Allegation That Evaluation Criteria Were Inconsistently Applied

B-192158: Mar 29, 1979

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A bidder protested the award of a contract under a request for proposals issued by the National Park Service to provide and operate a sound reinforcement system at the Carter Barron Amphitheatre, Washington, D.C. during the past performance season. The protester contended that the contract award was made in an arbitrary and capricious manner, that its proposal was unfairly evaluated and erroneously interpreted, and that negotiations should have been held with the protester because its price was the lowest. However, a review of the proposals offered indicated that the agency had a reasonable basis for rejecting the protester's technical proposal, and that the agency's refusal to conduct negotiations with the protester irrespective of its low price was proper. The protester also objected to the contracting officer's failure to obtain necessary approval for awarding the contract while the protest was pending. Notwithstanding this procedural deficiency, the contracting officer's action did not cause the protester substantial harm. Moreover, the Department of the Interior has requested that the Director of the National Park Service take corrective measures to ensure that this and other deficiencies do not recur. The protest was denied.