[Protest of DOE Rejection of Offer]

B-206119: Sep 22, 1983

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A firm protested the rejection of its offer under a request for an offer issued by a Department of Energy contractor for a supervisory control and data acquisition system. The protester argued that: (1) the procurement should have been formally advertised rather than negotiated; (2) the contracting officer's determination that it did not satisfy the solicitation's prior experience requirement was arbitrary; and (3) it was not notified that its experience was inadequate. Concerning the negotiation of the procurement, GAO found that the protester filed an untimely claim since the protest of the alleged patent solicitation defect was filed after the closing date for receipt of initial proposals. Regarding the protester's complaint about the contracting officer's interpretation of the solicitation provision requiring offerers' prior experience, GAO determined that the contracting officer's judgment was reasonable since offerers were to have successfully operated integrated systems similar to the proposed system for a period of at least 12 months and the protester had not done so. With regard to the alleged deficiencies in notifying the protester that its experience was inadequate, GAO found that the protester was advised of its shortcomings and did, in fact, modify its proposal in response. Accordingly, the protest was denied.

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