B-106660, OCT 9, 1952

B-106660: Oct 9, 1952

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B. WYLLY: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 20. ENG-08-123- 52-63 ON THE GROUND THAT SUCH SPECIFICATIONS WERE RESTRICTIVE OF COMPETITION. REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 28. THE RECORD SHOWS THAT FOUR BIDS WERE RECEIVED IN RESPONSE TO THE INVITATION AND THAT CONTRACT NO. WAS AWARDED TO THE LOWEST BIDDER AS TO PRICE. YOUR PROTEST WAS BASED UPON TWO GROUNDS. IT IS CONTENDED THAT SUBPARAGRAPH 2B OF AMENDMENT NO. 2 TO THE INVITATION PROVIDING FOR THE ELIMINATION OF PARAGRAPH TP-4B ON PAGE TP-3 OF THE TECHNICAL PROVISIONS AND FOR THE SUBSTITUTION THEREFOR OF THE SENTENCE "EACH UNIT SHALL BE OF THE SAME SIZE AND TYPE AND ALL COMPONENT PARTS PERFORMING THE SAME FUNCTION SHALL BE INTERCHANGEABLE.

B-106660, OCT 9, 1952

PRECIS-UNAVAILABLE

FAIRBANKS MORSE & CO., ATTENTION: WM. B. WYLLY:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 20, 1951, FORWARDING A COPY OF A LETTER DATED NOVEMBER 19, 1951, TO THE OFFICE OF THE DISTRICT ENGINEER, JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA, PROTESTING THE USE OF CERTAIN SPECIFICATIONS WITH INVITATION NO. ENG-08-123- 52-63 ON THE GROUND THAT SUCH SPECIFICATIONS WERE RESTRICTIVE OF COMPETITION. ALSO, REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 28, 1951, FORWARDING A COPY OF YOUR LETTER OF THE SAME DATE TO THE DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE.

THE INVITATION REQUESTED BIDS FOR FURNISHING AND INSTALLING DIESEL ENGINE GENERATOR UNITS AT THE RAMEY AIR FORCE BASE, AQUADILLA, PUERTO RICO. THE RECORD SHOWS THAT FOUR BIDS WERE RECEIVED IN RESPONSE TO THE INVITATION AND THAT CONTRACT NO. DA-08- 123-ENG-957, DATED DECEMBER 28, 1951, WAS AWARDED TO THE LOWEST BIDDER AS TO PRICE, THE NORDBERG MANUFACTURING COMPANY.

YOUR PROTEST WAS BASED UPON TWO GROUNDS. FIRST, IT IS CONTENDED THAT SUBPARAGRAPH 2B OF AMENDMENT NO. 2 TO THE INVITATION PROVIDING FOR THE ELIMINATION OF PARAGRAPH TP-4B ON PAGE TP-3 OF THE TECHNICAL PROVISIONS AND FOR THE SUBSTITUTION THEREFOR OF THE SENTENCE "EACH UNIT SHALL BE OF THE SAME SIZE AND TYPE AND ALL COMPONENT PARTS PERFORMING THE SAME FUNCTION SHALL BE INTERCHANGEABLE, ONE WITH THE OTHER," LIMITED THE NUMBER OF QUALIFIED BIDDERS TO SUCH AN EXTENT "THAT IT IS IMPROBABLE THAT TRULY COMPETITIVE BIDS WILL BE RECEIVED." IT APPEARS THAT THIS CHANGE IN THE TECHNICAL PROVISIONS OF THE SPECIFICATIONS ELIMINATED THE PREVIOUS REQUIREMENT THAT WOULD HAVE PERMITTED BIDDERS TO FURNISH TWO UNITS OF UNEQUAL RATINGS AND RESTRICTED BIDDERS TO UNITS HAVING THE SAME RATING.

THE SECOND BASIS FOR YOUR PROTEST IS THAT SUBPARAGRAPH 2C OF THE AMENDMENT PROVIDING THAT THE WORDS "OR INDIVIDUALLY CAST CYLINDER OR WATER JACKET" BE DELETED FROM THE FIRST SENTENCE OF PARAGRAPH TP-6 ON PAGE TP-4 OF THE TECHNICAL PROVISIONS OF THE SPECIFICATIONS WAS ARBITRARY IN THAT IT WILL ELIMINATE BIDDERS OFFERING PROVEN DIESEL ENGINES FROM BIDDING EVEN THOUGH THE CYLINDERS AND WATER JACKETS WOULD HAVE HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH THE PERFORMANCE AND MAINTENANCE OF THE EQUIPMENT AND THERE COULD NOT HAVE BEEN ANY SERVICE REQUIREMENTS WHICH WOULD HAVE JUSTIFIED THE USE OF SUCH RESTRICTIVE FEATURES.

