[Protests of Navy Solicitations]

B-206641,B-206728,B-207421: Apr 12, 1983

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A firm protested several Navy solicitations for construction work, contending that the Navy's specifications for underground heat systems were defective and should have been changed. Federal agency procedures determine whether systems are acceptable; the Navy limited the specifications to certain systems that would meet its needs. The protester contended that the Federal guide specifications are required for all heat system procurements and that, therefore, the Navy's solicitation was defective. The Navy maintained that the procedures do not require the use of the specifications in every solicitation. GAO concurred with this argument and noted that, if an agency can show that the guide specifications will not meet its needs, it is not bound to use them. However, GAO held that the Navy failed to show that its specifications were reasonably related to its minimum needs; therefore, the limited specifications were unduly restrictive. Accordingly, the protest was sustained in part and denied in part. GAO recommended that the Navy cancel the solicitations in question and resolicit the requirements in accordance with its decision.