[Protest of Corps of Engineers Contract Award]

B-213382: Feb 23, 1984

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A firm protested an Army Corps of Engineers contract award to another firm, contending that: (1) it was improperly denied the opportunity to submit a best and final offer; (2) the award was made on the basis of price rather than the technical evaluation of the proposals. The Corps received two bids, determined that both were acceptable, and contacted both bidders to clarify minor points. The protester argued that this contact constituted discussions which, under the solicitation, would obligate the Corps to obtain best and final offers. GAO held that while, under the terms of the solicitation and in light of the circumstances, the Corps' failure to solicit best and final offers was improper, neither bidder was prejudiced by the action since neither was permitted to modify its proposal. GAO also held that the technical evaluation scores were very close and that the Corps' evaluation of proposals was consistent with the terms set forth in the solicitation. Accordingly, the protest was denied.