[Protests of Three VA Contract Awards]

B-216310,B-216310.2,B-216310.3: Aug 26, 1985

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Three firms protested the Veterans Administration's (VA) award of contracts for the installation and management of commercial integrated hospital computer systems. Two of the firms involved filed their protests after the 10-day filing period, and since they raised no new significant procurement issues, their protests were dismissed. The third firm challenged all three awards, contending that: (1) VA diluted its requirements during the course of the procurement, which favored other vendors; (2) the three VA evaluation teams were subjective and inconsistent in their conduct of the evaluations; and (3) in one instance, the contracting officer could not have found any substantive difference between its proposal and the awardee's. GAO stated that: (1) since the protester's first contention was based on an alleged impropriety apparent in the solicitation and should have been raised before contract award, it was untimely and not for consideration; (2) the composition of technical evaluation teams is within the discretion of the contracting agency and GAO will not review the qualifications of panel members absent a showing of possible fraud, bad faith, or conflict of interest; and (3) it found no basis to conclude that the technical distinctions that VA found were unreasonable. Accordingly, the protests were denied in part and dismissed in part.