Protest Alleging Offers Were Improperly Evaluated

B-192298: Jul 5, 1979

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United Computing Systems (UCS), Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC), and other firms each entered into a Multiple Award Schedule Contract (MASC) with the General Services Administration under its teleprocessing services program. Those firms meeting requirements were benchmarked, and after a cost analysis was performed, the Navy determined that CSC would provide the lowest cost service. UCS, the protester, complained that the original announcement of the requirements specified a system life of 36 months, but the benchmarks were evaluated on the basis of a 14-month system life. The protester alleged that this reduction in the system life and the lowering of the estimated value were prejudicial to it, the nonincumbent. This reduction, according to the protester, resulted in higher evaluated monthly costs for UCS because CSC, as an incumbent, was not subject to conversion costs. It was held that the change in the anticipated duration period constituted a change in the procurement that should have been communicated to the vendors. UCS never had the opportunity to amend its MASC and, therefore, the protest was sustained. An additional complaint questioning the use by the Navy of CSC's pricing profiles in the benchmark cost evaluation was also examined. It was determined that it was improper for the Navy to evaluate CSC's benchmark as if two cost elements could be ordered at one price level in a situation where the offeror's pricing limited use of each price level to only one price element. Since there was no showing that the Navy acted capriciously or in bad faith, however, GAO did not recommend that the order be cancelled. The claim of UCS for the cost of preparing its benchmark was denied.