[Protest of Forest Service Contract Award for Reservation Service]

B-278278: Jan 14, 1998

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A firm protested a Forest Service contract award for reservation services, contending that the: (1) Forest Service misevaluated its cost proposal; and (2) Forest Service's discussions with the protester regarding its proposed pricing were inadequate and misleading. GAO held that the: (1) Forest Service did not conduct meaningful discussions with the protester; (2) Forest Service failed to inform the protester that its cost/pricing was considered unrealistically low; and (3) protester was not given the opportunity to comment on adverse past performance considered during the evaluation. Accordingly, the protest was sustained, and GAO recommended that the Forest Service: (1) reopen discussions and reevaluate proposals; (2) terminate the awardee's contract and make award to the protester, if otherwise appropriate; and (3) reimburse the protester for its protest costs.

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