[Protest of AID Contract Award for Freight Forwarding Services]

B-223905.2: Apr 20, 1987

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A firm protested an Agency for International Development (AID) contract award for ship booking, chartering, and freight forwarding services, contending that: (1) the awardee's bid was nonresponsive, since it did not adhere to the solicitation's geographic restrictions; (2) the technical evaluation committee improperly held discussions in violation of AID regulations; (3) AID failed to conduct meaningful discussions with it; and (4) AID awarded the contract without adequately documenting its basis for selection. GAO held that: (1) although the awardee's initial proposal was deficient, AID reasonably determined that the awardee corrected the deficiencies through negotiations; (2) it would not review the contention that the awardee would be unable to comply with the solicitation requirements, since that was a matter of responsibility; (3) it would not review the contention that the awardee would not perform as required, since that was a matter of contract administration; (4) the protester untimely filed its protest against the evaluation committee's actions more than 10 days after it became aware of its basis for protest; (5) AID conducted proper discussions with the protester and notified it of its proposal's weaknesses; and (6) since AID did not support its ranking of the proposals with a written narrative, it had an insufficient basis to make award. Accordingly, the protest was denied in part, dismissed in part, and sustained in part, and GAO recommended that AID terminate the contract and reaward it, if appropriate.

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