[Protest of Bid Rejection Under Army Solicitation for Scientific and Technical Support Services]

B-219967.2: Dec 27, 1985

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A firm protested the Army's rejection of its bid for support services, contending that the Army: (1) failed to conduct meaningful negotiations; (2) diluted the importance of cost; and (3) gave undue weight to offerer experience and responsibility during the evaluation process. GAO has held that: (1) where an agency considers a weakness in a proposal to be inherent in the offerer's management judgment, it is not always necessary to include that matter in discussions; (2) agencies may use a variety of evaluation methods, including normalizing methods, in evaluating cost proposals, as long as they provide a reasonable basis for source selection; and (3) there is nothing unreasonable about scoring the cost factor based on relative difference in cost proposals as long as the use of such an approach will not produce a distorted or irrational result. GAO found that: (1) the record supported the conclusion that the weakness in the protester's proposal was such that substantial revision would have been necessary; (2) the cost proposal scores were not inconsistent with the relative merits of the proposals or the evaluation scheme set forth in the solicitation; and (3) the contract specialist did not evaluate the protester's proposal for experience or find it nonresponsible. Accordingly, the protest was denied.

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