A firm filed a timely protest against any awards under requests for proposals (RFP) issued by the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), a sole-source procurement. The protester alleged that the RFPs did not contain any specifications or standards upon which it could base a proposal, and that the units contracted for were improperly designated as critical by DLA. Whether the parts were properly designated as critical was not germane. The question was whether DLA had done everything reasonably possible to obtain data for the procurements involved. Generally, in determining the propriety of a sole-source solicitation, the standard to be applied is one of reasonableness; unless it is shown that the contracting agency acted without a reasonable basis, GAO will not question the solicitation. Where adequate data is not available to an agency to enable it to conduct a competitive procurement GAO will take no exception to a sole-source award even though it recommends that the contracting agency consider initiating efforts to broaden competition in the future. The Director of DLA has been informed of the suggestion that DLA attempt to obtain data from the manufacturers involved before any contracts are awarded. If time will not permit a delay for all of the quantities involved, consideration should be given to making an award for a small number of units together with reprocurement data.
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