Protest Against Contract Award

B-194367: Dec 5, 1979

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A company protested the award of a negotiated contract. The protester contended that: (1) the agency's determination and findings did not establish that the use of formal advertising would not have been feasible and practical; (2) the solicitation amendment extending the delivery schedule was improper since the purpose of the extension was to allow the awardee to overcome the negative findings of the preaward survey; (3) the agency failed to perform a proper investigation to confirm the protester's allegations that the awardee could not perform the contract; (4) the agency should have required a DD Form 633 cost statement to insure that the awardee's low offer was realistic; and (5) the awardee might have been buying in. It was held that: (1) the determination and findings were sufficient to authorize negotiations although in the future more detailed findings would be required; (2) since the preaward survey recommended that the award be made if the delivery schedule was extended, the amendment to do so in order to take advantage of the offeror's low price was proper; (3) the protester's allegation that the awardee could not perform the contract is a matter of a responsibility determination which GAO would not review absent a showing of fraud or failure to apply definitive responsbility criteria; (4) a DD Form 633 is not required where the negotiated price is based on adequate price competition; and (5) the possibility that the awardee may have been buying in was not a proper basis to challenge the award. For these reasons, and since the protester's other allegations were without merit, the protest was denied.