B-164473, OCT. 22, 1969

B-164473: Oct 22, 1969

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Edda Emmanuelli Perez
(202) 512-2853
EmmanuelliPerezE@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

UNSOLICITED CONCERNING REJECTED BIDDER'S CONTENTION THAT ITS LOWER PRICED ALTERNATE PROPOSAL SHOULD HAVE BEEN ACCEPTED OVER AWARDEE'S. GAO CONTEMPLATES NO FURTHER ACTION AND PROTEST IS DENIED. NASA ADMITS PROCUREMENT WAS IMPROPERLY HANDLED AND IN ORDER TO PREVENT RECURRENCE OF SIMILAR INCIDENTS HAS ISSUED DIRECTIVE TO ENSURE PROPER FILE DOCUMENTATION IN CASES INVOLVING EVALUATION OF PROPOSED ALTERNATES ON PROCUREMENTS OF $2. FUTURE SOLICITATIONS FOR SUBJECT ITEM (GAS CHLORINATOR) WILL REQUIRE THAT ALL QUOTATIONS BE IN WRITING. INC.: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTERS OF JUNE 25 AND JULY 11. BECAUSE THE GOVERNMENT'S ESTIMATED COST WAS $540. ELEVEN ITEMS OF ACCESSORIES WERE LISTED IN THE RFQ.

B-164473, OCT. 22, 1969

BIDS--ALTERNATIVE--UNSOLICITED CONCERNING REJECTED BIDDER'S CONTENTION THAT ITS LOWER PRICED ALTERNATE PROPOSAL SHOULD HAVE BEEN ACCEPTED OVER AWARDEE'S, SINCE EQUIPMENT HAS BEEN DELIVERED AND PAID FOR, GAO CONTEMPLATES NO FURTHER ACTION AND PROTEST IS DENIED; HOWEVER, NASA ADMITS PROCUREMENT WAS IMPROPERLY HANDLED AND IN ORDER TO PREVENT RECURRENCE OF SIMILAR INCIDENTS HAS ISSUED DIRECTIVE TO ENSURE PROPER FILE DOCUMENTATION IN CASES INVOLVING EVALUATION OF PROPOSED ALTERNATES ON PROCUREMENTS OF $2,500 OR LESS, WHICH PROVIDES THAT WHERE OFFEROR SUBMITTING ALTERNATE PROPOSAL FAILS TO SUBMIT ACCOMPANYING LITERATURE, GOVERNMENT BUYER SHALL REQUEST OFFEROR TO SUBMIT SUCH LITERATURE SO THAT PROPOSAL MAY BE PROPERLY EVALUATED; AND FUTURE SOLICITATIONS FOR SUBJECT ITEM (GAS CHLORINATOR) WILL REQUIRE THAT ALL QUOTATIONS BE IN WRITING.

TO CAPITAL CONTROLS COMPANY, INC.:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTERS OF JUNE 25 AND JULY 11, 1969, WITH ENCLOSURES, PROTESTING THE MANNER IN WHICH THE NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION (NASA), KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLORIDA, HANDLED THE PROCUREMENT OF ONE GAS CHLORINATOR UNDER "REQUISITION/PURCHASE REQUEST NO. 91152070" DATED MAY 20, 1969.

THE PURCHASE REQUEST RECEIVED BY THE PROCUREMENT OFFICE DESCRIBED THE REQUIREMENT AS FOLLOWS: ,WALLACE AND TIERNAN MODEL V-50 NOTCH CHLORINATOR (NO SUBSTITUTE) AS BASE NOW HAS THIS MODEL CHLORINATOR AND THESE CAN BE INTERCHANGED IN EMERGENCY. ALSO SAME REPAIR PARTS STORED FOR EMERGENCY.'

