Marinette protests Coast Guard award

Marinette Marine Corp. filed a bid protest Oct. 7 with the Government Accountability Office over the Coast Guard's award of a contract valued at as much as $1.5 billion to Bollinger Shipyards Inc.

The Coast Guard last month announced an $88 million award to Bollinger for design and construction of the Fast Response Cutter as part of the Integrated Deepwater Systems asset replacement program.

The approximate value of this contract, if all options are exercised for a total of 34 patrol boats, is $1.5 billion over a period of between six and eight years.

The Bollinger contract has been controversial due to the company's alleged role in design and technical problems with the 123-foot patrol boats built under Deepwater. The Coast Guard rejected those boats because of a substantial structural design flaw. The Coast Guard has since sought a refund for those boats, and the Justice Department reportedly is investigating the failed project.

The watchdog group Project on Government Oversight expressed concerns about the Bollinger award on its blog today.

"While POGO does not believe in treating companies as guilty before it has been proven, one would think that the Coast Guard would be more wary of awarding this contract to a company with a history of past poor performance, especially since the Coast Guard asked for a $96 million refund," states the POGO blog post dated Oct. 9.

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

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