[Protest of Specifications in Air Force Solicitation as Unduly Restrictive]

B-219669: Oct 25, 1985

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A firm protested under an Air Force solicitation for cardiac monitor/defibrillators, contending that: (1) certain specifications were unduly restrictive and were based on design features of a particular brand of equipment rather than on the Air Forces minimum needs; and (2) no firm other than that which manufactured that brand of equipment could submit a responsive bid. GAO held that: (1) the Air Force reasonably determined that a metal case for each unit was necessary to protect the equipment from damage and give external evidence of any damage that did occur; (2) the Air Force reasonably determined that the monitors should have both visible and audible alarms despite the protester's concern that such alarms would produce a high rate of false alarms; (3) the Air Force reasonably determined that a delay feature was necessary in the unit's heart rhythm recorder; (4) the Air Force reasonably determined that detachable adult and pediatric defibrillator paddle surfaces were necessary to optimize equipment maintenance and repair; and (5) since the Air Force delayed bid opening pending the outcome of the instant protest, there was no reason to assume that all bids other than that of the equipment manufacturer would be nonresponsive. Accordingly, the protest was denied.

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