Protest of GSA Determination To Set Aside Procurement

B-199945: Mar 2, 1981

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A firm protested a small business set-aside solicitation on the grounds that there was no reasonable expectation that offers would be obtained from a sufficient number of small business concerns at reasonable prices and that the total small business set-aside determination constituted an abuse of discretion by the contracting officer. The agency denied that the contracting officer acted unreasonably. It cited several bids from small business concerns which it had received for similar proposals. GAO has held that the decision to set aside a procurement for small businesses is basically a business judgment within the broad discretion of the contracting officer. GAO will sustain such determinations absent a clear showing of abuse of discretion. Since there was a reasonable expectation of sufficient competition among bidders on this procurement and since the protester failed to demonstrate that the contracting officer's decision to set aside the procurement constituted an abuse of discretion, the protest was denied.

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