B-176112, AUG 16, 1972

B-176112: Aug 16, 1972

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PROTEST IS DENIED. TO NCS CORPORATION: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF MAY 30. IT WAS YOUR BELIEF THAT THE NCS OFFER ON THE SUBJECT NEGOTIATED PROCUREMENT MIGHT BE REJECTED WITHOUT HAVING A FINANCIAL STABILITY AND PRODUCTION CAPABILITY SURVEY CONDUCTED BY THE SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION (SBA) UNDER THE CERTIFICATE OF COMPETENCY (COC) PROGRAM. IT IS MAINTAINED THAT THERE WAS NO WAY OF KNOWING WHETHER NCS WAS THE LOW OFFEROR AND ENTITLED TO COC CONSIDERATION BY SBA. THE WITHHOLDING OF PRICING INFORMATION WAS IN ACCORDANCE WITH ARMED SERVICES PROCUREMENT REGULATION (ASPR) 3-507.2(A). THE RECORD INDICATED THAT THE CONTRACTOR TO WHOM THE AWARD WAS MADE SUBMITTED A TECHNICALLY SUPERIOR OFFER AT A PRICE LESS THAN THE NCS OFFERED PRICE.

B-176112, AUG 16, 1972

BID PROTEST - SMALL BUSINESS SET-ASIDE - COMPETENCY DECISION DENYING PROTEST OF NCS CORPORATION AGAINST AWARD OF A CONTRACT TO COMPUTER DATA SYSTEMS, INC. (CDS), UNDER AN RFP ISSUED BY THE NAVY PURCHASING OFFICE, WASHINGTON NAVY YARD. THE RECORD INDICATES THAT CDS SUBMITTED A TECHNICALLY SUPERIOR OFFER AT A PRICE LESS THAN THAT OF NCS. THUS, QUESTION OF THE COMPETENCY OF NCS NEVER BECAME AN ISSUE FOR REFERRAL TO SBA. THEREFORE, PROTEST IS DENIED.

TO NCS CORPORATION:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF MAY 30, 1972, PROTESTING THE AWARD OF A CONTRACT TO COMPUTER DATA SYSTEMS, INC. (CDS), UNDER REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS (RFP) NO. N00600-72-R-5368, A TOTAL SMALL BUSINESS SET ASIDE, ISSUED BY THE NAVY PURCHASING OFFICE (NPO), WASHINGTON NAVY YARD.

IT WAS YOUR BELIEF THAT THE NCS OFFER ON THE SUBJECT NEGOTIATED PROCUREMENT MIGHT BE REJECTED WITHOUT HAVING A FINANCIAL STABILITY AND PRODUCTION CAPABILITY SURVEY CONDUCTED BY THE SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION (SBA) UNDER THE CERTIFICATE OF COMPETENCY (COC) PROGRAM. BECAUSE OF THE SECRECY THAT SHROUDED PRICES BEFORE AWARD OF THE CONTRACT, IT IS MAINTAINED THAT THERE WAS NO WAY OF KNOWING WHETHER NCS WAS THE LOW OFFEROR AND ENTITLED TO COC CONSIDERATION BY SBA.

THE WITHHOLDING OF PRICING INFORMATION WAS IN ACCORDANCE WITH ARMED SERVICES PROCUREMENT REGULATION (ASPR) 3-507.2(A). THE RECORD INDICATED THAT THE CONTRACTOR TO WHOM THE AWARD WAS MADE SUBMITTED A TECHNICALLY SUPERIOR OFFER AT A PRICE LESS THAN THE NCS OFFERED PRICE. THUS, THE QUESTION OF THE COMPETENCY OF NCS NEVER BECAME AN ISSUE FOR THE REFERRAL TO SBA FOR COC CONSIDERATION. MOREOVER, THE FAILURE TO DISCLOSE PRICES UNTIL AFTER AWARD DOES NOT PRECLUDE AN OTHERWISE LOW OFFEROR CONSIDERED TO BE NONRESPONSIBLE FROM TIMELY CONSIDERATION FOR A CERTIFICATE OF COMPETENCY. GENERALLY, A CONTRACTING OFFICER MUST REFER A SUCCESSFUL SMALL BUSINESS OFFEROR'S NONRESPONSIBILITY TO SBA PRIOR TO AWARD FOR A RESOLUTION UNDER THE CERTIFICATE OF COMPETENCY PROGRAM. SEE ASPR 1- 705.4(C).

ACCORDINGLY, THE PROTEST IS DENIED.