Case Study: Hum N. Along Corporation
Submit your answers and be prepared to discuss in the live class session.
Your office is almost ready to award an engineering support services contract to provide for the designs, drawings, and specifications of the new generation of high-resolution MRI imaging equipment. The contract also required a working prototype of the equipment one half normal size. The resulting products (i.e. prototype, specifications, and drawings) will be used in future competition for the creation of the new mobile MRI treatment vehicles the VA plans to use for serving veterans in rural and distant areas.
The Hum N. Along Corporation is the apparent successful offeror, and although the company has never performed any government contract work before; the president of the company, Ms. Ima Engineer, PhD, is confident that all the work can be accomplished to everyone’s satisfaction.
Of the three offers received, the Hum N. Along Corporation had the most conceptually sound proposal by far. Although the specializing high-resolution MRIs have never been produced before, the company provided excellent past performance references and referrals for successful undertakings in advanced imaging similar in magnitude to this solicitation’s requirements.
As part of a needed responsibility determination, a pre-award survey was conducted to substantiate the Hum N. Along Corporation’s capabilities. During this survey, you have determined that while the offeror has an excellent strategic business plan, the work location identified by the offeror consists of just a 20’ by 10’ office space in the mall with two desks.
Further, while the credentials of the individuals whose resumes were provided as the developers of the MRI system were some of the more elite in the field, none of these individuals were visible nor made available for the survey. A more detailed review of the company’s personnel records for the last two years showed only one other full-time employee (a secretary) besides the president during that period.
The review also revealed and that there were no permanent employees who had been on the company payroll for more than four months at any given time during this period, although the Hum N. Along Corporation has been in business for the last five years.
When asked of the whereabouts of the workforce needed to complete the work on the pending contract, Ms. Engineer replied: “My older brother also has an engineering firm across town and whenever I get a contract or need some workers, I just borrow some of his best workers and one of his eight fully equipped laboratories until my work is done. I get top pick of his best, and I pay the borrowed workers directly for the work performed for me. When their work on my contracts is completed, they go back on my brother’s company payroll.”
She continued, “This way, I don’t have to maintain a high payroll and even higher overhead rates year-round, instead, I pay only when I actually have work for these people to do. As you know, to bring them on board permanently without sufficient work for them would eventually mean having to layoff personnel who may not be willing or able to return because they have found permanent employment elsewhere.”
After this discussion, you confirmed this business arrangement a few days later via the president of the Ace Engineering Company, who is also the founder and older brother of Ms. Ima Engineer. He was able to show you a written document executed three years ago between Ace Engineering Company and Hum N. Along Corporation confirming this arrangement.
Another company, Images “R” Us Company, is actually considered the leader by many in this area of development. If you award the contract to Hum N. Along, the president of Images “R” Us will certainly be shocked and angered to find that they are not the successful offeror. You predict they will surely ask for a post-award debriefing.
How will you handle the disappointed offeror?
Explain the process for conducting a post-award debriefing and the topics that can/cannot be discussed during that event.