Protest of Air Force Contract Award

B-201105: Sep 18, 1981

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A firm protested the award of certain contracts for aircraft components alleging a number of procurement irregularities. The protester contended that the minimum requirements for the materials in the request for proposals (RFP) were relaxed without amending the solicitation, therefore, not allowing it to bid on the relaxed basis. GAO found that the agency had specified that any material would suffice as long as the performance specifications could be met. Therefore, this portion of the protest was denied. A protest which was raised against an ambiguity in the specifications was untimely filed as it was filed after best and final offers were due, contrary to bid protest procedures. Further, the specification did not competitively prejudice the protester. A protest against an erroneous possible disclosure of information in the protester's technical proposal was dismissed as untimely since it was filed more than 10 working days after the basis for the protest was known. GAO found that the agency's technical evaluation had a reasonable basis and that the evaluation criteria were properly applied and not changed by the evaluation team. Accordingly, this portion of the protest was denied. A protest that an awardee was not a small business was a matter to be considered by the Small Business Administration and was not for GAO consideration. An allegation that an RFP requirement was waived for the offerors was also not for GAO consideration as it was filed more than 6 weeks after the basis for the protest was known and was thus untimely. Additionally, a protest as to the length of time it took the agency to report to GAO did not have any bearing upon the validity of the awards. However, the agency was notified of GAO views regarding its reporting policy. Accordingly, the protest was denied in part and dismissed in part.