FitNet Purchasing Alliance
B-309911: Nov 2, 2007
- Full Report:
FitNet Purchasing Alliance, a small business, protests the terms of a reverse auction under request for quotations (RFQ) No. SWCSKQ-7177-N035 by the Department of the Army for 50 wardrobe lockers to be delivered to Fort Bragg, North Carolina. FitNet argues that this requirement must be set aside for small businesses.
We dismiss the protest.
B-309911, FitNet Purchasing Alliance, November 2, 2007
Protest challenging an agency's decision not to set aside for small businesses an order under the Federal Supply Schedule (FSS) program valued at approximately $12,000 is dismissed where the protester does not hold an FSS contract, and therefore is not an interested party to pursue this matter.
FitNet Purchasing Alliance, a small business, protests the terms of a reverse auction under request for quotations (RFQ) No. SWCSKQ-7177-N035 by the Department of the Army for 50 wardrobe lockers to be delivered to
The posting thereby informed readers that the requirement was not set aside for small businesses, and that only vendors holding contracts under the General Services Administration's (GSA) Federal Supply Schedule (FSS) program were invited to submit quotations.
On July 26, FitNet filed this protest, objecting to several aspects of the procurement; principally, that the requirement must be set aside for small businesses. During the course of the protest, our Office inquired whether FitNet holds an FSS contract. In answer, GSA advised that to date, no Schedule contracts have been awarded to either FitNet Purchasing Alliance or FitNet International Corporation, the legal name of the company. Letter from GSA Assistant Commissioner to GAO,
During the course of this protest, we sought the views of both the GSA, which administers the FSS program, and the Small Business Administration, as well as the Army. The submissions made clear that these agencies do not agree about how the set-aside requirements of the Small Business Act, 15 U.S.C. sect. 644(j) (2000), apply to orders placed against the FSS. In our view, however, regardless of how these requirements apply to the FSS, a protester that does not hold an FSS contract is not an interested party to challenge a decision not to set aside an individual order.
Under the bid protest provisions of the Competition in Contracting Act of 1984, 31 U.S.C. sections 3551-56 (2000 & Supp. V 2005), only an interested party may protest a federal procurement. That is, a protester must be an actual or prospective supplier whose direct economic interest would be affected by the award of a contract or the failure to award a contract. Bid Protest Regulations, 4 C.F.R. sect. 21.0(a) (2007). Determining whether a party is interested involves consideration of a variety of factors, including the nature of issues raised, the benefit or relief sought by the protester, and the party's status in relation to the procurement. Four Winds Servs., Inc., B-280714,
Here, the Army issued a solicitation seeking competition among holders of FSS contracts--an approach which meets the statutory requirements for using full and open competition. 41 U.S.C. sect. 259(b)(3) (2000); Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) sect. 6.102(d)(3); Tarheel Specialties, Inc., B-298197, B'298197.2,
The protest is dismissed.
Gary L. Kepplinger
 FedBid, Inc. is a commercial online procurement services provider that runs a website at FedBid.com, which among other things, hosts reverse auctions.