[Protests of Air Force Contract Award for Total Base Maintenance Services]

B-231840,B-231840.2,B-231840.3: Nov 7, 1988

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Three firms protested an Air Force contract award for total base maintenance services, contending that the Air Force: (1) improperly evaluated the awardee's bid; (2) failed to hold meaningful discussions; (3) disclosed the incumbent's proprietary data; (4) performed an incorrect cost-realism analysis of the awardee's bid; and (5) gave cost too much weight in its selection decision. The Air Force contended that the lowest bidder was not sufficiently interested to protest, since it was not in line for award. GAO held that the: (1) low bidder would be in line for award if GAO sustained its protest; (2) Air Force reasonably considered the awardee's past experience on a comparable contract; (3) Air Force reasonably evaluated the awardee's foreign national staffing levels consistently with the evaluation criteria; (4) Air Force conducted meaningful discussions, since it provided the same level of advice to all bidders; (5) Air Force's failure to conduct more exhaustive discussions did not prejudice the bidders; (6) incumbent protester untimely filed after bid opening its protest against alleged solicitation improprieties; (7) Air Force had a reasonable basis for its cost-realism evaluations and for downgrading one protester's proposal for its low staffing levels; and (8) Air Force did not accord cost more weight than the technical operations and program management areas. Accordingly, the protest was denied in part and dismissed in part.