Inquiry of Contract Award to a Nonsmall Business Concern

PSAD-81-5: Published: Oct 15, 1980. Publicly Released: Oct 15, 1980.

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GAO was asked to look into two issues raised by a firm in its unsuccessful bid to furnish filters for electronic communications systems. The issues were whether the solicitation was a small business set-aside and whether the contracting officer followed the applicable instructions and requirements of this procurement.

GAO was informed by the contracting officer that the solicitation was not set aside for small business. This was done because the contracting officer had been advised that there were insufficient small business sources to compete on the contract. The solicitation contained a reference to small business, which merely indicated the maximum number of employees a concern may have and still qualify as a small business. It was included to assist bidders in responding to a question in the bid package which sought to identify small businesses. It did not set aside the contract for small business. GAO believed the proper procedures were followed in the procurement. The low responsible bidder was awarded the contract.

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