[Protest of Proposed Army Contract Award]

B-212449: Dec 13, 1983

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A firm protested a proposed Army contract award for tractors, alleging that the first four bids were not responsive because they offered general purpose tractors. Although the Army contended that the protest was untimely since it concerned an alleged impropriety in the solicitation that was apparent prior to bid opening, GAO determined that it was timely since the firm did not learn the basis for its protest until after bid opening and submitted the protest within 10 days thereafter. GAO found that a reasonable reading of this solicitation demonstrated that bidders were requested to supply general purpose tractors which met the specifications. GAO stated that it was unreasonable for the protester to assume that only an industrial tractor met the specifications. Further, since the Army alleged and the protester did not dispute that the tractors offered by the four low bidders met the specifications, GAO did not disturb the Army's finding that the bids were responsive. Accordingly, the protest was denied.