[Protest of Disqualification From Competition Under Air Force RFP]

B-212957: Jan 30, 1984

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A firm protested its disqualification from competition under an Air Force request for proposals (RFP) for construction projects. The Air Force claimed that the protester, as part of its function as operation and maintenance contractor, participated in the preparation of specifications for the RFP and that, therefore, it should be disqualified under an organizational conflict-of-interest clause in its contract. The firm filed two protests with GAO. At the time of the first protest, the firm agreed that the conflict-of-interest clause applied but disagreed that the grounds for disqualification existed. Two months later, in a second protest, the firm argued that the clause did not apply because the RFP was issued prior to the award of the contract containing the conflict-of-interest provision. GAO stated that the second protest was untimely because it was made more than 10 days after the protester knew or should have known the basis for protest. Further, in terms of the original protest, GAO was not able to conclude that the Air Force's disqualification determination was without a reasonable basis. Accordingly, the protest was dismissed in part and denied in part.

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