B-181961, SEP 5, 1974

B-181961: Sep 5, 1974

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IS UNTIMELY AND WILL NOT BE CONSIDERED. AS GAO INTERIM BID PROTEST PROCEDURES AND STANDARDS REQUIRE THAT SUCH PROTESTS BE FILED AT GAO PRIOR TO CLOSING DATE FOR RECEIPT OF OFFERS AND PROTEST WAS DATED JULY 24. SUCH OFFERS WERE TO BE OPENED ON JULY 29. THAT THERE WAS INSUFFICIENT TIME BETWEEN JULY 23 AND JULY 26. 1974 IN ORDER TO BE ELIGIBLE FOR THE INITIAL ROUND OF SALES IS UNREASONABLY RESTRICTIVE. SEC. 20.2(A) (1974)) PROVIDES IN PERTINENT PART AS FOLLOWS: "*** PROTESTORS ARE URGED TO SEEK RESOLUTION OF THEIR COMPLAINTS INITIALLY WITH THE CONTRACTING AGENCY. PROTESTS BASED UPON ALLEGED IMPROPRIETIES IN ANY TYPE OF SOLICITATION WHICH ARE APPARENT PRIOR TO BID OPENING OR THE CLOSING DATE FOR RCEIPT OF PROPOSALS SHALL BE FILED PRIOR TO BID OPENING OR THE CLOSING DATE FOR RECEIPT OF PROPOSALS. *** THE TERM 'FILED' AS USED IN THIS SECTION MEANS RECEIPT IN THE CONTRACTING AGENCY OR IN THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE AS THE CASE MAY BE AND PROTESTORS ARE.

B-181961, SEP 5, 1974

PROTEST AGAINST REQUIREMENT THAT OFFERS ON PROPERTIES LISTED ON HUD SALES LIST DATED JULY 19, 1974 (RECEIVED BY PROTESTER ON JULY 23, 1974) BE SUBMITTED BY CLOSE OF BUSINESS JULY 26, 1974, IS UNTIMELY AND WILL NOT BE CONSIDERED, AS GAO INTERIM BID PROTEST PROCEDURES AND STANDARDS REQUIRE THAT SUCH PROTESTS BE FILED AT GAO PRIOR TO CLOSING DATE FOR RECEIPT OF OFFERS AND PROTEST WAS DATED JULY 24, 1974, AND RECEIVED AT GAO ON AUGUST 1, 1974.

FRANK E. MELCHIORRE:

ON JULY 19, 1974, THE FEDERAL HOUSING ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT (HUD), RICHMOND, VIRGINIA, ISSUED A LIST OF HUD-ACQUIRED PROPERTIES AVAILABLE FOR SALE OR RENT IN VARIOUS AREAS OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA. IN CONNECTION WITH SEVERAL PROPERTIES LISTED, HUD PROVIDED A MINIMUM ACCEPTABLE SALES PRICE AND THE MINIMUM AMOUNT OF MONEY NEEDED AS A DEPOSIT TO SECURE THE PROPERTY. THE DOCUMENT FURTHER PROVIDED THAT THE HIGHEST OFFER MEETING OR EXCEEDING THE MINIMUM ACCEPTABLE PRICE SUBMITTED FOR THE PROPERTIES IN QUESTION PRIOR TO THE CLOSE OF BUSINESS JULY 26, 1974 WOULD BE ACCEPTED. SUCH OFFERS WERE TO BE OPENED ON JULY 29, 1974. THEREAFTER, OFFERS MEETING THE MINIMUM ACCEPTABLE PRICE FOR PROPERTIES STILL AVAILABLE WOULD BE ACCEPTED ON A FIRST-COME, FIRST-SERVED BASIS. IN THE EVENT OF TIE OFFF FIRST-SERVED BASIS. IN THE EVENT OF TIE OFFERS, A DRAWING WOULD BE HELD TO DETERMINE ACCEPTABLILITY.

