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A small business firm protested that a wide scope of services solicited under a cost-type prime contract with the Department of Energy unduly restricted competition because a small business was unable to compete with a few large corporations that would be able to offer the diverse services. Since the alleged impropriety in the solicitation was apparent and the protesting firm did not object until after being notified that it was not selected for award, the protest was untimely and was not considered. The scope of the services being solicited, the lack of a small business or minority firm preference, and the absence of an evaluation factor for cost were apparent from the request for proposals (RFP). In the future, however, the Secretary of Energy should indicate the role of cost in the evaluation on the RFP. The protester's allegation that award to only one firm was inconsistent with the RFP was considered, but no basis was found to indicate that a single award was contrary to the terms of the RFP.

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