Protest of Bid Rejection as Nonresponsible

B-203421: Jun 17, 1981

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A small business protested the rejection of its bid by the General Services Administration (GSA). GSA rejected the bid as nonresponsible because the firm did not possess the capability to perform satisfactorily. The firm had performed unsatisfactorily under a previous contract with GSA. The matter was referred to the Small Business Administration (SBA) for the possible issuance of a certificate of competency (COC); SBA declined to issue the COC. In its protest, the firm questioned the GSA finding of nonresponsibility and rejected the SBA failure to issue a COC. It objected to the terms of its 1980 Federal Supply Schedule Contract as applied by user agencies which led to complaints filed by those agencies with GSA which, in turn, contributed to the nonresponsibility finding. The firm also objected to similar terms in the instant solicitation. SBA has the exclusive authority to issue final determinations on whether a small business is responsibile to receive and perform specific Government contracts. GAO will not review that determination unless the protester makes a prima facie showing of fraud or the record indicates that vital information relevant to the protester's responsibility has not been considered. This was not the case, and GAO would not consider this part of the protest. Further, the objections to the solicitation specifications were untimely filed. Accordingly, the protest was dismissed.