BY LETTER OF JULY 24, 1974, RECEIVED AT THIS OFFICE ON AUGUST 1, 1974, FRANK E. MELCHIORRE PROTESTED AGAINST THE HUD DECISION TO REQUIRE MINIMUM ACCEPTABLE OFFERS ON THE PROPERTIES IN QUESTION TO BE SUBMITTED NO LATER THAN JULY 26, 1974. THE PROTESTER INDICATED THAT HE RECEIVED THE LIST IN QUESTION ON JULY 23, 1974, AND THAT THERE WAS INSUFFICIENT TIME BETWEEN JULY 23 AND JULY 26, 1974, TO MAKE NECESSARY PREPARATIONS TO SUBMIT A PROPER. MR. MELCHIORRE CONTENDS THAT THE HUD REQUIREMENT THAT OFFERORS MUST SUBMIT MINIMUM ACCEPTABLE OFFERS BY JULY 26, 1974 IN ORDER TO BE ELIGIBLE FOR THE INITIAL ROUND OF SALES IS UNREASONABLY RESTRICTIVE, AND HE THEREFORE PROTESTS AGAINST THE ACTIONS OF HUD IN ALLEGEDLY SELLING PROPERTIES WITHOUT GIVING ALL POTENTIAL BUYERSAN EQUAL OPPORTUNITY TO PARTICIPATE.

SECTION 20.2(A) OF OUR INTERIM BID PROTEST PROCEDURES AND STANDARDS (4 C.F.R. SEC. 20.2(A) (1974)) PROVIDES IN PERTINENT PART AS FOLLOWS:

"*** PROTESTORS ARE URGED TO SEEK RESOLUTION OF THEIR COMPLAINTS INITIALLY WITH THE CONTRACTING AGENCY. PROTESTS BASED UPON ALLEGED IMPROPRIETIES IN ANY TYPE OF SOLICITATION WHICH ARE APPARENT PRIOR TO BID OPENING OR THE CLOSING DATE FOR RCEIPT OF PROPOSALS SHALL BE FILED PRIOR TO BID OPENING OR THE CLOSING DATE FOR RECEIPT OF PROPOSALS. *** THE TERM 'FILED' AS USED IN THIS SECTION MEANS RECEIPT IN THE CONTRACTING AGENCY OR IN THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE AS THE CASE MAY BE AND PROTESTORS ARE, THEREFORE, CAUTIONED THAT PROTESTS SHOULD BE TRANSMITTED OR DELIVERED IN THAT MANNER WHICH WILL ASSURE EARLIEST RECEIPT."

MR. MELCHIORRE'S PROTEST AGAINST HUD'S ALLEGEDLY RESTRICTIVE SALES LIST WAS FILED IN THIS OFFICE ON AUGUST 1, 1974, SIX DAYS AFTER THE FIRST OFFERS ON THE PROPERTIES IN QUESTION WERE DUE AT HUD AND THREE DAYS AFTER SUCH OFFERS WERE TO BE OPENED. AS MR. MELCHIORRE'S PROTEST IS AGAINST THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE JULY 26, 1974 REQUIREMENT FOR SUBMISSION OF OFFERS, HIS PROTEST IS UNTIMELY. WHILE WE NOTE THAT THE TIME PERIOD BETWEEN THE ISSUANCE OF THIS LIST AND THE DATE FOR RECEIPT OF OFFERS WAS QUITE SHORT AND NECESSITATED EXPEDITIOUS ACTION BY A PROTESTER, WE NEVERTHELESS ARE OF THE OPINION THAT THE PROTESTER HAD ADEQUATE OPPORTUNITY TO FILE A PROTEST BY CLOSE OF BUSINESS JULY 26, 1974. ACCORDINGLY, AS THIS PROTEST WAS NOT FILED IN A TIMELY MANNER, WE DECLINE TO CONSIDER IT ON THE MERITS.