Protest Concerning Bid Rejection

B-194629.2: May 17, 1979

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Alpha Sigma Investment Corporation protested the rejection of its bid for a contract with the U.S. Coast Guard for the construction of barracks and a galley mess at Galveston, Texas. Alpha Sigma's submission made it clear that its protest was without merit, so GAO did not need a report from the Coast Guard before making a decision. In connection with its bid on the barracks and mess, Alpha Sigma offered a corporate surety which was not approved, as required, by the Department of the Treasury. The Coast Guard's invitation for bids (IFB) merely called for "adequate" surety. The protester pointed out that neither the forms provided to it by the Coast Guard, nor the IFB, indicated that Treasury's listing of authorized sureties would be binding and, therefore, its bid defect should not be fatal. But it was incumbent upon the bidder to discover which sureties were acceptable to the government. Alpha Sigma's failure to furnish an acceptable security rendered its bid nonresponsive. To permit a belated bid amendment in order for the protester to obtain an acceptable surety would not be in accordance with established procurement procedures and the protest was therefore denied.