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Government Past Performance Evaluation Improper

Posted on June 6th, 2016 by


In Patricio Enterprises Inc., B-412740 et al (May 26, 2016) the GAO held that the Government’s past performance evaluation was improper.  Offerors were required to submit up to five (5) past performance references. The protestor, Patricio, submitted five past performance references. Two of them receiving the highest ratings, “Very Relevant/Exceptional.”   The other three received lower ratings, including “relevant” as opposed to “very relevant.”  Based on these ratings, Patricio received on overall past performance evaluation of “Satisfactory Confidence.”  The awardee received a higher past performance evaluation of “Substantial Confidence.”

                            GID                                                    Patricio

Reference 1          Very Relevant/Exceptional              Very Relevant/Exceptional

Reference 2         Very Relevant/Exceptional              Very Relevant/Exceptional

Reference 3         Not Relevant                                  Very Relevant/Very Good

Reference 4         [none]                                           Relevant/Exceptional

Reference 5         [none]                                           Relevant/Exceptional

Overall Rating:   Substantial Confidence                     Satisfactory Confidence

In explaining why Patricio got a “Satisfactory Confidence” rating, the Government stated:

The Past Performance Evaluation Team decided that a SUBSTANTIAL performance confidence assessment would be warranted when ALL relevant past performance was determined to be VERY RELEVANT with EXCEPTIONAL quality ratings. Any other combination of relevancy and quality would result in a SATISFACTORY (or lower) performance confidence assessment.

Based on the above methodology, Patricio was penalized for providing more than two past performance evaluations.  If Patricio had just submitted References 1 and 2, it would have received the highest overall rating for past performance. The GAO held that this was unfair and sustained the protest.

The GAO noted that “the agency’s mechanical evaluation of past performance was unreasonable where the result was that additional relevant past performance references with exceptional and very good quality resulted in a downgraded past performance rating.  This holding is consistent with the GAO prior holding in Olympus Bldg. Servs., Inc., B-285351 (August 17, 2000), where the Government’s mechanical formula for scoring experience unreasonably penalized an offeror for including extra, less relevant references in addition to relevant ones.


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