[Request for Reconsideration of Sustained Protest Under MARAD Solicitation and Protest of MARAD Rejection of Bids as Nonresponsive]

B-233574.2,B-234255,B-234256: May 25, 1989

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The Maritime Administration (MARAD) requested reconsideration of a sustained protest against a contract award for ship repair, and a firm protested two subsequent MARAD contract awards for ship repair. GAO had held that MARAD improperly rejected the protester's bid as nonresponsive. In its request for reconsideration, MARAD contended that: (1) the protester untimely filed its protest; and (2) GAO incorrectly characterized the contract as involving services and not supplies. In the instant protests, the protester contended that MARAD improperly rejected its bids, since its failure to certify its use of small businesses did not affect its bids' responsiveness. GAO held that, in the request for reconsideration, MARAD: (1) untimely raised allegations regarding the protester's timely filing of the protest; and (2) failed to present any new facts or arguments showing factual or legal errors in the previous decision. GAO also held that, in the instant procurements, MARAD improperly rejected the protester's bids, since the small business certification was not required for repair contracts. Accordingly: (1) the previous decision was affirmed; (2) the instant protests were sustained; and (3) GAO recommended that MARAD reimburse the protester for its bid and protest preparation costs.