[Protest of NOAA Proposed Contract Award for Weather Observation Services]

B-274236: Nov 27, 1996

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A firm protested a proposed National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) contract award for weather observation services, contending that: (1) a principal in the proposed awardee's firm, who exercised substantial control over that firm, was also an employee of the National Weather Service at the location where the contract was to be performed; and (2) award to that firm would violate the federal acquisition regulation that precludes awards to business concerns or other organizations owned, substantially owned or controlled by one or more government employees. GAO held that the proposed awardee's bid should have been rejected as nonresponsive, since: (1) the individual responsible for the bid did not personally execute the certificate of procurement integrity included in its bid; and (2) there was doubt about whether the individual responsible for the bid made an unequivocal commitment to satisfy the substantial legal obligations imposed by the certificate. Accordingly, the protest was sustained, and GAO recommended that NOAA: (1) make award to the protester if otherwise eligible; and (2) reimburse the protester for its protest costs.

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