[Protest of Army Contract Award for Facsimile Machines]

B-216596: May 31, 1985

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A firm protested an Army contract award, contending that: (1) its competitive position was prejudiced by an alleged unauthorized disclosure of information regarding its technical and price proposals; (2) the procurement was biased in favor of the awardee as a result of both a conflict of interest and improper influence exerted by an Army official; and (3) the awardee's proposal was technically unacceptable for failure to meet one of the operational requirements in the solicitation. GAO found that the protester offered no direct evidence of an unauthorized disclosure of information regarding its own proposal; therefore, it failed to meet its burden of proof concerning this allegation. GAO noted that, even if the protester had been able to show that disclosure had occurred, there was no indication that the information allegedly disclosed was used to improve the awardee's best and final offer. GAO also found that: (1) nothing in the Army's internal memos indicated any bias in favor of the awardee's proposal or any evidence that the official attempted to influence the outcome of the procurement; (2) it was reasonable for the Army to rate the awardee's proposal as technically acceptable despite its failure to meet the standards compliance criterion, since absolute compliance with all the requirements was not called for; and (3) the protest challenging the Army's decision not to require total compliance with the solicitation's requirements was untimely because it was not filed before the date for receipt of initial proposals. Accordingly, the protest was denied.

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