Protest Alleging That Technical Discussions Were Held With Other Offerors

B-193546: Mar 22, 1979

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An offeror protested the award by the Air Force of a research contract for an engineering study and development of an experimental model ultra high frequency interference cancellation system. It was alleged that technical discussions were held with other offerors, who then revised their technical proposals. The Air Force denied the allegation and replied that it is common knowledge that offerors may modify their technical proposals in their best and final offers without prompting from the Government. It was further held that the decision of the Air Force not to conduct technical discussions with all offerors was acceptable on the grounds that none of the technical proposals contained deficiencies and an effort was being made to retain innovative and unique solutions as an important aspect of the technical evaluation. The Air Force maintained that technical discussions would have led to "technical transfusions" and "technical leveling," and GAO concurred. Accordingly, the protest was denied.

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