Bank of America

B-287608,B-287608.2: Jul 26, 2001

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A firm protested a Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) contract award for banking services for U.S. personnel stationed overseas, contending that the awardee's technical proposal failed to comply with the solicitation's page limitation provision, that DFAS failed to conduct meaningful discussions, and that DFAS' cost and technical evaluations were materially flawed. GAO held that discussions with the protester were not meaningful when DFAS did not advise the protester that the solicitation permitted 200 page proposals, declined to advise the protester of DFAS's repeatedly expressed concerns that the protester's proposal lacked detail, and advised the protester there were no technical weaknesses in its proposal. Accordingly, the protest was sustained, and GAO recommended that DFAS amend the solicitation to clearly communicate all of the technical evaluation standards it intends to apply along with the applicable page limitation, then conduct meaningful discussions with both offerors which include identification of the multiple areas lacking detail, request final revised proposals, and evaluate those proposals consistent with the solicitation's stated requirements. If, as a result of this reevaluation, the protester's proposal is selected for award, DFAS should terminate the awardee's contract for the convenience of the government and make award to the protester. Further, the protester should be reimbursed the reasonable costs of filing and pursuing the protest, including attorneys' fees.

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