B-199569, SEP 5, 1980

B-199569: Sep 5, 1980

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DIGEST: PROTEST FILED AFTER CLOSING DATE FOR RECEIPT OF INITIAL PROPOSALS AGAINST ALLEGED IMPROPRIETIES IN SOLICITATION APPARENT PRIOR TO THAT DATE IS UNTIMELY UNDER 4 C.F.R. THE RFP WAS FOR FIELD INSPECTIONS OF EXISTING POTABLE WATER SYSTEMS IN THE STATE OF ARIZONA. THE FOREST SERVICE ASSERTS THAT THE PROTEST IS UNTIMELY. THE AGENCY POINTS OUT THAT THE SOLICITATION CLEARLY INDICATED THAT THE PROCUREMENT WAS NOT BEING HANDLED AS ONE FOR ARCHITECTURAL AND ENGINEERING SERVICES. THE FOREST SERVICE STATES THAT UNDER ITS PROCUREMENT REGULATIONS ARCHITECTURAL AND ENGINEERING SERVICES ARE DEFINED AS SERVICES WHICH ESSENTIALLY CONSIST OF DESIGN AND CONSULTANT SERVICES TRADITIONALLY OBTAINED IN CONNECTION WITH CONSTRUCTION AND RELATED SERVICES.

B-199569, SEP 5, 1980

DIGEST: PROTEST FILED AFTER CLOSING DATE FOR RECEIPT OF INITIAL PROPOSALS AGAINST ALLEGED IMPROPRIETIES IN SOLICITATION APPARENT PRIOR TO THAT DATE IS UNTIMELY UNDER 4 C.F.R. SEC. 20.2(B)(1).

CONSULTING ENGINEERS COUNCIL OF METROPOLITAN WASHINGTON:

THE CONSULTING ENGINEERS COUNCIL OF METROPOLITAN WASHINGTON (CONSULTING ENGINEERS) HAS PROTESTED AGAINST REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS (RFP) NO. R3-80-63 ISSUED BY THE UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, FOREST SERVICE (FOREST SERVICE). THE RFP WAS FOR FIELD INSPECTIONS OF EXISTING POTABLE WATER SYSTEMS IN THE STATE OF ARIZONA.

THE RFP REQUIRED THAT EACH OFFEROR SUBMIT BOTH A TECHNICAL PROPOSAL AND A PRICE PROPOSAL. ALSO, THE RFP SPECIFIED THAT THE INDIVIDUAL IN OVERALL CHARGE OF THE SERVICES TO BE PERFORMED HAD TO BE A REGISTERED PROFESSIONAL ENGINEER. CONSULTING ENGINEERS CONTENDS THAT THE RFP'S REQUIREMENT FOR PRICE INFORMATION AND THE REGISTERED ENGINEER REQUIREMENT VIOLATED THE BROOKS BILL, 40 U.S.C. SEC. 541, ET SEQ. (1976). THE BROOKS BILL GOVERNS THE FEDERAL PROCUREMENT OF ARCHITECTURAL AND ENGINEERING SERVICES.

THE FOREST SERVICE ASSERTS THAT THE PROTEST IS UNTIMELY. AS TO THE MERITS, THE AGENCY POINTS OUT THAT THE SOLICITATION CLEARLY INDICATED THAT THE PROCUREMENT WAS NOT BEING HANDLED AS ONE FOR ARCHITECTURAL AND ENGINEERING SERVICES. IN THIS REGARD, THE FOREST SERVICE STATES THAT UNDER ITS PROCUREMENT REGULATIONS ARCHITECTURAL AND ENGINEERING SERVICES ARE DEFINED AS SERVICES WHICH ESSENTIALLY CONSIST OF DESIGN AND CONSULTANT SERVICES TRADITIONALLY OBTAINED IN CONNECTION WITH CONSTRUCTION AND RELATED SERVICES. CONSEQUENTLY, THE AGENCY TAKES THE POSITION THAT THE SERVICES REQUIRED UNDER THE PROTESTED SOLICITATION DO NOT COME WITHIN THE TERMS OF THE BROOKS BILL.

THE CLOSING DATE FOR RECEIPT OF INITIAL PROPOSALS WAS JUNE 20, 1980, AND CONSULTING ENGINEER'S PROTEST WAS NOT FILED WITH THE CONTRACTING AGENCY UNTIL JULY 11, 1980, AND WITH OUR OFFICE ON JULY 14, 1980. SINCE THE PROTEST RELATES TO ALLEGED IMPROPRIETIES IN THE SOLICITATION WHICH WERE APPARENT PRIOR TO THE CLOSING DATE FOR RECEIPT OF INITIAL PROPOSALS, THE PROTEST SHOULD HAVE BEEN FILED PRIOR TO THAT DATE IN ORDER TO BE TIMELY FILED UNDER SECTION 20.2(B)(1) OF OUR BID PROTEST PROCEDURES (4 C.F.R. PART 20 (1980)). THEREFORE, THE PROTEST IS UNTIMELY AND WILL NOT BE CONSIDERED ON THE MERITS.

THE PROTEST IS DISMISSED.