[Protest of Air Force Contract Award for Mess Attendant Services]

B-216803: Mar 6, 1985

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A firm protested an Air Force contract award for mess attendant services, contending that the agency opened bids without waiting for a Small Business Administration determination concerning its appeal of the small business size standard used in the invitation for bids (IFB). GAO found that there is no requirement that a contracting officer delay the opening of bids until receiving such a ruling. In addition, the protester contended that: (1) there was no Department of Labor wage determination in the IFB; (2) the IFB allowed the collective bargaining rates of the incumbent contractor to be furnished orally; and (3) the statement of work contained a typographical error. GAO found that the protester failed to show that the contracting agency received the wage determination before bid opening. In addition, GAO found that the IFB contained a requirement that bidders obtain copies of the applicable collective bargaining agreement and rely on oral information concerning such agreements at their own risk. Finally, GAO stated that a typographical error is a minor informality which does not affect the validity of an IFB. Accordingly, the protest was denied.