Protest Concerning Small Business Size Status of Awardee

B-202955: May 19, 1981

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A firm protested the award of a contract under a solicitation issued by the General Services Administration. The solicitation was a small business set-aside for the inspection, recharging, and testing of fire extinguishers. The protester contended that the awardee did not qualify as a small business firm and that it had performed substandard work in the past. Only the Small Business Administration is empowered to conclusively determine matters of small business size status for the purpose of a Federal procurement. Therefore, GAO will not consider that part of the protest. Responsibility determinations are a matter of discretion on the part of the agency involved. Unless fraud is alleged or the solicitation contains definitive responsibility criteria which have not been applied, GAO will not review affirmative determinations of responsibility. In this case, neither fraud nor failure to meet the criteria found in the solicitation was asserted. Therefore, that part of the protest could not be considered by GAO. Accordingly, the protest was dismissed.