Created July 2014
In the matter of Veteran Technologists Corporation, Vet Tech argued that it was improperly excluded from consideration under the Department of Veteran Affairs request for proposals (RFP) for general management and business support services. Vet Tech was excluded from consideration because it failed to sign and return all the amendments listed in the solicitation requirements.
In the RFP, it was required that all offeror’s present a proposal that consists of five volumes. Item (5) specified “SF 1449 amendments and other documents.” This specification required that each amendment in the RFP be signed by an authorized official of the prime contractor using an actual or “wet” signature. The RFP was amended five times. The front page of each amendment indicated that the contractor was required to sign the amendment and return it to the issuing office.
Vet Tech signed its proposal by the solicitation closing date but its proposal only included one signed amendment rather than five. Vet Tech included a general written statement that it “fully understands the requirements and accepts the Terms, Conditions and Assumptions identified in the solicitation…and its associated Amendments.” The agency found that this acknowledgment by Vet Tech was insufficient.
The agency denied the protest on the grounds that Vet Tech failed to sign and return each of the five amendments as required by the solicitation. Vet Tech’s general statement of acknowledgment was insufficient because it was not in compliance with the solicitation terms.
Therefore when submitting a proposal, attention to details in the solicitation is absolutely critical. An offeror cannot derive its own interpretation from the solicitation requirements and make a general statement of acceptance. It is imperative that individuals are extremely conscientious of the details in the RFP even the slightest omission can make or break an opportunity to be considered in the group of competitive bidders.