B-217313, JAN 2, 1985, 85-1 CPD 10

B-217313: Jan 2, 1985

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CONTRACTS - GRANT-FUNDED PROCUREMENTS - PROTEST TIMELINESS DIGEST: A COMPLAINT CONCERNING THE AWARD OF A CONTRACT UNDER A FEDERAL GRANT IS NOT FILED WITHIN A REASONABLE TIME AND. IS UNTIMELY WHERE THE COMPLAINT IS FILED ALMOST 2 MONTHS AFTER DATE COMPLAINANT KNEW ITS BASIS FOR COMPLAINT. WE HAVE BEEN INFORMALLY ADVISED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT (HUD) THAT THE PROCUREMENT IS SUBSTANTIALLY FUNDED BY A GRANT FROM THAT AGENCY. NEW HAVEN NOTIFIED THE FIRM THAT ALL BIDS HAD BEEN REJECTED AND THAT THE REQUIREMENT WAS BEING RESOLICITED. SCI LEARNED THAT IT WAS NOT THE LOW BIDDER. ONLY WHERE THE COMPLAINT HAS BEEN FILED WITHIN A REASONABLE TIME SO THAT WE CAN CONSIDER AN ISSUE WHILE IT IS STILL PRACTICABLE TO RECOMMEND CORRECTIVE ACTION IF WARRANTED.

B-217313, JAN 2, 1985, 85-1 CPD 10

CONTRACTS - GRANT-FUNDED PROCUREMENTS - PROTEST TIMELINESS DIGEST: A COMPLAINT CONCERNING THE AWARD OF A CONTRACT UNDER A FEDERAL GRANT IS NOT FILED WITHIN A REASONABLE TIME AND, THUS, IS UNTIMELY WHERE THE COMPLAINT IS FILED ALMOST 2 MONTHS AFTER DATE COMPLAINANT KNEW ITS BASIS FOR COMPLAINT.

SIX CARPENTERS, INC.:

SIX CARPENTERS, INC. (SCI), COMPLAINS ABOUT THE REJECTION OF ALL BIDS RECEIVED FOR A RENOVATION PROJECT UNDER A SOLICITATION ISSUED BY THE HOUSING AUTHORITY OF THE CITY OF NEW HAVEN (NEW HAVEN) AND NEW HAVEN'S RESOLICITATION OF THE REQUIREMENT. SCI, THE LOW BIDDER UNDER THE INITIAL SOLICITATION, CONTENDS THAT NEW HAVEN COMPROMISED THE INTEGRITY OF THE COMPETITIVE BIDDING SYSTEM BY CANCELING THE SOLICITATION AFTER ALL BIDS HAD BEEN EXPOSED. WE HAVE BEEN INFORMALLY ADVISED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT (HUD) THAT THE PROCUREMENT IS SUBSTANTIALLY FUNDED BY A GRANT FROM THAT AGENCY.

WE DISMISS THE COMPLAINT AS UNTIMELY.

SCI ADVISES THAT BY LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 25, 1984, NEW HAVEN NOTIFIED THE FIRM THAT ALL BIDS HAD BEEN REJECTED AND THAT THE REQUIREMENT WAS BEING RESOLICITED. BY LETTER OF OCTOBER 11, 1984, TO NEW HAVEN, SCI ALLEGED THAT THE ABOVE ACTIONS BY NEW HAVEN CAUSED DAMAGE TO THE COMPETITIVE BIDDING SYSTEM AND ALSO STATED THAT IT RESERVED THE FIRM'S RIGHT TO SEEK "REDRESS (AGAINST NEW HAVEN'S) WRONGFUL ACTIONS. ..." SCI THEN SUBMITTED A BID UNDER THE NEW SOLICITATION AND AT THE OCTOBER 30, BID OPENING, SCI LEARNED THAT IT WAS NOT THE LOW BIDDER. ON DECEMBER 7, 1984, WE RECEIVED SCI'S COMPLAINT CONCERNING ALLEGEDLY IMPROPER CANCELLATION OF THE INITIAL SOLICITATION AND READVERTISEMENT OF THE REQUIREMENT.

WE CONSIDER GRANT COMPLAINTS PURSUANT TO OUR PUBLIC NOTICE ENTITLED "REVIEW OF COMPLAINTS CONCERNING CONTRACTS UNDER FEDERAL GRANTS" 40 FED.REG. 42406, SEPT. 12, 1975. WE DO SO, HOWEVER, ONLY WHERE THE COMPLAINT HAS BEEN FILED WITHIN A REASONABLE TIME SO THAT WE CAN CONSIDER AN ISSUE WHILE IT IS STILL PRACTICABLE TO RECOMMEND CORRECTIVE ACTION IF WARRANTED. O.K. LUMBER COMPANY, INC., B-209741, FEB. 17, 1983, 83-1 CPD PARA. 165. WE BELIEVE THAT SCI'S COMPLAINT RECEIVED IN THIS OFFICE ON DECEMBER 7, 1984 (ALMOST 2 MONTHS AFTER SCI ADMITS IN ITS OCTOBER 11, 1984, LETTER TO NEW HAVEN THAT IT KNEW ITS BASIS OF COMPLAINT THAT NEW HAVEN IMPROPERLY CANCELED THE SOLICITATION AND READVERTISED THE REQUIREMENT), IS NOT ONE THAT HAS BEEN FILED WITHIN A REASONABLE TIME. O.K. LUMBER COMPANY, INC., B-209741, SUPRA.

FURTHER, IN OUR VIEW, SCI'S OCTOBER 11, 1984, LETTER TO NEW HAVEN WHICH ATTEMPTS TO PRESERVE, UNTIL AFTER BID OPENING UNDER THE NEW SOLICITATION, SCI'S RIGHT TO COMPLAIN ABOUT THE ALLEGEDLY IMPROPER CANCELLATION OF THE INITIAL SOLICITATION DOES NOT PROVIDE A BASIS FOR A DIFFERENT RESULT. SCI ELECTED TO FILE A FORMAL COMPLAINT SEEKING CORRECTIVE ACTION ON THIS MATTER ONLY AFTER IT LEARNED THAT IT WAS NOT THE LOW BIDDER UNDER THE NEW SOLICITATION. IN OUR VIEW, SCI MUST BE DEEMED TO HAVE ACQUIESCED IN NEW HAVEN'S ALLEGEDLY IMPROPER ACTIONS BY PARTICIPATING IN THE NEW PROCUREMENT UNTIL AFTER BID OPENING WITHOUT SEEKING CORRECTIVE ACTION FROM THIS OFFICE OR HUD. SEE JORDAN PANEL SYSTEMS CORP., B-209469, DEC. 8, 1982, 82-2 CPD PARA. 523; PATTERSON CONSTRUCTION CO., B-180290, FEB. 28, 1974, 74-1 CPD PARA. 113; CF., CADILLAC GAGE COMPANY, B-209102, JULY 15, 1983, 83-2 CPD PARA. 96. THEREFORE, SCI'S COMPLAINT FILED ALMOST 2 MONTHS AFTER THE FIRM STATES IT KNEW ITS BASIS OF PROTEST IS UNTIMELY AND NOT FOR OUR CONSIDERATION ON THE MERITS. SEE JORDAN PANEL SYSTEMS CORP., B-209469, SUPRA.