[Protest of Contract Award Under Bureau of Indian Affairs IFB]

B-211587,B-211587.2: Dec 13, 1983

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Two firms protested a Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) contract award under an invitation for bids (IFB) for road graders. The contracting officer had rejected the protesters' bids as nonresponsive because both failed to meet a required specification and rejected another bid because it failed to meet another specification. The protesters argued that BIA had written a set of specifications that only the awardee could meet and that the IFB was a sole-source procurement. GAO found that both the awardee and another bidder offered items which complied with the specification in question and, therefore, the IFB was not a sole-source procurement. Although one of the protesters argued that its product performed the same functions required by the specifications, BIA argued that the product did not meet its minimum needs. The determination of an agency's minimum needs and the best method of accommodating those needs is primarily the responsibility of the contracting agency. GAO will not question such a determination absent a showing that it had no reasonable basis. GAO found that the protesters failed to show that the specifications were unreasonable. Accordingly, the protests were denied.