Unintended but Intended Size Protest?

By: Christine V. Williams on 09/21/2017

In Size Appeal of Sea Box, Inc., SIZ-5846 (August 2017), a disappointed contractor wrote a letter to the contracting officer alleging the successful awardee was other than small.  In response, the contracting officer forwarded the letter on as a size protest to the Area Office.  The Area Office dismissed the protest for lack of standing but initiated its own inquiry.

The disappointed contractor then appealed the ultimate dismissal, claiming that having its its name associated with the protest caused it injury.  Rather, the disappointed contractor (or protestor) claimed it had simply asked the contracting officer to initiate her own protest regarding size if she so chose that route.

The SBA’s Office of Hearing and Appeals (OHA) found that even though the contracting officer could have initiated a size protest, she forwarded on the concerns of the disappointed contractor.  OHA further found that the disappointed contractor was not injured by being associated with a dismissed protest,  It further found that the Area Office actually did the disappointed contractor a favor because it examined the disappointed contractor’s concerns on its own, which was the only way such concerns would be examined due to the disappointed contractor’s lack of standing.