B-241045, Nov 7, 1990, 90-2 CPD ***

B-241045: Nov 7, 1990

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PROCUREMENT - Bid Protests - GAO procedures - Interested parties - Subcontractors DIGEST: Protest filed by a prospective subcontractor/supplier to a prime contractor is dismissed since the protester is not an interested party eligible to have its protest considered under the Competition in Contracting Act of 1984 and the General Accounting Office's implementing Bid Protest Regulations. We dismiss the protest because Mirafi is not an interested party. Mirafi's initial protest to our Office asserted that the specifications for certain geosynthetic reinforcement material used to construct a platform for digging the channel are "written around" products of a competitor and provide for unnecessary testing.

B-241045, Nov 7, 1990, 90-2 CPD ***

PROCUREMENT - Bid Protests - GAO procedures - Interested parties - Subcontractors DIGEST: Protest filed by a prospective subcontractor/supplier to a prime contractor is dismissed since the protester is not an interested party eligible to have its protest considered under the Competition in Contracting Act of 1984 and the General Accounting Office's implementing Bid Protest Regulations.

Attorneys

Mirafi, Inc.:

Mirafi, Inc. protests as unduly restrictive of competition certain specifications in invitation for bids (IFB) No. DACW38-90-B-0115, issued by the Vicksburg District of the Army Corps of Engineers, for channel improvement at Swan Lake, Mississippi. We dismiss the protest because Mirafi is not an interested party.

Mirafi's initial protest to our Office asserted that the specifications for certain geosynthetic reinforcement material used to construct a platform for digging the channel are "written around" products of a competitor and provide for unnecessary testing.

The Corps reports that Mirafi has stated in telephone conversations with District officials that it is only a supplier of geosynthetic reinforcement material. The Corps states Mirafi has never contended that it is a prospective bidder or is capable of channel construction work. The Corps argues that Mirafi is a potential supplier of its products to the prime contractor and thus is not an interested party within the meaning of the Competition in Contracting Act of 1984 (CICA) and our Bid Protest Regulations.

In response, Mirafi admits it will not be functioning as a general contractor on this project and does not intend to bid for the contract. Mirafi argues that, as the potential supplier of the geosynthetic material, which represents a large portion of the contract and approximately $750,000 of the project's cost, and as a company which will be damaged in the long term economically by the Corp's refusal to consider its product, it should be considered an interested party.

Under CICA, this Office only decides protest filed by an interested party, which the statute defines as an "actual or prospective bidder or offeror whose direct economic interest would be affected by the award of the contract or by the failure to award the contract." 31 U.S.C. Sec. 3551(2) (1988); 4 C.F.R. Sec. 21.0 (1990). A prospective supplier or subcontractor does not have the requisite direct interest to be considered a prospective or actual bidder. High Tech Irrigation, Inc., B-236818, Oct. 26, 1989, 89-2 CPD Para. 387; Polycon Corp., 64 Comp.Gen. 523 (1985), 85-1 CPD Para. 567.

Although Mirafi obviously has an economic interest in being able to offer its product to the prime contractor, this interest is not the direct economic interest of an actual or prospective bidder contemplated by CICA. Thus, Mirafi is not an interested party to protest the propriety of the solicitation's specifications.

The protest is dismissed.