Protest Alleging That Proposed Awardee Bid Was Nonresponsive

B-204259: Aug 20, 1981

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The second low bidder protested the proposed award of a contract under an invitation for bids (IFB), a small business set-aside, issued by the Air Force. The protester contended that the proposed awardee's bid was nonresponsive because the awardee failed to complete the IFB small business size status certification as well as other unspecified certifications and representations. Defense acquisition regulations permit a contracting officer to waive or allow a bidder to correct after bid opening a minor informality or irregularity in the bid. A bidding error contemplated by the regulations is one that has no effect or merely a trivial or negligible effect on price, quality, quantity, or delivery and thus does not affect the bid's responsiveness. A bidder's failure to make a representation concerning its size status is an example of bid irregularity which may be waived or corrected. Therefore, the awardee's bid need not have been rejected by the Air Force for its failure to certify that the firm is a small business. Accordingly, the protest was denied.

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