Protest Alleging That Low Bidder Was Not Responsible

B-195954: Sep 28, 1979

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A firm protested the proposed award of a contract for tow bars under a solicitation issued by the Army. The protester contended that the low bidder was not responsible, but had been shown copies of the allegations and was attempting to rebut them. The protester also argued that it would be the low bidder if option quantities were considered in evaluating bids. The protest was dismissed. GAO will not review affirmative determinations of responsibility unless either fraud on the part of the procuring officials is alleged or the solicitation contains definitive responsibility criteria which have not been applied. There was nothing improper in permitting the low bidder to rebut the protester's contentions. The invitation for bids provided that bids would be evaluated only on the basis of the basic quantity, but protests based on alleged defects apparent from the solicitation must be filed before bid opening in order to be timely.