[Protests of Air Force 100-Percent Small Business Set-Aside Contract Award]

B-211627.3,B-211627.4: Sep 26, 1984

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Two firms protested the Air Force's award of a 100-percent small business set-aside contract for marine and tugboat services, making numerous allegations against both the awardee and the agency's handling of the procurement. GAO found that: (1) the protests against an alleged conflict of interest on the part of an evaluation team member and against distribution of information at a preproposal conference were untimely filed; (2) the allegations concerning the awardee's size status and responsibility and certain speculative allegations were not for GAO review; (3) the complaint that the awardee was an associate of a large business and should have been excluded from the procurement was academic; (4) the agency's admitted typographical error in its report was not a basis for protesting the award; (5) the protest of the awardee's allegedly unrealistic prices was denied, since the Air Force negotiated the awardee's prices down; (6) there was no basis for allowing the protests against the alleged irregularities in the agency's scoring of proposals; (7) the allegation that the requirement for the use of a certain tugboat was lax was denied, since the boat had successfully been used before; (8) there was no showing that any prejudice resulted from the agency's alteration of the due date for best and final offers; (9) the agency's modification of the contract after award was permissible; (10) unsuccessful offerers do not have the right to attend each others' debriefings; (11) the awardee's past performance rating was justified by its experience; (12) contrary to the protesters' allegations, the awardee was not prohibited from substituting personnel under the contract; and (13) the agency had duly advised the protesters of their proposals' deficiencies. Accordingly, the protests were denied in part and dismissed in part.