[Request for Reconsideration of Protest of Army Contract Award]

B-241764.2: Oct 3, 1991

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A firm requested reconsideration of its denied protest against an Army contract award for automatic data processing equipment maintenance and repair. GAO had held that the awardee could offer a price reduction to its schedule contract at any time during the contract period. In its request for reconsideration, the protester contended that the Army improperly determined that the awardee's schedule contract provided the lowest overall cost, since the Army compared its quote not with the awardee's schedule contract but with the quote submitted by the awardee in response to the Commerce Business Daily synopsis, which raised the awardee's schedule prices by 10 percent. GAO held that: (1) the protester was prejudiced by the Army's violation of the Federal Information Resources Management Regulation when the Army compared the protester's quote to a nonexistent schedule price instead of issuing a solicitation under full and open competition; and (2) the Army's sole-source determination was not justified, since the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) reported that its statement to the Army that only OEM could furnish replacement parts was misunderstood and that parts were available to third-party vendors. Accordingly, the original decision was reversed, and GAO recommended that the Army reimburse the protester for its protest costs.