[Request for Reconsideration of Denial of Protest Under DLA RFP]

B-218359.3: Jan 22, 1986

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A firm requested reconsideration of the denial of its protest under a Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) solicitation for drug test systems. GAO noted that: (1) the protester alleged that the solicitation was unduly restrictive of competition because it required systems employing a radioimmunoassay test method (R-method); (2) the protester's drug system was based on the enzyme immunoassay test method (E-method); and (3) DLA determined the E-method to be unreliable based on the evaluation of scientific literature submitted by a manufacturer of an R-method test system. GAO found that: (1) DLA relied on a quality control report which showed that an outside contractor, who performed initial drug screening tests using the E-method, had a very low correct rate on positive samples; (2) DLA determined that drug systems employing the E-method were not accurate for semi-quantitative testing and, therefore, did not have the reliability critical to its needs; (3) the protester failed to demonstrate that the E-method was precise and accurate enough to be used for laboratory test kits; and (4) the protester failed to meet its burden of showing that the decision to restrict the procurement was clearly unreasonable. GAO also found that: (1) DLA is not required to conduct its own tests where it has demonstrated a reasonable basis for determining that a system will not meet its needs; (2) the protester had not demonstrated that the initial decision was based on an erroneous conclusion of law; (3) DLA is taking sufficient steps to increase competition; and (4) dissatisfaction with the steps being taken to increase competition did not warrant reversal or modification of the prior decision. Accordingly, the prior decision was affirmed.