Matter of: Jarrett S. Blankenship Co. File: B-250549 Date: January 14, 1993

B-250549: Jan 14, 1993

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PROCUREMENT Bid Protests GAO procedures Interested parties Direct interest standards Protest is dismissed where protester is third low bidder and. The protest is apparently based on the Marine Corps' exclusion of the protester's late bid from consideration. We dismiss the protest because Blankenship is not an interested party. The bid was received on September 11. Was held unopened. Upon notification that Blankenship was protesting to us. Marine Corps officials opened its bid and determined that it was the third low bidder. An "interested party" is defined as an actual or prospective bidder or offeror whose direct economic interest would be affected by the award or failure to award a contract. 31 U.S.C.

Matter of: Jarrett S. Blankenship Co. File: B-250549 Date: January 14, 1993

PROCUREMENT Bid Protests GAO procedures Interested parties Direct interest standards Protest is dismissed where protester is third low bidder and, therefore, not an interested party.

Attorneys

DECISION Jarrett S. Blankenship Co. (Blankenship) protests the award of a contract to American Engineering Corporation under Invitation for Bids No. M67400-92-B-0044 issued by the Marine Corps Base, Camp S. D. Butler, Okinawa, Japan, for an outdoor, air-cooled liquid chiller. The protest is apparently based on the Marine Corps' exclusion of the protester's late bid from consideration. We dismiss the protest because Blankenship is not an interested party.

The solicitation, issued on July 20, 1992, required bids to be delivered by September 10, 1992 and specifically advised bidders to allow at least 10 days mailing time. The protester mailed its bid on September 3, 1992. The bid was received on September 11, 1992, one day after bid opening, and was held unopened. Upon notification that Blankenship was protesting to us, Marine Corps officials opened its bid and determined that it was the third low bidder.

Under the Competition in Contracting Act of 1984, 31 U.S.C. Secs. 3551- 3556 (1988), only an "interested party" may maintain a protest before our Office. An "interested party" is defined as an actual or prospective bidder or offeror whose direct economic interest would be affected by the award or failure to award a contract. 31 U.S.C. Sec. 3551(2); 4 C.F.R. Sec. 21.0(a) (1992). Where a protester would not be in line for award even if we were to resolve the protest in its favor, the protester generally lacks standing as an "interested party." Brackett Aircraft Radio Co.-- Recon., B-244831.3, Jan. 31, 1992, 92-1 CPD Para. 131.

Since Blankenship was the third low bidder and does not challenge the two lower bidders' eligibility for award, it would not be in line for award even if we were to resolve the protest in its favor. Therefore, the protester lacks the direct economic interest required to maintain its protest. Id.

The protest is dismissed.