A firm protested the rejection of its proposal under an Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) procurement. The firm contended that the bid guarantee requirement of the solicitation was restrictive and that the government awarded the contract before permitting it to exhaust its efforts to secure bonding. The protester's bid was the lowest bid received. The other offerers were rejected as being either nonresponsive or unreasonably expensive. AEC negotiated with the firm and extended the deadline for providing the bid guarantee. GAO has consistently held that a solicitation requirement for a bid guarantee is material. In this case, GAO held that the firm had ample opportunity to obtain the required guarantee. The protester's contention that the bid guarantee requirement was restrictive was found to be untimely since the protester knew of the requirement before bid opening and did not protest at that time. Therefore, the protest was denied.
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