[Protest of Proposed State Department Contract Award for Packaging]

B-222203: Apr 4, 1986

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A firm protested a proposed Department of State contract award for computer case containers, contending that: (1) there was uncertainty as to whether the awardee was a regular dealer or manufacturer, as required by the Walsh-Healey Act; and (2) the Navy should have rejected the awardee's bid because the awardee falsely represented itself as a small business concern in certain clauses of its bid. GAO held that: (1) it would not consider the legal status of a firm since it is the contracting agency's responsibility to determine a bidder's status; (2) a bidder's certification in a place-of-performance clause is informational and relates to bidder responsibility, not bid responsiveness; (3) the Small Business Administration has conclusive authority to determine matters of small business size for federal procurements; and (4) if there were an irregularity in the certification clause of the awardee's bid, it would not have rendered the bidder ineligible for award because the contracting agency may confirm the information after bid opening. Accordingly, the protest was dismissed.

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