Protest Against Procurement Procedures

B-196170: Apr 8, 1980

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A firm protested the procurement procedures employed by a Naval agency in noncompetitively awarding delivery for a quantity of frequency converters to another firm. The protester contended that it was a capable source for these items and, therefore, should have been solicited. Also, the protester alleged that the item unit price which was definitized by the Navy and the awardee subsequent to the placement of the delivery order was excessive. However, the Navy advised that the award constituted an interim buy on an urgency basis from the only source that was able to qualify for waiver of first article testing. Thus, the Navy contended that the awardee was the only negotiable source. GAO held that since the record indicated critical supply shortages of an urgently required item, the agency was justified in negotiating a sole-source purchase from the only manufacturer that could qualify for the waiver of first article testing. Additionally, as the contracting officer determined that the price negotiated under the sole-source contract was reasonable, GAO found no reason to object to the contracting officer's determination as there was no showing of bad faith or fraud on the part of the contracting officer.