BECAUSE THE GOVERNMENT'S ESTIMATED COST WAS $540, THE CONTRACTING OFFICER FOLLOWED THE SIMPLIFIED SMALL PURCHASE PROCEDURES SET FORTH IN PARAGRAPH 3.600 OF THE NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION PROCUREMENT REGULATION. IN ORDER TO OBTAIN COMPETITION, THE CONTRACTING OFFICE ELIMINATED THE BRAND NAME RESTRICTION FROM THE REQUEST FOR QUOTATIONS (RFQ) ISSUED ON MAY 20, 1969. THE RFQ DESCRIBED THE CHLORINATOR AS "SOLUTION FEED VACUUM OPERATED WALL MOUNTED WITH 20 LB/24 HOUR ROTAMETER AND COMPLETE WITH THE FOLLOWING ACCESSORIES.' ELEVEN ITEMS OF ACCESSORIES WERE LISTED IN THE RFQ, WHICH WAS MAILED TO YOUR FIRM AND WALLACE AND TIERNAN, INC. IT IS REPORTED THAT AFTER WRITTEN QUOTATIONS WERE RECEIVED FROM YOUR FIRM AND WALLACE AND TIERNAN, AN ORAL QUOTATION WAS SOLICITED BY TELEPHONE FROM ELECTRA TRONICS, INC., A LOCAL SOURCE AT COCOA, FLORIDA, WHICH FIRM HAD BEEN ISSUED A BLANKET PURCHASE AGREEMENT ON JULY 1, 1968, FOR ELECTRICAL AND POWER DISTRIBUTION EQUIPMENT FOR THE PERIOD JULY 1, 1968, TO JUNE 30, 1969.

THE RECORD INDICATES THAT THE FOLLOWING QUOTATIONS WERE RECEIVED ON THE CHLORINATOR:

COMPANY PRICE

------- ----- ELECTRA-TRONICS (OFFERING WALLACE AND TIERNAN MODEL V-50) $700 CAPITAL CONTROLS (OFFERING THEIR MODEL 201)

775

(OFFERING AS ALTERNATE THEIR MODEL 480) (496) WALLACE AND TIERNAN (OFFERING THEIR MODEL A-741) 928

IT IS REPORTED THAT SINCE NO DESCRIPTIVE LITERATURE OR BROCHURES WERE SUBMITTED BY YOUR FIRM WITH RESPECT TO YOUR MODEL 480 EQUIPMENT AND THAT SINCE SUCH INFORMATION WAS NOT READILY AVAILABLE TO THE CONTRACTING OFFICE, IT COULD NOT BE DETERMINED WHETHER THE MODEL 480 CHLORINATOR OFFERED BY YOUR FIRM MET THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE SPECIFICATIONS. HOWEVER, A HANDWRITTEN NOTATION BY THE GOVERNMENT BUYER ON THE ABSTRACT OF QUOTATIONS STATES THAT: "ALTERNATE OFFERED BY CAPITAL CONTROLS NOT ACCEPTABLE PER TECHNICAL REP. THIS IS SMALLER UNIT THAN REQUESTED.' THE BASIS OF THE FOREGOING TECHNICAL INFORMATION, ALLEGED TO HAVE BEEN RECEIVED BY THE GOVERNMENT BUYER, AWARD WAS MADE TO ELECTRA-TRONICS ON MAY 28, 1969, IN THE AMOUNT OF $700, FOR A WALLACE AND TIERNAN MODEL V-50 CHLORINATOR. PAYMENT FOR THE CHLORINATOR DELIVERED BY ELECTRA-TRONICS WAS MADE TO THAT FIRM ON JULY 2, 1969.

IN YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 25, 1969, YOU REFER TO OUR DECISION B-164473, AUGUST 1, 1968, TO YOU, IN WHICH WE HELD THAT THE NASA CONTRACTING OFFICER INVOLVED IN THE PROCUREMENT OF A CHLORINATOR SHOULD NOT HAVE ACCEPTED A LESSER PRODUCT THAN THAT SPECIFIED IN THE SOLICITATION WITHOUT ALLOWING ALL OFFERORS AN EQUAL OPPORTUNITY TO QUOTE ON AN EQUALLY ACCEPTABLE PRODUCT. YOU POINT OUT THAT THE LESSER PRODUCT REFERRED TO IN THE DECISION OF AUGUST 1, 1968, WAS A WALLACE AND TIERNAN MODEL V-50 CHLORINATOR AND THAT SUCH ITEM WAS PURCHASED FROM ELECTRA-TRONICS AT A CONTRACT PRICE OF $540. YOU CONTEND THAT SINCE YOU OFFERED TO FURNISH YOUR MODEL 480 CHLORINATOR AT A LOWER PRICE OF $496 AS AN ALTERNATE, YOUR ALTERNATE PROPOSAL SHOULD HAVE BEEN ACCEPTED.

