Protest of Army Contract Award

B-200470: Apr 15, 1981

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A firm protested the award of a small business set-aside contract by the Army for guard services. The protester contended that the awardee: (1) is affiliated with a large business and thus ineligible for award; (2) is not licensed as a detective or security company in New Mexico, the State in which the contract is to be performed; (3) incorrectly identified itself as a New Mexico corporation in its bid; (4) has forfeited its right to do business in Texas, the State in which it is incorporated; and (5) submitted a below-cost bid. Further, the protester contended that, after bid opening, the Army improperly deleted two solicitation work requirements and that the solicitation's option clause did not contain an expiration date for the option period involved. GAO held that: (1) the protest relating to small business size status is not for consideration by GAO since the Small Business Administration determined that the awardee was a small business, and this determination is not subject to GAO review; (2) where the solicitation does not require any specific State license, an alleged failure of a bidder to possess a detective or security company license is not a proper basis for a nonresponsibility determination; (3) the allegations concerning below-cost bidding and the low bidder's alleged lack of financial resources involve questions of responsibility which GAO does not review in the absence of conditions not present in this case; (4) no basis existed for the allegation that the awardee falsified its corporate status; (5) the accidental misdesignation of the awardee's State of incorporation in the bid may be waived as a minor informality since the awardee was an incorporated entity and, the error had no material effect on the bid; (6) the protest alleging a defect in the solicitation's option provision, which was apparent prior to bid opening, was untimely since it was filed after bid opening; and (7) the allegation concerning the deletion of two work requirements of the solicitation after bid opening were not considered, because the protest was filed months after the protester was aware of the apparent deletions. Therefore, the protest was denied in part and dismissed in part.