B-181894, OCT 4, 1974

B-181894: Oct 4, 1974

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WHERE PROTESTER WAS INFORMED BY LETTER DATED JUNE 28. PROTEST RECEIVED BY GAO ON JULY 24 WAS INTIMELY AND WILL NOT BE CONSIDERED SINCE UNDER SECTION 20.2(A) OF GAO INTERIM BID PROTEST PROCEDURES AND STANDARDS PROTEST MUST BE RECEIVED WITHIN FIVE WORKING DAYS OF THE NOTIFICATION OF ADVERSE AGENCY ACTION IF AN INITIAL PROTEST WAS MADE TO THE AGENCY. WHEREIN THE SELECTION PROCEDURE WAS OUTLINED. THIS LETTER STATED IN PERTINENT PART: "THE DEPARTMENT HAS NO KNOWLEDGE THAT DIFFERING INFORMATION REGARDING ESTIMATE OF PROPOSAL COSTS WAS GIVEN TO CONSULTANT FIRMS INVITED TO RESPOND TO OUR REQUEST FOR PROPOSA S.AS STATED IN OUR LETTER OF MAY 15. 1974 *** COST WAS NOT CONSIDERED BY THE COMMITTEE REVIEWING PROPOSALS AS A PRIME SELECTION CRITERION.

B-181894, OCT 4, 1974

WHERE PROTESTER WAS INFORMED BY LETTER DATED JUNE 28, 1974, THAT D. C. GOVERNMENT REJECTED ITS PROTEST OF ALLEGED IRREGULARIITES IN NEGOTIATED PROCUREMENT FOR BIKE WAY STUDY, PROTEST RECEIVED BY GAO ON JULY 24 WAS INTIMELY AND WILL NOT BE CONSIDERED SINCE UNDER SECTION 20.2(A) OF GAO INTERIM BID PROTEST PROCEDURES AND STANDARDS PROTEST MUST BE RECEIVED WITHIN FIVE WORKING DAYS OF THE NOTIFICATION OF ADVERSE AGENCY ACTION IF AN INITIAL PROTEST WAS MADE TO THE AGENCY.

IROQUOIS RESEARCH INSTITUTE:

ON JANUARY 30, 1974, THE GOVERNMENT OF THE DISTRCT OF COLUMBIA, DEPARTMENT OF HIGHWAYS AND TRAFFIC (D.C. GOVERNMENT), ISSUED A SOLICITATION ENTITLED "REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS TO PLAN A COMPREHENSIVE BIKE WAY SYSTEM." IROQUOIS RESEARCH INSTITUTE (IROQUOIS) SUBMITTED A PROPOSAL IN RESPONSE TO THE SOLICITATION ON FEBRUARY 15, 1974. BY LETTER OF APRIL 9, 1974, THE D.C. GOVERNMENT INFORMED IROQUOIS THAT AFTER EVALUATION OF ALL PROPOSALS, ANOTHER OFFEROR, BANTON-ASCHMAN, HAD BEEN SELECTED TO DO THE BIKE WAY STUDY. IROQUOIS REQUESTED THAT AWARD BE WITHHELD UNTIL THE D.C. GOVERNMENT SUPPLIED IT WITH REASONS FOR THE NONACCEPTANCE OF ITS PROPOSAL. THE D.C. GOVERNMENT RESPONDED BY LETTER OF MAY 15, 1974, WHEREIN THE SELECTION PROCEDURE WAS OUTLINED.

BY LETTER OF MAY 28, 1974, TO THE D. C. GOVERNMENT, COUNSEL FOR IROQUOIS OUTLINED SEVERAL ALLEGED IRREGULARITIES IN THE SUBJECT PROCUREMENT. SPECIFICALLY, IROQUOIS ALLEGED THAT THE D. C. GOVERNMENT HAS ORALLY ADVISED THAT ANY PROPOSAL SUBMITTED SHOULD BE IN THE $50,000 -$70,000 PRICE RANGE, WHEREAS OTHER OFFERORS HAD BEEN ADVISED TO KEEP THEIR PROPOSALS UNDER $50,000. FURTHERMORE, IROQUOIS EXPRESSED CONCERN THAT ONLY 11 COPIES OF ITS PROPOSAL OUT OF THE 12 ORIGINALLY SUBMITTED HAD BEEN RETURNED. ON JUNE 28, 1974, THE D. C. GOVERNMENT RESPONDED TO IROQUOIS' LETTER OF MAY 28, 1974. THIS LETTER STATED IN PERTINENT PART:

"THE DEPARTMENT HAS NO KNOWLEDGE THAT DIFFERING INFORMATION REGARDING ESTIMATE OF PROPOSAL COSTS WAS GIVEN TO CONSULTANT FIRMS INVITED TO RESPOND TO OUR REQUEST FOR PROPOSA S.AS STATED IN OUR LETTER OF MAY 15, 1974 *** COST WAS NOT CONSIDERED BY THE COMMITTEE REVIEWING PROPOSALS AS A PRIME SELECTION CRITERION.

"THERE WAS NO EXPLICITE PROVISION IN THE REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS WITH RESPECT TO THE RETURN OF PROPOSALS. IROQUOIS RESEARCH DID NOT INDICATE WHEN TRANSMITTING ITS PROPOSAL THAT IT WISHED ALL COPIES RETURNED IF NOT SELECTED. THE DEPARTMENT DID RETURN ELEVEN OF THE TWELVE COPIES RECEIVED AND ASSURED BY LETTER OF APRIL 30, 1974, THAT THE TWELFTH COPY WAS DESTROYED."

BY LETTER TO THIS OFFICE OF JULY 23, 1974 (RECEIVED THERE ON JULY 24, 1974) IROQUOIS PROTESTED AGAINST AWARD TO BARTON-ASCHMAN ON THE BASIS OF THE ALLEGED INCONSISTENT INFORMATION GIVEN VARIOUS OFFERORS REGARDING THE SUGGESTED PROPOSAL PRICE RANGE.

THE INTERIM BID PROTEST PROCEDURES AND STANDARDS OF OUR OFFICE (SECTION 20.2(A) OF TITLE 4 OF THE CODE OF FEDERAL REGULATIONS) REQUIRE THAT IF A PROTEST HAS BEEN FILED INITIALLY WITH THE CONTRACTING AGENCY, ANY SUBSEQUENT PROTEST TO GAO MUST BE RECEIVED WITHIN FIVE DAYS OF NOTIFICATION OF ADVERSE AGENCY ACTION. IROQUOIS' LETTERS OF APRIL 12 AND MAY 28 TO THE D.C. GOVERNMENT CONSTITUTED THE FILING OF A PROTEST WITH THE AGENCY. A REQUEST BY A DISAPPOINTED OFFEROR FOR A REVIEW OF PROCUREMENT ACTION NEED NOT CONTAIN THE EXACT WORDS OF PROTEST BEFORE IT CAN BE CHARACTERIZED AS A PROTEST. 53 COMP. GEN. , B-180146, JANUARY 30, 1974. THE D. C. GOVERNMENT'S LETTER OF JUNE 28, 1974, RESPONDING TO ALL OF IROQUOIS' CONTENTIONS, CONSTITUTED NOTIFICATION OF ADVERSE AGENCY ACTION. SINCE THE PROTEST WAS NOT RECEIVED HERE UNTIL JULY 24, 1974, IT WAS UNTIMELY FILED AND WILL NOT BE CONSIDERED BY OUR OFFICE. 52 COMP. GEN. 20 (1972).