[Protest of Air Force Rejection of Proposal for Radar Systems]

B-218408: Jul 15, 1985

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A firm protested the Air Force's rejection of its proposal, because cumulative deficiencies in its technical proposal made the proposal unacceptable to the agency. The protester contended that: (1) although it made some mistakes in its technical presentation, the mistakes were minor and did not provide an adequate basis for the rejection of its proposal; (2) the Air Force failed to conduct adequate discussions; (3) the Air Force had a duty to make reasonable efforts to qualify its proposal since the cost savings were significant; and (4) rejecting the proposal resulted in the elimination of competition. GAO found the decision to reject the protester's proposal was unreasonable because: (1) the evaluation was not reasonably supported and was inconsistent with the evaluation scheme set forth in the solicitation; and (2) the deficiencies were minor relative to the scope of work and the changes that would be needed to correct the deficiencies. GAO also found that: (1) the evaluation was not based on the equipment proposed by the protester, but on an antedated system that the protester delivered to the agency in 1976; (2) the protester clearly stated that there were substantial differences between its proposed system and the earlier system from which the Air Force derived its evaluation; (3) the perceived deficiency involved a lack of supporting data for the proposed system and not a deficiency in the system itself; and (4) the agency acted unreasonable by eliminating the protester from the competitive range where the deficiencies could have been made acceptable through minor revisions. Accordingly, the protest was sustained.