[Protest of National Park Service Contract Award]

B-207573,B-207573.2: Dec 10, 1982

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Two firms protested a contract award by the National Park Service for a solar electric photovoltaic power system. The protesters contended that the awardee's proposal did not comply with the wattage load requirement in the request for proposals and that the specifications were ambiguous. GAO stated that the Department of the Interior's evaluation of the awardee's proposal was reasonable and in accord with the proposal criteria. GAO further agreed with Interior's statement that the awardee's proposal demonstrated a highly responsive attitude toward reducing levels of cost while fulfilling the functional requirement of the system. Although the protesters contended that the awardee was proposing to use the required backup system to support the load requirement, GAO noted that there was nothing in the solicitation which prohibited offerors from utilizing maintenance test energy to support the performance requirement and that innovations not forbidden by the solicitation or not foreseen by the other offerors were not prohibited. GAO further held that the allegation that the specifications were ambiguous was untimely, because any protest on these grounds was required to be submitted prior to the closing date for initial proposals. Accordingly, the protest was denied in part and dismissed in part.

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