[Protest of NASA Contract Award]
B-213752: Dec 27, 1983
- Full Report:
A firm protested a contract award under a request for proposals that was a small business set-aside issued by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The protester contended that: (1) the awardee was not a small business because it was affiliated with the incumbent contractor, a large business; (2) the awardee had an unfair competitive advantage because it had access to information that the incumbent refused to provide to other bidders; (3) the solicitation did not establish guidelines as to the percentage of contract performance that could be subcontracted to large businesses; and (4) its proposal revision was not considered during proposal evaluation. GAO does not review protests of a bidder's size status since conclusive authority for such determinations is vested in the Small Business Administration. GAO held that a private firm, as incumbent contractor, is not required to assist bidders, and there is no regulation prohibiting firms from sharing information. The allegation that the solicitation specifications were inadequate with regard to subcontractors was untimely and not for consideration, since it was not filed until several months after the closing date for receipt of proposals. Finally, GAO found that the proposal revision was untimely and, since it did not offer a significant cost reduction or technical improvement, it was properly eliminated from consideration. Accordingly, the protest was summarily denied in part and dismissed in part.