition plan exceeded requirements and was awarded a strength. The GAO determined both of these agency findings reasonable. Winner: SAIC ($27.4M). Booz Allen ($33.1M) protest: denied.

My takeaways are:

  • For a possible strength, provide a clear and comprehensive transition approach that identifies key roles, personnel by name, and responsibilities

  • The incumbent by its inherent status is not necessarily the lowest-risk and highest evaluated for contract transition. Be wary of “incumbentitis” and the potential to be judged Meets The Standard (MTS) green

  • As the challenger, include plans for how to successfully transition the work even if the incumbent does not cooperate

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