Protest of Army Contract Award

B-207083: May 24, 1982

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A firm protested the award of a contract under an invitation for bids (IFB) issued by the Army. The protester contended that the awardee bid was below cost with the intent of violating the contract requirements. The protester also contended that, because of the awardee's deficient performance under prior Government contracts, it should have been found nonresponsible by the Army. The allegation that the awardee's bid was below cost is a matter of contract administration which does not relate to the propriety of the award. Contract administration is the function and responsibility of the procuring activity and GAO does not resolve such matters. Moreover, if a bidder has been found to be otherwise responsible, the fact that it may have submitted a below-cost bid does not constitute a legal basis for precluding or disturbing a contract award. Regarding the awardee's alleged nonresponsibility, GAO does not review protests of affirmative determinations of responsibility unless fraud on the part of procuring officials is alleged, or the IFB contains definitive responsibility criteria which allegedly have been misapplied. Neither exception applied in this case. Accordingly, the protest was dismissed.

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