Protest Against Administrative Review Procedures

B-204758: Sep 28, 1981

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A firm protested the Army administrative review procedures which were used to determine whether to perform hospital food services in-house or to contract for them under an invitation for bids (IFB). The Army issued the IFB in order to ascertain the cost of contracting out based on the bids of potential contractors. The record showed that the low bid price was compared with the estimated cost of using Government employees to perform the same services and that a public review period was provided for the low bidder to challenge the Government's in-house cost comparison. However, after the review period, the low bidder withdrew its bid because of a mistake in its bid, and the protester, the second low bidder, became the low bidder. Subsequently, the Army declared that earlier complaints about the cost comparison were moot, made a new public announcement based on the protester's low bid, and set a new public review period. The protester contended that the Government estimate had already been subject to adequate review and that the delay caused by another review was not in the Government's best interest. The protester also argued that the review period should be canceled and that no further cost comparison was required. GAO will only review protests against the Office of Management and Budget Circular A-76 cost evaluations. Accordingly, since the protest involved the Army's administrative review procedures, GAO would not consider the protest, and it was dismissed.