Must the GAO Discuss with an Offerer the Price Proposed in a Contract?

GAO: Agency Need Not Raise Offeror’s High Price In Discussions

When an agency decides to hold discussions with offerors, must it discuss with an offeror the price proposed for the contract? Not unless that offeror’s proposed price is so high as to be unreasonable.

As the GAO held in a recent bid protest decision, unless an offeror’s price is so high as to make its proposal unacceptable, the offeror is not entitled to be informed during discussions that its price is too high–even if the price is significantly higher than competitors.
The GAO helped shed light on this issue in Joint Logistics Managers, Inc., B-410465.2, B-410465.3 (May 5, 2015). There, the United States Marine Corps issued a task order RFP seeking “Care of Supplies in Storage” services in Albany Georgia, for one base year and one option year. The award was to be made on a best-value basis, considering technical approach, past performance, and price. Price was considered significantly less important than the combined non-price factors; but, price would become increasingly more important if proposals were considered technically equal or if an offeror’s price was so high as to diminish the value of any technical superiority.

Three offerors submitted proposals, including Joint Logistics Managers (JLMI) and PrimeTech International (PTI). After an initial evaluation, the agency entered into discussions with each offeror.  In discussions with JLMI the agency stated that JMLI’s proposal contained no weaknesses or deficiencies. Following the conclusion of discussions, each offeror submitted a final proposal revision.

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Source:, Article written by Matthew Schoonover, Posted on May 27, 2015


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