B-146257, AUG. 8, 1961

B-146257: Aug 8, 1961

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BIDS WERE OPENED AS SCHEDULED ON JUNE 12. 913.75 WAS THE LOWEST BID RECEIVED. THE LOCAL SBA REPRESENTATIVE WAS NOTIFIED OF SUCH BID REJECTION ACTION. SBA WAS REQUESTED TO INVESTIGATE WHETHER A CERTIFICATE OF COMPETENCY APPLICATION COULD BE PROCESSED IN VIEW OF THE JUNE 29. CASE IS CONSIDERED CLOSED.'. IT THUS APPEARS THAT WHILE 10 WORKING DAYS ARE ALLOWED SBA TO MAKE A DETERMINATION UNDER THE REGULATION CITED ABOVE ADDITIONAL TIME WAS ACTUALLY ALLOWED BY THE PROCUREMENT AGENCY FOR THAT PURPOSE. WE HAVE HELD THAT THE REFUSAL OF SBA TO ISSUE A CERTIFICATE OF COMPETENCY AS TO A SMALL BUSINESS BIDDER MUST BE REGARDED AS PERSUASIVE WITH RESPECT TO THE COMPETENCY OR CREDIT OF THE BIDDER CONCERNED. 39 COMP.

B-146257, AUG. 8, 1961

TO SEAVIEW ELECTRIC COMPANY:

BY TELEGRAM DATED JUNE 27, 1961, YOU PROTESTED AGAINST THE ACTION OF THE U.S. ARMY SIGNAL SUPPLY AGENCY IN NOT ALLOWING AN ADEQUATE PERIOD OF TIME FOR THE SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION (SBA) TO DETERMINE WHETHERA CERTIFICATE OF COMPETENCY SHOULD BE ISSUED TO YOUR FIRM UNDER INVITATION FOR BIDS NO. SC-36-039-61-695-A5, AS AMENDED.

THE INVITATION, ISSUED ON MAY 18, 1961, ON A SMALL BUSINESS SET-ASIDE BASIS, REQUESTED BIDS FOR FURNISHING A QUANTITY OF AUDIO ACCESSORIES FOR "RADIO SET AN/VRC-12 ( ).' BIDS WERE OPENED AS SCHEDULED ON JUNE 12, 1961, AND IT APPEARS FROM THE BID ABSTRACT THAT YOUR BID IN THE AMOUNT OF $549,913.75 WAS THE LOWEST BID RECEIVED. HOWEVER, THE CONTRACTING OFFICER DETERMINED THAT YOUR BID SHOULD BE REJECTED ON THE BASIS OF INADEQUATE TECHNICAL ABILITY, PERFORMANCE, AND FINANCIAL CONDITION. ON JUNE 23, 1961, PURSUANT TO THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 1 705.6 (B), ASPR, THE LOCAL SBA REPRESENTATIVE WAS NOTIFIED OF SUCH BID REJECTION ACTION. THEREAFTER ON JUNE 24, 1961, SBA WAS REQUESTED TO INVESTIGATE WHETHER A CERTIFICATE OF COMPETENCY APPLICATION COULD BE PROCESSED IN VIEW OF THE JUNE 29, 1961, DEADLINE FOR MAKING AN AWARD. THE LOCAL SBA REPRESENTATIVE ON JUNE 28, 1961, ADVISED THE CONTRACTING OFFICER THAT THE DATE OF JULY 10, 1961, HAD BEEN FIXED AS THE DEADLINE FOR PROCESSING A CERTIFICATE OF COMPETENCY. THE CONTRACTING OFFICER CONCURRED IN THE JULY 10 DEADLINE. ON JULY 10, 1961, SBA ADVISED THE CONTRACTING OFFICER THAT:

"BASED ON A COMPREHENSIVE ANALYSIS OF ALL AVAILABLE INFORMATION, THIS REGIONAL OFFICE (NEW YORK, NEW YORK) HAS DECLINED TO RECOMMEND ISSUANCE OF A CERTIFICATE OF COMPETENCY IN THIS INSTANCE. CASE IS CONSIDERED CLOSED.' IT THUS APPEARS THAT WHILE 10 WORKING DAYS ARE ALLOWED SBA TO MAKE A DETERMINATION UNDER THE REGULATION CITED ABOVE ADDITIONAL TIME WAS ACTUALLY ALLOWED BY THE PROCUREMENT AGENCY FOR THAT PURPOSE.

WE HAVE HELD THAT THE REFUSAL OF SBA TO ISSUE A CERTIFICATE OF COMPETENCY AS TO A SMALL BUSINESS BIDDER MUST BE REGARDED AS PERSUASIVE WITH RESPECT TO THE COMPETENCY OR CREDIT OF THE BIDDER CONCERNED. 39 COMP. GEN. 705. WHEN THE ISSUANCE OF A CERTIFICATE OF COMPETENCY IS DENIED, THE CONTRACTING OFFICER'S DETERMINATION OF NONRESPONSIBILITY MUST BE REGARDED AS HAVING BEEN AFFIRMED. WE HAVE NO AUTHORITY TO REVIEW DETERMINATIONS OF THE SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION OR REQUIRE IT TO ISSUE A CERTIFICATE OF COMPETENCY. NOR DO WE DISTURB THE DETERMINATIONS OF A CONTRACTING OFFICER WHERE, AS HERE, THEY APPEAR TO BE SUPPORTED BY THE EVIDENCE OF RECORD AND ARE NEITHER ARBITRARY NOR CAPRICIOUS.

IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, WE SEE NO BASIS FOR DISTURBING THE ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION TAKEN IN REJECTING YOUR BID.