[Protest of Navy Contract Award for Transportation Services]

B-272388.2: Dec 9, 1996

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A firm protested a Military Sealift Command (MSC) contract award for transportation services in support of the Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR) program, contending that MSC improperly evaluated bids. GAO held that: (1) MSC's determination that the awardee's proposal was excellent and essentially equal to the protester's higher-priced excellent proposal was unsupported by the record; and (2) MSC failed to conduct discussions with the protester after it had improperly conducted discussions with the awardee after the submission of best and final offers. Accordingly, the protest was sustained, and GAO recommended that MSC: (1) reopen discussions and request new best and final offers; (2) if it concludes that the awardee is no longer in line for award, terminate the contract and make award to the successful bidder; and (3) reimburse the protester for its protest costs.