[Protest of Air Force Contract Award for Correction of Aircraft Production Drawings]

B-218214.4: Sep 27, 1985

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A firm protested an Air Force award of a small business set-aside contract for the correction of aircraft production drawings, contending that: (1) the agency acted improperly because it failed to award it the contract after it had been determined the low offerer; and (2) the awardee could not perform the services at its low bid price. The protester also asked GAO to investigate the entire procurement action. The Air Force stated that after it made the low offer determination, it conducted a preaward survey and found that the protester had no previous experience; therefore, it found the protester nonresponsible and referred the matter to the Small Business Administration for a certificate of competency determination. After revised offers were submitted, the Air Force determined that: (1) even though the protester's revised offer was less than its first, it was understaffed and inexperienced; and (2) the awardee was responsible and its technical approach required fewer man-hours. GAO has held that: (1) it will not consider protests concerning affirmative determinations of responsibility absent a show of fraud or bad faith; and (2) it is not within its functions to conduct investigations. Accordingly, the protest was denied in part and dismissed in part.