B-181883, AUG 27, 1974

B-181883: Aug 27, 1974

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WHERE PROTESTER ALLEGES THAT LOW BIDDER IS NONRESPONSIBLE DUE TO DIFFICULTIES IN PERFORMING PREVIOUS GOVERNMENT CONTRACTS. PROTEST WILL NOT BE CONSIDERED SINCE CONTRACTING OFFICER DETERMINED THAT LOW BIDDER WAS RESPONSIBLE AND GAO HAS DISCONTINUED PRACTICE OF REVIEWING BID PROTESTS OF CONTRACTING OFFICER'S AFFIRMATIVE RESPONSIBILITY DETERMINATIONS. EXCEPT FOR ACTIONS BY PROCURING OFFICIALS WHICH ARE TANTAMOUNT TO FRAUD. WE HAVE BEEN ADVISED THAT PROPPER WAS DETERMINED TO BE A RESPONSIBLE PROSPECTIVE CONTRACTOR UNDER BOTH OF THE ABOVE SOLICITATIONS ON AUGUST 9. THE DETERMINATION OF A PROPOSED CONTRACTOR'S RESPONSIBILITY IS LARGELY WITHIN THE DISCRETION OF THE CONTRACTING OFFICER. WE DO NOT BELIEVE THE FINDING SHOULD BE DISTURBED EXCEPT FOR ACTIONS BY PROCURING OFFICIALS WHICH ARE TANTAMOUNT TO FRAUD.

B-181883, AUG 27, 1974

WHERE PROTESTER ALLEGES THAT LOW BIDDER IS NONRESPONSIBLE DUE TO DIFFICULTIES IN PERFORMING PREVIOUS GOVERNMENT CONTRACTS, PROTEST WILL NOT BE CONSIDERED SINCE CONTRACTING OFFICER DETERMINED THAT LOW BIDDER WAS RESPONSIBLE AND GAO HAS DISCONTINUED PRACTICE OF REVIEWING BID PROTESTS OF CONTRACTING OFFICER'S AFFIRMATIVE RESPONSIBILITY DETERMINATIONS, EXCEPT FOR ACTIONS BY PROCURING OFFICIALS WHICH ARE TANTAMOUNT TO FRAUD. SEE 53 COMP. GEN. , B-177512, JUNE 7, 1974.

WALDMAN MANUFACTURING COMPANY:

BY LETTER OF JULY 21, 1974, WALDMAN MANUFACTURING COMPANY (WALDMAN) PROTESTS AGAINST THE AWARD OF ANY CONTRACTS TO PROPPER INTERNATIONAL, INC. (PROPPER), LOW BIDDER UNDER SOLICITATION NOS. DSA100-74-B-1481 AND DSA100- 74-B-1595, ISSUED BY DEFENSE SUPPLY AGENCY (DSA). WALDMAN CONTENDS THAT DUE TO ALLEGED DIFFICULTIES IN PERFORMING PAST GOVERNMENT CONTRACTS, PROPPER SHOULD BE DETERMINED NONRESPONSIBLE AND INELIGIBLE TO RECEIVE AWARDS UNDER THE ABOVE SOLICITATIONS.

WE HAVE BEEN ADVISED THAT PROPPER WAS DETERMINED TO BE A RESPONSIBLE PROSPECTIVE CONTRACTOR UNDER BOTH OF THE ABOVE SOLICITATIONS ON AUGUST 9, 1974.

THIS OFFICE HAD DISCONTINUED ITS PRIOR PRACTICE OF REVIEWING PROTESTS INVOLVING A CONTRACTING OFFICER'S AFFIRMATIVE DETERMINATION OF RESPONSIBILITY OF A PROSPECTIVE CONTRACTOR. SEE 53 COMP. GEN. , B 177512, JUNE 7, 1974. THE DETERMINATION OF A PROPOSED CONTRACTOR'S RESPONSIBILITY IS LARGELY WITHIN THE DISCRETION OF THE CONTRACTING OFFICER. THE CONTRACTING ACTIVITY MUST HANDLE THE DAY-TO-DAY ADMINISTRATION OF THE CONTRACT AND BEAR THE BRUNT OF ANY DIFFICULTIES EXPERIENCED BY REASON OF THE CONTRACTOR'S LACK OF ABILITY. IF PURSUANT TO THE APPLICABLE REGULATIONS THE CONTRACTING OFFICER FINDS THE PROPOSED CONTRACTOR RESPONSIBLE, WE DO NOT BELIEVE THE FINDING SHOULD BE DISTURBED EXCEPT FOR ACTIONS BY PROCURING OFFICIALS WHICH ARE TANTAMOUNT TO FRAUD.

ACCORDINGLY, AS NO FRAUD HAS BEEN ALLEGED OR DEMONSTRATED, WE MUST DECLINE TO FURTHER CONSIDER THE MATTER.