Protest of Agency Decision To Set Aside Procurement Under Section 8(a) of Small Business Act

B-199665: Aug 26, 1980

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An incumbent contractor protested agency decisions to set aside food services contracts at three military bases. The protester asserted that the set-asides would have an undue impact on it. It also objected to the agency decisions on the ground that an intended awardee had already received several million dollars worth of contracts under the 8(a) program. The determination to set aside a procurement under the Small Business Act is a matter for the contracting agency and the Small Business Administration (SBA). GAO does not review such determinations in the absence of fraud of bad faith on the part of Government officials. Since there was no allegation of fraud or bad faith, there was no basis to consider this portion of the protest. Regulations provide continued eligibility for 8(a) contracts until the firm has substantially achieved the goals of its business plan or is terminated from the program for cause. This is a judgmental decision for SBA which will not be questioned under GAO Bid Protest Procedures. Accordingly, the protest was dismissed.

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