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The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) requested an advance decision regarding its authority to pay bid preparation costs incurred by a prospective subcontractor in connection with a previously awarded prime contract. BIA awarded a prime contract to an Indian tribe for an irrigation program on its reservation. BIA reported that a firm filed a bid preparation cost claim in connection with the tribe's procurement of a subcontractor. The claimant contended that: (1) the selected subcontractor's design was nonresponsive to the specifications as written; and (2) it was not advised that it could deviate from the solicitation's specifications. GAO found no legal basis for payment of a potential subcontractor's bid preparation costs where the Government had no role in selecting the subcontractor. Accordingly, the claim may not be paid.

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