Protest Involving Award of Negotiated, Fixed-Price Contract

B-181165: Feb 24, 1975

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A protester questioned award of a negotiated, fixed-price contract, contending that: it was directed by the agency during negotiations to raise proposed wage rates to its competitive disadvantage, application of an evaluation standard was improper, the awardee was not financially responsible, and solicitation specifications were defective. The agency's view of negotiations--that it expressed concern only over wage rates--was consistent with described events; in spite of this concern, the protester should have realized that price would be a significant factor in contractor selection. The "Qualifications" rating given the successful offerer, which lacked similar "content" experience but possessed similar "functional" experience, was in accordance with the solicitation evaluation standard. The matter of the awardee's financial responsibility involved an affirmative responsibility determination which was not reviewable by GAO, and the complaint concerning solicitation defects was untimely filed.