[Complaint Alleging Improper Sole-Source Contract Award]

B-213247: Aug 27, 1984

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Kenneth E. Patton
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A firm complained that certain specifications in an Air Force grantee's invitation for bids (IFB) were overly restrictive or defective and that the grantee improperly awarded a contract on a sole-source basis, contending that the award contravened regulations to obtain maximum open and free competition. Since the grantee cancelled its original IFB because of deficient specifications and awarded the contract on a sole-source basis, GAO dismissed as academic the complaint of defective specifications in the original solicitation. The record indicated that the grantee fulfilled its obligation to investigate whether a sole-source award was justified and whether the complainant's product would satisfy its needs. Both the complainant and the grantee provided technical support for their arguments; however, GAO held that the complainant must bear the burden of showing an abuse of procurement discretion or that contracting officials' actions were arbitrary or capricious. GAO found that the complainant had not met that burden of proof. Accordingly, the protest was denied.

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