Specification for Artificial Leather Sweatbands

B-200910: Published: Nov 12, 1980. Publicly Released: Jun 4, 1985.

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A firm detailed the difficulties it experienced regarding a new specification for artificial leather sweatbands issued by the Defense Personel Support Center. The firm was unable to supply the artificial leather sweatbands, because only one firm could produce the items according to specifications, using another firm as its sole distributor. The firm argued that the arrangement between the present producer of the product and its distributor violated antitrust laws and that it may be forced to close if it is unable to bid on the Government's requirements for sweatbands. Violations of the antitrust laws relating to restraint of trade are matters for consideration of the Department of Justice, and any complaint in this regard should be referred to that agency for appropriate action. The determination of the minimum needs of a contracting agency and the methods of accommodating those needs are the responsibility of the agency itself. GAO will not question an agency's determination of what its minimum needs are unless there is a clear showing that the determination has no reasonable basis. The firm did not provide evidence that the agency's determination concerning the specification was unreasonable.

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