[Protest of USDA Award for Security Services]

B-235711: Oct 4, 1989

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A firm protested the Department of Agriculture's (USDA) sole-source reprocurement of a defaulted security guard services contract, contending that USDA improperly awarded the contract to the second low bidder under the original solicitation, since USDA: (1) had sufficient time between the original contract's termination and the start of the new contract to obtain competition; (2) improperly assumed that only the awardee was capable of meeting its requirements; and (3) improperly included option years in the new contract. GAO held that USDA: (1) had no knowledge of how other offerers would have bid on the reprocurement; and (2) lacked an urgent and compelling need to noncompetitively procure its option requirements. Accordingly, the protest was sustained, and GAO recommended that USDA: (1) competitively reprocure its option requirements; and (2) reimburse the protester for its protest costs.