[Protest of VA Contract Award for Replacement Telephone System]

B-275554: Mar 3, 1997

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A firm protested a Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) contract award for a replacement telephone system, contending that VA: (1) unreasonably evaluated its past performance; and (2) the awardee's proposal was noncompliant with certain mandatory technical requirements in the solicitation. GAO held that: (1) VA failed to consider the protester's performance on a recent contract for the same services; (2) the protester was likely prejudiced by VA's failure to evaluate its past experience; and (3) VA reasonably determined that the awardee's system complied with the specifications. Accordingly, the protest was sustained, and GAO recommended that VA: (1) reevaluate the protester's past experience and include this evaluation in its past performance review; (2) should terminate the contract and make award to the protester if it is determined that the protester's bid represents the best value; and (3) reimburse the protester for its protest costs.