Complaint Alleging Defective Specifications and Inadequate Time To Prepare Bid

B-201981.2: Feb 1, 1982

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A firm protested the award of a contract by the city of Chicago for the installation of a traction power distribution system for the mass transportation facility at the O'Hare airport extension. The contract was 80-percent funded by a grant from the Urban Mass Transportation Administration. The protester contended that it had been precluded from bidding as the result of defective specifications and inadequate time to prepare its bid. GAO found that Chicago advertised this procurement in area newspapers and made the specifications available approximately a month before the bid opening date. The protesting firm raised its contention regarding the alleged defects in the specification 2 days prior to that date and claimed it needed more time to prepare its bid because of those defects. The questioned requirement called for 3.5-inch asbestos concrete duct which the firm stated was no longer available. Six other bidders submitted proposals without taking exception to the specifications. GAO concluded that the agency satisfied the minimum requirements for grant-funded procurements by advertising the procurement and making the specifications available in time for six bidders to prepare proposals. There was nothing in the record beyond the speculation of the protester to indicate that changing from a 3.5- to 4-inch duct would necessitate substantial changes in either the specifications or the cost of performance. Accordingly, the protest was denied.

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