B-181959, AUG 29, 1974

B-181959: Aug 29, 1974

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BIDDER IS REQUIRED TO PROTEST TO GAO WITHIN 5 DAYS AFTER NOTIFICATION OF INITIAL ADVERSE AGENCY ACTION ON PROTEST INITALLY LODGED IN AGENCY. PROTESTER SHOULD NOT HAVE DELAYED PROTESTING TO GAO UNTIL AFTER IT HAD RECEIVED A RESPONSE TO ITS JULY 10 LETTER. BIDS UNDER THE SUBJECT INVITATION WERE OPENED ON JUNE 20. THE LOW BID WAS IN THE AMOUNT OF $11. ATLANTIC STATED TO THE AGENCY THAT "IF AN AWARD IS MADE *** TO A BIDDER OTHER THAN ATLANTIC MOBILE CORP. ATLANTIC'S "FORMAL PROTEST" AND REQUEST FOR TERMINATION OF THE AWARD WAS DENIED. REQUIRES THAT PROTESTS WHICH ARE INITIALLY FILED WITH THE CONTRACTING AGENCY MUST BE RECEIVED IN THIS OFFICE WITHIN FIVE DAYS OF NOTIFICATION OF ADVERSE AGENCY ACTION.

B-181959, AUG 29, 1974

BIDDER IS REQUIRED TO PROTEST TO GAO WITHIN 5 DAYS AFTER NOTIFICATION OF INITIAL ADVERSE AGENCY ACTION ON PROTEST INITALLY LODGED IN AGENCY. C.F. R. 20.2(A) AND 52 COMP. GEN. 20, 23 (1972). EVEN THOUGH AGENCY'S PROTEST DENIAL OF JULY 9 DID NOT ACKNOWLEDGE PROTESTER'S FURTHER STATEMENT OF PROTEST CONTAINED IN LETTER OF JULY 10, PROTESTER SHOULD NOT HAVE DELAYED PROTESTING TO GAO UNTIL AFTER IT HAD RECEIVED A RESPONSE TO ITS JULY 10 LETTER. SINCE PROTESTER RECEIVED INITIAL NOTIFICATION OF ADVERSE AGENCY ACTION (AGENCY LETTER OF JULY 9) BY JULY 12 IT FAILED TO COMPLY WITH 4 C.F. R. 20.2(A) BY DELAYING ITS PROTEST OT GAO UNTIL AUGUST 2.

ATLANTIC MOBILE CORPORATION PROTESTS THE REJECTION OF ITS BID UNDER INVITATION FOR BIDS (IFB) NO. PGH. 172, ISSUED BY THE U.S. BUREAU OF MINES FOR TWO MOBILE OFFICE TRAILERS AND A PULLMAN UNIT (ITEM 1).

BIDS UNDER THE SUBJECT INVITATION WERE OPENED ON JUNE 20, 1974, AND ATLANTIC SUBMITTED THE HIGHEST OF 3 BIDS AT $21,000. THE LOW BID WAS IN THE AMOUNT OF $11,790. BY LETTER DATED JUNE 26, 1974, ATLANTIC STATED TO THE CONTRACTING AGENCY THAT IN ACCORDANCE WITH ITS READING OF THE INVITATION SPECIFICATIONS THE TOTAL BID PRICE SHOULD COVER TWO GROUPS OF UNITS, (4 TRAILERS AND 2 PULLMAN UNITS). BY TELEGRAM DATED JULY 1, ATLANTIC STATED TO THE AGENCY THAT "IF AN AWARD IS MADE *** TO A BIDDER OTHER THAN ATLANTIC MOBILE CORP., ATLANTIC WISHES TO FILE A FORMAL PROTEST

***." BY LETTER DATED JULY 9, 1974, THE CONTRACTING OFFICER ACKNOWLEDGED RECEIPT OF ATLANTIC'S PRIOR CORRESPONDENCE AND ADVISED THE BIDDER THAT AWARD HAD BEEN MADE TO THE LOW BIDDER ON JUNE 28, 1974. THE CONTRACTING OFFICER EXPRESSED REGRET THAT ATLANTIC HAD MISINTERPRETED THE GOVERNMENT'S REQUIREMENTS WHERAS THE OTHER TWO BIDDERS DID NOT. HOWEVER, THIS LETTER APPARENTLY CROSSED IN THE MAILS WITH ATLANTIC'S LETTER OF JULY 10 IN WHICH IT PROVIDED THE CONTRACTING OFFICER A FURTHER EXPLANATION OF ITS PROTEST. IN ADDITION, BY LETTER DATED JULY 12, ATLANTIC NOTIFIED THE CONTRACTING OFFICER THAT IT REITERATED ITS "PREVIOUS PROTEST" AND DEMANDED THAT THE CONTRACT AWARD BE TERMINATED. BY LETTER DATED JULY 19, 1974, ATLANTIC'S "FORMAL PROTEST" AND REQUEST FOR TERMINATION OF THE AWARD WAS DENIED. LETTER DATED JULY 24, RECEIVED IN OUR OFFICE AUGUST 2, 1974, ATLANTIC PROTESTED TO THIS OFFICE.

IN OUR OPINION ATLANTIC ESSENTIALLY PROTESTED TO THE AGENCY BY VIRTUE OF ITS CORRESPONDENCE OF JUNE 26 AND JULY 1. THE AGENCY'S RESPONSE BY LETTER OF JULY 9, IN EFFECT, DENIED THE PROTEST. EVEN THOUGH THE AGENCY'S DENIAL OF JULY 9 DID NOT ACKNOWLEDGE ATLANTIC'S FURTHER STATEMENT OF PROTEST OF JULY 10, THE AGENCY'S INITIAL DENIAL PROVIDED NOTIFICATION OF ADVERSE AGENCY ACTION REGARDING ATLANTIC'S INITIAL PROTEST. IN THIS CONNECTION SECTION 20.2(A) OF THE INTERIM BID PROTEST PROCEDURES AND STANDARDS, 4 C.F. R. 20.2(A), REQUIRES THAT PROTESTS WHICH ARE INITIALLY FILED WITH THE CONTRACTING AGENCY MUST BE RECEIVED IN THIS OFFICE WITHIN FIVE DAYS OF NOTIFICATION OF ADVERSE AGENCY ACTION. WE REGARD IT AS OBLIGATORY UPON A PROTESTER TO FILE HIS PROTEST HERE WITHIN FIVE DAYS OF NOTIFICATION OF INITIAL ADVERSE AGENCY ACTION. 52 COMP. GEN. 20, 23 (1972). SINCE THE RECORD SHOWS THAT ATLANTIC HAD RECEIVED SUCH INITIAL NOTIFICATION BY JULY 12, IT FAILED TO COMPLY WITH THE ABOVE-CITED PROCEDURE AND WE DO NOT THINK ATLANTIC SHOULD HAVE DELAYED PROTESTING HERE UNTIL AFTER IT HAD RECEIVED THE CONTRACTING OFFICER'S JULY 19 LETTER.

ACCORDINGLY, THIS OFFICE WILL TAKE NO FURTHER ACTION IN THIS MATTER.