[Protest of Army Contract Award]
B-210136: Dec 20, 1982
- Full Report:
A firm protested any award of a contract to another bidder under an invitation for bids issued by the Army as a small business set-aside. The protester asserted that: (1) an incorrect product classification was assigned to this procurement; (2) an appeal regarding the applicability of the standard had been made to the Small Business Administration's Size Appeals Board; and (3) the contracting officer abused his discretion by refusing to defer bid opening or award until the board had ruled. GAO found that the applicable regulations do not require deferral of bid opening or the withholding of award pending a decision by the board in this type of case; rather, the regulatory provision provides that a contracting officer, if notified of the appeal prior to bid opening, may extend the opening date. That provision further provides that if the board ruling is received after bid opening, the decision will not apply to the current procurement but will have prospective effect only. GAO did not believe that the contracting officer acted improperly by not extending the bid opening date, in light of the very discretionary nature of such a decision, and since bid opening has taken place, even a favorable ruling of the board would be of no avail to the protester in this procurement. Therefore, the protest was denied.