[Protest of GSA Solicitation]

B-212395.2,B-212395.3,B-212395.4,B-212395.5: Apr 24, 1984

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Four firms protested a number of different aspects of a General Services Administration (GSA) invitation for bids (IFB) which contemplated a single award contract for typewriters. The firms variously protested that: (1) GSA should not have used a single-award solicitation and that the life-cycle (LCC) testing procedures and criteria used were faulty; (2) one of the firms was not permitted sufficient time to to consider amendments to the IFB and was therefore precluded from competition; and (3) GSA will continue to use the faulty LCC testing procedures in future solicitations. GAO held that: (1) the two firms protesting the use of a single-award solicitation and the LCC testing procedures were not interested parties under bid protest procedures; (2) eight other bidders responded to the IFB amendments, indicating that sufficient time was in fact available to permit bidders to consider the amendments; and (3) the protest concerning future GSA use of the LCC testing procedures was premature and was not considered. These protests were denied in part and dismissed in part. Two of the firms also protested the rejection of their bids pursuant to another GSA procurement, a multiple-award schedule solicitation for additional typewriters. The typewriter models offered by the firms were rejected for lacking specific features. However, GAO found that these features were not included in the solicitation's requirements and that the rejection of the bids on the basis of unstated specifications was unreasonable. Therefore, these protests were sustained, and GAO recommended that GSA determine whether the existing solicitation requirements meet its needs and, if so, that awards be made to the two protesters. If the unstated requirements more fully meet its needs, GSA should inform offerers of the requirements change and permit them an opportunity to revise their bids.