[Protest of Cancellation of Contract Awarded by USDA]

B-213547: Jan 13, 1984

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A firm protested the cancellation of its contract for janitorial services under a request for quotations (RFQ) issued by the Department of Agriculture (USDA). The contract was reawarded to another firm after USDA discovered that it had made an error in addition when it initially evaluated the eventual awardee's quotation. Since the initial award was based on an erroneous evaluation, the protester's quotation was not low and, therefore, USDA determined that the award was improper. The protester argued that the awardee's chosen format caused the agency's error and, therefore, the reaward should be set aside and the contract should again be awarded to the protester. GAO found that the method the awardee used to break down the prices in the quotation was not precluded by the RFQ and did not cause the agency's error in addition. GAO stated that the Government's strong interest in the preservation of the integrity of the competitive procurement system required the reaward of the contract, unless there were substantial and convincing reasons that such action was not in the best interest of the Government. Accordingly, the protest was denied.

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