[Protest of Contract Termination and Proposed Contract Award by Army]

B-212254: Dec 13, 1983

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A firm protested the Army's termination of its contract to supply vehicle parts and the proposed award of a contract for the requirement to another firm. The invitation for bids (IFB) requested each bidder to provide guaranteed shipping data. The IFB stated that if a bidder failed to provide the data requested the Government would estimate the transportation costs. The protester was the only bidder to supply the required data. After the protester was awarded the contract, a protest was filed and, in reevaluating the bids, the contracting officer determined that under the original evaluation the transportation costs for all bidders except the awardee had been doubled. Subsequently, the contracting officer terminated the protester's contract and proposed to award the requirement to another bidder. The protester insisted that it was still the low bidder and that the contracting officer's conclusion was based on an erroneous interpretation of the IFB provisions. GAO found that the Army's method of reevaluation was proper, and the fact that the Army would estimate the transportation costs for bidders who did not supply shipping data was clear from the IFB. In addition, no competitive advantage would accrue to a bidder that did not provide the data. Accordingly, GAO found that the Army acted properly in determining that the proposed awardee, not the protester, was the actual low bidder and that contract termination and reaward was required in this case. Since the protester was not in line for award if certain of its allegations concerning the proposed awardee's responsiveness were upheld, GAO found that it was not an interested party and would not consider these aspects of the protest. Accordingly, the protest was denied in part and dismissed in part.