Review of Affirmative Determination of Responsibility of Low Bidder

B-184865: May 3, 1976

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The protester objected to the agency's determination that the low bidder was a responsible offerer. The question was reviewed since the solicitation contained definitive criteria of responsibility, and meeting the literal requirement of the responsibility criteria set forth in a solicitation is an actual prerequisite to an affirmative determination of responsibility. The experience of corporate officials prior to the formation of the corporation can be included when examining the corporation's overall experience level for bidder responsibility determinations. The record did not support the affirmative responsibility determination by the agency since the bidder did not have the requisite expertise and experience. Since the agency's determination of responsibility was not reasonable, no options should be exercised under the present contract and future needs should be resolicited based upon a prior statement of the actual needs in clear and precise terms.