Protest of Defense Logistics Agency Contract Award

B-204463: Feb 8, 1982

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A firm protested the award of a contract for 12 explosion-proof forklift trucks issued by the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) under an invitation for bids. The protester contended that it was entitled to the award, because DLA should not have waived first article testing for the awardee without doing the same for the protester. Therefore, the protester would have been the low bidder. DLA evaluated the low bid submitted by the awardee and determined that, under applicable regulations, first article testing should have been waived because: (1) the awardee passed first article testing on a substantially similar item, a 4,000-pound truck, that DLA technical personnel approved; and (2) in 1968, the awardee passed first article testing of a substantially similiar item as the one to be procured. The protester contended that: (1) the waiver was arbitrary because the awardee's truck was not substantially similar; (2) the contracting officer overrelied on the DLA technical personnel in making the waiver determination; and (3) the technical personnel made a recommendation without adequate information regarding the features of the 4,000-pound truck and the item being procured. The protester did not comment on the other basis upon which waiver was granted, the fact that first article testing was waived in 1968 on the 6,000-pound truck. GAO held that the protester had not shown that the determination to waive first article testing was arbitrary or capricious. Accordingly, the protest was denied.