B-159301, JUL. 15, 1966

B-159301: Jul 15, 1966

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ATTORNEY AT LAW: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTERS OF MAY 27. THE INVITATION WAS ISSUED ON APRIL 22. THE PROCUREMENT WAS TOTALLY SET ASIDE FOR AWARD TO SMALL BUSINESS. BIDS WERE SOLICITED UTILIZING SMALL BUSINESS RESTRICTED ADVERTISING PROCEDURES IN ACCORDANCE WITH ARMED SERVICES PROCUREMENT REGULATION (ASPR) 1-706.5. WHEN BIDS WERE OPENED ON MAY 16. IT WAS FOUND THAT THE LOW BIDDER. WAS NONRESPONSIVE DUE TO ITS FAILURE TO SUBMIT THE REQUIRED BID BOND WITH ITS BID. WERE SECOND AND THIRD LOW BIDDERS. WAS FORWARDED IN ACCORDANCE WITH ASPR 1-703. THIS DETERMINATION WAS APPEALED ON BEHALF OF ATLANTIC BY YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 13. YOUR BASIC CONTENTION APPEARS TO BE THAT UNITED COULD NOT IN GOOD FAITH HAVE CERTIFIED ITSELF AS A SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN FOR THE PURPOSE OF THIS PROCUREMENT BECAUSE OF PREVIOUS DETERMINATIONS MADE BY THE SBA REGARDING ITS SIZE.

B-159301, JUL. 15, 1966

TO MR. FREDRIC T. SUSS, ATTORNEY AT LAW:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTERS OF MAY 27, JUNE 20, 22, 24 AND 30, 1966, PROTESTING IN BEHALF OF ATLANTIC MAINTENANCE COMPANY AGAINST ANY AWARD OF A SET-ASIDE CONTRACT TO UNITED MAINTENANCE COMPANY UNDER INVITATION FOR BIDS NO. DSA-4-66-4707.

THE INVITATION WAS ISSUED ON APRIL 22, 1966, AND REQUESTED BIDS ON FURNISHING JANITORIAL AND CUSTODIAL SERVICES FOR THE DEFENSE GENERAL SUPPLY CENTER, RICHMOND, VIRGINIA, FOR THE PERIOD JULY 1, 1966, TO JUNE 30, 1967. THE PROCUREMENT WAS TOTALLY SET ASIDE FOR AWARD TO SMALL BUSINESS. BIDS WERE SOLICITED UTILIZING SMALL BUSINESS RESTRICTED ADVERTISING PROCEDURES IN ACCORDANCE WITH ARMED SERVICES PROCUREMENT REGULATION (ASPR) 1-706.5. WHEN BIDS WERE OPENED ON MAY 16, 1966, IT WAS FOUND THAT THE LOW BIDDER, BEVERLY HILLS JANITORIAL SERVICE, WAS NONRESPONSIVE DUE TO ITS FAILURE TO SUBMIT THE REQUIRED BID BOND WITH ITS BID. UNITED MAINTENANCE COMPANY AND ATLANTIC MAINTENANCE COMPANY, HEREINAFTER REFERRED TO AS UNITED AND ATLANTIC, WERE SECOND AND THIRD LOW BIDDERS, RESPECTIVELY. BOTH CERTIFIED THEMSELVES AS SMALL BUSINESS CONCERNS WITHIN THE CRITERIA PRESCRIBED BY THE SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION (SBA). ATLANTIC FILED A TIMELY PROTEST ON MAY 23, 1966, AS TO THE SMALL BUSINESS ELIGIBILITY OF UNITED. THAT PROTEST, DIRECTED TO THE CONTRACTING OFFICER, WAS FORWARDED IN ACCORDANCE WITH ASPR 1-703, TO THE KANSAS CITY REGIONAL OFFICE OF THE SBA. BY LETTER DATED JUNE 7, 1966, THAT OFFICE DETERMINED THAT UNDER NEW SIZE STANDARDS, EFFECTIVE MAY 21, 1966 (SUBSEQUENT TO BID OPENING), UNITED QUALIFIED AS A SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN FOR THE PURPOSE OF BIDDING ON GOVERNMENT JANITORIAL AND CUSTODIAL CONTRACTS. THIS DETERMINATION WAS APPEALED ON BEHALF OF ATLANTIC BY YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 13, 1966. BY YOUR LETTER DATED MAY 27, 1966, YOU HAD PROTESTED, ON BEHALF OF ATLANTIC, ANY AWARD TO UNITED UNDER THIS INVITATION. YOUR BASIC CONTENTION APPEARS TO BE THAT UNITED COULD NOT IN GOOD FAITH HAVE CERTIFIED ITSELF AS A SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN FOR THE PURPOSE OF THIS PROCUREMENT BECAUSE OF PREVIOUS DETERMINATIONS MADE BY THE SBA REGARDING ITS SIZE.

