B-183116, APR 30, 1975

B-183116: Apr 30, 1975

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PROTEST ALLEGING IMPROPRIETIES UNDER THREE SOLICITATIONS WHICH WAS FILED MORE THAN 1 MONTH AFTER AWARDS WERE MADE UNDER ALL THREE SOLICITATIONS IS UNTIMELY UNDER PROVISIONS OF 4 C.F.R. 20.2(A) AND INELIGIBLE FOR CONSIDERATION ON MERITS. ALL OF WHICH WERE ISSUED BY THE FEDERAL SUPPLY SERVICE. WHICH WAS RECEIVED BY OUR OFFICE ON JANUARY 28. WAS TRANSMITTED TO GSA FOR A DOCUMENTED REPORT RESPONSIVE TO THE ALLEGATIONS SET FORTH. THE ENSUING REPORT FROM GSA ADVISED THAT SOLICITATION 80239 WAS ISSUED JULY 9. 11 AND 12 WERE RECEIVED FROM INDIAN MADE PRODUCTS AND AN AWARD FOR THOSE ITEMS WAS EXECUTED WITH INDIAN MADE ON OCTOBER 4. A NEGATIVE RESPONSIBILITY DETERMINATION WAS ISSUED BY GSA ON THE PROTESTER.

B-183116, APR 30, 1975

PROTEST ALLEGING IMPROPRIETIES UNDER THREE SOLICITATIONS WHICH WAS FILED MORE THAN 1 MONTH AFTER AWARDS WERE MADE UNDER ALL THREE SOLICITATIONS IS UNTIMELY UNDER PROVISIONS OF 4 C.F.R. 20.2(A) AND INELIGIBLE FOR CONSIDERATION ON MERITS.

INTERNATIONAL MULTI SERVICES:

THE FOREGOING CONCERN HAS CHARGED THE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION (GSA) WITH VARIOUS IMPROPRIETIES UNDER SOLICITATIONS FP00-EG-80239-N, FP00 -EG-80337-N AND FP00-EG-80213-A, ALL OF WHICH WERE ISSUED BY THE FEDERAL SUPPLY SERVICE.

THE PROTEST, WHICH WAS RECEIVED BY OUR OFFICE ON JANUARY 28, 1975, WAS TRANSMITTED TO GSA FOR A DOCUMENTED REPORT RESPONSIVE TO THE ALLEGATIONS SET FORTH. THE ENSUING REPORT FROM GSA ADVISED THAT SOLICITATION 80239 WAS ISSUED JULY 9, 1974, WITH A CLOSING DATE FOR RECEIPT OF PROPOSALS ON AUGUST 8, 1974. LOW OFFERS ON ITEMS 1, 10, 11 AND 12 WERE RECEIVED FROM INDIAN MADE PRODUCTS AND AN AWARD FOR THOSE ITEMS WAS EXECUTED WITH INDIAN MADE ON OCTOBER 4, 1974. IN THE MEANTIME, A NEGATIVE RESPONSIBILITY DETERMINATION WAS ISSUED BY GSA ON THE PROTESTER, THE LOW OFFEROR ON ITEMS 2 THROUGH 9, AND THE MATTER WAS REFERRED TO THE SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION (SBA) FOR POSSIBLE ISSUANCE OF A CERTIFICATE OF COMPETENCY (COC). WHILE THE MATTER WAS STILL PENDING BEFORE SBA, IT WAS DETERMINED ON DECEMBER 10, 1974, THAT THE REQUIREMENT FOR ITEMS 2 THRU 9 NO LONGER EXISTED, AND THE PROTESTER WAS ADVISED BY LETTER OF DECEMBER 19, 1974, THAT NO AWARD WOULD BE MADE UNDER SOLICITATION 80239.

SOLICITATION NO. 80337 SET FORTH A PUBLIC EXIGENCY REQUIREMENT FOR 81,072 DESK PEN SETS AND WAS SOLICITED ON A NEGOTIATED BASIS WITH A CLOSING DATE OF NOVEMBER 22, 1974. ON NOVEMBER 18, 1974, THE REQUIREMENT WAS CANCELLED DUE TO REVISED REQUIREMENTS. CONSEQUENTLY, NEGOTIATIONS FOR THE REVISED REQUIREMENTS WERE CONDUCTED WITH ALL OFFERORS WHO HAD RESPONDED TO THE SOLICITATION TO FURNISH THE ORIGINAL QUANTITIES. INDIAN MADE WAS THE LOW OFFEROR UNDER THIS SOLICITATION, WHILE THE PROTESTER'S OFFER WAS THIRD LOWEST. AN AWARD WAS ACCORDINGLY MADE TO INDIAN MADE ON DECEMBER 18, 1974.

CONCERNING SOLICITATION 80213, GSA ADVISES THAT BID OPENING WAS HELD AT THE SCHEDULED TIME AND DATE (SEPTEMBER 6, 1974 AT 11:00 A.M.) BUT THAT THE PROTESTER'S BID WAS RECEIVED 32 MINUTES LATE. THIS BID WAS CONSIDERED TO BE AN UNACCEPTABLE LATE BID AND CONSEQUENTLY WAS NOT OPENED. HOWEVER, IT IS REPORTED THAT THROUGH AN OVERSIGHT, THE UNOPENED ENVELOPE WAS NOT RETURNED TO THE PROTESTER. AWARD WAS MADE ON OCTOBER 18, 1974.

OUR INTERIM BID PROTEST PROCEDURES AND STANDARDS (4 C.F.R. SEC. 20.2(A) (1974)) REQUIRE, IN PERTINENT PART, THAT PROTESTS BE FILED WITH OUR OFFICE WITHIN 5 DAYS AFTER THE BASIS OF THE PROTEST IS KNOWN OR SHOULD HAVE BEEN KNOWN. THE ONLY EXCEPTIONS TO THIS REQUIREMENT ARE IN INSTANCES WHERE THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL DETERMINES THAT THERE EXISTS GOOD CAUSE FOR AN UNTIMELY FILING OR THAT SIGNIFICANT PROCUREMENT ISSUES ARE INVOLVED IN THE PROTEST. (4 C.F.R. SEC. 20.2(B) (1974)).

HAVING REVIEWED THE RECORD PROVIDED FOR US BY GSA, IT HAS BECOME APPARENT THAT THE PROTEST HAS BEEN UNTIMELY FILED WITH REGARD TO ALL THREE SOLICITATIONS. MOREOVER, THERE DOES NOT APPEAR TO BE A SHOWING OF GOOD CAUSE FOR THE TARDY FILING OR AN INVOLVEMENT OF WHAT OUR OFFICE WOULD CONSIDER TO BE A SIGNIFICANT PROCUREMENT ISSUE.

THE PURPOSE OF THE FOREGOING STANDARDS IS TO PERMIT THE EXPEDITIOUS RESOLUTION OF A PROTEST AT A STAGE IN THE PROCUREMENT WHEN SOME EFFECTIVE REMEDIAL ACTION MAY BE TAKEN ON MERITORIOUS PROTESTS. SEE 52 COMP. GEN. 20, 22 (1972). IN THE INSTANT CASE, THE FILING OF THE PROTEST WAS MADE AT A TIME LONG AFTER ANY OPPORTUNITY HAD EXPIRED FOR ANY REMEDIAL ACTION THAT MAY HAVE BEEN WARRANTED. ACCORDINGLY, OUR OFFICE WILL NOT RENDER A DECISION ON THE MERITS.