Allegation That Awardee Cannot Comply With Solicitation Requirements

B-193146: Aug 6, 1979

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A firm protested a contract award, contending that the awardee's bid deviated substantially from the requirements of the invitation for bids (IFB), and thus was not responsive. The firm also challenged the factors used by the contracting officer in making his affirmative determination of the awardee's responsibility. GAO made a distinction between bidder responsiveness, which applies to an offer to perform exactly as the IFB calls for, and bidder responsibility, which concerns the ability of a bidder to perform its obligations under the terms of its bid. Whether the item being furnished by the awardee actually complies with contract specifications is a matter of contract administration which is the responsibility of the procuring agency, not GAO. The ability of the awardee to comply with technical requirements of solicitation is not reviewable by GAO since it involves a challenge to the contracting officer's affirmative determination of the awardee's responsibility. Accordingly, the protest was denied.

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