Protest of Refusal To Issue Certificate of Competency

B-206146: Feb 3, 1982

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A firm protested the Small Business Administration's (SBA) decision not to issue it a Certificate of Competency (COC) establishing its responsibility. SBA has conclusive authority to determine a small business bidder's responsibility by issuing or declining to issue a COC. GAO will generally not review such determinations absent a prima facie showing of fraud on the part of Government officials or that information vital to the responsibility determination was willfully disregarded, thus implying bad faith. By law, the SBA judgment is binding on the contracting officer. Where a protester does not allege fraud or bad faith, GAO cannot recommend that SBA issue a COC or that it reopen a case where a COC has been denied. Accordingly, the protest was dismissed.