[Protest of HHS Contract Award for Telephone Switchboard Operators]

B-258808.4: Jun 22, 1995

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A firm protested a Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) contract award for telephone switchboard operators, contending that: (1) it provided fixed labor rates for all labor categories in the option years; and (2) HHS failed to hold meaningful discussions with it. GAO held that: (1) HHS improperly rejected the protester's bid, since its bid contained firm fixed prices as required; (2) the protester's reference to changes in Department of Labor wage rates did not alter the protester's firm fixed prices; and (3) HHS unreasonably determined that the protester's proposed wage rates were unacceptable. Accordingly, the protest was sustained and GAO recommended that HHS: (1) terminate the awardee's contract and make award to the protester as the low bidder; and (2) reimburse the protester for its protest costs.

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