[Request for Reconsideration]

B-210314.3: Mar 9, 1983

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Ralph O. White
(202) 512-8278

Kenneth E. Patton
(202) 512-8205


Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800

A firm requested reconsideration of a decision in which GAO dismissed its protest against the proposed award of an Air Force contract for base housing repair and maintenance services. The protester requested reconsideration of its allegation that the awardee exceeded the small business size limitation contained in the solicitation. In dismissing the original protest, GAO had pointed out that the Small Business Administration (SBA) has conclusive authority to determine a small business concern's size status for procurement purposes and noted that, if the protester had wished to challenge the size status of the low bidder, it should have protested to the contracting officer within 5 days after bid opening. The protester advised GAO that it and another protester did lodge appeals with both the contracting officer and SBA and that the other protester appealed the size standard several months prior to bid opening. Therefore, the protester contended that the Air Force improperly awarded the contract without awaiting an SBA decision. GAO noted that procurement regulations require a contracting officer to suspend contracting action pending a SBA ruling only if an initial size status protest was timely filed. Since the protester's appeal was not timely filed, the Air Force was not required to withold award pending an SBA ruling. Moreover, the Air Force was not required to withhold award pending the outcome of the other protester's appeal. If an SBA ruling is received by a contracting agency after bid opening, the decision would not apply to the current procurement, but has prospective effect only. Accordingly, the prior decision was affirmed.