Protest Against Bid Rejection

B-195902: Aug 15, 1980

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The low bidder on a contract to supply materials and construct a water tank protested the rejection of its bid and the award to another firm. The affidavit of individual surety submitted with the low bid showed the bidder's individual surety to be an officer of the bidder. The agency believed this to be contrary to the affidavit instructions, and rejected the bid as nonresponsive. Subsequent to the protests and the award of the contract, the agency determined that the protester's bid was improperly found to be nonresponsive, and terminated the contact for the convenience of the Government. The protester requested that it be awarded the remainder of the terminated contract at its bid price less the amount the Government paid for the materials furnished under the terminated contract. However, the agency determined that an award to the protester under the original solicitation for only the required tank construction would not be proper since the specifications also called for supplying all materials. It concluded that the construction should be advertised as a new procurement with the agency furnishing the construction materials to the successful bidder. GAO agreed with the agency determination that the protester's bid was improperly rejected. It found, however, that award for construction of the tank may be made to the protester who should have received the award on the basis of its lump-sum bid less the amount paid by the Government for materials furnished, since the award would prejudice no one. Thus, the protest was sustained.