[Protest of Interior Contract Award]

B-209723: May 10, 1983

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A firm protested a Fish and Wildlife Service contract award, contending that the agency relaxed a solicitation requirement for the benefit of the awardee without informing the protester. Offerers were required to propose fixed hourly rates for each job category of the technical support contract. The agency determined that both the awardee's and the protester's offers were technically acceptable, although they both modified a certain job classification to avoid Service Contract Act requirements. The awardee's bid was low, and it therefore received the award. The protester argued that the awardee's modification materially deviated from the requirement, which provided it with a competitive advantage, and that the agency should not have considered the two classifications as a common basis for bid evaluation. Although GAO agreed that the agency should not have evaluated the bids using differing classifications, the awardee's bid would have remained low even had the same classification been used. The protester further argued that a modification to the contract shortly after award demonstrated preferential treatment of the awardee. GAO held that the modification did not circumvent the scope of the contract nor did the protester provide any basis upon which to disturb the award. Accordingly, the protest was denied.

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  • OST, Inc.
    We deny the protest.

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