Protest of Contract Award

B-196189,B-196190: Feb 12, 1980

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A firm protested the award of a Veterans Administration (VA) contract for dictating equipment. The protester contended that its offer was low and should have been accepted. After the bids were received, VA contended it noticed that the awardee had not included the volume discount established for the procurement. It contacted the awardee and asked for a price clarification. The awardee reduced its quotation to reflect the discount. The reduction resulted in the awardee displacing the protester as the low offeror. The protester contended that the awardee's original quotation included the discount and should not have been reduced. GAO held that since it could be readily determined from the awardee's quotation that the discount had not been included, it was not legally objectionable for the VA to recalculate the quotations to reflect the discount. The fact that the VA first contacted the awardee for clarification was not held to be significant. GAO recommended that the VA designate an appropriate space for offerors to fill in the applicable volume discount on future requests for quotations in order to avoid a recurrence of this situation. The protest was denied.