OUR CONSIDERATION OF THE QUESTION OF GOOD FAITH IN THE PREMISES REQUIRES REVIEW OF THE CHRONOLOGICAL SEQUENCE OF EVENTS IN CONNECTION WITH THE OFFICIAL DETERMINATION MADE OF THE SIZE STATUS OF UNITED PRECEDING SUBMISSION OF ITS BID. FROM THE RECORD BEFORE US, INCLUDING THE REPORT FROM SBA IN THE MATTER, IT IS FOUND THAT PRIOR TO MAY 21, 1966, THE SIZE STANDARD APPLICABLE TO GOVERNMENT PROCUREMENTS OF CUSTODIAL AND JANITORIAL SERVICES WAS AVERAGE ANNUAL SALES OR RECEIPTS FOR THE CONCERN'S PRECEDING THREE (3) FISCAL YEARS NOT EXCEEDING $1 MILLION. EFFECTIVE MAY 21, 1966, THE SIZE STANDARD APPLICABLE TO SUCH PROCUREMENT WAS INCREASED TO $3 MILLION (31 F.R. 7375).

INITIALLY, ON NOVEMBER 12, 1965, THE SBA REGIONAL OFFICE, KANSAS CITY, HAD DETERMINED THAT UNITED WAS NOT A SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN FOR THE PURPOSE OF BIDDING ON A GOVERNMENT SERVICE CONTRACT FOR WHICH THE APPLICABLE SIZE STANDARD WAS AVERAGE ANNUAL SALES OR RECEIPTS FOR THE COMPANY'S PRECEDING THREE (3) FISCAL YEARS NOT EXCEEDING $1 MILLION, WHICH WAS AT THAT TIME THE SMALL BUSINESS SIZE STANDARD FOR JANITORIAL AND CUSTODIAL CONTRACTS. THE DETERMINATION THAT UNITED WAS A LARGE BUSINESS CONCERN WAS BASED ON ITS AFFILIATION WITH OTHER FIRMS. THE DETERMINATION WAS APPEALED TO THE SBA SIZE APPEALS BOARD ON NOVEMBER 18, 1965, AND ON JANUARY 20, 1966, THE BOARD AFFIRMED THE DETERMINATION. HOWEVER, THE RECORD SHOWS THAT IN LATE NOVEMBER 1965, UNITED HAD EFFECTED CHANGES IN ITS CORPORATE STRUCTURE EVIDENCING AN EFFORT TO DISAFFILIATE ITSELF FROM THE COMPANIES AND COMPANY OFFICERS WITH WHOM IT HAD BEEN IN CLOSE ASSOCIATION AND BECAUSE OF WHICH ASSOCIATION IT HAD BEEN DETERMINED TO BE LARGE BUSINESS. ALSO, IN LATE NOVEMBER OR EARLY DECEMBER 1965, THE PRESIDENT OF UNITED CONFERRED WITH THE REGIONAL OFFICE MANAGER OF SBA AT KANSAS CITY REQUESTING ADVICE ON CHANGING THE ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE OF UNITED TO DISAFFILIATE IT FROM THOSE OTHERS INDICATED IN SBA'S DETERMINATION OF NOVEMBER 12, 1965. AT THAT TIME, IT IS REPORTED, THE SBA REGIONAL MANAGER STATED THAT HIS OFFICE WOULD NOT GIVE A RULING AS TO THE CHANGES UNITED HAD MADE BUT WOULD AWAIT A DEFINITE PROTEST FROM EITHER ANOTHER BIDDER OR A CONTRACTING OFFICER. HOWEVER, UNITED WAS ADVISED BY SBA THAT SINCE UNITED FELT THAT ITS CORPORATE STRUCTURE CHANGES MADE IT SMALL BUSINESS, NO REASON COULD BE SEEN WHY IT SHOULD NOT BID AND SO SELF- CERTIFY.

