Protest of Proposals Rejection as Unacceptable

B-196443: Apr 3, 1980

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A firm protested the award of seven contracts by the Navy. The protester's proposals in response to all seven requests for proposals were judged to be unacceptable as submitted. The protester contended that the procuring agency should have allowed it to improve its proposals through negotiations because its prices were lowest and any deficiencies in its proposals could have been resolved through negotiations. Written or oral discussions must be conducted with only those responsible offerors whose proposals are within the competitive range. An unacceptable technical proposal may be excluded from the competitive range without regard to its proposed costs. The record indicated that the Navy made a thorough evaluation of the protester's proposals and found that the equipment offered deviated from the Navy's minimum requirements. Therefore, the Navy was under no obligation to hold discussions to permit the protester to improve its proposals. The protester also alleged that the awardee's equipment was not the standard production model required by the specifications and that the awardee, as a Canadian Government corporation, received special privileges which constituted an injustice to small businesses. The allegation that the awardee's equipment did not meet the solicitation specifications involved a matter of contract administration which is the responsibility of the procuring activity and not subject to review by GAO. No evidence was presented to substantiate the claim that improper special privileges had been accorded the awardee. Accordingly, the protest was denied.