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Grant Street Group, Inc. v. Department of Community and Economic Development

Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania

September 24, 2014

Grant Street Group, Inc., Petitioner
v.
Department of Community and Economic Development, Respondent

Argued September 11, 2014,

Publication Ordered January 7, 2015.

Appealed from No. 024-2014-1. State Agency Department of Community and Economic Development.

C. Grainger Bowman, Harrisburg, for petitioner.

Christopher C. Houston, Chief Counsel, John M. Quain, Jr., Assistant Counsel, and Joshua J. Vecchio, Assistant Counsel, Harrisburg, for respondent.

BEFORE: HONORABLE RENÉ E COHN JUBELIRER, Judge, HONORABLE P. KEVIN BROBSON, Judge, HONORABLE ANNE E. COVEY, Judge.

OPINION

Page 811

COHN JUBELIRER, JUDGE

Grant Street Group, Inc. (Grant Street) petitions for review of the Final Determination of the Department of Community and Economic Development (Department) denying Grant Street's bid protest (Bid Protest) of the award to Atex Petros, LLC (Atex Petros) of a contract to design, market,

Page 812

and implement the sale of tax credits pursuant to the Innovate in PA Tax Credit (the Act).[1] Generally, Grant Street argues that the Department erred by applying a scoring threshold that eliminated all but one bidder, thereby violating the requirement of Section 513(g) of the Procurement Code[2] that an agency take price into account when awarding a contract. Discerning no error, we affirm.

Section 1805-F of the Act, 72 P.S. § 8805-F, which was enacted by the General Assembly on July 9, 2013, authorizes the sale of up to $100 million in tax credits for insurance premiums to qualified taxpayers (the Sale).[3] The Act provides that the Department may either conduct the Sale itself or do so through a contract between the Department and a third party. Section 1808-F of the Act, 72 P.S. § 8808-F(b). On January 8, 2014, the Department issued Request for Quotation No. 024-2014-1 (the RFQ) seeking a contractor to design, market, and implement the Sale. The RFQ stated that each proposal was to consist of three sealed submittals: a technical submittal; a small diverse business submittal; and a cost submittal. The RFQ stated that, in order for an offeror to be considered responsible and, thus, eligible for selection, its proposal's technical submittal must receive at least 70% of the available technical points.[4] The deadline for proposals was February 21, 2014. (Final Determination, Findings of Fact (FOF) ¶ ¶ 1-3, 5, 15-16.)

The Department received three proposals, from Grant Street, Atex Petros, and Tax Credit Brokerage, LLC. The Department's five-member Evaluation Committee (Committee) reviewed these proposals. Only Atex Petros' technical submittal received a score over 70%. The Committee scored Grant Street's technical submittal at 62.1%. Because their technical submittals did not meet the 70% threshold, the Department did not consider the cost submittals of Grant Street and Tax Credit Brokerage, LLC. The ...


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