[Protest of NIEHS Solicitation for Editing Services]

B-241641: Feb 14, 1991

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A firm protested a National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) solicitation for editing services, contending that: (1) contrary to NIEHS contentions, it was sufficiently interested to challenge the solicitation; (2) the small-purchase solicitation underestimated the contract costs; and (3) a requirement for oral discussions between NIEHS and the contractor restricted competition to firms within NIEHS vicinity and showed that NIEHS sought to create an impermissible personal services contract. GAO held that: (1) the protester was sufficiently interested to challenge the solicitation, since it would be a potential competitor under a revised solicitation if its protest were sustained; (2) NIEHS reasonably anticipated procuring the services for less than $25,000 and reasonably incorporated small-purchase procedures; (3) the protester did not identify any errors or provide any evidence showing that the oral discussions requirement was unreasonable; and (4) since NIEHS did not supervise or control the contractor's personnel, oral discussions did not constitute a impermissible personal services contract. Accordingly, the protest was denied.

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