[Protest of RFP Alleging Improper Use of Negotiation]

B-212564: Dec 13, 1983

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A firm protested a solicitation by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), contending that the use of negotiation rather than formal advertisement to procure the required services was improper, because the services were routine and well suited to formal advertising. SEC determined that it was impossible to draft specifications that would ensure that its minimum needs would be met. GAO held that, since SEC required a high level of technical competence to satisfy its needs and specifications describing those needs could not be drafted, its use of negotiation was proper. Accordingly, the protest was denied.