Protest of Agency Rejection of Technical Proposal
B-200334: Feb 19, 1981
- Full Report:
A firm protested the rejection of its technical proposal in the first step of a two-step formally advertised procurement. The protester already had a fixed-price indefinite quantity contract to supply the same activity to the agency. The protester contended that: (1) the issuance of the request for proposals while it held its contract created an auction situation in which bidders in the second step of the procurement would have the opportunity to review the prices in its contract and bid lower; (2) two-step formal advertising was not appropriate for this procurement; (3) the request for proposals contained certain defects which prompted the protester to request clarification which was not received until the day before the proposals were due and was inadequate; (4) the request for proposal evaluation criteria were vague and unclear; and (5) the agency's evaluation of the proposal as unacceptable was arbitrary and capricious. The first four grounds of the protest were untimely filed more than 10 working days after the agency received proposals under the request for proposals. The protester's allegation that the agency's evaluation of its proposal was arbitrary and capricious was timely filed. GAO concluded that the evaluation was conducted fairly, reasonably, and in accordance with the stated evaluation criteria. Since technical evaluations must be based on information submitted with a proposal and not prior agency experience with the work of the firm, GAO had no basis to object to the evaluation. The protest was dismissed in part and denied in part.