[Protest of Prospective Contractor's Ability To Supply Items in Accordance With Contract]

B-211413: Aug 10, 1983

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A firm protested a proposed Defense Logistics Agency contract award, contending that the awardee planned to provide used surplus parts while misrepresenting them as unused surplus. The protester argued that the proposed awardee thus gained an unfair competitive advantage over firms which proposed new, nonsurplus parts. GAO found that the solicitation permitted offerers to furnish new surplus parts and the proposed awardee so represented its parts in its offer. During negotiations, the proposed awardee agreed to a Government source inspection to ensure that the parts were new, the proposed awardee and its subcontractor confirmed that the parts were new items, and a preaward survey found that the items appeared to be new and serviceable. The protester further challenged the contracting officer's determination that the proposed awardee was a responsible bidder. GAO does not review affirmative determinations of responsibility unless there is a showing of fraud or that definitive responsibility criteria have not been applied. There was no suggestion of fraud in this case, and the new material requirement was not a definitive responsibility criterion. The procuring agency, not GAO, must determine whether the proposed awardee actually fulfills its contract obligation. Accordingly, the protest was dismissed.