[Protest of DOE Rejection of Proposals]

B-216076: Jan 24, 1985

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A firm protested the rejection of its proposals under a solicitation for nuclear waste transportation issued by a Department of Energy (DOE) operating contractor. The protester contended that: (1) its proposals were improperly rejected on the basis of criteria not stated in the request for proposals (RFP); (2) actions by DOE and the operating contractor demonstrated that the awardee was preselected; (3) time and safety factors were not considered during proposal evaluation; (4) the award was contrary to the RFP radiation level requirements; and (5) the awardee lacked the financial and production capabilities to perform the contract. GAO found that the procurement was governed by the contract between DOE and the prime contractor, not by the Federal Acquisition Regulation. GAO held that: (1) assuming the validity of the allegation that its offer should have been considered technically acceptable, the protester was not prejudiced by the award, since it was not the low offerer; (2) the allegation that the awardee was preselected was not supported by the record; (3) the protester did not meet its burden of proving its allegation that the technical evaluation was improper; and (4) it will review affirmative determinations of responsibility under limited circumstances not present here. Accordingly, the protest was denied in part and dismissed in part.