[Protest of GSA Solicitation for Office Space Construction and Lease]

B-274140.2: Dec 26, 1996

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A firm protested the General Services Administration's (GSA) decision to reopen discussions and request additional best-and-final offers (BAFO) under a solicitation for the construction and lease of office space, contending that GSA: (1) should have made award to the protester, since it submitted the lowest-priced, technically acceptable bid and GSA disclosed pricing and technical information prior to reopening the competition; and (2) unreasonably evaluated its initial BAFO. GAO held that GSA: (1) was not precluded from reopening the competition, since it reasonably determined that the action was in the government's best interest; (2) properly reopened the competition and requested additional BAFO to give the awardee an opportunity to revise its otherwise strong bid through discussions; (3) disclosure of information to equalize competition was an appropriate alternative to eliminating a bidder from competition due to a prior disclosure of information that could have resulted in an unfair competitive advantage; and (4) properly based its award decision on the evaluation of new BAFO. Accordingly, the protest was denied.