WHILE THE RECORD DOES NOT SO STATE, IT IS A REASONABLE ASSUMPTION THAT UNITED DID NOT BRING THE MATTER OF ITS CORPORATE CHANGES, EFFECTED ABOUT NOVEMBER 24, 1965 (SUBSEQUENT TO ITS APPEAL OF NOVEMBER 18, 1965, AND PRIOR TO THE BOARD'S DETERMINATION OF JANUARY 20, 1966), TO THE BOARD'S ATTENTION FOR ITS CONSIDERATION IN CONNECTION WITH ITS APPEAL, BECAUSE OF THIS ADVICE RECEIVED FROM THE KANSAS CITY REGIONAL OFFICE OF SBA. IN ANY EVENT, IT IS CLEAR THAT THE SBA BOARD DETERMINATION OF JANUARY 20, 1966, WAS BASED UPON AND LIMITED TO THE FACTS EXISTING ON NOVEMBER 12, 1965, REGARDING UNITED'S SIZE STATUS.

DURING FEBRUARY OR MARCH 1966, UNITED SELF-CERTIFIED ITSELF AS A SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN FOR THE PURPOSE OF INVITATION FOR BIDS NO. GS 03B- 12367/NEG), ISSUED BY THE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION FOR CUSTODIAL AND JANITORIAL SERVICES. ADVANCE BUILDING MAINTENANCE COMPANY (ADVANCE) BY YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 25, 1966, FILED A PROTEST ALLEGING THAT UNITED WAS NOT A SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN FOR THIS PROCUREMENT.

ON APRIL 15, 1966, APPARENTLY AS A RESULT OF ADVANCE'S PROTEST OF UNITED'S MARCH 1966 BID ON THE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION INVITATION, THE KANSAS CITY REGIONAL OFFICE OF SBA DETERMINED THAT, AS A RESULT OF CHANGES IN ITS CORPORATE STRUCTURE SUBSEQUENT TO THE NOVEMBER 12 SIZE DETERMINATION, UNITED NO LONGER WAS AFFILIATED WITH ANY OTHER CONCERN AND, THEREFORE, WAS A SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN FOR THE PURPOSE OF THE PROCUREMENT IN QUESTION. THE FIRMS CONSIDERED IN THE ABOVE DETERMINATION INCLUDED THE FOLLOWING:

BUILDING MAINTENANCE CO. (

ACME MAINTENANCE CO. (

KANSAS CITY HOUSE AND WINDOW CLEANING CO. ( OWNED BY ROBERT L.

KANSAS CITY SANITARY SUPPLY CO. ( CARPENTER

MCGINNIS JANITORIAL SERVICE CO. (

QUALITY MAINTENANCE CO. ( OWNED BY CHARLES FOSTER

ADVANCE APPEALED THIS DETERMINATION TO THE SIZE BOARD.

ON MAY 13, 1966, UNITED SELF-CERTIFIED ITSELF AS A SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN FOR THE PURPOSE OF BIDDING UNDER INVITATION NO. DSA-4-66-4707. ON MAY 20, 1966, ATLANTIC PROTESTED THE ELIGIBILITY OF UNITED FOR THIS PROCUREMENT. ON MAY 21, 1966, THE BOARD SUSTAINED THE APPEAL OF ADVANCE AND DETERMINED THAT DESPITE THE CORPORATE STRUCTURE CHANGES UNITED WAS AFFILIATED WITH ACME MAINTENANCE COMPANY, BUILDING MAINTENANCE COMPANY, KANSAS CITY SANITARY SUPPLY COMPANY, INC., AND QUALITY MAINTENANCE COMPANY, INC., AND WAS NOT A SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN.

