B-207353.2, SEP 8, 1982

B-207353.2: Sep 8, 1982

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DIGEST: PRIOR DECISION DISMISSING PROTEST AS UNTIMELY IS AFFIRMED WHERE SIGNIFICANT ISSUE IS NOT PRESENT TO JUSTIFY EXCEPTION TO THE APPLICATION OF GAO BID PROTEST PROCEDURES AND FACT THAT PROTEST WAS ONLY A FEW DAYS LATE DOES NOT SATISFY TIMELINESS REQUIREMENTS WHICH ARE STRICTLY APPLIED. PART 21 (1982)) AND THAT THE PROTEST WAS UNTIMELY BY ONLY 1 OR 2 DAYS. WHICH WAS UNTIMELY. WHICH REQUIRES THAT WHEN A PROTEST IS INITIALLY FILED WITH THE CONTRACTING AGENCY. WE HELD EDRON'S PROTEST WAS UNTIMELY BECAUSE THE LAST-DAY FOR TIMELY FILING ITS PROTEST WAS APRIL 26. ALTHOUGH THE RULE MAY SEEM HARSH TO EDRON BECAUSE THE PROTEST IS ONLY A FEW DAYS LATE. TO RAISE A LEGAL OBJECTION TO THE AWARD OF A GOVERNMENT CONTRACT IS A SERIOUS MATTER.

B-207353.2, SEP 8, 1982

DIGEST: PRIOR DECISION DISMISSING PROTEST AS UNTIMELY IS AFFIRMED WHERE SIGNIFICANT ISSUE IS NOT PRESENT TO JUSTIFY EXCEPTION TO THE APPLICATION OF GAO BID PROTEST PROCEDURES AND FACT THAT PROTEST WAS ONLY A FEW DAYS LATE DOES NOT SATISFY TIMELINESS REQUIREMENTS WHICH ARE STRICTLY APPLIED.

EDRON, INC. - RECONSIDERATION:

EDRON, INC. (EDRON), REQUESTS RECONSIDERATION OF OUR PRIOR DECISION IN THE MATTER OF EDRON, INC., B-207353, JUNE 9, 1982, 82-1 CPD 557, WHICH DISMISSED AS UNTIMELY EDRON'S PROTEST AGAINST THE DEFENSE PERSONNEL SUPPORT CENTER'S (DPSC) AWARD OF A CONTRACT UNDER SOLICITATION NO. DLA120- 82-R-0789.

EDRON CONTENDS THAT THE PROTEST RAISES ISSUES SIGNIFICANT TO PROCUREMENT PRACTICES WHICH SHOULD BE CONSIDERED ON THE MERITS UNDER SECTION 21.2(C) OF OUR BID PROTEST PROCEDURES (4 C.F.R. PART 21 (1982)) AND THAT THE PROTEST WAS UNTIMELY BY ONLY 1 OR 2 DAYS.

OUR JUNE 9, 1982, DECISION AS BASED ON THE FACT THAT ON APRIL 12, 1982, EDRON RECEIVED DPSC'S REPLY DENYING EDRON'S PROTEST TO THE CONTRACTING OFFICER. EDRON FILED A PROTEST WITH OUR OFFICE ON MAY 3, 1982, WHICH WAS UNTIMELY.

UNDER SEC. 21.2(A) OF OUR BID PROTEST PROCEDURES, WHICH REQUIRES THAT WHEN A PROTEST IS INITIALLY FILED WITH THE CONTRACTING AGENCY, A SUBSEQUENT PROTEST TO OUR OFFICE MUST BE FILED WITHIN 10 WORKING DAYS OF KNOWLEDGE OF THE INITIAL ADVERSE AGENCY ACTION. CONSEQUENTLY, WE HELD EDRON'S PROTEST WAS UNTIMELY BECAUSE THE LAST-DAY FOR TIMELY FILING ITS PROTEST WAS APRIL 26, 1982.

ALTHOUGH THE RULE MAY SEEM HARSH TO EDRON BECAUSE THE PROTEST IS ONLY A FEW DAYS LATE, WE DO NOT REGARD OUR TIMELINESS STANDARDS AS MERE TECHNICALITIES. TO RAISE A LEGAL OBJECTION TO THE AWARD OF A GOVERNMENT CONTRACT IS A SERIOUS MATTER. AT STAKE ARE NOT ONLY THE RIGHTS AND INTERESTS OF THE PROTESTER, BUT THOSE OF THE CONTRACTING AGENCY AND OTHER INTERESTED PARTIES. EFFECTIVE AND EQUITABLE PROCEDURAL STANDARDS ARE NECESSARY SO THAT PARTIES HAVE A FAIR OPPORTUNITY TO PRESENT THEIR CASES AND SO THAT PROTESTS CAN BE RESOLVED IN A REASONABLY SPEEDY MANNER. ACCORDINGLY, THE RULES ON TIMELINESS IMPOSE STRICT TIME STANDARDS THAT WE ENFORCE STRICTLY. CESSNA AIRCRAFT COMPANY; BEECH AIRCRAFT CORPORATION, 54 COMP.GEN. 97 (1974), 74-2 CPD 91.

FURTHERMORE, THE SIGNIFICANT ISSUE EXCEPTION TO OUR TIMELINESS RULES, WHICH IS EXERCISED SPARINGLY SO THAT OUR TIMELINESS STANDARDS DO NOT BECOME MEANINGLESS, CONTEMPLATES A PROTEST WHICH INVOLVES A PROCUREMENT PRINCIPLE OF WIDESPREAD INTEREST OR WHICH AFFECTS A BROAD CLASS OF PROCUREMENTS. KEMP INDUSTRIES, INC., B-206653, MARCH 19, 1982, 82-1 CPD 262. IN OUR OPINION, THE ISSUES PRESENTED BY EDRON'S PROTEST MERELY CONCERN THE CONDUCT OF THE PROCUREMENT AND SPECIFICATIONS OF THE SOLICITATION. AS A CONSEQUENCE, THE ISSUES ARE NOT OF SUFFICIENT IMPACT TO WARRANT REVIEW UNDER OUR SIGNIFICANT ISSUE EXCEPTION. SEE COMPREHENSIVE HEALTH SERVICES, INC., B-201725, MAY 20, 1981, 81-1 CPD 394.

OUR DECISION IS AFFIRMED.