B-237220, Nov 7, 1989, 89-2 CPD ***

B-237220: Nov 7, 1989

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Is not a bar to contract award. It is a matter to be resolved between the bidder and the state and local authorities. Mercury alleges that award to Bonneville Blueprint was improper. Because Bonneville Blueprint allegedly is not licensed to do business in the area where the contract is to be performed. It imposes upon the successful bidder the obligation to resolve with state and local authorities the question of what licenses are required and to obtain them. A contracting officer may consider the lack of a state or local license (in circumstances where the solicitation does not specify which licenses are mandatory) as rendering a bidder nonresponsible in situations where the contracting officer determines that enforcement attempts by the state or local authority are a reasonable possibility and such enforcement attempts could interrupt and delay performance if the contract were awarded to an unlicensed contractor.

B-237220, Nov 7, 1989, 89-2 CPD ***

PROCUREMENT - Contractor Qualification - Licenses - State/local laws GAO review DIGEST: Absent a specific solicitation licensing requirement, the lack of a license or authorization for a corporation to do business in a state or a particular locale, which state or local authorities may deem necessary, is not a bar to contract award; rather, it is a matter to be resolved between the bidder and the state and local authorities.

Mercury Business Services, Inc.:

Mercury Business Services, Inc., protests the U.S. Government Printing Office's award of a contract to Bonneville Blueprint for photocopying services under program 2823-5 (8/90). Mercury alleges that award to Bonneville Blueprint was improper, because Bonneville Blueprint allegedly is not licensed to do business in the area where the contract is to be performed. We dismiss the protest.

With respect to Bonneville's authorization to do business in the area of performance, Mercury does not suggest that the invitation contained a specific licensing or similar requirement. Normally, a general solicitation provision requiring the successful bidder to obtain all necessary state and local licenses does not impose a requirement with which a federal contracting officer need be concerned prior to making award. Rather, it imposes upon the successful bidder the obligation to resolve with state and local authorities the question of what licenses are required and to obtain them. A contracting officer may consider the lack of a state or local license (in circumstances where the solicitation does not specify which licenses are mandatory) as rendering a bidder nonresponsible in situations where the contracting officer determines that enforcement attempts by the state or local authority are a reasonable possibility and such enforcement attempts could interrupt and delay performance if the contract were awarded to an unlicensed contractor. Career Consultants Inc., B-195913, Mar. 25, 1980, 80-1 CPD Para. 215. general, however, the lack of a license which the state or local authorities may deem necessary would not be a bar to a contract award. Central Virginia Ambulance Serv., Inc., B-225530, Dec. 5, 1986, 86-2 CPD Para. 651; John Baker Janitorial, Inc., B-206292, Feb. 22, 1982, 82-1 CPD Para. 157.

Thus, at best, the question regarding the contractor's possession of state and local licenses concern the awardee's responsibility. awarding a contract to Bonneville Blueprint, the contracting officer has determined that the awardee is a responsible prospective contractor. See Truetech, Inc., B-232407, Sept. 20, 1988, 88-2 CPD Para. 270. Our Office will not review the agency's responsibility determination, however, absent a showing of possible fraud or bad faith on the agency's part, or misapplication of definitive responsibility criteria. 4 C.F.R. Sec. 21.3(m)(5) (1989); See Truetech, Inc., B-232407, supra. There is no such showing here.

The protest is dismissed.