[Protest of Air Force Contract Award for Obstetrical and Gynecological Services]

B-250820: Feb 23, 1993

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A firm protested an Air Force contract award for obstetrical and gynecological services, contending that: (1) the Air Force improperly evaluated its bid as technically unacceptable due to staffing deficiencies and excluded it from the competitive range; and (2) its bid's deficiencies were minor informalities that could be corrected through discussions. GAO held that: (1) the Air Force was required to hold discussions with bidders whose technically unacceptable bids were susceptible of being made acceptable; (2) the Air Force's decision to restrict competition to one firm was unreasonable, since the protester's bid deficiencies were minor and susceptible to correction through discussions; (3) the Air Force unreasonably determined that the protester's bid was technically unacceptable, since its bid included adequate staffing information; and (4) the Air Force improperly excluded the bid from the competitive range. Accordingly, the protest was sustained, and GAO recommended that the Air Force: (1) not exercise the contract options and recompete the requirement after the base year; (2) review the solicitation and amend it if necessary; and (3) reimburse the protester for its protest and bid preparation costs.

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