GAO sustains travel agencies’ protests

Six companies protested a Government Accountability Office solicitation related to the Defense Travel System, a multimillion-dollar initiative under way to build a comprehensive, paperless travel network.

In a July 25 ruling made public this week, GAO said that the Army should have required vendors in the request for proposals to submit actual prices for commercial travel office services. The Army has 10 days to request a reconsideration or contest the decision, said Dan Gordon, assistant general counsel and chief of GAO’s Bids Protest Division.

“The prices that the companies submitted were nonbinding,” Gordon said. “The military made a mistake.”

Gordon said the price method in the solicitation did not meet the legal requirements for considering cost to the government in the award of a contract. He emphasized that the protest challenged the price evaluation scheme of the solicitation, not the award of a contract.

The Alamo Travel Group, Bay Area Travel, CI Travel, CW Government Travel, Knowledge Connections and the National Travel Service filed the protests in April. The solicitation aimed to consolidate and standardize travel services within the military under a single procurement activity and anticipated the award of multiple indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contracts for two years with three option years.

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