[Protest of Army Contract Award Alleging Improper Rejection of Bid]

B-213308: Mar 7, 1984

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A firm protested an Army contract award for exhaust fans, contending that its low bid was improperly rejected as nonresponsive and that, instead, the awardee's bid was nonresponsive. The protester also contended that the solicitation specifications were unduly restrictive in that they merely reflected the awardee's product. Although the solicitation requested steel propellers, the protester originally offered aluminum and, when queried by the contracting officer, suggested substituting steel. GAO held that the contracting officer correctly informed the firm that no change could be allowed and that the bid would be considered as originally submitted. GAO stated that a nonresponsive bid may not be corrected after bid opening to make it responsive, since permitting a bidder to do so would be tantamount to allowing the submission of a new bid. GAO found that the protester did not offer any evidence to show that the awardee's offer was not responsive. GAO held that the contention that the solicitation was developed from the awardee's product was untimely filed, since it was raised more than 3 weeks after bid opening. Accordingly, the protest was denied in part and dismissed in part.