[Protest of NRC Contract Award]

B-207136: Aug 26, 1982

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A firm protested the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's (NRC) contract award for shuttle bus services. The protester contended that NRC utilized an improper small business size standard in soliciting bids and that the awardee did not meet the small business size standard set forth in the solicitation. GAO stated that the Small Business Administration (SBA) has exclusive authority to determine matters of small business size standards and status for Federal procurement purposes. The contracting officer is authorized to determine the appropriate small business size standard for inclusion in a solicitation and a disaffected party has the right to appeal the decision to the SBA Size Appeals Board. In this case, the protester's appeal to the Board was dismissed as untimely since it was filed 2 months after bid opening. Furthermore, the SBA decision which stated that the awardee met the solicitation standards was conclusive in view of the agency's authority under the applicable Federal regulations. Accordingly, the protest was dismissed.