ON JUNE 7, 1966, THE SBA KANSAS CITY REGIONAL OFFICE DETERMINED (1) THAT UNITED IS AFFILIATED WITH ACME MAINTENANCE, BUILDING MAINTENANCE COMPANY, MCGINNIS JANITORIAL SERVICE COMPANY, KANSAS CITY HOUSE AND WINDOW CLEANING COMPANY, KANSAS CITY SANITARY SUPPLY COMPANY AND QUALITY MAINTENANCE COMPANY; AND (2) THAT THE TOTAL AVERAGE ANNUAL SALES AND RECEIPTS OF THE ABOVE COMPANIES FOR THEIR PRECEDING THREE FISCAL YEARS DID NOT EXCEED $3 MILLION, THE SIZE STANDARD IN EFFECT ON JUNE 7, 1966, FOR JANITORIAL AND CUSTODIAL SERVICES.

FROM THE FOREGOING IT APPEARS THAT UNITED IN GOOD FAITH REPRESENTED ITSELF AS SMALL BUSINESS PRIOR TO OPENING OF BIDS (ASPR 1-703). AT THE TIME ITS BID WAS SUBMITTED ON THE DSA INVITATION ON MAY 13, 1966, UNITED HAD AMPLE REASON TO BELIEVE IT WAS IN FACT SMALL BUSINESS BECAUSE ON APRIL 15, 1966, THIRTY DAYS PRIOR TO BID OPENING, THE SBA REGIONAL OFFICE HAD DETERMINED THAT UNITED WAS SMALL BUSINESS. THIS DETERMINATION WAS NOT REVERSED BY THE SIZE APPEALS BOARD UNTIL 5 DAYS AFTER BID OPENING. WHILE A SERIOUS QUESTION OF GOOD FAITH MIGHT ARISE FROM THE CIRCUMSTANCES IF, AS ALLEGED BY ATLANTIC IN ITS LETTER OF JUNE 13, 1966, UNITED HAD FAILED TO MAKE A FULL DISCLOSURE TO SBA IN CONNECTION WITH ITS APRIL 15, 1966 DETERMINATION, THIS ALLEGATION IS NOT ESTABLISHED BY THE FACTS. INDEED, THAT DETERMINATION WAS BASED ON THE PREMISE THAT UNITED HAD BECOME DISAFFILIATED FROM FIRMS OWNED OR CONTROLLED BY MESSRS. FOSTER AND CARPENTER. THERE IS NO INDICATION OR APPARENT REQUIREMENT, EXCEPT THE BARE ALLEGATION BY ATLANTIC, THAT ANY OTHER FIRMS SHOULD HAVE BEEN DISCLOSED, SINCE FAILING TO DISCLOSE MCGINNIS, AS ALLEGED BY YOU, OR ANY OTHER FIRM NOT CONTROLLED BY UNITED WOULD HAVE HAD NO EFFECT ON THE QUESTION UNDER CONSIDERATION SINCE UNDER THE SIZE STANDARD THEN IN EFFECT, THE FIRMS OF CARPENTER, FOSTER AND SHELTON (UNITED), IF AFFILIATED, WERE ALREADY CONCEDED TO BE LARGE BUSINESS.

ASPR 1-703 PROVIDES, IN PERTINENT PART, AS FOLLOWS:

"1-703 DETERMINATION OF STATUS AS SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN

"/A) EXCEPT AS PROVIDED IN (B) BELOW, THE CONTRACTING OFFICER SHALL ACCEPT AT FACE VALUE FOR THE PARTICULAR PROCUREMENT INVOLVED, A REPRESENTATION BY THE BIDDER OR OFFEROR THAT IT IS A SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (SEE 1-701.1).

"/B) REPRESENTATION BY A BIDDER OR OFFEROR THAT IT IS A SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN SHALL BE EFFECTIVE, EVEN THOUGH QUESTIONED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE TERMS OF THIS SUBPARAGRAPH (B), UNLESS THE SBA, IN RESPONSE TO SUCH QUESTION AND PURSUANT TO THE PROCEDURES IN (3) BELOW, DETERMINES THAT THE BIDDER OR OFFEROR IN QUESTION IS NOT A SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN. THE CONTROLLING POINT IN TIME FOR A DETERMINATION CONCERNING THE SIZE STATUS OF A QUESTIONED BIDDER OR OFFEROR SHALL BE THE DATE OF AWARD, EXCEPT THAT NO BIDDER OR OFFEROR SHALL BE ELIGIBLE FOR AWARD * * * UNLESS HE HAS IN GOOD FAITH REPRESENTED HIMSELF AS SMALL BUSINESS PRIOR TO THE OPENING OF BIDS OR CLOSING DATE FOR SUBMISSION OF OFFERS * * *.

