Protest Alleging Competitors' Bids Were Nonresponsive

B-192907: May 4, 1979

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A firm protested the bids of two competitors for the furnishing and installation of motor-driver pumping units. No award to date had been made by the Department of Interior. The protester alleged that the bids of the competitors were nonresponsive because of their failure to specifically identify the nondomestic construction materials intended to be supplied and lowest-costing domestic material comparable to the nondomestic material. While the language of procurement mandated regulation indicates that the bidder is to provide data to demonstrate that the use of comparable domestic construction material would unreasonably increase costs, the failure of the bidder to furnish such data is not always fatal. Regardless of whether the bidder furnishes the data on the cost of comparable domestic material, the Government is still obligated to perform a cost comparison. Review procedures do not include reviews of protests of affirmative determinations of responsibility unless either fraud is alleged on the part of procuring officials or the solicitation contains definitive responsibility criteria which allegedly have not been applied. The protest was denied.