[Protest of Marine Corps Contract Award]

B-215259: Aug 17, 1984

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A firm protested a contract award under a Marine Corps invitation for bids (IFB) issued on a brand-name-or-equal basis, contending that the Marine Corps improperly rejected its bid as nonresponsive. The IFB stated that any offerer of a product other than the brand name specified must submit descriptive material to enable the contracting activity to determine whether the product met the listed salient characteristics. The contracting officer determined that the protester's descriptive literature failed to show its product's compliance with certain requirements. The protester further asserted that it satisfied the requirements in question by acknowledging the amendment containing those requirements and by agreeing in its bid to meet all other stated salient characteristics. GAO held that: (1) to be responsive to a brand-name-or-equal solicitation, an offerer must submit sufficient literature to show the compliance of its product with all salient characteristics; and (2) a blanket offer to comply with specifications is an insufficient basis for a determination of responsiveness. Accordingly, the protest was denied.