Skip to Highlights
Highlights

JFC claims that its protest raises issues which are of significance to the procurement community and should therefore be considered under our significant issue exception to the timeliness requirements of our Bid Protest Regulations. 4 C.F.R. JFC asserts that the procurement was "tainted" from its inception in 1987 because the specifications were "gold plated. JFC asserts that it has provided the ohmmeters under prior contracts and that its less costly product will meet the government's needs. Our Bid Protest Regulations require that protests based upon alleged improprieties in a solicitation which are apparent prior to bid opening or the closing date for receipt of initial proposals shall be filed prior to bid opening or the closing date for receipt of initial proposals.

View Decision

B-233071.2, Nov 14, 1988

PROCUREMENT - Bid Protests - GAO procedures - Protest timeliness - Significant issue exemptions - Applicability DIGEST: An untimely protest does not present a significant issue of widespread interest where its resolution would primarily benefit only the protester and the protester never filed a protest over the allegedly objectionable specifications, although involved with the procurement for almost 2 years, and where it waited several weeks after notice to file a protest of the award.

JFC Electronics, Inc.:

JFC Electronics, Inc. requests reconsideration of our dismissal for untimeliness of its protest of award of contract No. NOO104-88-C-4585 to Biddle Instruments by the Naval Ships Parts Control Center for the procurement of ohmmeters. JFC claims that its protest raises issues which are of significance to the procurement community and should therefore be considered under our significant issue exception to the timeliness requirements of our Bid Protest Regulations. 4 C.F.R. Sec. 21.2(b) (1988).

We affirm the dismissal.

JFC asserts that the procurement was "tainted" from its inception in 1987 because the specifications were "gold plated," exceeded the governments needs and favored the awardee's product.

According to JFC, the specifications favored the Biddle product throughout the entire procurement process; first as a brand name solicitation, then as a two-step sealed bid and finally as a sole source procurement. JFC asserts that it has provided the ohmmeters under prior contracts and that its less costly product will meet the government's needs.

Our Bid Protest Regulations require that protests based upon alleged improprieties in a solicitation which are apparent prior to bid opening or the closing date for receipt of initial proposals shall be filed prior to bid opening or the closing date for receipt of initial proposals. C.F.R. Sec. 21.2(a)(1) (1988). All other protests must be filed not later than 10 working days after the basis of the protest is known or should have been known. 4 C.F.R. Sec. 21.2(a)(2) (1988).

JFC never filed a protest either over the specifications or the cancellations of the initial solicitations, although it participated in both. In addition, by letter dated July 27, 1988, JFC received notice of award of contract No. NOO104-88-C-4585 to Biddle. JFC first filed a protest on October 6, 1988.

The significant issue exception is invoked where the subject matter of the protest is of widespread interest to the procurement community or where it raises issues that have not been considered on the merits in a previous decision. Southwest Marine of San Francisco, Inc.-- Request for Reconsideration, B-229654.2, Jan. 19, 1988, 88-1 CPD Para. 49. In order to prevent the timeliness requirements from becoming meaningless, this exception is strictly construed and seldom used. Southwest Marine of San Francisco, Inc.-- Request for Reconsideration, B-229654.2, supra. Because the protest here does not appear to present an issue whose resolution would benefit parties other than JFC, we do not view the protest as meeting the standard necessary to invoke the significant issue exception.

The dismissal is affirmed.

GAO Contacts