Request for Reconsideration

B-200025: Feb 20, 1981

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Ralph O. White
(202) 512-8278
WhiteRO@gao.gov

Kenneth E. Patton
(202) 512-8205
PattonK@gao.gov

 

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A company requested reconsideration of a decision which dismissed as untimely its protest under an invitation for bids (IFB) issued by the Army Corps of Engineers. The company also protested the award of the contract under the solicitation. The Corps of Engineers argued that, since the company did not submit a bid in response to the IFB but was merely a potential subcontractor, it was not an interested party as required by protest procedures. GAO determined that, since the company submitted quotations for electrical work to bidders for the prime contract and its basis of protest was that the IFB contained incorrect wage rates for electricians which would favor potential nonunion subcontractors, the company was an interested party. The prior decision had dismissed the company's protest because it was not filed within 10 days of bid opening, which constituted the initial adverse agency action. In its request for reconsideration, the company argued that the initial adverse agency action did not occur until the contract was awarded. GAO held that the initial adverse agency action was the opening of bids by the Corps of Engineers; therefore, since no error of law was shown in the prior decision, reconsideration was not warranted. The company also protested the award of the contract. it contended that, since new wage rates were published in the Federal Register prior to the award, the IFB should have been canceled. Regulations state that all modifications to wage determinations published in the Federal Register later than 10 days before the opening of bids are not effective. Since the new wage rates were published later than 10 days before bid opening, they were not effective under regulations; therefore, cancellation of the IFB was not mandatory. Accordingly, the protest was denied.

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