[Protest of USGS Issuance of Delivery Order]

B-210415: Oct 11, 1983

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A firm protested the U.S. Geological Survey's (USGS) purchase of six automatic data processing controllers. The protester contended that the award was improper because it was not given an opportunity to demonstrate that its lower priced controller would perform as required. Prior to this procurement, USGS had purchased one of the protester's controllers; when it failed to operate for 6 months, USGS borrowed another controller which operated properly from the beginning while the protester's controller was being corrected. Consequently, when USGS needed more controllers, it decided to order the model which operated properly and published a synopsis of this intent in the Commerce Business Daily. In response to the advertisement, the protester offered to supply its controller and to demonstrate the model. However, certain features of the protester's model did not operate, a failure that could cause severe security problems, and USGS ordered the other controllers. The protester contended that its offer should not have been rejected without its being given the opportunity to properly demonstrate its product. The protester requested a reopening of competition and the opportunity to demonstrate its product before a qualified evaluation team. GAO will not object to the purchase of a higher priced product, unless the decision is shown to be unreasonable. Given its past experience, GAO found that USGS reasonably concluded that the protester's controller would not satisfy its minimum requirements. GAO did not believe that the agency was required to seek a further demonstration of the protester's controller. Accordingly, the protest was denied.

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