A while back the government awarded Colt a contract to manufacture the FN designed M240B machine. FN was none to happy about this! They filed a protest which has just been overruled by the US Government Accountability office. From the ruling …
As a final matter, FN challenges the SSA’s best value tradeoff decision. In this regard, FN argues that the SSA’s decision to select Colt’s lower-priced proposal was unreasonable because it did not afford any weight to the superiority of FN’s proposal under the technical and past performance factors as compared to the proposal submitted by Colt.
It is well-settled that an agency properly may select a lower-rated, lower-priced proposal, even where price is a less important evaluation factor than technical merit, where it reasonably concludes that the price premium involved in selecting the higher-rated proposal is not justified in light of the acceptable level of technical competence available at a lower price. The extent of such tradeoffs is governed only by the test of rationality and consistency with the evaluation criteria. Thus, a protester’s disagreement with the agency’s determinations as to the relative merits of competing proposals, or disagreement with its judgment as to which proposal offers the best value to the agency, do not establish that the evaluation or source selection was unreasonable. General Dynamics–Ordnance & Tactical Sys., B-401658, B‑401658.2, Oct. 26, 2009, 2009 CPD para. 217 at 8.
[ Many thanks to Daniel E. Watters for the info ]