[Protest of Forest Service Purchase Order for Forest Thinning]

B-274624: Dec 19, 1996

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An individual protested a Forest Service purchase order for forest thinning, contending that the Service: (1) improperly issued the purchase order before receiving his quotation; and (2) gave the awardee preferential treatment because of its participation in the Small Business Administration's section 8(a) program. GAO held that: (1) the Forest Service reasonably decided not to consider the protester's late bid, since the purchase order had been issued at a reasonable price; and (2) there was no evidence that the awardee received preferential treatment, since the Service followed standard simplified acquisition procedures and made numerous attempts to contact the protester for his quote prior to award. Accordingly, the protest was denied.