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Revised Solicitation Improperly Limited Proposal Revisions

A solicitation amendment precluding revisions to all aspects of proposals was improper because the government had no reasonable basis for limiting revisions. In response to an earlier protest, the government took corrective action by issuing an amendment to a request for proposals for leather fabric that revised the criteria for the evaluation of past performance. The amendment also advised offerors that previously submitted price proposals would be "utilized to conduct the evaluation of offers for award," and that "[n]o new pricing proposals [were being] requested." The protester argued the RFP amendment materially changed the past performance evaluation criteria and improperly precluded price revisions. In response, the government offered three bases for limiting proposal revisions, arguing the amendment "merely clarified" the RFP's past performance requirements, and that even if the amendment materially revised the RFP's evaluation criteria, the revision would not affect other areas of the offerors' proposals. Moreover, the government argued limiting the offerors' ability to submit revised prices would neutralize harm to the competitive process caused by the contracting officer's erroneous disclosure of the other offerors' prices at the protester's post-award debriefing.

No Basis

The Comptroller General sustained the protest, finding none of the government's arguments provided a reasonable basis for limiting proposal revisions to the area of past performance. The general rule is that offerors should be permitted to revise all aspects of their proposal, absent a reasonable basis proffered by the agency for limiting revisions. Here, none of the three bases provided by the government were be reasonable. First, because the depth and quality of the past performance evaluation criteria were revised, the amendment was a material change. Next, given the protester stated it would lower its proposed price in response to the amended solicitation if the restriction were removed, the record demonstrated the revision would have an affect on its proposed price. Finally, in light of the Federal Acquisition Regulation requirement to equalize the disclosure of information, the government's decision to limit the scope of revisions to address its concern regarding the information disclosed to the protester was unreasonable. The Comptroller General recommended the government amend the solicitation to permit offerors to revise all aspects of their proposals, including price. ( Power Connector, Inc., 26 CGEN 113,515)

Comptroller General decisions appear in this Report at 26 CGEN 113,515 --113,523. Other highlights include the following:

Protests before the Comptroller General. A request seeking a recommendation for reimbursement of protest costs was granted in part and denied in part because the government unduly delayed taking corrective action in the face of a clearly meritorious protest issue. The Comptroller General limited the recovery to the successful "undisclosed evaluation requirement" issue, denying the protester's request for its costs for filing and pursuing its protest concerning the government's issuance of a sole-source purchase order. ( Friendship Dental Laboratories, Inc., 26 CGEN 113,516)

Other Comptroller General decisions in this Report include rulings in the following areas: Solicitations ( OnSite Sterilization, LLC, 26 CGEN 113,520 ; Pride Mobility Products Corp., 26 CGEN 113,517 ; Valor Construction Management, LLC, 26 CGEN 113,518); Selection of contractor ( AccuTech Solutions, Inc., 26 CGEN 113,523 ; Valor Construction Management, LLC, 26 CGEN 113,519); Price and cost ( KMS Solutions, LLC, 26 CGEN 113,521 ; NCS Technologies, Inc., 26 CGEN 113,522)




(The news featured above is a selection from the news covered in the Government Contracts Report Letter, which is published weekly and distributed to subscribers of the Government Contracts Reporter. )


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