[Protests of Navy Contract Award for Technical Advisory Services]

B-221385,B-221385.2,B-221385.4: May 15, 1986

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Three firms protested a Navy cost-plus-fixed-fee contract award for technical advisory services, contending that: (1) a conflict of interest existed since the awardee manufactured the type of hardware the agency requested and provided warehouse space; (2) the Navy improperly evaluated their proposals; and (3) the Navy deliberately failed to give them advance notice of the award to prevent a timely protest of the awardee's small business size status. GAO found that: (1) the awardee would not evaluate its own equipment or advise the Navy on the type of equipment to procure; (2) the Navy properly evaluated the proposals and the award was consistent with the evaluation criteria; (3) the protests alleging a conflict of interest and a significant cost difference among the proposals were untimely filed; and (4) the agency was not required to give the bidders advance notice of the award because the services were urgently needed and delay of the award would have jeopardized the project. GAO held that the procuring agency finally determines whether a conflict of interest exists and it would not overturn the Navy's decision absent indications of bias or unfair treatment. Accordingly, the protests were denied in part and dismissed in part.