[Protests of Army Contract Award for Construction]

B-244406,B-244406.2,B-244406.3,B-244406.4: Oct 16, 1991

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Four firms protested an Army contract award for construction. The first three protesters contended that their lower bids outweighed the awardee's technical advantage. The first protester also contended that the Army improperly evaluated its bid. The second protester also contended that the solicitation provision allowing for cost/technical trade offs was arbitrary. The second and third protesters contended that the Army failed to conduct meaningful discussions with them. The fourth protester also contended that the Army improperly excluded its bid from the competitive range. The third protester also contended that the Army failed to follow the stated evaluation methodology, since it scored bids during the initial evaluation and did not reveal its scoring technique. GAO held that the: (1) protesters failed to provide any evidence that the Army unreasonably or inconsistently evaluated bids; (2) Army reasonably made award to a higher-priced technically superior offeror; (3) Army properly excluded the fourth protester from the competitive range, since its bid was technically unacceptable; (4) third protester untimely filed its protest that the solicitation was arbitrary or improperly prioritized more than 10 days after it should have known of the basis for protest; (5) Army conducted adequate discussions with the second and third protesters; and (6) solicitation adequately advised offerors of the Army's bid evaluation methods. Accordingly, the first, third, and fourth protests were denied, and the second protest was denied in part and dismissed in part.