[Protest of Rejection of Bid as Nonresponsive]

B-211016: Mar 28, 1983

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A firm protested the rejection of its bid as nonresponsive under an invitation for bids (IFB) issued by the General Services Administration. The IFB set aside the procurement for small business concerns. In its bid, the protester stated that it was a small business; however, it neglected to state that the products offered would be manufactured by a small business concern. After bid opening, when it was informed that its bid was nonresponsive, the protester attempted to amend its bid to correct the omission. The protester contended that the fact that it manufactured the product was evident in its bid. GAO has held that, if a bid on a total small business set-aside fails to establish the legal obligation of the bidder to furnish products manufactured by small business concerns, the bid is nonresponsive and the bidder is ineligible for an award. In addition, GAO has held that a nonresponsive bid may not be changed or corrected since permitting a bidder to make its bid responsive after bid opening would be tantamount to permitting the submission of a new bid. GAO found the protester's contention that its intent to manufacture the product was not supported by the record. Even if the contention were true, the bid would be nonresponsive since the bid would be ambiguous. Accordingly, the protest was denied.