[Request for Reconsideration of Protest Alleging Awardee Nonresponsibility]

B-204787.2: Aug 15, 1983

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A firm requested reconsideration of a portion of a decision in which GAO refused to consider its allegations that the awardee did not have the ability to perform an Army contract. Based on material presented in its reconsideration request, GAO considered the merits of the contention. The protester alleged that the contracting officer's determination that the awardee was responsible was an abuse of discretion tantamount to fraud or bad faith. The protester contended that the preaward surveys of the awardee were defective. Bid protest procedures require that protests be filed no later than 10 working days after the basis for protest is known. Since the protester did not raise its contentions until 3 months after it received the preaward surveys, GAO found that this aspect of the protest was untimely. The protester also contended that the awardee relied on another firm for financial assistance. GAO stated that a contracting officer may consider evidence that an affiliated concern will guarantee a bidder's financial capability in making a responsibility determination. Further, GAO held that the contracting officer acted within the bounds of his discretion when he requested that the awardee's financial capacity be reexamined based on the most current information available. Accordingly, the protest was denied.