[USDA Request for Decision Concerning Propriety of Disqualifying Bid]

B-212776: Oct 31, 1983

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The Department of Agriculture (USDA) requested an opinion regarding its decision to disqualify the high bid in a sale of surplus property. USDA discovered after bid opening that the high bid came from a person who lived in a husband and wife relationship with a USDA employee who was responsible for evaluating the property to be sold to determine whether it was in fact surplus. Since the bidder was considered a member of the employee's immediate household, USDA disqualified the bid under USDA conflict-of-interest regulations. GAO held that the USDA interpretation of its own regulations was proper and that the bid was properly disqualified.