YOU STATE THAT ON MAY 28, 1969 -- THE DAY FOLLOWING THE CLOSING DATE FOR RECEIPT OF QUOTATIONS -- YOU TELEPHONED MRS. HEINEMANN OF THE CONTRACTING OFFICE TO INQUIRE ABOUT THE SUBJECT PROCUREMENT AND THAT AS A RESULT OF THIS TELEPHONE CONTACT YOU RECEIVED THE FOLLOWING INTEROFFICE REPORT: "A WALLACE AND TIERNAN MODEL V-50, WHICH THEY DID NOT KNOW THEY HAD ON THE SHELF, IS BEING USED FOR THIS JOB. ACCORDING TO MRS. HEINEMANN, IT IS EXACTLY WHAT THEY NEED AND IS CHEAPER THAN THE ALTERNATE THAT WE OFFERED.' IN REGARD TO THE FOREGOING STATEMENT, WHICH HAS BEEN VEHEMENTLY DENIED BY MRS. HEINEMANN, YOU ASK THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS: "WHOSE SHELF WAS THE V-50 FOUND ON? WHERE DID THE $450.00 PRICE COME FROM? WAS THE V- 50 OFFERED AT $450.00 AFTER THE BIDS WERE OPENED AND AFTER OUR $496.00 PRICE WAS EXPOSED? " IN REGARD TO THE FIRST QUESTION, THE RECORD INDICATES THAT THE WALLACE AND TIERNAN MODEL V-50 CHLORINATOR WAS OBTAINED OFF THE SHELF FROM ELECTRA TRONICS. AS TO YOUR SECOND QUESTION, IT APPEARS THAT YOUR REFERENCE TO A $450 PRICE IS IN ERROR SINCE ELECTRA- TRONICS OFFERED A V-50 MODEL FOR $540 PER UNIT IN THE PROCUREMENT CONSIDERED IN DECISION B-164473 OF AUGUST 1, 1968. FINALLY, ELECTRA- TRONICS DID NOT OFFER TO REDUCE ITS PRICE OF $700 TO $450 AFTER THE PROPOSALS WERE OPENED AND, IN ANY EVENT, AWARD WAS MADE IN THE AMOUNT OF $700.

NASA ADMITS THAT THIS PROCUREMENT WAS NOT PROPERLY HANDLED BY THE PROCUREMENT OFFICIALS AT THE KENNEDY SPACE CENTER. IT HAS REPORTED THAT THERE IS NO EXISTING TECHNICAL EVIDENCE IN THE FILES OF THE CENTER TO SUPPORT THE REJECTION OF YOUR QUOTATION OFFERING YOUR MODEL 480 CHLORINATOR. NASA HAS ADVISED THAT, IN ORDER TO PREVENT A RECURRENCE OF INCIDENTS SIMILAR TO THE ONE REFERRED TO ABOVE, THE PROCUREMENT OFFICER AT THE CENTER HAS ISSUED "STANDARD OPERATIONS PROCEDURE NO. 18," DATED SEPTEMBER 18, 1969, TO ENSURE PROPER FILE DOCUMENTATION BY CENTER BUYERS IN CASES INVOLVING THE CONSIDERATION AND EVALUATION OF PROPOSED ALTERNATES ON PROCUREMENTS OF $2,500 OR LESS. FOR YOUR INFORMATION, THE CITED PROCUREMENT PROCEDURE DIRECTIVE PROVIDES, AMONG OTHER THINGS, THAT WHERE AN OFFEROR SUBMITTING AN ALTERNATE PROPOSAL FAILS TO SUBMIT DESCRIPTIVE LITERATURE WITH SUCH PROPOSAL, AS IN THE PRESENT CASE, THE GOVERNMENT BUYER SHALL REQUEST THE OFFEROR TO SUBMIT SUCH LITERATURE SO THAT IT MAY BE PROPERLY EVALUATED. ALSO, NASA HAS ADVISED THAT, IN VIEW OF THE HISTORY OF THESE CHLORINATOR PROCUREMENTS, FUTURE SOLICITATIONS FOR THE ITEM WILL REQUIRE THAT ALL QUOTATIONS BE IN WRITING.

SINCE THE EQUIPMENT HAS BEEN DELIVERED AND PAID FOR, NO FURTHER ACTION IS CONTEMPLATED BY OUR OFFICE WITH RESPECT TO THIS PROCUREMENT. YOUR PROTEST IS THEREFORE DENIED.

Nov 22, 2017

Nov 21, 2017

  • A-P-T Research, Inc.
    We deny the protest in part and dismiss the protest in part.
    B-414825,B-414825.2

Nov 20, 2017

Nov 16, 2017

  • HBI-GF, JV
    We deny the protest.
    B-415036
  • Epsilon Systems Solutions, Inc.
    We dismiss the protest because it raises a matter of contract administration over which we do not exercise jurisdiction.
    B-414410.4

Nov 15, 2017

Looking for more? Browse all our products here