Protest Alleging Improprieties in RFP

B-194984,B-195424: Dec 7, 1979

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A firm protested three requests for proposals (RFP) issued by the Department of Energy (DOE) alleging solicitation improprieties in that certain automatic data processing (ADP) equipment was designated as Government furnished equipment (GFE). The protester was previously awarded a contract by the predecessor of DOE and contended that the Government elected not to acquire title to the ADP equipment obtained by the contractor during performance of that contract. Further, the protester contended that it obtained certain contractual and property rights including purchase option credits in this ADP equipment. It argued that since the RFP's under protest provided that the ADPE involved in the previous contract would be GFE under the contracts to be awarded, the RFP's were in derogation of its rights in the ADP equipment. The protester filed a claim for damages alleging wrongful conversion of the ADP equipment by DOE and denial of the protester's rights to purchase option credits. DOE maintained the protester's allegations had no substantive merit and that it was in the wrong forum. DOE contended that these were matters of contract administration and that the proper forum for their resolution was in DOE through the protester's exercise of its rights under the Disputes clause of the contract. GAO found the protest to be filed in a timely manner, but agreed with DOE that the issues were the subject of a disputes proceeding, and not for consideration by GAO. Therefore, the protests were dismissed.