[Protests of VA Rejection of Bids for Examination Booths]

B-255123.2,B-255123.3,B-255203.2,B-255203.3: Mar 29, 1994

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Two firms protested the Department of Veterans Affairs' (VA) rejection of their bids for audiometric examination booths, contending that VA unreasonably determined that their bids were nonresponsive, since they submitted sufficient test data to show that their products met the solicitations' technical requirements. In addition, one protester contended that if the other protester's bids were nonresponsive under the current solicitations, its bids on past procurements were also nonresponsive, since the solicitation specifications were identical and the bids contained the same disclosure restriction. GAO held that: (1) VA reasonably determined that the protesters' bids were nonresponsive, since one protester unduly restricted the release of bid information necessary for determining its product's technical acceptability and the other protester failed to perform certain required measurements during testing; (2) the second protester untimely filed its protest against the other protester's past contract awards more than 10 days after it should have known the basis of protest; and (3) the second protester unreasonably assumed that it would be denied copies of the bids under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), since VA denied its FOIA request on an unrelated procurement. Accordingly, the protests were denied in part and dismissed in part.