[Request for Reconsideration of Sustained Protests Against DLA Contract Awards]

B-239565.2,B-239566.2: Mar 19, 1991

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The Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) requested reconsideration of two sustained protests against its contract awards for valves. GAO had held that DLA breached its duty to promote small-purchase competition by losing two bids from the same firm within less than 1 week. In its request for reconsideration, DLA contended that: (1) there was no evidence of bad faith or deliberate exclusion; (2) it did not breach its duty to promote competition because the field of competition for small purchases had been narrowed by regulation; and (3) the firm failed to submit requisite technical data for alternate items with its bid. GAO held that: (1) the combination of circumstances constituted more than mere negligence; (2) DLA had a fundamental obligation to permit all eligible bidders a reasonable opportunity to compete, and to fully and fairly consider their bids; and (3) it would not consider the alternate-item argument, since DLA could have raised it in its report on the original protest. Accordingly, the prior decision was affirmed.