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PROCUREMENT - Bid Protests - Private disputes - GAO review DIGEST: The General Accounting Office will not consider a matter that is essentially a dispute between private parties. This matter essentially concerns a dispute between private parties which this Office will not adjudicate in the context of a bid protest. To the extent that Unified's eligibility for award is affected by the alleged improper conduct of Charleston's two employees. The decision as to whether a firm is responsible is largely within the discretion of the contracting officer. Our Office will not review an affirmative determination in that regard except in limited circumstances that do not appear to be applicable here.

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B-235369, May 11, 1989, 89-1 CPD 448

PROCUREMENT - Bid Protests - Private disputes - GAO review DIGEST: The General Accounting Office will not consider a matter that is essentially a dispute between private parties.

Charleston Auto Processors, Inc.:

Charleston Auto Processors, Inc., protests any award of a contract to Unified Aircraft, Inc., under request for proposals (RFP) No. DAHC23 88-R- 0010, issued by the Army for automotive processing services. Charleston asserts that two of its employees conspired with Unified, a competitor, to obtain confidential information from the protester.

This matter essentially concerns a dispute between private parties which this Office will not adjudicate in the context of a bid protest. Kempter- Rossman International, B-232402.2, Mar. 1, 1989, 89-1 CPD Para. 213. Moreover, to the extent that Unified's eligibility for award is affected by the alleged improper conduct of Charleston's two employees, it involves Unified's responsibility as a prospective contractor. Federal Acquisition Regulation Sec. 9.104-1. The decision as to whether a firm is responsible is largely within the discretion of the contracting officer, and our Office will not review an affirmative determination in that regard except in limited circumstances that do not appear to be applicable here. Bid Protest Regulations, 4 C.F.R. Sec. 21.3(m)(5) (1988); Meldick Services Inc., B-231072, May 3, 1988, 88-1 CPD Para. 433.

The protest is dismissed.

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