[Protest of Education Contract Award for Bilingual Education Program Resource Centers]

B-222591.2: Oct 9, 1986

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A state agency protested a Department of Education contract award for the development and operation of a five-state area regional resource center for bilingual education, contending that Education: (1) unreasonably excluded it from the competitive range; (2) failed to notify it that its proposal was technically unacceptable and failed to conduct discussions with it; (3) unreasonably found that its proposal was weak with respect to the other states in its service area, because the proposal was prepared as a consortium effort with the other four states, all of which had considerable experience; and (4) was biased against it. GAO held that: (1) Education reasonably determined that the proposal was so weak that the protester could not make it acceptable without a major revision; (2) Education notified the protester that it was excluding the proposal from the competitive range, and was not required to otherwise notify the protester that the proposal was unacceptable; (3) since the proposal was outside of the competitive range, Education was not required to conduct discussions with the protester; (4) Education was required to evaluate the proposal on the basis of information presented, rather than on the basis of the protester's inherent capabilities; (5) the proposal included no information indicating specifically how the other states intended to support the contract effort; (6) there was no evidence that Education was biased against the protester; and (7) a specific evaluation panel member that the protester claimed was biased did not participate in the evaluation of the protester's proposal. Accordingly, the protest was denied.

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