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The Forest Service requested a decision as to whether it could: (1) reimburse an employee's per diem expenses at her official duty station; and (2) waive the employee's indebtedness pursuant to her erroneously authorized air travel. GAO held that the Forest Service: (1) was prohibited from paying per diem or subsistence expenses to civilian employees at their official duty stations; and (2) could waive the employee's indebtedness, since there was no evidence that the employee acted in bad faith. Accordingly, the claim was denied and the waiver of indebtedness was granted.

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B-229582.10, Mar 14, 1988, 88-1 CPD 261

PROCUREMENT - Bid Protests - GAO Procedures - Administrative Reports Comments Timeliness PROCUREMENT - Bid Protests - GAO Procedures - GAO Decisions - Reconsideration DIGEST: A protest file which was closed because the protester failed to timely file comments with General Accounting Office (GAO) within 7 working days after the protester received a copy of the contracting agency's report will not be reopened where the comments were sent only to the agency, not GAO.

J.H. Baxter & Company-- Request for Reconsideration:

J.H. Baxter & Company requests that we reconsider our dismissal of its protest concerning request for proposals No. DLA720-88-R-0001, issued by the Defense Construction Supply Center (DCSC) for certain plywood items.

We affirm our dismissal.

We dismissed Baxter's protest because the protester failed to respond to DCSC's report within the time required under our Bid Protest Regulations, 4 C.F.R. Sec. 21.3(e) (1987). In pertinent part, that regulation provides that "comments on the agency report should be filed with the General Accounting Office within 7 days after receipt of the report ..." To date, Baxter has not provided our Office with any comments.

The sole basis for Baxter's request for reconsideration is its allegation that a timely response to the agency report was sent to "Walter Thomas." At the time, Mr. Thomas was Acting Associate General Counsel for Contracting for DCSC.

In virtually identical situations involving comments sent to the contracting agency rather than to our Office, we have affirmed our earlier dismissals for failure to file within the prescribed time frame, noting the need for a speedy and just resolution of protests without undue disruption of the federal procurement process. See, e.g., KACO Contracting Co.-- Reconsideration, B-228899.2, Nov. 2, 1987, 87-2 CPD Para. 433. Accordingly, we affirm our prior dismissal in this matter.