[Protest of SBA Designation of Section 8(a) Business for Negotiated EPA Contract for Janitorial Services]

B-276960: May 20, 1997

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A firm protested the Small Business Administration's (SBA) substitution of the awardee for it as the section 8(a) concern designated for a noncompetitive contract award under an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) solicitation for janitorial services, contending that EPA improperly requested that SBA rescind the designation of the protester for award after it was unable to reach agreement with EPA on a price. GAO held that: (1) there were no laws or regulations that prohibited SBA, at the behest of EPA, from substituting one designated 8(a) concern for another during contract negotiations; and (2) GAO would not direct EPA to resume negotiations with the protester or instruct the agencies to resolve the price disagreement, since it was not GAO's function to arbitrate the section 8(a) sole source negotiations process. Accordingly, the protest was dismissed.

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