[Protest Under Army RFP for Fuzes and Arming Assemblies]

B-222151: Jun 12, 1986

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A firm protested the Army's request for a second round of best and final offers under a request for proposals (RFP) for fuzes and arming assemblies. The RFP stated that: (1) award would be based on lowest price; and (2) an evaluation factor for the rent-free use of government property, submitted by the offerer in its proposal, would be added to each offerer's price. After discussions and the initial request for best and final offers, the Army determined that one bidder who offered two items did not indicate how the evaluation factor would apply to the individual items, and the Army reopened discussions and requested a second round of best and final offers. The protester contended that the Army: (1) had no valid reason for reopening discussions; (2) requested a second best and final offer from the other firm without conducting adequate discussions; and (3) reopened discussions for the purpose of engaging in auction techniques. GAO found: (1) that applicable procurement regulations provide that a contracting officer may reopen discussions after the receipt of best and final offers where an agency failed to request adequate information during discussions and further discussions are needed to evaluate proposals; (2) that the mere request for best and final offers constitutes adequate discussions where an offerer's proposal contains no deficiencies; and (3) no indication that the Army improperly created an auction. Accordingly, the protest was denied.

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