[Protest of Bid Evaluation Practices]

B-208021: Jul 30, 1982

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A firm protested the Army's failure to evaluate its offer of a prompt payment discount for payments made within 10 calendar days. The protester argued that the Army acted unfairly by not clearly informing bidders in the solicitation that 10-day discounts would not be considered. Further, the protester alleged that the solicitation forms were misleading, causing it to believe that a 10-day discount would be included in the evaluation. GAO believed that the language of the solicitation was clear in explaining the discount formula. GAO has held that instructions must be consulted to determine the minimum acceptable prompt payment discount and that it is not necessary to specify acceptable discounts on the face of the solicitation unless the acceptable discount term differs from that provided in the standard form. GAO held that the practice of incorporation by reference does not in any way undermine the integrity of the bidding system. Accordingly, the protest was summarily denied.