[Protest of HUD Contract Award for Appraisal Services Reviews]

B-259201: Mar 15, 1995

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A firm protested a Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) contract award for appraisal services reviews, contending that the awardee: (1) had improper communications with HUD personnel; (2) was ineligible for award, since his bid contained a conflict-of-interest misrepresentation; and (3) was not responsible. GAO held that: (1) the communications did not violate the certification or procurement integrity regulations, since they did not involve other bidders and concerned publicly available information; (2) there was no prohibition against the submission or acceptance of below-cost bid prices; (3) the awardee's conflict-of-interest misrepresentation did not render him ineligible for award, since such disclosure would not have changed the award decision and there was no evidence that the misrepresentation was made in bad faith; and (4) it would not consider the the awardee's affirmative responsibility determination, since there was no evidence that HUD acted in bad faith or misapplied definitive responsibility criteria. Accordingly, the protest was denied.