Protest Contending That RFP Should Not Have Been Negotiated
B-197244.2: Sep 19, 1980
- Full Report:
A company requested reconsideration of a prior decision denying its protest. The protester asserted that the request for proposals should have been advertised rather than negotiated. GAO held that the agency's decision to use negotiation procedures, in lieu of small business restricted advertising, was not legally objectionable because the record indicated that the agency was purchasing management and technical competence along with labor and could not draft adequate specifications with respect to management capability. The protester contended that the GAO decision was inconsistent with two prior decisions which held that an agency may not use negotiation, in lieu of formal advertising, to obtain a desired higher level of quality of services. GAO disagreed with the protester. GAO held, in those two decisions, that Congress did not intend to allow agencies to negotiate contracts in order to obtain a particular quality of supplies or services when a lesser level of quality would satisfy the Government's needs. Accordingly, the protest decision was affirmed.