B-216544, OCT 9, 1984, 84-2 CPD 397

B-216544: Oct 9, 1984

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SPECIFIC EFFECT ON RESPONSIBILITY DIGEST: WHERE A SOLICITATION FOR AMBULANCE SERVICES CONTAINS ONLY A GENERAL LICENSING REQUIREMENT AND DOES NOT INDICATE THAT A SPECIFIC STATE OR CITY LICENSE IS REQUIRED. THE RESPONSIBILITY FOR OBTAINING WHATEVER LICENSES MIGHT BE NECESSARY IS THE CONTRACTOR'S. MEDEVAC CONTENDS THAT THE LOW BIDDER IS NOT LICENSED TO CONDUCT AMBULANCE SERVICES IN TOPEKA. IS INELIGIBLE FOR AWARD PURSUANT TO THE IFB. MEDEVAC ARGUES THAT THE CONTRACTING OFFICER IS AWARE THAT THE LOW BIDDER IS UNLICENSED BUT HAS NEVERTHELESS FOUND THE LOW BIDDER ELIGIBLE AND QUALIFIED FOR AWARD. AS IS THE CASE HERE. CONTRACTING OFFICERS NEED NOT CONCERN THEMSELVES WITH STATE OR LOCAL LICENSING REQUIREMENTS BECAUSE CONTRACTING OFFICERS GENERALLY ARE NOT COMPETENT TO PASS UPON THE QUESTION OF WHETHER A PARTICULAR STATE OR LOCAL LICENSE OR PERMIT IS LEGALLY REQUIRED FOR THE PERFORMANCE OF FEDERAL WORK.

B-216544, OCT 9, 1984, 84-2 CPD 397

BIDDERS - QUALIFICATIONS - LICENSE REQUIREMENT - GENERAL V. SPECIFIC EFFECT ON RESPONSIBILITY DIGEST: WHERE A SOLICITATION FOR AMBULANCE SERVICES CONTAINS ONLY A GENERAL LICENSING REQUIREMENT AND DOES NOT INDICATE THAT A SPECIFIC STATE OR CITY LICENSE IS REQUIRED, THE RESPONSIBILITY FOR OBTAINING WHATEVER LICENSES MIGHT BE NECESSARY IS THE CONTRACTOR'S, AND THE CONTRACTING OFFICER NEED NOT BE CONCERNED WITH THE LICENSING REQUIREMENT IN DETERMINING THE BIDDER TO BE RESPONSIBLE.

MEDEVAC MIDAMERICA, INC.:

MEDEVAC MIDAMERICA, INC. PROTESTS THE PROPOSED AWARD OF A CONTRACT FOR AMBULANCE SERVICES TO THE LOW BIDDER UNDER INVITATION FOR BIDS (IFB) NO. 677-60-84, ISSUED BY THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION. WE DISMISS THE PROTEST.

MEDEVAC CONTENDS THAT THE LOW BIDDER IS NOT LICENSED TO CONDUCT AMBULANCE SERVICES IN TOPEKA, KANSAS AND, THEREFORE, IS INELIGIBLE FOR AWARD PURSUANT TO THE IFB, WHICH REQUIRES THE CONTRACTOR TO COMPLY WITH "ALL REQUIREMENTS OF FEDERAL, STATE AND/OR CITY CODES REGARDING OPERATION OF THIS SERVICE." MEDEVAC ARGUES THAT THE CONTRACTING OFFICER IS AWARE THAT THE LOW BIDDER IS UNLICENSED BUT HAS NEVERTHELESS FOUND THE LOW BIDDER ELIGIBLE AND QUALIFIED FOR AWARD.

WHERE, AS IS THE CASE HERE, THE SOLICITATION REQUIRES IN GENERAL TERMS THAT THE CONTRACTOR SHALL OBTAIN ALL NECESSARY LICENSES AND PERMITS (AS OPPOSED TO REQUIRING A SPECIFIC LICENSE), CONTRACTING OFFICERS NEED NOT CONCERN THEMSELVES WITH STATE OR LOCAL LICENSING REQUIREMENTS BECAUSE CONTRACTING OFFICERS GENERALLY ARE NOT COMPETENT TO PASS UPON THE QUESTION OF WHETHER A PARTICULAR STATE OR LOCAL LICENSE OR PERMIT IS LEGALLY REQUIRED FOR THE PERFORMANCE OF FEDERAL WORK. COMPLIANCE IS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE CONTRACTOR. SEE NORTHWEST FOREST WORKERS ASSOCIATION, B-213132, OCT. 11, 1983, 83-2 CPD PARA. 443.

THEREFORE, A FINDING THAT THE BIDDER IS RESPONSIBLE, THAT IS, CAPABLE OF PERFORMING, NEED NOT INVOLVE CONSIDERATION OF LOCAL LICENSING REQUIREMENTS.

THE ONLY EXCEPTION TO THE ABOVE IS WHERE THE CONTRACTING OFFICER REASONABLY DETERMINES THAT ATTEMPTS TO ENFORCE SUCH STATE RULES AND ORDINANCES ARE LIKELY AND COULD INTERRUPT AND DELAY PERFORMANCE UNDER THE CONTRACT. BEHAVIORAL SYSTEMS SOUTHWEST, B-213065, OCT. 11, 1983, 83-2 CPD PARA. 441. HOWEVER, WE FIND NOTHING TO INDICATE THAT THE EXCEPTION SHOULD BE APPLIED HERE.

THE PROTEST IS DISMISSED.