B-174029, NOV 22, 1971

B-174029: Nov 22, 1971

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THERE IS NO EVIDENCE PRESENTED TO CHALLENGE THE SBA DETERMINATION THAT SUCCESSFUL LOW BIDDER IS A SMALL BUSINESS. THERE IS THUS NO BASIS FOR QUESTIONING THE AWARD AND THE PROTEST MUST BE DENIED. YOUR PROTEST IS BASED ON THREE PREMISES. WAS NOT A SMALL BUSINESS AS REQUIRED BY THE IFB. WE HAVE BEEN INFORMED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE THAT THE SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION (SBA). YOUR CORRESPONDENCE FAILS TO REVEAL ANY BASIS FOR CHALLENGING THE SBA DETERMINATION WHICH IS REQUIRED TO BE ACCEPTED AS CONCLUSIVE BY PROCUREMENT OFFICES PURSUANT TO 15 U.S.C. 637(B)(6). YOU ALLEGE THAT JETS SERVICES WAS NOT A QUALIFIED FOOD SERVICE HANDLER. IN ITS PRE-AWARD SURVEY FOUND THAT JETS SERVICES WAS FULLY QUALIFIED TO HANDLE FOOD SERVICE CONTRACTS.

B-174029, NOV 22, 1971

BID PROTEST - SMALL BUSINESS CONCERNS - BIDDER RESPONSIBILITY DECISION DENYING PROTEST AGAINST AWARD OF A FOOD SERVICE CONTRACT TO JETS SERVICES, INC., LOW BIDDER, UNDER AN IFB ISSUED BY VANDENBERG AFB, CALIF. THERE IS NO EVIDENCE PRESENTED TO CHALLENGE THE SBA DETERMINATION THAT SUCCESSFUL LOW BIDDER IS A SMALL BUSINESS; THE DEFENSE CONTRACT ADMINISTRATION SERVICES' PRE-AWARD SURVEY RESULTED IN A FAVORABLE FINDING WITH RESPECT TO JETS' CAPACITY TO HANDLE THE CONTRACT AS WELL AS ITS FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY. THERE IS THUS NO BASIS FOR QUESTIONING THE AWARD AND THE PROTEST MUST BE DENIED.

TO ABC MANAGEMENT SERVICES, INCORPORATED:

WE REFER TO YOUR LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 14, 1971, AND PRIOR CORRESPONDENCE, PROTESTING AGAINST THE AWARD OF A FOOD SERVICE CONTRACT TO JETS SERVICES, INCORPORATED, UNDER INVITATION FOR BIDS (IFB), NO. F04684-72-B-0085, ISSUED AT VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, CALIFORNIA.

YOUR PROTEST IS BASED ON THREE PREMISES. FIRST, YOU ALLEGE THAT JETS SERVICES, THE LOW BIDDER, WAS NOT A SMALL BUSINESS AS REQUIRED BY THE IFB. WE HAVE BEEN INFORMED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE THAT THE SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION (SBA), HAS DECLARED JETS SERVICES TO BE A SMALL BUSINESS. YOUR CORRESPONDENCE FAILS TO REVEAL ANY BASIS FOR CHALLENGING THE SBA DETERMINATION WHICH IS REQUIRED TO BE ACCEPTED AS CONCLUSIVE BY PROCUREMENT OFFICES PURSUANT TO 15 U.S.C. 637(B)(6).

SECOND, YOU ALLEGE THAT JETS SERVICES WAS NOT A QUALIFIED FOOD SERVICE HANDLER. IN CONTRADICTION, THE DEFENSE CONTRACT ADMINISTRATION SERVICES (DCAS), IN ITS PRE-AWARD SURVEY FOUND THAT JETS SERVICES WAS FULLY QUALIFIED TO HANDLE FOOD SERVICE CONTRACTS. IN THIS REGARD, IT HAS BEEN THE CONSISTENT POSITION OF THIS OFFICE THAT AN AGENCY'S DETERMINATION OF A CONTRACTOR'S QUALIFICATIONS WILL NOT BE QUESTIONED IN THE ABSENCE OF EITHER CLEAR EVIDENCE OF BAD FAITH OR A CONVINCING SHOWING THAT NO SUBSTANTIAL GROUNDS EXIST FOR THE ADMINISTRATIVE DETERMINATION. 45 COMP. GEN. 4, (1965); 37 COMP. GEN. 430 (1957), AND B-172656, JULY 26, 1971. OUR REVIEW HAS UNCOVERED NO BASIS UPON WHICH WE MIGHT CONCLUDE THAT THE CONTRACTING OFFICIALS ACTED UNREASONABLY OR IN BAD FAITH IN FINDING JETS SERVICES RESPONSIBLE.

FINALLY, YOU HAVE INTIMATED THAT JETS SERVICES WAS NOT FINANCIALLY CAPABLE. THE DCAS PRE-AWARD SURVEY SHOWS THAT THE COMPANY'S WORKING CAPITAL IS $17,094 WITH AN ADDITIONAL $33,000 IMMEDIATELY AVAILABLE AND A RESERVE BY THE MAJOR STOCKHOLDER OF $20,000 WHICH ASSURES THE FINANCIAL CAPABILITY OF THE COMPANY.

IN CONSIDERATION OF THE ABOVE REASONS, WE FIND NO VALID BASIS TO QUESTION THE ACTION OF THE AIR FORCE IN AWARDING THE CONTRACT TO THE LOW OFFEROR.

ACCORDINGLY, YOUR PROTEST MUST BE DENIED.