[Protest of DOT Contract Award for Counseling Services]
B-222364: Jun 13, 1986
- Full Report:
A firm protested a Department of Transportation (DOT) contract award for counseling services, contending that: (1) at the same time DOT requested a best and final offer, it improperly requested an extension of the offer acceptance period; (2) DOT should resolicit its requirements using a sealed bidding procurement method; and (3) DOT should have considered the 10-point spread between its technical score and the awardee's technical score as a factor in the award determination. GAO found that: (1) DOT properly evaluated all the technical proposals and found them technically acceptable; (2) DOT informed offerers that the acceptance period extension was to prevent proposals from expiring during the final evaluation; (3) an offerer should not expect any further discussions after it submits its best and final offer; (4) DOT held cost discussions with the offerers prior to the request for best and final offers; (5) there were no technical deficiencies in any of the proposals that warranted discussions; (6) the protester's argument for a sealed procurement was untimely; and (7) when technical proposals are deemed essentially equal, price properly becomes the controlling factor in making an award. Accordingly, the protest was denied in part and dismissed in part.