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Matter of: In Re Bay Area Travel, Inc; Cruise Ventures, Inc; Tzell-AirTrak Travel Group, Inc.

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1.Title and Citations:
Title: Matter of: In Re Bay Area Travel, Inc; Cruise Ventures, Inc; Tzell-AirTrak Travel Group, Inc. Citation: B-400442; B-400442.2; B-400442.3; B-400547; B-400547.2; B-400547.3; B’400564; B-400564.2; B-400564.3

2. Facts: Bay Area Travel, Inc.; Cruise Ventures, Inc.; and Tzell-AirTrak Travel Group, Inc., protest the issuance of three task orders to CW Government Travel, Inc. of Arlington, Virginia, issued by the Department of the Army under request for proposals (RFP) Nos. W91QUZ-08-R-0023, W91QUZ-08-R-0024, and W91QUZ-08-R’0025 for travel services to be provided to military travelers in “Defense Travel Area(s)” (DTA) 2, 3, and 4. The RFPs provided for the issuance of a single task order for each of the DTAs on a best value basis, considering the following evaluation factors: business approach, technical approach, past performance, and price. The solicitations provided that non-price evaluation factors, when combined, were “approximately equal to price”; price was stated to be “significantly more important” than any of the individual non price factors alone. The protesters contend that the agency improperly issued the task orders to an offeror whose proposals were higher in price, and that the agency is biased in favor of the awardee. Relevant laws, regulations, and statutes are Competition In Contracting Act (CICA), Federal Acquisition Streamlining Act (FASA), National Defense Authorization Act of Fiscal Year 2008 (NDAA)

3. Issues: Is the GAO authorized to consider the issues raised in the protests due to the limitations of FASA? Did the issuance of task and delivery orders in excess of $10,000,000 under indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contracts meet the “enhanced competition” requirements of the National Defense Authorization Act? Was the evaluation is in accord with the solicitation and applicable procurement laws and regulations?

4. Decisions: Yes they are authorized to hear the protest. However the protest is denied.

5. Reasoning:
1)The GAO can consider the protest as authorized by the enactment of section 843 of the NDAA, Pub. L. 110-181, 122 Stat. 3, 236-39 (2008), which modified FASA’s prior limitations on task order protests. Specifically, the NDAA provides that protests of task order awards are not authorized “except for . . . a protest of an order valued in excess of $10,000,000.” 122 Stat. 237.
2)Although the RFPs provided that price was “approximately equal” to the other factors combined, the solicitations did not preclude award to an offeror with a higher-priced proposal.
3)The agency reasonably concluded that CW’s proposal advantages were worth the additional price relative to each of the lower priced proposals. Although the protesters disagree with the agency’s conclusions, it has not shown them to be unreasonable, inconsistent with the solicitation, or insufficiently documented.
4)Because government officials are presumed to act in good faith, we do not attribute unfair or prejudicial motives to them on the basis of inference or supposition. Ameriko Maint. Co., B-253274, B-253274.2, Apr. 25, 1993, 93-2 CPD para. 121 at 5.

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