|1) Acme Corporation submits an initial proposal to perform maintenance on target drone aircraft at NAS DESERT VISTA. During discussions, the contracting officer notes that Acme’s price calculations are based on the premise that Acme will hire mechanics at the labor rates contained in the Department of Labor (DOL) wage determination. The contracting officer notes that Acme already has a contract to provide aircraft maintenance at NAS DESERT VISTA and that the unionized mechanics working under that contract already receive wages higher than the DOL prevailing rate. The contracting officer questions whether Acme will be able to pay new employees less than the wages already being paid to current employees. Acme’s project manager concedes it could be a problem and reluctantly agrees to recalculate Acme’s price, but complains that “we might lose the contract because of this.” Acme’s final proposal revision increases the proposed price by $1,000,000 and it loses to Beta, who offers a price that is $500,000 lower. Acme protests to GAO. Which is the most likely outcome?|
|The protest will be dismissed as untimely, because Acme was aware of this ground of protest before submitting the final proposal revision and therefore had to file the protest prior to that time.|
|The protest will be dismissed without consideration by GAO, because Acme must first file its protest with the contracting officer before filing with GAO.|
|The protest will not be heard by GAO, because this issue concerns DOL labor rates. Therefore, the matter must be submitted to the Department of Labor.|
|The protest will be heard by GAO because the Contracting Officer assured Acme that “it could always file a protest”; by this statement, the contracting officer “waived” GAO’s timeliness rules|
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