Protest of Subcontract Award

B-207261: Jun 11, 1982

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A firm protested a Department of Energy (DOE) prime contractor's award of a contract on the grounds that the technical evaluation, which concluded that the protester's offered electron microscope was unacceptable, was deficient because it did not allow the protester to demonstrate the performance capabilities of its equipment. GAO will only consider subcontractor protests where: (1) the prime contractor is acting as the Government's purchasing agent; (2) the Government's active or direct participation in the selection of the subcontractor has the net effect of rejecting or selecting a potential subcontractor, or significantly limiting subcontract sources; (3) fraud or bad faith is shown in the Government's approval of the subcontract award or proposed award; (4) the subcontract is for an agency of the Government; or (5) the questions concerning the award of subcontracts are submitted by Federal officials who are entitled to GAO advance decisions. The DOE contract with its prime contractor did not authorize the contractor to act as a purchasing agent for the Government; DOE did not actively participate in subcontractor selection; and the subcontract was not subject to DOE approval. GAO did not consider the contractor's subcontract awards to be for the Government since GAO has traditionally considered only awards made by prime management contractors to be for the Government. Accordingly, the protest was dismissed.