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A firm requested reconsideration of a previous decision which sustained a protest against the Internal Revenue Service's (IRS) award of a contract to it. The record showed that the protest was sustained on the basis that the protesting firm was prejudiced by improper disclosures made to the awardee by agency personnel prior to the submission of best and final offers. GAO had recommended that the contract with the awardee be terminated and award made to the protesting firm, the only other offeror. In its request for reconsideration, the awardee contended that: (1) the GAO decision was factually erroneous since the IRS report neither admitted prejudice to the other offeror nor demonstrated that the firm gained an improper competitive edge due to the alleged disclosures; (2) the decision was legally erroneous because the recommendation that its contract be terminated and awarded to the other offeror was improper under the applicable law; (3) while forming its recommendation, GAO failed to consider factors involving the seriousness of the procurement deficiency, the degree of prejudice to other offerors, the good faith of the parties, the extent of performance, the cost to the Government, the urgency of the procurement, and the impact on the agency's mission; and (4) the remedy proposed would result in an improper noncompetitive award. GAO held that the record clearly stated that an improper disclosure had been made and that it could perceive of no reason why the IRS would state that an improper disclosure had occurred if the agency had not found one. Additionally, GAO held that, where it finds that an award was improper, it will recommend that corrective action be taken in order to protect the integrity of and confidence in the competitive procurement system. Further, GAO believes that, to preserve the integrity of the competitive procurement system, a recommendation that the awardee's contract be terminated was necessary. With regard to the contention that the recommendation would result in a noncompetitive award, GAO held that it does not believe that such an award can properly be characterized as noncompetitive since it would be based on the competition under the protested procurement and since the awardee is being permitted to complete its 1-year contract. Accordingly, since the firm did not demonstrate an error in fact or law in the original decision, the previous decision was affirmed.


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