[Protest of Army Termination of Contract for Lunch Meals]

B-275882.2: Apr 10, 1997

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A firm protested the Army's decision to terminate its contract for lunch meals and the Army's subsequent proposed award to another firm, contending that the Army had properly rejected the proposed awardee's original bid, since the awardee impermissibly acknowledged a material solicitation amendment by facsimile. GAO held that the: (1) amendment was material, since it imposed new obligations on the contractor that did not exist in the original solicitation; (2) awardee's bid was nonresponsive, since it did not properly acknowledge the amendment or clearly commit the awardee to provide the required services; and (3) Army should not have waived the awardee's failure to acknowledge the amendment as a minor informality and should have rejected the bid. Accordingly, the protest was sustained, and GAO recommended that the Army: (1) cancel the solicitation and resolicit on the basis of a statement of work that accurately reflects the Army's needs; and (2) reimburse the protester for its protest costs.