B-225222, FEB 10, 1987

B-225222: Feb 10, 1987

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PROTEST THAT THE PROCUREMENT SHOULD HAVE BEEN ISSUED AS A 100 PERCENT SMALL BUSINESS SET-ASIDE IS UNTIMELY WHERE IT WAS NOT FILED UNTIL AFTER THE CLOSING DATE FOR THE RECEIPT OF INITIAL PROPOSALS. UNTIMELY PROTEST WILL NOT BE CONSIDERED UNDER THE SIGNIFICANT ISSUE EXCEPTION TO THE BID PROTEST REGULATIONS WHERE THE ISSUE RAISED BY THE PROTESTER HAS BEEN CONSIDERED PREVIOUSLY. OR UNDER THE GOOD CAUSE EXCEPTION WHERE THERE IS NO SHOWING THAT SOME COMPELLING REASON BEYOND THE PROTESTER'S CONTROL PREVENTED THE TIMELY FILING OF THE PROTEST. THE RFP WAS ISSUED ON JANUARY 27. THE CLOSING DATE FOR THE RECEIPT OF INITIAL PROPOSALS WAS FEBRUARY 26. WHICH WAS DETERMINED TO BE WITHIN THE COMPETITIVE RANGE.

B-225222, FEB 10, 1987

PROCUREMENT - BID PROTEST - GAO PROCEDURES - PROTEST TIMELINESS - APPARENT SOLICITATION IMPROPRIETIES DIGEST: 1. PROTEST THAT THE PROCUREMENT SHOULD HAVE BEEN ISSUED AS A 100 PERCENT SMALL BUSINESS SET-ASIDE IS UNTIMELY WHERE IT WAS NOT FILED UNTIL AFTER THE CLOSING DATE FOR THE RECEIPT OF INITIAL PROPOSALS. PROCUREMENT - BID PROTEST - GAO PROCEDURES - PROTEST TIMELINESS - SIGNIFICANT ISSUE EXEMPTIONS - APPLICABILITY PROCUREMENT - BID PROTEST - GAO PROCEDURES - PROTEST TIMELINESS - GOOD CAUSE EXEMPTIONS - APPLICABILITY 2. UNTIMELY PROTEST WILL NOT BE CONSIDERED UNDER THE SIGNIFICANT ISSUE EXCEPTION TO THE BID PROTEST REGULATIONS WHERE THE ISSUE RAISED BY THE PROTESTER HAS BEEN CONSIDERED PREVIOUSLY, OR UNDER THE GOOD CAUSE EXCEPTION WHERE THERE IS NO SHOWING THAT SOME COMPELLING REASON BEYOND THE PROTESTER'S CONTROL PREVENTED THE TIMELY FILING OF THE PROTEST.

READING PRODUCTS CO., INC.:

READING PRODUCTS CO., INC., PROTESTS THE FAILURE OF THE NAVAL REGIONAL CONTRACTING CENTER (NRCC) TO ISSUE REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS (RFP) NO. N00600- 86-R-2296 AS A 100-PERCENT SMALL BUSINESS SET-ASIDE.

WE DISMISS THE PROTEST.

THE RFP WAS ISSUED ON JANUARY 27, 1986, ON AN UNRESTRICTED BASIS. THE CLOSING DATE FOR THE RECEIPT OF INITIAL PROPOSALS WAS FEBRUARY 26. READING SUBMITTED A PROPOSAL, WHICH WAS DETERMINED TO BE WITHIN THE COMPETITIVE RANGE. READING'S PROTEST AGAINST THE AGENCY'S FAILURE TO RESTRICT THE PROCUREMENT TO SMALL BUSINESS PARTICIPATION WAS FILED WITH OUR OFFICE ON NOVEMBER 17. AWARD HAS NOT BEEN MADE.

OUR BID PROTEST REGULATIONS REQUIRE PROTESTS BASED UPON ALLEGED IMPROPRIETIES IN A SOLICITATION WHICH ARE APPARENT PRIOR TO THE CLOSING DATE FOR THE RECEIPT OF INITIAL PROPOSALS TO BE FILED PRIOR TO THE CLOSING DATE. SEE 4 C.F.R. SEC. 21.2(A)(1) (1986). SINCE THE PROTEST THAT READING FILED ON NOVEMBER 17 WAS OBVIOUSLY NOT FILED PRIOR TO THE CLOSING DATE OF FEBRUARY 26, IT IS UNTIMELY AND NOT FOR CONSIDERATION. THE LIBERTY CONSORTIUM, B-215042, APR. 12, 1985, 85-1 CPD PARA. 416.

READING ARGUES THAT EVEN IF ITS PROTEST IS UNTIMELY IT SHOULD BE CONSIDERED SINCE THE PROTEST RAISES A SIGNIFICANT ISSUE DEALING WITH A CONTRACTING OFFICER'S DUTY REGARDING SMALL BUSINESS SET-ASIDES AND SINCE THERE WAS GOOD CAUSE DUE TO EXTENUATING REASONS FOR NOT PROTESTING EARLIER. WE WILL REVIEW AN UNTIMELY PROTEST WHERE WE DETERMINE THAT THE PROTEST RAISES ISSUES SIGNIFICANT TO THE PROCUREMENT SYSTEM OR WHERE GOOD CAUSE IS SHOWN. SEE 4 C.F.R. SEC. 21.2(C). HOWEVER, WE DO NOT AGREE THAT THESE EXCEPTION APPLY HERE.

IN ORDER TO PREVENT THE TIMELINESS REQUIREMENTS FROM BECOMING MEANINGLESS, THE SIGNIFICANT ISSUE EXCEPTION IS STRICTLY CONSTRUED AND LIMITED TO PROTESTS THAT RAISE ISSUES OF WIDE-SPREAD INTEREST TO THE PROCUREMENT COMMUNITY WHICH HAVE NOT BEEN CONSIDERED ON THE MERITS IN A PREVIOUS DECISION. ITT TELECOM PRODS. CORP., B-221325 ET AL., MAR. 21, 1986, 86-1 CPD PARA. 283. THE ISSUE RAISED BY READING HAS BEEN PREVIOUSLY CONSIDERED BY OUR OFFICE. SEE EDUC. TECHNOLOGY & SERVS., INC., B-211231, APR. 22, 1983, 83-1 CPD PARA. 449. THE GOOD CAUSE EXCEPTION TO OUR TIMELINESS RULES IS LIMITED TO CIRCUMSTANCES WHERE SOME COMPELLING REASON BEYOND THE PROTESTER'S CONTROL PREVENTED THE TIMELY FILING OF THE PROTEST. ITT TELECOM PRODS. CORP., SUPRA. READING HAS PRESENTED NO SUCH REASON HERE.

ACCORDINGLY, THE PROTEST IS DISMISSED.