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Report of Investigation - Houston METRO - Buy America and Procurement - September 3, 2010

This Report of Investigation explains and documents our finding of three substantial violations of FTA's Buy America and procurement rules:

1. METRO and CAF violated FTA's Buy America requirements. This began with METRO's release of a Request for Proposals (RFP) that stated FTA's Buy America requirements did not apply to the procurement; continued with METRO's unsupported evaluation of the various offeror's Buy America compliance, including the Certificate of Compliance submitted by CAF; and culminated with METRO's decision not to require CAF to meet its contractually mandated Buy America obligations and to circumvent the Buy America requirements by entering into a separate, locally funded contract with CAF
for the pilot vehicles;

2. METRO violated FTA's competitive procurement rules when it chose to negotiate with one of the offerors, CAF, to the exclusion of all other offerors, and allowed that offeror to continue revising its price while refusing to allow other offerors the opportunity to present their Best and Final Offers (BAFOs); and

3. METRO’s LRV procurement was flawed due to the sum of many failures, including the lack of an adequate procurement plan, the lack of an adequate source selection evaluation plan, METRO’s failure to disclose all evaluation factors in the solicitation, METRO’s failure to inform potential offerors of the relative importance of those factors that were disclosed in the evaluation, METRO’s use of undisclosed changes in evaluation factors, and METRO’s failure to perform a complete best value analysis.

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