Protest of Army Contract Award

B-205593: Dec 7, 1981

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A firm protested the award of a contract under an invitation for bids (IFB) issued by the Army for water and waste monitoring. The protester contended that the awardee could not perform the work within the time specified in the IFB because the awardee's laboratory was not close to Fort Bragg and time did not allow the awardee to establish a new laboratory closer. The contracting officer determined that the awardee was the low bidder and that it had the capability to perform the work within the IFB. Therefore, the awardee was deemed to be responsible. The contract did not require laboratory facilities to be within a certain distance of Fort Bragg. Also, the awardee had performed satisfactorily on past Government contracts. GAO does not review protests of affirmative determinations of responsibility unless fraud on the part of the procuring officials is alleged or the solicitation contains definitive responsibility criteria which have not been applied. Neither was alleged here. Accordingly, the protest was dismissed.

B-205593, DEC 7, 1981

DIGEST: GAO DOES NOT REVIEW AFFIRMATIVE DETERMINATIONS OF RESPONSIBILITY IN THE ABSENCE OF A SHOWING OF FRAUD OR ALLEGATIONS THAT DEFINITIVE RESPONSIBILITY CRITERIA IN THE SOLICITATION WERE MISAPPLIED.

ENVIRONMENTAL LABORATORY OF FAYETTEVILLE, INC.:

ENVIRONMENTAL LABORATORY OF FAYETTEVILLE, INC., PROTESTS THE AWARD OF A CONTRACT TO LAW AND COMPANY (LAW) UNDER INVITATION FOR BIDS (IFB) NO. DAKF40-81-B-0207 ISSUED BY THE ARMY FOR WATER AND WASTEWATER MONITORING AND ANALYZING SERVICES AT FORT BRAGG, NORTH CAROLINA.

THE PROTESTER CONTENDS THAT LAW CANNOT PERFORM THE WORK WITHIN THE TIME SPECIFIED IN THE IFB BECAUSE LAW'S LABORATORY IS NOT CLOSE ENOUGH TO FORT BRAGG AND TIME IS NOT AVAILABLE FOR LAW TO ESTABLISH A NEW LABORATORY CLOSER TO FORT BRAGG.

THE ARMY CONTRACTING OFFICER DETERMINED THAT LAW, THE LOW BIDDER, HAS THE CAPABILITY TO PERFORM THE WORK WITHIN THE TIME SPECIFIED IN THE IFB AND, THUS, LAW WAS DEEMED TO BE RESPONSIBLE. THE CONTRACTING OFFICER NOTES THAT THE IFB DID NOT REQUIRE THAT THE SUCCESSFUL BIDDER HAVE A LABORATORY WITHIN A CERTAIN DISTANCE FROM FORT BRAGG. THE CONTRACTING OFFICER ALSO NOTES THAT LAW HAS PERFORMED SATISFACTORILY ON PAST GOVERNMENT CONTRACTS.

THE PROTEST RELATES TO LAW'S RESPONSIBILITY OR CAPABILITY TO PERFORM AS SPECIFIED IN THE CONTRACT. THIS OFFICE DOES NOT REVIEW PROTESTS OF AFFIRMATIVE DETERMINATIONS OF RESPONSIBILITY UNLESS FRAUD ON THE PART OF PROCURING OFFICIALS IS ALLEGED OR THE SOLICITATION CONTAINS DEFINITIVE RESPONSIBILITY CRITERIA WHICH ALLEGEDLY HAVE NOT BEEN APPLIED. BFH & ASSOCIATES, INC., B-198844, JANUARY 26, 1981, 81-1 CPD 43. NEITHER EXCEPTION IS ALLEGED HERE.

ACCORDINGLY, THE PROTEST IS DISMISSED.