Hawaii Marine Corps base relents on rebating issue

WASHINGTON -- The Marine Corps Base at Camp H.M. Smith and Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii, proposed to allow bidders on its $13.8 million official travel account to offer a zero rebate.

The move likely will not satisfy travel agencies that are potential bidders because it still does not allow for transaction fees and it still requires the winner to bear the risk of lowered commissions.

Carlson Wagonlit Travel, American Express and N&N Travel & Tours of Las Vegas have filed protests with the General Accounting Office because transaction fees are not permitted.

Originally, the base insisted that bidders had to offer a rebate that is a "positive number" carried out to three decimal places. It said a rebate of 0.001% would be acceptable, but not zero.

Now, in a change of heart prompted by travel agency demands, the base called for comments on a new draft solicitation that would allow bidders to offer a zero rebate.

Bidders would specify a rebate for the first year of the contract, which starts April 1, and a separate rebate for each of the next eight six-month periods, which would be renewal options.

The draft solicitation also pulls leisure travel out of the account and states that leisure is being procured separately. Comments on the draft solicitation are due Dec. 28.

For details, consult the base's Web site at www.cic.pearl.fisc.navy.mil/contract/rfp-rfq/travel_index.html.

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