[Protest of Cost-Plus-Fixed-Fee Contract Award]

B-204969: Aug 18, 1982

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A firm protested the award of a cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for maintenance of an automated systems database. The agency found the protester's technical proposal to be technically unacceptable and ruled that the awardee's was reasonable and realistic. The protester argued that: (1) the proposal technical evaluation was defective in the scoring of both its proposal and the awardee's proposal; (2) the evaluators departed from the stated evaluation criteria when judging the proposals; and (3) the evaluators were biased in favor of the awardee. GAO stated that, since contracting officers enjoy considerable discretion in scoring proposals, GAO will not resolve disputes over technical proposal scores unless there is a showing of unreasonableness or a violation of procurement statutes and regulations. The protester failed to allege any such violations. Although technical evaluations must be based on the stated evaluation criteria, the interpretation and application of such criteria are often subjective, and evaluations are valid if application of the criteria is reasonably and logically related to the criteria. There was no evidence to support the protester's position that the evaluators were biased, nor were there any improprieties in the evaluation methods. Accordingly, the protest was denied.

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