[Protest of Army Contract Award Contending Improper Request for Second Best and Final Offer]

B-216646: Jan 18, 1985

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A firm protested the Army's award of a contract for metal boxes to another firm. The protester contended that: (1) the agency improperly requested a second round of best and final offers based on its desire to give the other firm an opportunity to lower its price, which constituted an auction; (2) the agency disclosed competitive price information to the other firm; (3) the agency improperly intended to exercise an option under the awarded contract for more than twice the quantity contained in the solicitation; and (4) errors occurred in the transportation evaluation factors used to evaluate offers under the solicitation. GAO held that: (1) the agency's request for a second round of best and final offers was not objectionable where a valid reason existed for the action; (2) the protester's allegation that the agency improperly disclosed price information was speculative because the protester failed to provide proof of its allegation; (3) the agency's purported exercise of an option would have been within the amended terms of the request for proposals under which the competition was conducted; and (4) the alleged errors in the transportation evaluation factors did not materially affect the results of the evaluation. Accordingly, the protest was denied.