"/3) THE SBA REGIONAL DIRECTOR WILL DETERMINE THE SMALL BUSINESS STATUS OF THE QUESTIONED BIDDER OR OFFEROR AND NOTIFY THE CONTRACTING OFFICER AND THE BIDDER OR OFFEROR OF HIS DETERMINATION, AND AWARD MAY BE MADE ON THE BASIS OF THAT DETERMINATION. * * * IF AN AWARD WAS MADE PRIOR TO THE TIME THE CONTRACTING OFFICER RECEIVES NOTICE OF THE APPEAL, THE CONTRACT SHALL BE PRESUMED TO BE VALID AND ANY DETERMINATION RENDERED SHALL BE CONSIDERED IN FUTURE PROCUREMENTS. IF THE SBA REGIONAL DIRECTOR'S DETERMINATION IS NOT RECEIVED BY THE CONTRACTING OFFICER WITHIN TEN WORKING DAYS AFTER SBA'S RECEIPT OF THE PROTEST OR NOTICE QUESTIONING SMALL BUSINESS STATUS, IT SHALL BE PRESUMED THAT THE QUESTIONED BIDDER OR OFFEROR IS A SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN. * * *"

UNDER THESE REGULATIONS A CONTRACTING OFFICER IS REQUIRED TO ACCEPT A SMALL-BUSINESS SELF-CERTIFICATION AT FACE VALUE IN THE ABSENCE OF A TIMELY WRITTEN PROTEST BY OTHER INTERESTED BIDDERS. THE RECORD SHOWS THAT PRIOR TO THE TIME WHEN THE SUBJECT INVITATION WAS ISSUED (APRIL 22, 1966), THE MOST RECENT SIZE DETERMINATION BY THE SBA (APRIL 15, 1966) WAS THAT UNITED WAS A SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN FOR THE PURPOSE OF GOVERNMENT PROCUREMENT. THE REGULATIONS DO NOT REQUIRE THAT THE CONTRACTING OFFICER WITHHOLD AWARD PENDING A DECISION OF THE SIZE APPEALS BOARD. B-151954, SEPTEMBER 10, 1963. WE HAVE BEEN ADVISED BY THE DEFENSE SUPPLY AGENCY THAT AN AWARD TO UNITED WAS EFFECTED ON JUNE 28, 1966. ASPR 1-703 (B) (3).

