Protest of Rejection as Subcontractor by Prime Contractor

B-198642: Jun 11, 1980

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A firm protested its rejection as a subcontractor by a prime contractor with Department of the Army. The protester, a small business, contended that its rejection was based on the Army's finding that it was not a responsible firm. It argued that such a rejection was improper without first referring the matter of its responsibility to the Small Business Administration. When contacted informally, both the Army and the prime contractor asserted that the decision to reject the protester was made before the results of an Army investigation were reported and that the Army did not urge the prime contractor to reject the protester. GAO will consider protests concerning the award of a subcontract only under specific circumstances, one of which is where the Federal Government so directly or actively participates in the selection that the net effect of such participation results in the selection of a potential subcontractor. In this case, it appeared that the Army did not directly or indirectly cause the protester's rejection. Therefore, the protest was dismissed.