[Court Request for Consideration of Protest Concerning District of Columbia Contract Award]

B-212530.2: Dec 13, 1983

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A firm protested the award of a contract to another firm by the District of Columbia, contending that the awardee's bid was nonresponsive because it did not bid on several additive items, where the solicitation specified that an award would be made for the basic item, plus "none, part, or all" of the additive items. GAO rendered its decision pursuant to a request by a court which was considering the matter in conjunction with the protester's suit for permanent relief. The protester argued that the awardee's failure to bid on the additive items gave it an unfair advantage in computing its bid for the basic item. GAO found that the purpose of the solicitation format was to permit the District to procure the basic item plus whatever additives were within funding limitations. GAO held that, since the awardee bid on both items that were awarded, its failure to submit bids for the items for which no award was made was immaterial. The protester also contended that the solicitation was defective because the District failed to advise potential offerers of the method for determining the low bid in this type of procurement. GAO held that this was a procedural defect and did not affect the validity of the award, because no bidder was prejudiced by the omission. Accordingly, the protest was denied.