[Protests of MARAD Contract Awards for Ships]

B-247975.10,B-247975.11,B-247975.7,B-247975.8,B-247975.9: May 3, 1993

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Three firms protested Maritime Administration (MARAD) contract awards for cargo ships, contending that MARAD: (1) unreasonably evaluated the bids and did not follow the solicitation's evaluation criteria; (2) did not advise bidders of the predominant technical evaluation factor; (3) unreasonably adjusted bidders' costs for upgrades; (4) improperly added costs for work that was not necessary; and (5) failed to make award to one protester despite its technical superiority. GAO held that MARAD: (1) failed to advise bidders of the relative importance of certain technical evaluation factors in the solicitation; (2) did not follow the solicitation's evaluation criteria; (3) improperly calculated the upgrade cost adjustments and added costs for unrequired work; and (4) reasonably did not make award to one protester, since its ships were old and in poor material condition. Accordingly, the protests were denied in part and sustained in part, and GAO recommended that MARAD: (1) revise the solicitation to reflect its needs and the relative importance of the evaluation factors; (2) request revised bids from technically acceptable bidders; and (3) reimburse the protesters for their protest costs.