Protest Against Award of Contract on Basis of Initial Proposals and Against Evaluation of Proposals

B-183830: Mar 9, 1976

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The protesters objected to the award of a contract on the basis of initial proposals, alleging that the evaluation of the proposals was arbitrary, capricious, and contrary to the solicitation requirements. Although there were shortcomings and omissions in the awardee's proposal and relatively minor inconsistencies and errors in the technical evaluation of the proposals, the determination by the agency that the awardee had the highest technically evaluated proposal had a reasonable basis. The initial proposal award based upon the lowest dollar per technical quality point ratio to the awardee who had the the higher-priced, higher technically rated proposal was reasonable. Although doubt existed as to the general appropriateness of the agency's failure to conduct discussions and make award on the basis of initial proposals, the failure was not unjustified or illegal in the particular procurement since the awardee's price could be considered reasonable, and its proposal substantially complied with the solicitation requirements. Although the request for proposals was defective in that it did not disclose the relative values of price and technical evaluation, the award was not disturbed since prejudice to the unsuccessful offerers was speculative and the contract was substantially performed.