Protest of Nonresponsibility Determination

B-199169: Nov 5, 1980

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A firm protested the determination by the General Services Administration (GSA) that it was nonresponsible. GSA found the protester to be nonresponsible because of prior unsatisfactory performance, poor subcontract relationships, delinquent payment of subcontractors, payment of subcontractors by checks issued with insufficient funds, and a negative plant facilities report. After making this determination, GSA referred the matter to the Small Business Administration (SBA), pursuant to Federal regulations, for consideration of the issuance of a certificate of competency (COC). SBA declined to issue a COC because the protester was not eligible for a COC under Federal regulations. The protester asserted that, since SBA did not even consider it for a COC, the protester was denied any review of the contracting officer's allegedly arbitrary determinations. GAO held that the determination by SBA not to issue a COC because of the restriction contained in the regulations does not warrant a review absent a showing of fraud or bad faith. Finally, the protester requested reimbursement for bid preparation costs. Where GAO has dismissed a protest without considering the merits, a claim for bid preparation costs is also not for consideration. Accordingly, the protest was dismissed.