Protest Alleging Awardee's Bid Was Unreasonably Low

B-193049: May 30, 1979

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A company protested the award of a contract by the Naval Supply Center (Navy), contending that the awardee was not responsible because it submitted an unreasonably low bid price. The company stated that the awardee had defaulted on a previous contract, and requested an investigation of the Navy's determination of responsibility. To properly reject a bid as being unreasonably low would require a determination that the bidder was not responsible and since no such determination was made, there was no basis for challenging the award. The contracting officer's determination of a bidder's responsibility will not be reviewed unless there is evidence of fraud on the part of procurement officials. The company also requested that it be furnished certain documents which the Navy had previously failed to provide. GAO has no authority under the Freedom of Information Act to determine what Government agencies must disclose, and therefore, there is no basis to review the Navy's decision not to supply certain documents. A request for bid preparation costs was denied since the necessary evidence that an agency has acted arbitrarily or capriciously was not shown. The protest was denied.