B-170201, SEP. 9, 1970

B-170201: Sep 9, 1970

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PROTESTANT'S ALLEGATIONS AGAINST AWARD OF CONTRACT TO LOW BIDDER IS DENIED. TO AUSTIN MAINTENANCE SERVICE: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR TELEGRAM RECEIVED JUNE 30. YOU REQUESTED THAT NO AWARD BE MADE TO THE LOW BIDDER UNTIL ITS SIZE STATUS IS ESTABLISHED BY THE SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION. THIS SBA DETERMINATION WAS MADE IN CONNECTION WITH A SIMILAR PROTEST YOU FILED AGAINST RISICA AND SONS UNDER SOLICITATION NO. THE BASIS FOR YOUR APPEAL WAS THAT THE LOW BIDDER WAS A LARGE BUSINESS BY REASON OF AFFILIATION WITH CERTAIN OTHER FIRMS. SUCH A DECISION IS BINDING ON THE PROCURING ACTIVITY. 47 COMP. IN YOUR PROTEST LETTER TO THE CONTRACTING OFFICER YOU ALSO ALLEGED THAT RISICA AND SONS' BID PRICE IS MUCH TOO LOW.

B-170201, SEP. 9, 1970

BID PROTEST DENIAL OF PROTEST AGAINST RISICA AND SONS, LOW BIDDER, FOR AWARD OF CONTRACT, A SMALL BUSINESS SET-ASIDE PROCUREMENT, UNDER IFB, BY THE ARMY, FORT BLISS TEXAS. UPON DETERMINATION BY SBA THAT LOW BIDDER QUALIFIES AS SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN, AND CONTRACTING OFFICERS REQUEST TO CONFIRM THE LOW BID PRICE, FOUND IT TO BE CORRECT AS FURNISHED, PROTESTANT'S ALLEGATIONS AGAINST AWARD OF CONTRACT TO LOW BIDDER IS DENIED, AND THERE APPEARS NO REASON TO HOLD THE AWARD UNDER SMALL BUSINESS SET-ASIDE FROM THAT FIRM.

TO AUSTIN MAINTENANCE SERVICE:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR TELEGRAM RECEIVED JUNE 30, 1970, WITH RESPECT TO INVITATION FOR BIDS NO. DABD07-70-B-0295, A SMALL BUSINESS SET-ASIDE PROCUREMENT ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY AT FORT BLISS, TEXAS, FOR CUSTODIAL SERVICES. YOU REQUESTED THAT NO AWARD BE MADE TO THE LOW BIDDER UNTIL ITS SIZE STATUS IS ESTABLISHED BY THE SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION.

BY LETTER DATED AUGUST 19, 1970, THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY FORWARDED A COPY OF AN SBA SIZE APPEALS BOARD DECISION DATED AUGUST 7, 1970, AFFIRMING A DETERMINATION OF THE SBA HARLINGEN DISTRICT OFFICE THAT RISICA AND SONS (THE LOW BIDDER ON THE SUBJECT INVITATION) QUALIFIES AS A SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN. THIS SBA DETERMINATION WAS MADE IN CONNECTION WITH A SIMILAR PROTEST YOU FILED AGAINST RISICA AND SONS UNDER SOLICITATION NO. F-41698- 70-B-0652 ISSUED BY BROOKS AIR FORCE BASE, TEXAS. THE BASIS FOR YOUR APPEAL WAS THAT THE LOW BIDDER WAS A LARGE BUSINESS BY REASON OF AFFILIATION WITH CERTAIN OTHER FIRMS. THE AUGUST 7 SBA DECISION REJECTED THIS CONTENTION. SUCH A DECISION IS BINDING ON THE PROCURING ACTIVITY. 47 COMP. GEN. 462 (1968).

IN YOUR PROTEST LETTER TO THE CONTRACTING OFFICER YOU ALSO ALLEGED THAT RISICA AND SONS' BID PRICE IS MUCH TOO LOW. ITS BID PRICE WAS $282,566 FOR THE CONTRACT PERIOD, OR ABOUT $76,000 LOWER THAN THE NEXT LOW BID. YOU BASE THIS CONCLUSION ON YOUR PAST EXPERIENCE PERFORMING THIS CONTRACT.

THE CONTRACTING OFFICER REPORTS THAT HE REQUESTED RISICA AND SONS TO CONFIRM ITS BID PRICE, AND THAT THE FIRM VERIFIED THAT THE BID WAS CORRECT AS FURNISHED. FURTHER, THE RECORD INDICATES THAT PENDING THE SBA DETERMINATION OF SIZE STATUS IN THIS CASE, THE CONTRACTING OFFICER NEGOTIATED A TEMPORARY CONTRACT FOR THESE SERVICES WITH RISICA AND SONS FOR ONE MONTH AT ONE-TWELFTH OF ITS BID PRICE. IT IS ALSO REPORTED THAT THE CONTRACTOR AGREED TO AN EXTENSION OF THIS ONE-MONTH CONTRACT PENDING THE RESULTS OF YOUR PROTEST.

UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES WE SEE NO REASON TO WITHHOLD ANY LONGER AWARD UNDER THE SMALL BUSINESS SET-ASIDE FROM RISICA AND SONS.

ACCORDINGLY, YOUR PROTEST IS DENIED.