Protest of Janitorial Services Contract Award by Department of Navy

B-193548: Feb 26, 1979

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A Navy contract for janitorial services at a naval base was awarded to the low bidder. Another bidder protested the award on the ground that the 60-day acceptance period for the bid had expired before award was made and that the awardee had not based its bid on the man-hour provision required by the invitation for bids. The expiration of a bid acceptance period is immaterial, because it is a right enjoyed only by the bidder and can be waived, as was done by the awardee in this case. There was no indication in the awardee's bid that it did not intend to provide the specified number of man-hours, and the protester's charge in this regard was unfounded. The protester further complained that the awardee was able to control its planned labor costs by hiring employees from federal work programs, such as WIN and CETA. This charge was also denied since these programs do not affect the contractor's obligation, but merely reimburse an employer for a portion of the employees' wages during training.