[Protest of DLA Contract Award Alleging Improper Alteration of Evaluation Scheme]

B-210204: May 16, 1983

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A firm protested a Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) contract award under a request for proposals for automatic data processing services. The protester contended that DLA improperly altered the evaluation scheme after the receipt and evaluation of initial proposals. Prior to the submission of best and final offers, DLA issued amendments to the solicitation to correct an ambiguity in the evaluation and selection scheme. The protester argued that this change, issued 4 months after the submission of initial proposals, was not permissible. GAO found that the DLA action was proper, because an agency may depart from an announced evaluation plan if it informs all offerers of the change and provides them with the opportunity to restructure their proposals. GAO found nothing improper in the DLA alteration of the evaluation approach to provide for award based on an overall cost and technical factors rating. Furthermore, since DLA informed the offerers of the change by issuing an amendment prior to the cutoff date for best and final offers, the protester could have revised its proposal to reflect the new evaluation scheme had it chosen to do so. Therefore, GAO found no basis upon which to question the award, and the protest was denied.