[Protest of Air Force Issuance of Delivery Order]
B-213356: May 7, 1984
- Full Report:
A firm protested the Air Force's issuance of a delivery order under the Federal Supply Schedule, contending that it has products listed on the Supply Schedule which would meet the Air Force's needs at a lower price than the awardee's price, but that the Air Force misled it into quoting a price on its highest quality, higher priced product by failing to notify it of a change in the specifications. To fulfill an urgent need, the Air Force had issued a request for quotations to three firms including the awardee and the protester. Upon receipt of quotations, the Air Force decided that it would be in its best interest to acquire only items covered fully by each bidder's Supply Schedule contract, revised its requirements, and so notified the offerers orally. The protester contended that the awardee should not have been issued the delivery order because its product did not comply with the initial specifications but that, if the awardee's item met the orally modified specifications, the protester should have been permitted to quote on the relaxed specifications used. Finally, it argued that the oral modification by the Air Force constituted an improper procurement procedure which prejudiced its interests. GAO agreed with the protester that the Air Force was obligated to provide all offerers with an adequate statement of its needs and that an oral change or modification to a solicitation should be followed by a written amendment. However, Defense Acquisition Regulations authorize oral amendments to written solicitations where the processing of a written amendment would delay the furnishing of supplies to the detriment of the Government. Furthermore, GAO found that the protester failed to show that the Air Force intentionally misled it or that the oral modification was unreasonable under the circumstances. Accordingly, the protest was denied.