[Protest of Department of the Interior Contract Award]

B-212441: Mar 20, 1984

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A firm protested a contract award by the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), contending that BIA improperly rejected its low bid as nonresponsive. BIA rejected the bid in the belief that it did not meet the required delivery terms. GAO found that the solicitation specified that the Government desired delivery within 30 calendar days. The protester contended that it was not required to offer delivery within that time and could quote any reasonable delivery period. GAO held that, since the solicitation used the word "desired" rather than "required," the bid was improperly rejected. Accordingly, the protest was sustained. Since the original contract award was canceled, GAO recommended that BIA: (1) award the contract to the protester, assuming that the protester remained willing to accept award; and (2) ensure that future solicitations stipulate final acceptable delivery dates.

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