[Protests of Navy Contract Award for Ship Control System Upgrades]

B-279662.2,B-279662.3,B-279662.4: Aug 31, 1998

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A firm protested a Naval Sea Systems Command contract award for integrated ship control system upgrades, contending that the: (1) Navy's interpretation and implementation of the source selection plan stated in the solicitation violated the requirement that price be evaluated for every source selection; and (2) Navy treated the bidders unequally by allowing the awardee to submit a proposal that far exceeded the stated page limitation. GAO held that the: (1) Navy's source selection decision in which price was considered only as an eligibility factor was improper because it failed to consider price as a significant evaluation factor; and (2) Navy conducted competition on an unequal basis, since the awardee's initial proposal was substantially in excess of the page limitation stated in the solicitation, and the Navy evaluated that proposal for award without specifically advising and providing the other bidders an opportunity to submit proposals without a page limitation. Accordingly, the protests were sustained, and GAO recommended that the Navy: (1) amend the solicitation to reflect its actual needs, including with regard to the page limitation and the intended evaluation scheme; (2) reopen negotiations with bidders and request a new round of best and final offers; (3) terminate the awardee's contract and make award to another bidder, if otherwise appropriate; and (4) reimburse the protester for its protest costs.

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