B-232402.2, Mar 1, 1989, 89-1 CPD 213

B-232402.2: Mar 1, 1989

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PROCUREMENT - Bid Protests - Private disputes - GAO review DIGEST: The General Accounting Office will not consider a matter that is essentially a dispute between private parties. The contract award is tainted by misconduct because its partner offered his services in competition with Kempter-Rossman at the same time he was offering his services through Kempter-Rossman. We will not consider the protest. As we have previously held. Such a matter essentially concerns a dispute between private parties which this Office will not adjudicate in the context of a bid protest. The decision as to whether a firm is responsible is within the discretion of the contracting officer. Our Office will not review an affirmative determination in that regard except in limited circumstances not applicable here. 4 C.F.R.

B-232402.2, Mar 1, 1989, 89-1 CPD 213

PROCUREMENT - Bid Protests - Private disputes - GAO review DIGEST: The General Accounting Office will not consider a matter that is essentially a dispute between private parties.

Kempter-Rossman International:

Kempter-Rossman International protests the award of a contract to Arthur Beard Engineers, Inc., under request for proposals (RFP) No. DTFH61-88-R- 00131, issued by the Federal Highway Administration for value engineering workshops. Kempter-Rossman asserts that one of its partners secretly collaborated with Arthur Beard in submitting a proposal. According to Kempter-Rossman, the contract award is tainted by misconduct because its partner offered his services in competition with Kempter-Rossman at the same time he was offering his services through Kempter-Rossman.

We will not consider the protest.

As we have previously held, such a matter essentially concerns a dispute between private parties which this Office will not adjudicate in the context of a bid protest. Meldick Services Inc., B-231072, May 3, 1988, 88-1 CPD Para. 433. Moreover, to the extent that the Kempter Rossman partner's conduct impacts Arthur Beard's eligibility for award, it involves Arthur Beard's responsibility as a prospective contractor.

Federal Acquisition Regulation Sec. 9.104-1. The decision as to whether a firm is responsible is within the discretion of the contracting officer, and our Office will not review an affirmative determination in that regard except in limited circumstances not applicable here. 4 C.F.R. Sec. 21.3(m)(5) 1988; Urban Indian Council, Inc., B-225955.2, May 12, 1987, 87-1 CPD Para. 500.

Accordingly, the protest is dismissed and there is no basis for reimbursement of Kempter-Rossman's claimed proposal preparation or protest costs. 4 C.F.R. Secs. 21.3(m) and 21.6(d) 1988.

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