A firm protested an Army contract award for a multipurpose bayonet system, contending that the Army unreasonably: (1) selected the awardee's higher-rated but more expensive bayonet system, since the Army considered user preference slightly less important than price; (2) determined that the awardee's price for the system was acceptable; and (3) restricted competition by allowing 61 days for proposal submission and providing functional specifications instead of detailed design specifications. The protester also alleged that: (1) the awardee lacked manufacturing capability and intended to rely on subcontractors; (2) the awardee employed a retired Army officer who had written the system's specifications for the Army, resulting in a conflict of interest; and (3) the awardee's system failed to meet the mandatory solicitation requirements. GAO held that: (1) the protester's system did not meet minimum safety requirements; (2) it would not consider the allegation concerning the awardee's price, absent a showing that the Army's price determination was unreasonable or made in bad faith; (3) the protester untimely filed its allegations concerning the proposal submission period and the functional specifications; (4) the solicitation did not restrict the Army from accepting a proposal based on substantial subcontracting; (5) the awardee's employment of a retired Army officer did not give it an unfair competitive advantage, violate post-employment restrictions on government employees, or render it nonresponsible; and (6) the protester untimely filed its allegation that the awardee failed to meet mandatory solicitation requirements more than 10 days after it became aware of the basis for protest. Accordingly, the protest was denied in part and dismissed in part.
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