GAO releases OPC bid protest decision

JUNE 23, 2014 — As we reported earlier, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) on June 2, 2014, issued a bid protest decision that upheld the U.S. Coast Guard's award of three firm fixed-price contracts for preliminary and contract design (P&CD) for the Offshore Patrol Cutter (OPC) acquisition project. Contracts were awarded to Bollinger Shipyards Lockport LLC, Eastern Shipbuilding Group Inc., and General Dynamics, Bath Iron Works.

Shipbuilders Huntington Ingalls Industries and VT Halter Marine both filed with the GAO protesting the awards and all P&CD contract work was stopped, as required by GAO's automatic stay, during GAO's review of the protests.

The GAO has now published the decision and you can find out what exactly Huntington Ingalls and VT Halter were protesting about and why GAO denied their protests.

As usual, the decision gives some useful insights into how agencies, in this case the Coast Guard, evaluate RFP responses.

Interestingly, the GAO decision includes a Coast Guard table that indicates that all five shipyards that responded to the RFP got "Superior" ratings for the soundness and mission effectiveness of the concept designs offered and also for their design approach. All were rated "Satisfactory" for organizational management and production capability. On past performance, though, differences emerged. Bollinger and Bath Iron Works were rated "Satisfactory," Eastern was rated "Superior," but both Huntington Ingalls and VT Halter got ratings of "Marginal." There were also differences in price:

Bollinger Shipyards       $21,950,000
    

Eastern Shipbuilding     $21,975,000
    

Bath Iron Works           $21,400,000
    

Huntington Ingalls       $22,000,000
    

VT Halter Marine          $22,000,000

Read the GAO decision HERE