[Protest of AID Exclusion of Bidder for Technical Assistance]

B-251902.3: Nov 8, 1993

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A firm protested the Agency for International Development's (AID) exclusion of it from a reopened competition for technical assistance, contending that AID unreasonably concluded that it had an unfair competitive advantage because of the information it had obtained about other bidders pursuant to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. GAO held that AID unreasonably excluded the protester from the reopened competition, since: (1) the protester did not improperly or illegally obtain the bidder information; and (2) exclusion would impose an economic hardship on the protester. Accordingly, the protest was sustained, and GAO recommended that AID: (1) reopen the competition and provide all bidders with the FOIA information that the protester received; and (2) reimburse the protester for its protest costs.