Protest of Army Contract Award

B-203503: May 4, 1982

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A firm protested the award of an Army contract issued under a request for proposals (RFP) for an automated patient appointment and scheduling system. The Army determined that the protester's proposal was deficient in a number of significant respects causing it to be technically unacceptable. The protester contended that: (1) several of the functional specifications it failed to meet were unduly restrictive of competition and that the Army fashioned the specifications to favor a particular firm; and (2) the Army did not respond to its request for clarification of other specifications. However, GAO found that both portions of the protest were untimely filed with the Army and GAO, respectively. These portions of the protest were denied. The protester complained that, since some offerors did not attend site inspection conferences prior to the closing date, the Army acted improperly by accepting their proposals. However, GAO found that attendance at the conferences was not mandatory and rejected the contention. The protester contested the Army determination that its proposal was technically unacceptable, contending that the Army misinterpreted many of its specifications. After examining the record, GAO found that it amply supported the determination that certain aspects of the proposal significantly failed to satisfy the RFP. The protester complained that Army officials at an operational demonstration expressed favorable opinions about the protester's system, in effect finding the protester's proposal to be acceptable. GAO held that, since the rejection of the protester's proposal was supported by the record, any comments made at the demonstration were irrelevant. Accordingly, the protest was dismissed in part and denied in part.

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