[Protests of MARAD Rejection of Bids for Deactivation Services]

B-250515.2,B-250515.4,B-251877.2,B-251877.3: May 17, 1993

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A firm protested the Maritime Administration's (MARAD) rejection of its bids as nonresponsive for deactivation services, contending that MARAD improperly: (1) determined that it was ineligible for award; and (2) failed to refer it to the Small Business Administration (SBA) for a certificate of competency (COC). The protester also contended that MARAD improperly: (1) proceeded with contract performance without proper documentation and authorization; and (2) awarded the contract while its protest was pending. GAO held that: (1) the protester timely filed its protests after initial adverse agency action; (2) MARAD failed to refer the protester's responsibility to SBA for COC consideration; and (3) it would not consider the protester's supplemental protests, since the protester was entitled to recover its bid preparation costs and the contract was nearly completed. Accordingly, the protests were sustained in part and denied in part and GAO recommended that MARAD: (1) refer the protester's responsibility to SBA for final COC determination and terminate the contract if the protester is found responsible; and (2) reimburse the protester for its bid and protest costs.