[Protest of Department of Commerce Contract Award]

B-208014: Jan 3, 1983

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A firm protested the award of a contract to a Canadian firm for the preparation of graphic materials under a request for proposals issued by the Department of Commerce. The protester contended that: (1) the inclusion of various clauses in the solicitation implementing the Buy American Act and the language of the act and its implementing regulations indicated that the procurement was subject to the act; and (2) the awardee could not and would not comply with the requirements of the act. Commerce's position was that the solicitation contemplated the award of a service contract to which the act did not apply. GAO held that: (1) compliance with the act is the responsibility of the contracting agency and is not a matter for review by GAO; and (2) the awardee received a considerably higher technical rating than did the protester and, even with the application of a 6-percent differential, the awardee's best and final offer remained lower than that of the protester. Under these circumstances, GAO found the issue of whether the Buy American Act pertained to the procurement to be academic. Accordingly, the protest was dismissed.