Protest Against Rejection of Proposal

B-195919.3: Mar 18, 1980

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A firm protested the rejection of its proposal and the award of a contract to another firm. The solicitation required offerors to submit both technical and business proposals. The protester's proposal consisted of its prices and a cover letter indicating that it had protested to GAO, and if GAO so ruled, it would submit a technical proposal. This protest was dismissed as untimely; the dismissal was affirmed. The protester then contended that it should have been awarded the contract because it was the low offeror. The agency rejected the protester's proposal because the protester refused to comply with the solicitation instructions. Further, the protester contended that it was improper for the agency to make the award while its earlier protest was pending, and suggested that GAO direct the agency to (1) make equitable adjustment, and (2) award the protester the second through fourth year options then available to the awardee. Since the protester did not submit a technical proposal, the agency necessarily found the protester's offer technically unacceptable. GAO did not object to the agency's determination to exclude the protester from consideration for award because a proposal that is unacceptable from a technical standpoint is of no value to the Government regardless of the lower price associated with it. Inasmuch as GAO viewed the protester's bid as being properly rejected, the agency's failure to follow applicable regulations in making an award during the pendency of a protest, which is a procedural defect not affecting the validity of an award, did not result in any prejudice to the protester and provided no basis for relief. Therefore, the protest was denied.