[Request for Review of Two Contract Awards]

B-206311: Sep 27, 1982

Additional Materials:


Ralph O. White
(202) 512-8278

Kenneth E. Patton
(202) 512-8205


Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800

A firm requested that GAO review the award of two contracts to a competitor under nearly identical solicitations. The solicitations were for mobile and fixed station radio systems. The procurements were funded under a Department of Health and Human Services grant awarded to the State of South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control. The procuring entities were nongovernmental subgrantees. The protester contended that the specifications in each solicitation were unduly restrictive and that the rejection of its proposal in favor of a higher priced proposal was improper. Only two firms, the protester and the awardee, submitted offers in response to the solicitation. The protester's bid was lower; however, both procuring entities rejected its offers, because the firm failed to provide all the necessary charts required and because it deviated from the specifications in an unacceptable manner. GAO stated that it would not consider the contention concerning competition because grant complaints must be filed within a reasonable time, which means prior to bid opening in cases concerning an alleged impropriety in the solicitation. In this case, the protester filed its complaint with GAO 4 months after bid opening, and it was thus untimely. In regard to the protester's contention that the rejection of its offers was improper, GAO stated that the protester failed to submit a complete proposal; therefore, there was no basis upon which to question the procuring activities' rejection of the offer since it did not meet all the evaluation criteria. Additionally, the protester's substantial deviation from the specifications further justified the rejection of its offers. Accordingly, the complaint was dismissed in part and denied in part.