The GAO recently sustained a protest finding that it was unreasonable for the Department of Energy (DOE) to reject a bid simply because it failed to strictly comply with all of the requirements for an exception to the BAA.
In Addison Constr. Co., B-416525, Addison Construction Company submitted a bid to construct a capacitor bank for DOE in Arizona. Addison’s bid informed DOE that a portion of the construction materials used would be foreign, not domestic. Addison’s bid requested an exception to the BAA pursuant to FAR clause 52.225-9, available when the cost of domestic construction material is “unreasonable” (i.e., it exceeds the cost of foreign material by more than six percent).
Under FAR clause 52.225-9, a contractor seeking an exception to the BAA construction materials requirement on the basis of unreasonable cost must include the following with its bid: price, quantity, unit of measure, and a description of the foreign and domestic materials at issue, along with a detailed justification for the use of foreign construction materials, a “reasonable survey of the market,” and a completed price comparison table in the format provided in FAR clause 52.225-9(d). In addition, the clause requires the contractor to provide the time of delivery or availability of the materials, the location of the construction project, specific supplier information (including the name, address, and telephone number for the supplier, and a copy of the supplier’s response or a summary thereof), and “other applicable supporting information.”
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