IT APPEARS THAT, WHILE THE GENERATOR UNITS WERE REQUIRED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE, THE CHIEF OF ENGINEERS ACTED AS AN AGENT FOR THAT DEPARTMENT IN THE PROCUREMENT OF THE UNITS. HOWEVER, AS THE DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE DETERMINED THE SIZES AND NUMBER OF UNITS REQUIRED, THAT DEPARTMENT WAS REQUESTED TO FURNISH A REPORT RELATIVE TO YOUR PROTEST. SUCH REPORT NOW HAS BEEN RECEIVED AND IS TO THE EFFECT THAT A STUDY OF CONDITIONS AT THE RAMEY AIR FORCE BASE, FROM AN ENGINEERING STANDPOINT, REVEALED THAT , ALL FACTORS CONSIDERED, TWO UNITS OF EQUAL SIZE HAVING A RATING OF APPROXIMATELY 2100 KVA OR 1690 KW EACH WOULD SUPPLY THE REQUIRED CAPACITY AND FIT BEST WITH EXISTING EQUIPMENT AND THAT THE CHIEF OF ENGINEERS WAS REQUESTED TO PROCURE AND INSTALL TWO DIESEL ELECTRIC GENERATORS OF THE AFORESAID SIZE BUT FOR REASONS NOT DISCLOSED, THE JACKSONVILLE DISTRICT ENGINEER FIRST ISSUED SPECIFICATIONS CALLING FOR UNITS OF UNEQUAL SIZE. IT IS STATED FURTHER THAT A LARGE UNIT A AND SMALL UNIT IN THE EXISTING PLANT WOULD HAVE BEEN BASICALLY OBJECTIONABLE BECAUSE THE TWO UNITS WOULD NOT OFFER THE BEST OPERTAING CONDITIONS AND THE FIRM POWER CAPACITY OF THE PLANT WOULD HAVE BEEN REDUCED. ACCORDINGLY, THE CHIEF OF ENGINEERS WAS REQUESTED TO MODIFY THE SPECIFICATIONS TO ASSURE PROCUREMENT OF EQUIPMENT AS ORIGINALLY REQUESTED. ALSO, IT IS STATED THAT:

"ALTHOUGH ANY TWO OR MORE DIESEL ELECTRICAL GENERATORS WILL GENERALLY OPERATE IN PARALLEL AT CERTAIN LOADS AND SPEEDS, PROPER DISTRIBUTION OF LOADS UNDER VARYING DEMANDS IS DEPENDENT UPON THE SPEED DROOP CHARACTERISTICS OF THE GOVERNORS, OTHER FACTORS AFFECTING PARALLEL OPERATION BEING SATISFACTORY. REFERENCE IS MADE TO PAGE 40, PARAGRAPH 'UNIFORM GOVERNING' OF THE PUBLICATION 'STANDARD PRACTICES FOR STATIONARY DIESEL ENGINES' ISSUED BY THE DIESEL ENGINE MANUFACTURES ASSOCIATION, OF WHICH FAIRBANKS, MORSE AND COMPANY IS A MEMBER, QUOTE,

"'IF PRACTICAL, IT IS GENERALLY DESIRABLE TO EQUIP ALL UNITS IN A PLANT WITH GOVERNORS HAVING SIMILAR SPEED DROOP CHARACTERISTICS AS BY SO DOING, A CHANGE IN PERCENT OF TOTAL PLANT LOADING WILL BE REFLECTED IN A SIMILAR CHANGE IN LOADING OF THE INDIVIDUAL UNITS.'"

WITH REFERENCE TO THE SECOND GROUND OF YOUR PROTEST, THE DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE REPORTS THAT "A CYLINDER WITH THE WEARING MEMBER CAST INTEGRAL WITH THE WATER JACKET HAS BEEN ABANDONED BY ALL STATIONARY DIESEL ENGINE MANUFACTURERS IN THIS COUNTRY EXCEPT FAIRBANKS, MORSE AND COMPANY, AND A FEW MANUFACTURERS OF VERY SMALL DIESELS" AND THAT "IN THE PRESENT INSTANCE DUE TO THE HIGH AMBIENT TEMPERATURE OF THE AREA AND LACK OF ASSURANCE THAT JACKET COOLING WATER WOULD BE SCALE FREE, THE USE OF AN INTEGRALLY CAST WATER JACKET AND CYLINDER LINER WAS NOT CONSIDERED THE BEST DESIGN." HOWEVER, IT IS STATED ALSO THAT THIS AMENDMENT WAS NOT OF SUCH SUBSTANCE AS WOULD HAVE PREVENTED THE ACCEPTANCE OF YOUR UNITS IF YOUR BID HAD BEEN THE LOWEST RECEIVED AND OTHERWISE PROPER FOR ACCEPTANCE.

THE RESPONSIBILITY OF DETERMINING THE TYPE OF EQUIPMENT FOR USE AT THE BASE RESTED PRIMARILY WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE. WHEN SPECIFICATIONS STATE THE TYPE OF EQUIPMENT ACCURATELY AND REFLECT AN ACTUAL NEED, THEY ARE NOT NECESSARILY RESTRICTIVE MERELY BECAUSE THE EQUIPMENT OF CERTAIN MANUFACTURERS MAY FAIL TO MEET THEM. IN THE PRESENT INSTANCE, THE DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE HAS REPORTED THAT UNITS OF UNEQUAL RATING AS OFFERED BY YOU WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN SATISFACTORY AND IN THE BEST INTERESTS OF THE GOVERNMENT DUE TO CONDITIONS AT THE BASE WHICH WERE INVESTIGATED BEFORE THE SPECIFICATIONS WERE ISSUED. THEREFORE, THE SPECIFICATIONS REFLECTED AN ACTUAL NEED; AND IT MUST BE HELD THAT YOUR PROTEST IS WITHOUT SUFFICIENT MERIT TO JUSTIFY THIS OFFICE IN WITHHOLDING APPROVAL OF OTHERWISE PROPER PAYMENTS UNDER THE CONTRACT AWARDED TO THE LOW BIDDER.