[Protest of USDA Solicitation for Document Indexing]

B-241441: Jan 29, 1991

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A firm protested a Department of Agriculture (USDA) solicitation for document indexing, contending that: (1) the solicitation improperly limited competition to firms located near the USDA repository; (2) solicitation provisions for contract options improperly limited competition; (3) USDA improperly issued the solicitation without conducting a cost comparison; and (4) USDA improperly limited the price for services. GAO held that: (1) the protest regarding restricted competition due to location was academic, since USDA removed requirements regarding weekly meetings; (2) USDA properly included a contract option due to limited funding; (3) USDA did not issue the competitive solicitation for purposes of performing a cost comparison; and (4) the protester untimely filed after bid opening its protest regarding solicitation defects. Accordingly, the protest was denied in part and dismissed in part.