A recent GSA RFP awarded 9.15% (7,600 out of 83,100 points) of possible RFP scoring points for approved accounting and purchasing systems, systems approved by DCAA or another government agency. The approval of the critical systems by private accounting firms did not receive any points.
“Evolver and AFSC challenge the agency’s basis for assigning certain points. Specifically, both Evolver and AFSC challenge the RFP provision that, in order to be awarded 5,500 points for an “audited/adequate cost accounting system,” an offeror’s proposal must include proof of a federally audited and approved accounting system. The firms maintain that this requirement is overly restrictive of competition, as there are independent public accounting firms that can verify the adequacy of an offeror’s accounting system for federal contracts. The firms further argue that proof of an acceptable system should not be required with proposal submission; rather, proof should be provided only at the time the government actually requires the service for which the certification is necessary.”
Here is GAO ruling:
“Under these circumstances, where the agency can reasonably anticipate that DOD will be the prime user of the Alliant 2 GWAC, and where DOD does not accept third party certification of a contractor’s cost accounting system, we find nothing improper about the solicitation’s provision that gives an evaluation preference to firms that have a federally audited and approved accounting system.”
Now here is the troubling part of the ruling:
“In this regard, the agency explains that allowing firms to accrue points in this manner helps to provide a GWAC where successful offerors have experience in government contracting. In addition, successful offerors will be able to perform cost-reimbursement task orders for DOD from the first day the GWAC is awarded, and procuring agencies issuing task orders under the GWAC will not have to waste time and resources while vendors subsequently obtain an audited and approved system. Id. Given this explanation by the agency, we find nothing improper about the solicitation’s approach of awarding points to offerors that have proof of an audited system at the time of contract award.” (emphasis added).
Gee, wouldn’t it be wonderful if a contractor could just call DCAA and schedule an accounting system audit?