[Request for Reconsideration of Sustained Protest Under Navy Solicitation]

B-206641.2,B-206728.2,B-207421.2: Dec 30, 1983

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The Navy requested reconsideration of a decision which sustained a protest that certain specifications which it used for underground heat distribution systems in two solicitations were unduly restrictive. GAO sustained the protest because: (1) a requirement became void when superseded by Federal agency prequalification procedures; (2) the Navy refused the protester's proposal even though there was no evidence that it could not meet the Navy's minimum needs; and (3) the Navy failed to demonstrate that the protester's construction method was unsatisfactory. When a protester challenges a requirement as unduly restrictive of competition, it is incumbent upon the agency to establish support for its contention that the restriction is necessary. Since the Navy failed meet this burden of proof, GAO affirmed its decision to sustain the protest. However, since the projects were 75 to 90 percent complete, GAO rescinded its recommendation that the invitation for bids be canceled and the requirements resolicited. GAO did recommend that the Navy take steps to ensure that restrictive specifications are not included in future solicitations involving the installation of underground heating systems.