[Protests of PTO Contract Award for Computer Work Stations]

B-274654,B-274654.2,B-274654.3,B-274654.4,B-274654.5: Dec 26, 1996

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Three firms protested a Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) contract award for computer workstations, contending that PTO: (1) unreasonably evaluated their proposals; (2) unreasonably determined that the awardee offered the best value; and (3) should have held discussions rather than making award based on initial proposals. GAO held that: (1) two of the protesters were sufficiently interested to protest the award, since reevaluation of their proposals could have put them in line for award if their protests were sustained; (2) PTO reasonably determined, in accordance with the evaluation criteria, that the first protester's product did not meet several of the solicitation specifications; (3) the solicitation clearly indicated that PTO would make award on the basis of initial proposals without discussions if possible; (4) PTO reasonably evaluated the second protester's proposal except under one technical issue, but this issue did not materially affect that protester's technical ranking; (5) PTO performed a reasonable cost-technical tradeoff analysis; and (6) PTO reasonably evaluated the third protester's technical proposal and was required to evaluate certain subfactors only if a competitive range was established, which did not occur. Accordingly, the protests were denied.