An agency’s oral advice, given at a pre-proposal conference, did not amend the solicitation or legally bind the agency.
In a recent bid protest decision, the GAO reiterated that offerors rely on oral advice from agencies at their own risk–particularly when the oral advice in question appears to contradict the plain language of the solicitation.
GAO’s decision in Technology and Telecommunications Consultants, Inc., B-415029 (Oct. 16, 2017) involved an Air Force solicitation seeking IT services in support of the Air Command Personnel Recovery Division. The solicitation was issued as a competitive 8(a) set-aside under the GSA’s 8(a) STARS II GWAC.
The solicitation provided a list of tasks that the awardee wold be expected to perform. Under one of these tasks, the solicitation stated that the awardee would be expected to provide support to the Air Force Special Operations Command at Hurlburt Field, Florida. However, the solicitation did not state that offerors were required to propose an employee specifically dedicated to AFSOC support.
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