Matter of: General Metals, Inc. File: B-247523 Date: June 12, 1992

B-247523: Jun 12, 1992

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" by which vendors were advised that a 20 percent evaluation factor could be added to quotes submitted by firms that were not qualified as BCVs for the FSC covered by the solicitation. [1] In response to the RFQ. Nu-Met's per unit quotation was higher than GMI's quotation. Nu-Met's quotation was evaluated as the low quotation. A purchase order was issued to Nu-Met on January 29. These rules specifically require that protests based on alleged improprieties in a solicitation which are apparent prior to the time set for responding to the solicitation must be filed prior to that time. GMI's protest was net timely filed. [2] The protest is dismissed. 1. Was not responsive to the RFQ's requirement for delivery within 90 days.

Matter of: General Metals, Inc. File: B-247523 Date: June 12, 1992

DECISION

General Metals, Inc. (GMI) protests the issuance of a purchase order to Nu-Met, Inc. under request for quotations (RFQ) No. DLA500-92-Q-6732, issued by the Defense Industrial Supply Center (DISC), Defense Logistics Agency, for a quantity of aluminum alloy structural angle, NSN 9540-00-892-4620. GMI alleges that the agency improperly applied a Blue Chip Vendor (BCV) evaluation preference to its quotation.

We dismiss the protest.

The RFQ, issued on November 5, 1991, as a small purchase, small business set-aside, contemplated the issuance of a fixed-price purchase order with delivery required 90 days after the date of the order. The RFQ included clause D-207, entitled "Notice: Blue Chip Vendor List Program," and clause E-200, entitled "Evaluation Preference For Blue Chip Vendors," by which vendors were advised that a 20 percent evaluation factor could be added to quotes submitted by firms that were not qualified as BCVs for the FSC covered by the solicitation. [1]

In response to the RFQ, DISC received quotations from several offerors, including GMI and Nu-Met. Nu-Met's per unit quotation was higher than GMI's quotation. However, Nu-Met had submitted a BCV application and had been qualified for BCV status; GMI had not.

Consistent with the provisions of the RFQ, the contracting officer applied the BCV evaluation factor to GMI's quotation, after which, Nu-Met's quotation was evaluated as the low quotation. A purchase order was issued to Nu-Met on January 29, 1992. On February 6, GMI filed a protest with our Office challenging the agency's application of the BCV evaluation factor to its quotation.

Our Bid Protest Regulations contain strict rules requiring timely submission of protests. These rules specifically require that protests based on alleged improprieties in a solicitation which are apparent prior to the time set for responding to the solicitation must be filed prior to that time. See 4 C.F.R. Sec. 21.2(a) (1); ROSCO Int'l Corp., B-242879, June 12, 1991, 91-1 CPD Para. 564

Here, although the solicitation clearly advised vendors that a BCV evaluation factor could be applied to quotations submitted by non-BCVs, GMI failed to challenge that solicitation provision until after a purchase order had been issued. Accordingly, GMI's protest was net timely filed. [2] The protest is dismissed.

1. The BCV program involves the selection of contractors who, through an application process, demonstrate superior quality and delivery performance on recent DISC contracts for a particular federal supply class (FSC)

2. In any event, GMI's quotation provided for delivery in 150 days and, thus, was not responsive to the RFQ's requirement for delivery within 90 days. See, e.g., Northern Technologies, Inc., B-239173, July 24, 1990, 90-2 CPD Para. 72. Thus, since GMI would not be in line for a purchase order regardless of the propriety of the agency's application of the BCV evaluation factor, GMI lacks the direct economic interest required under our Bid Protest Regulations to qualify as an interested party to maintain this protest. 4 C.F.R. Sec. 21.0(a); Black Hills Refuse Serv., 67 Comp. Gen. 261 (1988), 88-1 CPD Para. 151.