[Protest of Army Contract Award]

B-213233: Dec 20, 1983

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A firm protested a contract award under an Army request for proposals (RFP), contending that the contracting officer improperly waived a first article testing requirement for the awardee. A clause in the RFP was amended to read that the solicitation was restricted to contractors who would be eligible for first article waiver at the time of award. The protester argued that, since the awardee had not completed first article testing at the time of award, it was not eligible. GAO has held that the decision to waive first article testing is an administrative one and it will not disturb such a decision unless it is shown to be arbitrary or capricious. GAO did not agree with the protester's interpretation of the waiver clause in the RFP and, since the awardee's product had passed substantially all first article tests under an earlier contract and was expected to complete the remaining tests expeditiously, GAO found no basis upon which to question the contracting officer's decision. Accordingly, the protest was denied.