[Protests of Air Force Solicitation for Utility Services]

B-242650,B-242650.2,B-242650.3: May 20, 1991

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Three firms protested an Air Force solicitation for utility services, contending that the Air Force improperly determined that only one source could meet its requirements. GAO held that the Air Force unreasonably determined that only one known source could meet its needs, since it: (1) based its sole-source justification on discussions with only one source; and (2) did not consider the willingness of other gas pipeline firms to work with other suppliers. Accordingly, the protests were sustained, and GAO recommended that the Air Force: (1) reasonably justify a sole-source procurement based on a market survey that shows only one source could meet its needs; or (2) conduct a competitive procurement. GAO also recommended that the Air Force reimburse the protesters for their protests costs.