[Protest of Any Air Force Contract Award to Another Firm]

B-210223.4,B-210223.5: Feb 13, 1984

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Two firms protested any Air Force contract award to a third firm, contending that the awardee's bid was nonresponsive to an invitation for bids for collection, transportation, and disposal of refuse. The protesters complained that the awardee's bid deviated from the requirement that all unit prices be the same for each year of the multiyear procurement. GAO stated that it will accept a technically nonresponsive bid when the needs of the Government are satisfied and the integrity of competitive bidding is not adversely affected. In this instance, the Air Force award did not prejudice other bidders since: (1) the cost spread between the three bidders was sufficiently large to justify the conclusion that the deviation in the awardee's bid was not significant; and (2) the awardee submitted the lowest bid even under circumstances where the contract might be canceled or terminated after the first operational month. Further, a protest by one of the protesters that the solicitation was defective was found to be untimely because it was filed after the bid opening date. Accordingly, the protests were dismissed in part and denied in part.

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