[Complaint of Washington State Department of Transportation Contract Award]

B-208918: Aug 2, 1983

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Ralph O. White
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Kenneth E. Patton
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A firm complained of a contract awarded by the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) for the construction of a floating bridge which was chiefly funded by a Federal grant. The protester principally complained that the awardee's bid was unbalanced. GAO stated that WSDOT did not violate State regulations when the grantee determined that prices bid in excess of estimates would not be detrimental to the State. Although the awardee's bid was mathematically unbalanced, it was not materially unbalanced as defined for Federal procurements. Further, GAO noted that the solicitation provided that the bids would be evaluated on the basis of the lowest total price. GAO found that the addition of a construction schedule to the contract did not relax or materially change the terms of the solicitation and did not reduce the awardee's obligation to perform strictly in accordance with the solicitation. GAO concluded that all bidders competed on an equal basis. The protester also raised questions concerning the awardee's compliance with minority business enterprise requirements. The awardee certified that it would comply with the solicitation's minority subcontracting requirements. GAO stated that the manner in which the awardee carried out its obligation was a matter of contract and grant administration within the purview of the grantee and the awardee. Accordingly, the complaint was denied.