B-183019, JAN 27, 1975

B-183019: Jan 27, 1975

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ALLEGATION THAT LOW BIDDER IS NONRESPONSIBLE BECAUSE OF INADEQUATE PAST PERFORMANCE WILL NOT BE CONSIDERED BY GAO. COPY OF PROTEST HAS BEEN FORWARDED TO CONTRACTING AGENCY AND IT IS ASSUMED THAT AGENCY WILL CONSIDER ALLEGATION IN RESPONSIBILITY DETERMINATION OF LOW BIDDER. ALTHOUGH SANDERS INITIALLY WAS ADVISED BY OUR OFFICE THAT THE MATTER WOULD BE DEVELOPED WITH THE CONTRACTING AGENCY. UPON FURTHER REVIEW IT APPEARS THAT THE BASIS FOR THE PROTEST IS THAT THE LOW BIDDER. IS A NONRESPONSIBLE BIDDER BECAUSE OF ALLEGED INADEQUATE PRIOR CONTRACT PERFORMANCE. THE DETERMINATION OF RESPONSIBILITY IS LARGELY WITHIN THE DISCRETION OF THE PROCUREMENT OFFICIALS WHO MUST BEAR ANY DIFFICULTIES EXPERIENCED BY REASON OF A CONTRACTOR'S NONRESPONSIBILITY.

B-183019, JAN 27, 1975

ALLEGATION THAT LOW BIDDER IS NONRESPONSIBLE BECAUSE OF INADEQUATE PAST PERFORMANCE WILL NOT BE CONSIDERED BY GAO, SINCE PRACTICE OF REVIEWING BID PROTESTS INVOLVING CONTRACTING OFFICER'S AFFIRMATIVE DETERMINATION OF RESPONSIBILITY HAS BEEN DISCONTINUED ABSENT SHOWING OF FRAUD IN FINDING; HOWEVER, COPY OF PROTEST HAS BEEN FORWARDED TO CONTRACTING AGENCY AND IT IS ASSUMED THAT AGENCY WILL CONSIDER ALLEGATION IN RESPONSIBILITY DETERMINATION OF LOW BIDDER.

SANDERS ASSOCIATES, INC.:

SANDERS ASSOCIATES, INC. (SANDERS), PROTESTED THE AWARD OF A CONTRACT UNDER INVITATION FOR BIDS NO. N00019-75-B-0003, ISSUED BY THE NAVAL AIR SYSTEMS COMMAND, TO ANY BIDDER OTHER THAN ITSELF.

ALTHOUGH SANDERS INITIALLY WAS ADVISED BY OUR OFFICE THAT THE MATTER WOULD BE DEVELOPED WITH THE CONTRACTING AGENCY, UPON FURTHER REVIEW IT APPEARS THAT THE BASIS FOR THE PROTEST IS THAT THE LOW BIDDER, RADIATION SYSTEMS, INC. (RSI), IS A NONRESPONSIBLE BIDDER BECAUSE OF ALLEGED INADEQUATE PRIOR CONTRACT PERFORMANCE.

OUR OFFICE HAS DISCONTINUED THE PRACTICE OF REVIEWING BID PROTESTS INVOLVING A CONTRACTING OFFICER'S AFFIRMATIVE DETERMINATION OF RESPONSIBILITY OF A PROSPECTIVE CONTRACTOR. THE DETERMINATION OF RESPONSIBILITY IS LARGELY WITHIN THE DISCRETION OF THE PROCUREMENT OFFICIALS WHO MUST BEAR ANY DIFFICULTIES EXPERIENCED BY REASON OF A CONTRACTOR'S NONRESPONSIBILITY. IF THE CONTRACTING OFFICER FINDS THE LOW BIDDER RESPONSIBLE, WE DO NOT BELIEVE THE FINDING SHOULD BE DISTURBED ABSENT FRAUD. MATTER OF EASTERN HOME BUILDERS AND DEVELOPERS, INC., B- 182218, NOVEMBER 29, 1974.

ACCORDINGLY, WE WILL NOT CONSIDER THE SANDERS PROTEST ON THE MERITS. HOWEVER, A COPY OF THE PROTEST HAS BEEN FORWARDED TO THE CONTRACTING AGENCY AND IT IS ASSUMED THAT THE AGENCY WILL CONSIDER THE ALLEGATION IN THE RESPONSIBILITY DETERMINATION OF RSI.