[Protest of DLA Evaluation of Bid]

B-209239: May 5, 1983

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A firm protested the evaluation of its bid under an invitation for bids (IFB) issued by the Defense Logistics Agency. In response to the IFB, the protester submitted two offers, and it maintained that one of its offers had the lowest aggregate price for several of the items listed in the solicitation. The contracting officer concluded that the bid was ambiguous and when a bid is subject to more than one reasonable interpretation, only one of which will render the bid low, the bidder is not permitted to explain its ambiguous bid if to do so would prejudice the other bidders. GAO did not agree that the bid was ambiguous because the protester's cover letter clarified any confusion. GAO stated that, where award on a combination of schedules is contemplated, the award made must result in the lowest cost to the Government. GAO found nothing objectionable about the protester's use of an alternative bidding format and that the awards made were not the most advantageous to the Government. Therefore, the protest was sustained. However, since deliveries under the contract were substantially completed, GAO did not recommend any corrective action.