B-235083, Apr 24, 1989, 89-1 CPD 405

B-235083: Apr 24, 1989

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PROCUREMENT - Bid Protests - GAO procedures - Protest timeliness - Apparent solicitation improprieties DIGEST: Protest based upon alleged solicitation impropriety is untimely. When not filed until after quotations were due and a purchase order had been issued to another firm. The RFQ was issued on March 9. GM Plastics telephonically requested additional details to determine exactly what was required. Is clearly untimely. Our Bid Protest Regulations require that protests based upon alleged solicitation improprieties that are apparent on the face of a solicitation must be filed prior to bid opening or the closing date for receipt of proposals. 4 C.F.R. The purpose of this requirement is to enable the contracting agency or our Office to decide an issue while it is most practicable to take effective action where the circumstances warrant.

B-235083, Apr 24, 1989, 89-1 CPD 405

PROCUREMENT - Bid Protests - GAO procedures - Protest timeliness - Apparent solicitation improprieties DIGEST: Protest based upon alleged solicitation impropriety is untimely, when not filed until after quotations were due and a purchase order had been issued to another firm.

GM Plastics, Inc.:

GM Plastics, Inc. protests the issuance of a purchase order to another firm under request for quotations (RFQ) No. N00140-89-Q-AY51, issued by the Naval Regional Contracting Center Detachment, Newport, Rhode Island, for wooden ship models for display at the Surface Warfare Officers' school.

We dismiss the protest.

The RFQ was issued on March 9, 1989, and specified the closing date for submission of quotations to be March 24. All potential sources, including the protester, received identical descriptions of the requirements which did not include any detailed specifications or drawings. GM Plastics telephonically requested additional details to determine exactly what was required, but received no additional documents since the agency had none available and considered the requirements to be adequately described.

In response to the RFQ the agency received three quotations and after evaluating them issued a purchase order on March 27, to the source that provided the lowest quotation. GM Plastics filed a protest in our Office on April 6, alleging that the RFQ failed to adequately identify the agency's minimum needs, thereby making it impossible for the firm to submit a quotation on an equal basis with all other offerors.

This assertion, filed after award, is clearly untimely. Our Bid Protest Regulations require that protests based upon alleged solicitation improprieties that are apparent on the face of a solicitation must be filed prior to bid opening or the closing date for receipt of proposals. 4 C.F.R. Sec. 21.2(a)(1) (1988); Speco Corp., B-232553, Sept. 28, 1988, 88-2 CPD Para. 297. The purpose of this requirement is to enable the contracting agency or our Office to decide an issue while it is most practicable to take effective action where the circumstances warrant. Here, even though in response to its inquiries, GM Plastics had been informed by the Navy that detailed drawings and specifications for the models did not exist and would not be furnished, out of an apparent lack of knowledge of our Regulations the firm's protest was not filed until approximately 2 weeks after the March 24 closing date and, in fact, after a purchase order had been issued to another firm. It is therefore untimely and is dismissed.