[Protest of Proposed Air Force Contract Award for Portable Scales]

B-221347.2,B-221347.3: May 13, 1986

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A firm protested a proposed Air Force contract award for portable scales, contending that: (1) although the awardee was a scale manufacturer, its offered product did not satisfy the requirement for a commercial-type product; (2) the Air Force misled offerers regarding the required product; (3) the Air Force improperly determined that the awardee's noncommercial product would meet its requirements; and (4) the Air Force improperly awarded the contract without giving every bidder the same opportunity to offer a noncommercial-type scale. GAO held that: (1) since the protester claimed that it could offer a scale at a lower price than the awardee, it qualified as an interested party to protest the proposed award; (2) whether or not the Air Force intended to establish a commercial-type product requirement, it unequivocally advised offerers that there was such a requirement; and (3) although the Air Force's responses to the protester's questions did not constitute a solicitation amendment, the information was binding to all offerers. Accordingly, the protest was sustained.