[Protest of Navy Contract Award for Housing Maintenance]

B-252879.2,B-252879.3: Oct 15, 1993

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A firm protested a Navy contract award for housing maintenance and operation, contending that the: (1) Navy misled it during discussions by informing it that its bid was unrealistically low; (2) Navy improperly made award to the low bidder when it determined that its revised bid was too high to justify its technical superiority; and (3) awardee failed to provide required documentation concerning its key personnel. GAO held that the: (1) Navy misled the protester during discussions, since its determination that the protester's bid was unrealistically low was based on its flawed government estimate; (2) protester contemplated lowering its original bid prior to discussions to be more competitive; (3) protester should have received the award based on its initial low bid and technical superiority; and (4) solicitation did not clearly specify the requirement for employee commitment letters. Accordingly, the protest was sustained and GAO recommended that the Navy: (1) amend the solicitation to clarify its need for commitment letters; (2) reopen discussions with bidders in the competitive range; (3) request revised best-and-final offers; (4) make award to the most advantageous bidder; and (5) reimburse the protester for its protest costs.

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