Protest That Contracting Activity Improperly Found Awardee Firm To Be Responsible

B-200846,B-200847,B-200847.2,B-200848: Mar 13, 1981

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Two companies protested the award of two contracts to supply automotive replacement parts stemming from a request for proposals issued by the Defense Logistics Agency. The companies alleged that the awardee was unable to perform the contract and should have been found to be nonresponsible. GAO does not review affirmative determinations of responsibility unless either failure to comply with definitive responsibility criteria or fraud or misconduct by contracting officials is alleged. Since neither condition was alleged, the matter was not subject to review by GAO. One of the companies also contended that the awardee was not a regular dealer under the Walsh-Healey Act. The role of GAO in protests concerning the status of an awardee under the Act is limited to determining whether or not the contracting officer complied with procedural requirements. The record indicated that the contracting officer reviewed and denied the contention, and he advised the company that the matter would be forwarded to the Department of Labor if it so requested. Even though the contracting officer failed to refer the matter to Labor as required by regulation, his action was not prejudicial. The company was afforded the opportunity to request such a referral but did not pursue the matter. Accordingly, the protest was dismissed in part and denied in part.