Link: GAO Opinion
Agency: General Services Administration
Disposition: Protest denied.
Protest challenging rejection of offer for lease of office space is denied where offeror failed to furnish required evidence of a conditional commitment of funds in an amount necessary to prepare the space.
General Counsel P.C. Highlight:
The protester argues that the agency erred in rejecting its offer based on the firm’s failure to furnish evidence of a conditional commitment of funds in an amount necessary to prepare the space. GAO states that an offeror who is found nonresponsible is not eligible for award. GAO will not question an agency’s nonresponsibility determination unless the record shows that it lacks a reasonable basis.
The contracting officer rejected Melbourne’s offer on the ground that it was nonresponsive to the SFO requirements. Notwithstanding the contracting officer’s characterization, the requirement at issue concerns the offeror’s responsibility, not the technical acceptability of its offer. In this regard, as indicated by the heading under which the requirement was listed–Evidence of Capability to Perform,–the requirement concerns the offeror’s ability to perform the contract, rather than the acceptability of its offer. The SFO required evidence of at least a conditional commitment of funds in an amount necessary to prepare the space solicited–thus, clearly, the letter of commitment needed to demonstrate the conditional availability of funds for this project. The letter that Melbourne furnished in connection with the IRS procurement did not demonstrate the availability of funds for the SSA project–rather, it specified that the bank had approved a $2 million loan to finance the IRS Melbourne project. Thus, given that the firm failed to furnish the evidence required by the SFO regarding commitment of funds for the project at issue, GAO finds no basis to question the agency’s decision to reject Melbourne’s offer. The protest is denied.