Protest Against Army Corps of Engineers Contract Award

B-202208: Aug 14, 1981

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A firm protested the award of a contract to any other bidder under an invitation for bids (IFB). The protester argued that a Buy American Act price differential was erroneously added to its bid. It argued that Canadian products are exempt from this differential, that the procuring office had misled it in a prebid conversation about the application of the price differential, and that it had made a mistake in its Buy American Act certificate because its items were actually of domestic origin. The contracting officer determined that the Buy American Act price differential should be applied to the protester's bid as the contract involved civil work. This raised the protester's price above the bid of the firm which was in line for the award. The IFB contained the standard Buy American Act certificate clause which stated that the price differential would apply to Canadian supplies in civil works procurements. GAO did not agree that the protester was justified in making a careless certification that its products were domestic even if the IFB was misleading. A correction was not allowed to certify the products as domestic end products. Conflicting advice which the protester received from the Government was no basis to sustain its protest. Accordingly, the protest was denied.

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