Isratex, Inc. v. United States
United States Claims Court
25 Cl. Ct. 223 (1992)
The federal government (defendant), through the Department of Defense’s Defense Personnel Support Center (DPSC), issued a request for proposals (RFP) to design and manufacture waterproof, cold-weather, camouflage parkas. The RFP stated that all offerors had to submit two product demonstration models (PDMs) for testing; one PDM would be subject to hydrostatic-resistance testing, and the other PDM would be subject to a visual and dimensional examination. The RFP disclosed that all PDMs would be evaluated based on four factors: (1) construction quality; (2) workmanship; (3) compliance with stated visual and dimensional requirements; and (4) the results of the two PDM tests. The RFP did not indicate the relative importance of the four evaluation factors and did not state that failing either PDM test would result in disqualification from further competition; however, the RFP did state that submitting a noncompliant PDM could result in the rejection of the contractor’s proposal. Isratex, Inc. (plaintiff) submitted a timely proposal with two PDMs. Isratex’s PDM failed the hydrostatic-resistance test. DPSC rejected Isratex’s proposal because Isratex’s PDM failed the hydrostatic-resistance test; Isratex’s PDM was rated as acceptable under all other evaluation factors. DPSC refused to allow Isratex to submit a revised PDM even though contractors whose PDMs failed under other evaluation factors were allowed to submit revised PDMs. Isratex petitioned the United States Claims Court for injunctive relief, asking the court to bar DPSC from awarding the contract until it allowed Isratex to submit a revised PDM for consideration. During discovery, DPSC’s contracting officer, Jacqueline Pelullo, testified that the hydrostatic-resistance test was given substantially greater weight than any other evaluation factor and that passing the hydrostatic-resistance test was considered a mandatory requirement.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Nettesheim, J.)
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