[Claim for Proposal Preparation Costs]

B-218794: Jul 19, 1985

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A firm claimed reimbursement for proposal preparation costs resulting from the Veterans Administration's (VA) rejection of its step-one proposal in connection with request for technical proposals (RFTP). VA determined that the claimant's proposal was technically deficient, contending that: (1) the technical requirements of the RFTP were ambiguous; and (2) VA conducted discussions with the other two offerers to correct the deficiencies in their proposals, yet failed to do the same with the claimant. GAO determined that VA was unreasonable in determining that the firm's technical proposal was deficient, because GAO found that: (1) a technical requirement was not expressly indicated in the solicitation; (2) VA also implicitly required that an offerer have a Federal Supply Schedule which GAO believed was not mandatory; (3) the claimant had a colorable chance at the award; and (4) since the claimant would have had a substantial chance of receiving the award but for the agency's improper action, the protester was entitled to reimbursement for proposal preparation costs. Accordingly, the claim was sustained.

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