[Request for Review of Sacramento Transit Development Agency Contract Awards]

B-208687.2: Sep 17, 1984

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A firm requested a GAO review of the procurement practices of an Urban Mass Transportation Agency (UMTA) grantee in the award of two engineering consultant projects. The protester contended that the process by which the grantee selected firms in the competitive range was defective since it eliminated the more qualified firms from competition. In addition, the protester contended that the grantee discriminated against small businesses and questioned one of the grantee's evaluation criteria. The grantee had eliminated the protester's bid from the competition because it found that the firm lacked sufficient experienced personnel. Further, since the evaluation of technical proposals and the determination of whether an offerer should be considered further are matters within the discretion of the contracting activity, GAO will only examine the evaluation to ensure that it has a reasonable basis. Based on the record, GAO found that the protester failed to show that the technical evaluation was unreasonable or otherwise improper. GAO also found that the complaint that the grantee discriminated against small business firms was not supported by the record. Since the allegation that the consideration of size as an evaluation factor was improper should have been filed before the time set for receipt of initial proposals, GAO found that it was untimely and not for consideration. Finally, GAO would not consider certain issues which were raised in its protest to UMTA since they were not filed with UMTA or the grantee in a timely manner and such action would tend to undermine the effectiveness of UMTA grant administration. Accordingly, the complaint was dismissed in part and denied in part.