[Protest of Forest Service Bid Rejection]

B-217105: Jan 16, 1985

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A firm protested the rejection of its bid on one item of a solicitation issued by the Forest Service for tree thinning. Although the protester's bid was the lowest of three bids received for the solicitation item in question, the bid was rejected because it was considerably higher than the Forest Service's estimate. The protester argued that the Forest Service improperly calculated cost on the basis of horizontal acreage, which does not reflect the actual surface area. The protester filed several letters of protest with the Forest Service after it was notified that the agency would not make any award for the item in question. A month and a half after the protester received initial notification of adverse agency action, it filed a protest with GAO. GAO held that: (1) a protest filed more than 10 working days after the protester receives notice of adverse agency action regarding a protest filed with the agency is untimely; (2) a firm's continued pursuit of its protest with a contracting agency does not extend the time for filing its protest with GAO; and (3) a protest regarding an alleged solicitation impropriety apparent on the face of the solicitation must be filed prior to bid opening and will not be considered by GAO when it was initially filed with the contracting agency after bid opening. Accordingly, the protest was dismissed as untimely.