[Request for Reconsideration of Decision Sustaining Protest Against Navy Contract Award]

B-218335.2,B-218335.3,B-218335.4: Oct 28, 1985

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The Navy, the contract awardee, and two disappointed offerers joined in a request for reconsideration of a decision that sustained a protest against the Navy's award of a cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for engineering and analytical services. GAO would not consider the arguments raised by the firms because their requests for reconsideration were untimely filed. In the prior decision, GAO determined that the Navy's source selection deviated from the solicitation's established evaluation criteria which placed primary importance on technical capability over cost and recommended that, if the protester's proposed costs were determined to be reasonable, the Navy should terminate the awardee's contract and award the balance of the requirement to the protester. The Navy contended that the prior decision: (1) failed to apply a GAO-established precedent concerning the broad discretion afforded to contracting officers in selecting among competing proposals; (2) improperly disregarded the cost/technical tradeoff made by the contracting officer in selecting the most advantageous offer to the government; and (3) was based on the erroneous assumption that the awardee had proposed a diminished level of effort from that estimated in the solicitation. The Navy also indicated that GAO should withdraw its recommendation for corrective action because the protester's proposed cost was unreasonable. GAO determined that: (1) the protester's proposed cost was reasonable since, after cost-realism adjustment, it was virtually identical to the government's original estimate for the work; and (2) the Navy failed to prove that the prior decision contained errors of law or fact which warranted its reversal or modification. Accordingly, the prior decision was affirmed.