B-184755, JUL 21, 1976

B-184755: Jul 21, 1976

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Ralph O. White
(202) 512-8278
WhiteRO@gao.gov

Kenneth E. Patton
(202) 512-8205
PattonK@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

NO BASIS EXISTS TO QUESTION AWARD TO LARGE BUSINESS UNDER LABOR SURPLUS AREA SET-ASIDE WHEN PROTESTING SMALL BUSINESS WAS THIRD LOW BIDDER AND FAILED TO PROVIDE REQUIRED CERTIFICATION REGARDING ITS ELIGIBILITY FOR LABOR PREFERENCE. STANDARD ALLEGES THAT IT WAS THE ONLY SMALL BUSINESS SUBMITTING A BID UNDER THE SOLICITATION WHICH HAD BEEN "*** MARKED SET-ASIDE FOR SMALL BUSINESS AND LABOR SURPLUS AREA.". IT QUESTIONS AWARDS MADE TO A LARGE BUSINESS AT PRICES WHICH STANDARD MAINTAINS WERE OUT OF THE COMPETITIVE RANGE FOR SMALL BIDDERS. THE SOLICITATION WAS ISSUED AS A 50-PERCENT SET-ASIDE FOR LABOR SURPLUS AREA (LSA) CONCERNS RATHER THAN AS A COMBINED SMALL BUSINESS/LSA SET-ASIDE. THIS DETERMINATION WAS MADE BY THE CONTRACTING OFFICER WITH THE CONCURRENCE OF THE SMALL BUSINESS AND ECONOMIC UTILIZATION SPECIALIST AND SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION REPRESENTATIVE PURSUANT TO APPLICABLE REGULATIONS.

B-184755, JUL 21, 1976

NO BASIS EXISTS TO QUESTION AWARD TO LARGE BUSINESS UNDER LABOR SURPLUS AREA SET-ASIDE WHEN PROTESTING SMALL BUSINESS WAS THIRD LOW BIDDER AND FAILED TO PROVIDE REQUIRED CERTIFICATION REGARDING ITS ELIGIBILITY FOR LABOR PREFERENCE.

STANDARD BOLT, NUT, & SCREW CO., INC.:

STANDARD BOLT, NUT, & SCREW CO., INC. (STANDARD), PROTESTS THE AWARD OF A CONTRACT TO STANDARD PRESSED STEEL CO. (SPS) FOR THE SET-ASIDE PORTION OF A PROCUREMENT UNDER INVITATION FOR BIDS (IFB) DSA 500-75-B 2719, ISSUED BY THE DEFENSE INDUSTRIAL SUPPLY CENTER (DISC), PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA.

STANDARD ALLEGES THAT IT WAS THE ONLY SMALL BUSINESS SUBMITTING A BID UNDER THE SOLICITATION WHICH HAD BEEN "*** MARKED SET-ASIDE FOR SMALL BUSINESS AND LABOR SURPLUS AREA." THEREFORE, IT QUESTIONS AWARDS MADE TO A LARGE BUSINESS AT PRICES WHICH STANDARD MAINTAINS WERE OUT OF THE COMPETITIVE RANGE FOR SMALL BIDDERS.

THE RECORD INDICATES THAT THE INVITATION SOLICITED BIDS FOR A 1-YEAR REQUIREMENTS CONTRACT FOR SELF-LOCKING NUTS. CONTRARY TO STANDARD'S BELIEF, THE SOLICITATION WAS ISSUED AS A 50-PERCENT SET-ASIDE FOR LABOR SURPLUS AREA (LSA) CONCERNS RATHER THAN AS A COMBINED SMALL BUSINESS/LSA SET-ASIDE. THIS DETERMINATION WAS MADE BY THE CONTRACTING OFFICER WITH THE CONCURRENCE OF THE SMALL BUSINESS AND ECONOMIC UTILIZATION SPECIALIST AND SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION REPRESENTATIVE PURSUANT TO APPLICABLE REGULATIONS.

SPS SUBMITTED A BID OF $8.20 UNIT PRICE PER HUNDRED (UPPH) WHICH WAS THE LOWEST OF SIX BIDS RECEIVED FOR THE NON-SET-ASIDE PORTION OF THE PROCUREMENT. STANDARD WAS THE THIRD LOW BIDDER AT $13.10 UPPH. THE IFB STATED THAT THE SET-ASIDE PORTION OF THE PROCUREMENT WAS TO BE AWARDED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF CLAUSE C-36.1. IN THIS REGARD, THE PERTINENT PART OF PARAGRAPH (B) IN CLAUSE C-36.1 PROVIDED THAT THE AWARD OF THE SET-ASIDE PORTION WOULD BE NEGOTIATED IN THE FOLLOWING ORDER OF PRIORITY:

"GROUP 1. CERTIFIED-ELIGIBLE CONCERNS WITH A FIRST PREFERENCE WHICH ARE ALSO SMALL BUSINESS CONCERNS.

"GROUP 2. OTHER CERTIFIED-ELIGIBLE CONCERNS WITH A FIRST PREFERENCE.

"GROUP 3. CERTIFIED-ELIGIBLE CONCERNS WITH A SECOND PREFERENCE WHICH ARE ALSO SMALL BUSINESS CONCERNS.

"GROUP 4. OTHER CERTIFIED-ELIGIBLE CONCERNS WITH A SECOND PREFERENCE.

"GROUP 5. PERSISTENT OR SUBSTANTIAL LSA CONCERNS WHICH ARE ALSO SMALL BUSINESS CONCERNS.

"GROUP 6. OTHER PERSISTENT OR SUBSTANTIAL LSA CONCERNS.

"GROUP 7. SMALL BUSINESS CONCERNS WHICH ARE NOT LSA CONCERNS.

"GROUP 8. OTHER BUSINESS CONCERNS WHICH ARE NOT LSA CONCERNS."

THE CLAUSE FURTHER STATED THAT, "WITHIN EACH OF THE ABOVE GROUPS, OFFERS ON THE SET-ASIDE PORTION WILL BE REQUESTED FROM CONCERNS IN THE ORDER OF THEIR OFFERS ON THE NON-SET-ASIDE PORTION, BEGINNING WITH THE LOWEST RESPONSIVE OFFER. ***"

DISC NOTES THAT NOTWITHSTANDING THE WARNING CONTAINED IN THE COVER SHEET ACCOMPANYING THE IFB AND THE CAUTIONARY LANGUAGE OF CLAUSE C 36.1, STANDARD DID NOT PROVIDE WITH ITS BID THE NECESSARY INFORMATION REQUIRED BY CLAUSE B-2, TO ESTABLISH "ELIGIBILITY FOR PREFERENCE AS A LABOR SURPLUS CONCERN." THEREFORE, STANDARD'S FAILURE TO REPRESENT ITSELF AS A CERTIFIED ELIGIBLE CONCERN PRECLUDED ITS BEING CONSIDERED FOR AN AWARD AS A CERTIFIED ELIGIBLE CONCERN UNDER GROUPS 1 THROUGH 6, SUPRA.

IN ESTABLISHING THE ORDER OF PRIORITY FOR AWARDING THE SET-ASIDE, SPS WAS DETERMINED TO BE ELIGIBLE UNDER GROUP 4. SINCE NO OTHER BIDDER, INCLUDING STANDARD, QUALIFIED FOR INCLUSION IN GROUPS 1 THROUGH 3, AWARD WAS PROPERLY MADE TO SPS.

ACCORDINGLY, THE PROTEST IS DENIED.