Protest Against Amendment and Proposed Modifications to Solicitation

B-193157.2: Aug 21, 1979

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A firm requested reconsideration of a decision denying its protest against amendments and proposed modifications to a request for proposals (RFP) issued by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The protester contended that a $5 hourly search fee limitation imposed by an amendment to the RFP was unduly restrictive of competition. Reconsideration was requested on the basis that the FCC granted a minimum hourly wage determination for the position of researcher after the decision was issued. The protester alleged that this wage rate of $5 to $6 per hour would be added to the RFP, and that with the $5 guideline the FCC would be in violation of the law. The protester also claimed that GAO had erred in its interpretation of the FCC regulations, contending that the public is required to use the services of the FCC commercial contractor, and concluded that the FCC regulations are in violation of the Freedom of Information Act. The FCC stated it had not granted the protester a wage determination, and that as a result of a meeting between it and the protester, the protester was to submit a proposed classification and wage and fringe benefits for the contracting officer's review, but the firm had not done so. In the absence of a detailed statement of the factual and legal grounds warranting reversal or modification and specifying errors of law made or information not previously considered, GAO had no basis for reconsideration. GAO did not agree with the protester's characterization of the FCC regulations; believed that the use of the agency's commercial contractor was at the discretion of the public; and that the regulations are consistent with the Freedom of Information Act. The prior decision was affirmed.