B-172884, JUN 21, 1971

B-172884: Jun 21, 1971

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A CERTIFICATE OF COMPETENCY IN CONNECTION WITH ITS PROPOSAL MADE IN RESPONSE TO AN RFQ ISSUED BY THE NAVAL AIR ENGINEERING CENTER IS FINAL. TO FLOWDYNE CORPORATION: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF MAY 17. WHICH PROTESTS THE DETERMINATION THAT FLOWDYNE WAS NOT A RESPONSIBLE BIDDER UNDER REQUEST FOR QUOTATIONS (RFQ) NO. THE CONTRACTING OFFICER WAS UNABLE TO DETERMINE THAT FLOWDYNE WAS A RESPONSIBLE OFFEROR BECAUSE OF THE NEGATIVE RESULTS OF A PRE-AWARD SURVEY ON THAT FIRM. SINCE FLOWDYNE WAS A SMALL BUSINESS. THE MATTER WAS REFERRED TO SBA FOR PROCESSING UNDER ITS COC PROCEDURES. FLOWDYNE HAS SUBMITTED DOCUMENTATION TO OUR OFFICE INDICATING AN IMPROVED FINANCIAL CONDITION AND ALLEGES THAT SBA SHOULD HAVE ISSUED THE COC.

B-172884, JUN 21, 1971

BID PROTEST - COC - GAO REVIEW THE DETERMINATION OF THE SBA NOT TO GRANT FLOWDYNE CORP., A CERTIFICATE OF COMPETENCY IN CONNECTION WITH ITS PROPOSAL MADE IN RESPONSE TO AN RFQ ISSUED BY THE NAVAL AIR ENGINEERING CENTER IS FINAL. THE COMP. GEN. HAS NO AUTHORITY TO REVIEW THE SBA'S ACTIONS IN THIS REGARD.

TO FLOWDYNE CORPORATION:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF MAY 17, 1971, WITH ENCLOSURES, WHICH PROTESTS THE DETERMINATION THAT FLOWDYNE WAS NOT A RESPONSIBLE BIDDER UNDER REQUEST FOR QUOTATIONS (RFQ) NO. N00156-71-Q-2194, AND THE REFUSAL OF THE SAMLL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION (SBA) TO ISSUE A CERTIFICATE OF COMPETENCY (COC).

THE CONTRACTING OFFICER WAS UNABLE TO DETERMINE THAT FLOWDYNE WAS A RESPONSIBLE OFFEROR BECAUSE OF THE NEGATIVE RESULTS OF A PRE-AWARD SURVEY ON THAT FIRM. THAT PRE-AWARD SURVEY RECOMMENDED THAT "NO AWARD" BE MADE TO FLOWDYNE BECAUSE OF ITS UNSATISFACTORY FINANCIAL CAPABILITY AND ITS ANTICIPATED INABILITY TO MEET THE DELIVERY SCHEDULE OF THE INSTANT PROCUREMENT FOR HYDRAULIC CYLINDERS. SINCE FLOWDYNE WAS A SMALL BUSINESS, THE MATTER WAS REFERRED TO SBA FOR PROCESSING UNDER ITS COC PROCEDURES. SBA THEREAFTER DECLINED TO ISSUE A COC.

FLOWDYNE HAS SUBMITTED DOCUMENTATION TO OUR OFFICE INDICATING AN IMPROVED FINANCIAL CONDITION AND ALLEGES THAT SBA SHOULD HAVE ISSUED THE COC. OUR OFFICE, HOWEVER, HAS NO AUTHORITY TO REVIEW THE SBA'S ACTIONS IN THIS REGARD. IN B-170103, AUGUST 26, 1970, INVOLVING A SIMILAR CONTENTION, WE HELD:

" *** OUR OFFICE HAS STATED THAT THE REFUSAL OF SBA TO ISSUE A COC AS TO THE COMPETENCE OF A SMALL BUSINESS BIDDER MUST BE REGARDED AS PERSUASIVE WITH RESPECT TO THE NONRESPONSIBILITY OF THE BIDDER. 39 COMP. GEN. 705 (1960). WHEN THE ISSUANCE OF A COC IS DENIED, THE CONTRACTING OFFICER'S DETERMINATION OF NONRESPONSIBILITY MUST BE REGARDED AS HAVING BEEN AFFIRMED. WE HAVE NO AUTHORITY TO REVIEW DETERMINATIONS OF SBA, OR TO REQUIRE IT TO ISSUE A COC. NOR DO WE DISTURB THE DETERMINATIONS OF THE CONTRACTING OFFICER WHERE, AS HERE, THEY ARE SUPPORTED BY THE EVIDENCE OF RECORD AND ARE NEITHER ARBITRARY NOR CAPRICIOUS. B-159247, AUGUST 26, 1966; B-167608, SEPTEMBER 22, 1969."

FOR THE FOREGOING REASONS, WE SEE NO LEGAL BASIS FOR OBJECTING TO THE REJECTION OF YOUR BID, AND YOUR PROTEST IS THEREFORE DENIED.