[Protest of Army Contract Award]

B-218832: Jun 6, 1985

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A firm protested an Army contract award alleging that the award was contrary to the Certificate of Independent Price Determination in the solicitation specifications because the awardee and another bidder shared joint ownership. The purpose of the certificate is to ensure that bidders do not collude to set prices and restrict competition which is a criminal offense. GAO has held that evidence that two bidders have common officers or ownership does not establish that they have colluded. Furthermore, it is within the jurisdiction of the Attorney General and the federal courts, not GAO, to determine what constitutes a violation of a criminal statute. Although the protester requested a conference, where the merits of a protest are not for consideration, no useful purpose would be served by holding such a conference. Accordingly, the protest was dismissed.