B-199572 L/M, AUG 8, 1980

B-199572 L/M: Aug 8, 1980

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BROOKS: THIS IS IN RESPONSE TO YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 26. EVEN IF IT APPEARED THAT YOUR INTEREST IN THIS PROCUREMENT WAS GREATER THAN THAT OF AN INTERESTED CITIZEN. WE WOULD VIEW YOUR "PROTEST" AS UNTIMELY BECAUSE IT WAS NOT FILED HERE WITHIN 10 WORKING DAYS AFTER THE AIR FORCE'S DENIAL OF YOUR PROTEST. AS IT PROVIDES FOR TRANSPORTATION TO BOTH PUBLIC AND PRIVATE SCHOOLS WHEN LOCAL COMMANDERS DETERMINE THERE IS A VALID NEED FOR PROVIDING THAT TRANSPORTATION.

B-199572 L/M, AUG 8, 1980

OFFICE OF GENERAL COUNSEL

GALEN D. BROOKS:

THIS IS IN RESPONSE TO YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 26, 1980, PROTESTING THE AWARD OF A CONTRACT FOR SCHOOL BUS SERVICES BY THE AIR FORCE.

WE CANNOT CONSIDER YOUR LETTER AS A BID PROTEST. OUR BID PROTEST PROCEDURES, 4 C.F.R. SEC. 20.1(A) (1980) PROVIDE THAT ONLY AN "INTERESTED PARTY" CAN PROTEST A PROCUREMENT AWARD. WE DO NOT VIEW A PRIVATE CITIZEN OR TAXPAYER AS SUFFICIENTLY AFFECTED BY THE AWARD TO BE SUCH AN INTERESTED PARTY. A. KENNETH BERNIER AND C. J. WILLIS, B-186506, JULY 19, 1976, 76-2 CPD 56. MOREOVER, EVEN IF IT APPEARED THAT YOUR INTEREST IN THIS PROCUREMENT WAS GREATER THAN THAT OF AN INTERESTED CITIZEN, WE WOULD VIEW YOUR "PROTEST" AS UNTIMELY BECAUSE IT WAS NOT FILED HERE WITHIN 10 WORKING DAYS AFTER THE AIR FORCE'S DENIAL OF YOUR PROTEST, AS REQUIRED BY OUR BID PROTEST PROCEDURES AT 4 C.F.R. SEC. 20.2(A).

HOWEVER, WE POINT OUT FOR YOUR INFORMATION THAT THE SUPREME COURT IN EVERSON V. BOARD OF EDUCATION OF THE TOWNSHIP OF EWING, 330 U.S. 1 (1946), FOUND CONSTITUTIONAL A NEW JERSEY STATUTE AUTHORIZING REIMBURSEMENT OF PARENTS FOR THE COST OF THE TRANSPORTATION OF THEIR CHILDREN TO PAROCHIAL SCHOOLS. THE COURT SO HELD BECAUSE IT VIEWED THE STATUTE, AS IMPLEMENTED BY A LOCAL SCHOOL DISTRICT, AS PART OF A GENERAL PROGRAM "TO HELP PARENTS GET THEIR CHILDREN, REGARDLESS OF THEIR RELIGION, SAFELY AND EXPEDITIOUSLY TO AND FROM ACCREDITED SCHOOLS."

THE AIR FORCE REGULATION APPEARS TO IMPLEMENT A SIMILAR PROGRAM, AS IT PROVIDES FOR TRANSPORTATION TO BOTH PUBLIC AND PRIVATE SCHOOLS WHEN LOCAL COMMANDERS DETERMINE THERE IS A VALID NEED FOR PROVIDING THAT TRANSPORTATION.

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