Bid Rejection Protest

B-204981: Mar 4, 1982

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A firm protested the Army's rejection of its bid as nonresponsive. The nonresponsive determination was based on the fact that the bid did not contain a price on two parts of the invitation for bids' (IFB) first article requirement. The protester contended that: (1) the IFB deleted the requirement to bid the two parts but, even if the requirement stood, the protester's failure to bid the two parts was a waivable informality; (2) it was eligible for a waiver of first article testing because it had previously manufactured the item; (3) the IFB should not have contained any first article requirement; (4) it had previously been awarded a contract under similar circumstances; and (5) it should receive the award because of substantial cost savings to the Government. GAO found that: (1) the protester misconstrued the provisions of the IFB; (2) information was insufficient to justify the waiver of the IFB requirement to price the testing and reports; and (3) the contention that the IFB should not have contained any first article requirement was untimely. An improper acceptance of a bid in a prior contract does not have any binding effect on a subsequent procurement. Further, once a bid has been determined to be nonresponsive, the fact that it is the low bid is irrelevant. Accordingly, the protest was denied.