[Protest of UNICOR Contract Award for Office Chairs]

B-270592.2,B-270592.3,B-270592.4,B-270592.5: Mar 29, 1996

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A firm protested a Federal Prison Industries, Inc. (UNICOR) contract award for office chairs, contending that UNICOR failed to conduct meaningful discussions. GAO held that UNICOR: (1) failed to properly advise the protester of its concerns regarding the comfort factors associated with its product; and (2) should have afforded the protester an opportunity to address the comfort and marketability evaluation subfactors in discussions. Accordingly, the protest was sustained, and GAO recommended that UNICOR: (1) reopen negotiations with all competitive range offerers, conduct meaningful discussions, and request best and final offers; (2) terminate the award if another bid is deemed the best value to the government; and (3) reimburse the protester for its protest costs.