[Protest of Army Contract Awards Alleging Deficiencies in Conduct of Procurement]

B-209102: Jul 15, 1983

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A firm protested the Army's award of two contracts to another firm pursuant to a solicitation issued by the Army Tank-Automotive Command under the Light Armored Vehicle (LAV) Program. This procurement represented the second phase of a two-phase program in which data collected in the first phase were further evaluated and contracts were awarded for the acquisition of various LAV's. During the first phase, several types of light armored combat vehicles were tested and initially evaluated, and the protester was awarded contracts for the acquisition of two models. The protester alleged numerous improprieties in the first-phase testing procedures, in the second-phase evaluation, and in the procedures leading to the award. The allegations that there were a number of irregularities in the prototype testing were dismissed as untimely by GAO, since the protester waited several months after testing was completed before raising the issues. The evaluation board's qualitative reports on the technical and performance areas showed that the awardee's vehicle was rated higher than either of the protester's models. GAO did not find significant irregularities in either procurement phase during its comprehensive review of each of the protester's allegations. The Army contended that the awardee was properly chosen on an overall basis, including the cost factor, and provided the Government with the greatest value based on the solicitation's criteria. GAO could not conclude that the sole-source selection was not made in accord with the solicitation's evaluation criteria or was not supported by the record. Accordingly, the protest was denied in part and dismissed in part.