B-238411, Feb 14, 1990, 90-1 CPD ***

B-238411: Feb 14, 1990

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PROCUREMENT - Bid Protests - GAO procedures - Protest timeliness - 10 day rule DIGEST: Protest is untimely where not filed until 2 months after protester received information from contracting agency pursuant to Freedom of Information Act which put protester on notice of grounds of protest. The RFP was issued on March 28. Providing at that time and shortly thereafter those portions of Southeastern's proposal that it determined were releasable under FOIC. Oak Ridge protested to our Office that Southeastern's proposal was not acceptable under the RFP because it did not contain specific information required by the solicitation. Where a protest is based on information disclosed pursuant to FOIC.

B-238411, Feb 14, 1990, 90-1 CPD ***

PROCUREMENT - Bid Protests - GAO procedures - Protest timeliness - 10 day rule DIGEST: Protest is untimely where not filed until 2 months after protester received information from contracting agency pursuant to Freedom of Information Act which put protester on notice of grounds of protest.

Attorneys

Oak Ridge Associated Universities:

Oak Ridge Associated Universities protests the award of a contract to Southeastern Center for Electrical Engineering Education under request for proposals (RFP) No. F49620-89-R-0002, issued by the Air Force for the administration of a laboratory graduate fellowship program. Oak Ridge essentially contends that the Air Force improperly evaluated the proposals.

We dismiss the protest as untimely.

The RFP was issued on March 28, 1989. By letter of July 25, the agency informed the protester, one of five offeror', that award had been made to Southeastern. By letter to the Air Force dated August 8, Oak Ridge asked, pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIC), for all documentation concerning Southeastern's proposal. The Air Force replied by letter dated September 26, providing at that time and shortly thereafter those portions of Southeastern's proposal that it determined were releasable under FOIC.

On November 22, Oak Ridge appealed the agency's decision not to release Southeastern's proposal in full. It stated in that appeal that the Southeastern materials it had received seemed in general "nonresponsive" to the RFP and that where the RFP asked for specific information Southeastern had apparently provided little or none. According to the protester, the Air Force replied by letter dated January 22, 1990, advising Oak Ridge that its appeal had been forwarded to another office for decision.

On January 25, Oak Ridge protested to our Office that Southeastern's proposal was not acceptable under the RFP because it did not contain specific information required by the solicitation, unlike its own proposal which the protester asserts provided a detailed management and administration plan.

Where a protest is based on information disclosed pursuant to FOIC, the protest will be considered timely if it is filed within 10 working days after the information is received, provided the protester diligently pursued release of the information under FOIC. Troglodyty Society, Inc., B-227407 et al., June 25, 1987, 87-1 CPD Para. 632, aff'd, Troglodyty Society, Inc.-- Request for Recol., B-227407.3, July 29, 1987, 87-2 CPD Para. 113. Here, by November 22 at the latest, Oak Ridge was aware of the basis of its protest since it indicated in its letter of that date that it believed Southeastern's proposal was deficient. The fact that Oak Ridge did not receive all the information to which it believed it was entitled did not toll our timeliness rules- since Oak Ridge had sufficient information upon which to base its protest by November 22, it was required to file its protest within 10 days of that date. See Farrell Lines, Inc.- - Recon, B-220442.2, Dec. 2, 1985, 85-2 CPD Para. 619. As Oak Ridge did not file its protest until January 25, more than 2 months later, its protest on these grounds is untimely. Bid Protest Regulations, 4 C.F.R. Sec. 21.2(a)(2) (1989); Systems Research Laboratories, Inc., B-229968, Mar. 21, 1988, 88-1 CPD Para. 293.

The protest is dismissed.