YOU CITE SEVERAL DECISIONS OF OUR OFFICE WHICH YOU CONSIDER RELEVANT TO THE QUESTION UNDER CONSIDERATION. AS WAS STATED IN ONE OF THE CITED DECISIONS, 41 COMP. GEN. 47, 55,"ORDINARILY, * * * THE FINAL DETERMINATION OF THE ELIGIBILITY OF A BIDDER AS A SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN UNDER A SMALL- BUSINESS RESTRICTED INVITATION IS MADE AS OF THE DATE OF AWARD.' HOWEVER, AS POINTED OUT IN THAT DECISION, WE DO NOT BELIEVE THIS GENERAL RULE IS FOR APPLICATION UNDER CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES. THE ABOVE-CITED DECISION INVOLVED ONE OF THE RECOGNIZED EXCEPTIONS TO THE GENERAL RULE. INVOLVED WAS A SITUATION WHERE THE LOW BIDDER CERTIFIED ITSELF AS A SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN ALTHOUGH IT WAS ON NOTICE BY THE SBA PRIOR TO THE SUBMISSION OF ITS BID THAT ITS SIZE STATUS WAS SUBJECT TO QUESTION. AFTER THE BIDS WERE OPENED, THE BIDDER TOOK AFFIRMATIVE ACTION (REALIGNMENT OF ITS STOCK) FOR THE SOLE PURPOSE OF MEETING THE SMALL BUSINESS SIZE CRITERIA, THEREBY QUALIFYING FOR AWARD. WE HELD THAT THE AWARD TO THE BIDDER WAS NOT PROPER BECAUSE THE BIDDER HAD NOT UTILIZED THE SELF-CERTIFICATION PROCEDURE PRUDENTLY AS REQUIRED BY THE SMALL BUSINESS ACT AND ALSO BECAUSE THE STOCK REALIGNMENT AFTER BID OPENING GAVE IT A SECOND CHANCE AND AN UNDUE ADVANTAGE OVER OTHER BIDDERS. IN A SITUATION WHERE THE SELF-CERTIFICATION WAS IN GOOD FAITH, ALTHOUGH ERRONEOUS, AND THE BIDDER TOOK NO AFFIRMATIVE ACTION AFTER BID OPENING TO QUALIFY ITSELF AS A SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN, BUT THERE WAS A CHANGE IN THE BIDDER'S STATUS FROM A LARGE TO A SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN BECAUSE OF FACTORS BEYOND ITS CONTROL, WE HELD THAT THE RULE WAS FOR APPLICATION AND UPHELD THE WARD TO THAT BIDDER. SEE 42 COMP. GEN. 219. THE THIRD CASE CITED BY YOU, 40 COMP. GEN. 550, INVOLVED A LOW BIDDER WHO WAS NOT ABLE TO SELF-CERTIFY HIMSELF AS A SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN BECAUSE OF SIZE AT THE TIME OF SUBMISSION OF A BID FOR A TOTAL SET -ASIDE PROCUREMENT, BUT WHO, PRIOR TO AWARD, AS A RESULT OF A CHANGE IN THE DEFINITION OF SMALL BUSINESS, BECAME A SMALL BUSINESS. WE HELD THAT THE BIDDER HAD SUBMITTED A BID WHICH WAS NONRESPONSIVE ON ITS FACE, AND TO PERMIT AN AWARD TO SUCH A BIDDER ON THE BASIS OF A SUBSEQUENT EVENT CURING THE DEFICIENCY WOULD BE DETRIMENTAL TO THE EFFECTIVENESS OF THE SMALL BUSINESS SET-ASIDE PROCEDURE AND POSSIBLY PREJUDICIAL TO THE INTERESTS OF OTHER LARGE CONCERNS WHO DID NOT SUBMIT BIDS BUT COULD HAVE QUALIFIED UNDER THE CHANGED DEFINITION.

IT IS READILY APPARENT FROM THE ABOVE BRIEF ANALYSIS OF THE THREE CITED EXCEPTIONS TO THE GENERAL RULE THAT THE ONE CLOSEST IN POINT OF FACT TO THE INSTANT CASE IS SET FORTH IN 42 COMP. GEN. 219. IN THE INSTANT CASE UNITED MADE ITS SELF-CERTIFICATION ON THE BASIS OF A THEN CURRENT FINDING BY SBA THAT IT WAS SMALL BUSINESS. EVEN THOUGH REVERSED ON APPEAL, THE CHANGE IN SIZE STANDARDS, NOT THE RESULT OF ANY ACTION BY THE BIDDER, NOW OPERATES TO AGAIN QUALIFY IT AS SMALL BUSINESS UNDER THE NEW SIZE STANDARDS IN EFFECT ON THE DATE OF THE AWARD. OUR HOLDING IN 42 COMP. GEN. 219 WAS TO THE SAME EFFECT. ON THE BASIS OF THE RECORD BEFORE US WE MUST CONCLUDE THAT THE SELF CERTIFICATION BY UNITED IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES WAS PRUDENTLY EXERCISED AND WAS SUBMITTED IN GOOD FAITH. COMPARE 41 COMP. GEN. 47, 55 AND 40 COMP. GEN. 550.

IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING WE FIND NO LEGAL BASIS FOR OBJECTING TO THE AWARD TO UNITED ON JUNE 28, 1966, BY THE DEFENSE SUPPLY AGENCY UNDER THE INVITATION CONCERNED, AND YOUR PROTEST IS DENIED.