Protested Matters Before a Court of Competent Jurisdiction

B-194574.2,B-194574.3,B-194574.4,B-194574.5: Jun 21, 1979

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Seafarers International Union of North America; Cove Shipping, Inc.; Hudson Waterways Corp.; and Zapata Tankships, Inc. protested the award of two contracts to Trinidad Corp. by the Department of the Navy Military Sealift Command, for the operation of five T-5 and and four Columbia Class tankers. Marine Engineers Beneficial Association, whose earlier protest GAO dismissed as untimely, joined Seafarers, Cove, and Hudson in a suit against the Navy in U.S. District Court, seeking a preliminary injunction on essentially the same grounds as those used in their protest to GAO. The motion for an injunction was denied and the plaintiffs appealed the denial of injunctive relief while pursuing a final adjudication on the merits in the District Court. GAO does not consider protests where the material issues are pending before a court of competent jurisdiction unless the court requests, expects, or otherwise expresses an interest in the official opinion of GAO. Since these conditions were lacking, the protest was dismissed. Zapata, which was not a party to the court action, raised the same issues; however, GAO would not consider that protest either.