Request for Reconsideration of Decision Alleging Improper Solicitation

B-198782.4,B-198782.5: Aug 11, 1981

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Ralph O. White
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Kenneth E. Patton
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A firm requested a second reconsideration of a decision concerning the award of an Army contract for support of a computer system. In addition, on the basis of correspondence recently made available to it by law, the firm protested that the Army provided information to the awardee that was not made available to the other bidders, thus giving the awardee an unfair advantage. The protester submitted copies of two letters from the awardee to the Army in which various questions concerning the contract were asked. Since the protester was unable to obtain satisfactory answers to similar questions, it contended that the correspondence constituted improper communications between the awardee and the Army. The Army contended that the new protest was untimely since a copy of one letter was received by the protester 17 months prior to the protest. As for the second letter, the Army stated that its responses were taken directly from the request for proposals or were answered during the pre-benchmark conference. GAO reviewed the record and found that the protest of the first letter was, indeed, untimely and that there was not enough information available on the second letter to conclude that the awardee was given an unfair advantage. Since no new information was presented concerning the issues for which a second reconsideration was requested, the prior decision was affirmed. With regard to the new issues, GAO dismissed the untimely portion and denied the remaining portion.