[Complaint Against Rejection of Bid Submitted to HUD Grantee]

B-212661: Apr 17, 1984

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Ralph O. White
(202) 512-8278

Kenneth E. Patton
(202) 512-8205


Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800

A firm complained of a Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) grantee's rejection of its bid under an invitation for bids for housing rehabilitation. One of the provisions of the financial assistance contract (FAC) between HUD and the grantee was that award be made to the lowest, responsible bidder. Based on a post-bid-opening evaluation of the three low bidders, the grantee's architectural agent determined that award should go to the second low bidder, and the complainant's bid was rejected. The complainant alleged that neither the grantee nor its agent would furnish a reason for the bid rejection. The complainant further contended that rejection based on technical evaluation was improper in an advertised procurement or, alternatively, that a determination of nonresponsibility was unreasonable since it had cited references of successfully performed Government contracts. GAO held that, under the FAC, a housing authority must follow certain basic principles of Federal procurement law and that it will not disturb a contracting officer's nonresponsibility determination unless it lacks a reasonable basis. GAO found that the bid was rejected as nonresponsible and that, based on withheld information in the agent's report, the determination was not unreasonable. Accordingly, the complaint was denied.