[Protests of Specifications in Army IFB for Trailer-Mounted Welding Shops]

B-220392,B-220392.2,B-220392.3: Mar 7, 1986

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Four firms protested the specifications in an Army solicitation for trailer-mounted welding shops, contending that: (1) since only one producer could meet the solicitation specifications they unduly restricted competition; (2) the Army conducted a sole-source procurement in violation of the requirement for full and open competition; and (3) if the Army used performance specifications instead of detailed design specifications, it would have saved at least 20 percent because of increased competition. GAO held that: (1) specifications based on a particular manufacturer's product are not improper when the agency establishes that the specifications are reasonably related to its minimum needs; (2) the Army determined that its welding needs required standardization; (3) the protesters had not shown that the Army's determination was unreasonable; (4) the protesters estimates of the relative costs of standardization were unsupported and did not meet their burden of establishing that the use of design specifications exceeded the Army's needs; (5) there was no evidence that the Army intended to limit competition; and (6) the protesters had not established that standardization could be achieved in any other manner that would increase the likelihood of competition. Accordingly, the protests were denied.