Protest of Restrictive Solicitation

B-192171: Mar 14, 1979

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A company protested a solicitation by the Department of the Navy to sell, rather than lease, a communications system. The agency objected to the protest because the protester did not submit a proposal; however submission of a proposal is not a prerequisite to consideration of a protest filed prior to the closing date for the receipt of proposals. The decision was based on whether the request for proposal was unduly restrictive. The protest was sustained because the solicitation did not permit consideration of offers to lease to the Government equipment needed for an entirely new system. The solicitation was based on an earlier analysis and a determination that an alternative approach can only be made by competitive procurement. The matter was brought to the attention of the Secretary of the Navy with a recommendation that the solicitation be canceled and a new solicitation issued permitting system acquisition by either purchase or lease.