B-117073, FEB 5, 1954

B-117073: Feb 5, 1954

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INC.: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 14. EXAMINATION OF THE REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS FORMING THE BASIS OF THE PROCUREMENT SHOWS THAT IT SPECIFICALLY APPRISED ALL BIDDERS THAT THE GOVERNMENT WAS PLACING THE PROCUREMENT ON A NEGOTIATED BASIS AND THUS RESERVED "THE RIGHTS INHERENT IN NEGOTIATION. PROSPECTIVE BIDDERS WERE FURTHER INFORMED THAT THEIR FACILITIES. THE DEPARTMENT'S REPORT FURNISHES THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION WITH REGARD TO THE BASIS OF YOUR PROTEST: THE METHOD EMPLOYED BY THE AIR FORCE IN EVALUATING SAMPLES SUBMITTED BY BIDDERS WAS THE RESULT OF CONSIDERABLE CONSULTATION AND LENGTHY STUDY FOR THE PURPOSE OF DEVISING THE MOST EQUITABLE MEANS OF AWARDING CONTRACTS IN THIS DIFFICULT AREA OF PROCUREMENT.

B-117073, FEB 5, 1954

PRECIS-UNAVAILABLE

ASSOCIATED TECHNICAL WRITERS, INC.:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 14, 1953, AND SUBSEQUENT CORRESPONDENCE, PROTESTING THE ACTION OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE IN REFUSING TO MAKE AN AWARD OF A CONTRACT TO YOU COVERING CERTAIN TECHNICAL TRANSLATION WORK.

IN RESPONSE TO A REQUEST OF THIS OFFICE THE DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE, BY LETTER DATED JANUARY 6, 1954, TRANSMITTED A COMPLETE REPORT IN THE MATTER.

EXAMINATION OF THE REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS FORMING THE BASIS OF THE PROCUREMENT SHOWS THAT IT SPECIFICALLY APPRISED ALL BIDDERS THAT THE GOVERNMENT WAS PLACING THE PROCUREMENT ON A NEGOTIATED BASIS AND THUS RESERVED "THE RIGHTS INHERENT IN NEGOTIATION; INCLUDING REJECTION OF ANY OR ALL PROPOSALS, NEGOTIATION WITH ANY SOURCE, AND PLACEMENT OF THE PROCUREMENT ON WHATEVER BASIS *** DETERMINED TO BE MOST ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT." PROSPECTIVE BIDDERS WERE FURTHER INFORMED THAT THEIR FACILITIES, BACKGROUND, EXPERIENCE AND PERSONNEL WOULD BE CONSIDERED IN MAKING AWARD, AS WOULD BE THE SAMPLE TRANSLATIONS SUBMITTED.

THE DEPARTMENT'S REPORT FURNISHES THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION WITH REGARD TO THE BASIS OF YOUR PROTEST:

THE METHOD EMPLOYED BY THE AIR FORCE IN EVALUATING SAMPLES SUBMITTED BY BIDDERS WAS THE RESULT OF CONSIDERABLE CONSULTATION AND LENGTHY STUDY FOR THE PURPOSE OF DEVISING THE MOST EQUITABLE MEANS OF AWARDING CONTRACTS IN THIS DIFFICULT AREA OF PROCUREMENT, AND EVERY EFFORT WAS MADE TO AVOID ANY POSSIBLE CHARGE OF FAVORITISM.

BIDDERS' SAMPLES, AFTER RECEIPT BY THE RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT BRANCH OF THE PROCUREMENT DIVISION, WERE EACH ASSIGNED A NUMBER (NO IDENTIFICATION OF THE BIDDER APPEARED ON ITS SAMPLE) AND FORWARDED TO THE TECHNICAL SERVICES DIVISION OF THE AIR TECHNICAL INTELLIGENCE CENTER (ATIC) FOR EVALUATION. THE MASTER LIST RELATING THE CODE NUMBER ON THE SAMPLES TO THE NAMES OF THE SUBMITTING BIDDER WAS KEPT UNDER LOCK AND KEY AT ALL TIMES IN THE PROCUREMENT DIVISION, AND THUS EVERY REASONABLE PRECAUTION WAS TAKEN TO PREVENT TRANSLATORS AND EVALUATORS IN THE INTELLIGENCE CENTER FROM DETERMINING THE IDENTITY OF THE BIDDER WHOSE SAMPLES WERE BEING APPRAISED.

EVALUATION OF THE SAMPLES WAS ACCOMPLISHED BY ATIC PERSONNEL WHO WERE, IN THE OPINION OF THE AIR FORCE, FULLY EQUIPPED TO PERFORM THIS TASK. TRANSLATORS WHO WERE THOROUGHLY CONVERSANT WITH THE LANGUAGE INVOLVED AND QUALIFIED IN THE FIELD OF TECHNICAL TRANSLATIONS WERE ASSIGNED TO THE PROJECT, AND ATIC ENGINEERS WERE AVAILABLE TO THEM AT ALL TIMES TO RENDER ASSISTANCE AND ADVICE, IN THE EVENT SUCH WAS NEEDED, WITH RESPECT TO SCIENTIFIC MATTERS AND TECHNICAL TERMS INVOLVED IN THE SAMPLE TRANSLATIONS.

THE SAMPLES WERE EVALUATED FOR TECHNICAL ACCURACY, EDITING AND REPRODUCTION QUALITIES. EACH SAMPLE TRANSLATION WAS EVALUATED SINGLY, FOR TECHNICAL ACCURACY, BY EACH OF THREE TRANSLATORS. AFTER INDIVIDUAL RATTINGS WERE LISTED, THE TRANSLATORS MET AS A GROUP TO RESOLVE INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES OF OPINION, IF SUCH DIFFERENCES EXISTED. THE SAME SYSTEM WAS USED BY EDITING AND REPRODUCTION PERSONNEL IN EVALUATING THE SAMPLES FOR EDITING AND REPRODUCTION QUALITIES.

THE FOLLOWING SUMMARY OF REASONS FOR THE SELECTION OF THE SUCCESSFUL BIDDERS AND THE REJECTION OF YOUR BID HAS BEEN FURNISHED BY COGNIZANT AIR FORCE PERSONNEL:

LANGUAGE SERVICE BUREAU. THIS COMPANY'S SAMPLES WERE HIGHLY RATED AND ITS PRICE WAS THE BEST OF THOSE SOURCES TECHNICALLY ACCEPTABLE. ITS EXPERIENCE RECORD WITH OTHER GOVERNMENT AGENCIES WAS EXCELLENT AND THE RESULTS OF AN EVALUATION TRIP TO ITS PLANT WERE SATISFACTORY.

ASSOCIATE SCIENCE TRANSLATORS. THIS COMPANY'S SAMPLES RATED VERY WELL AND ITS PRICE RATED SECOND, AFTER ELIMINATION OF SOURCES NOT TECHNICALLY ACCEPTABLE. NO EXPERIENCE RECORD FROM OTHER AGENCIES WAS AVAILABLE, BUT THE RESULTS OF AN EVALUATION TRIP TO ITS PLANT WERE SATISFACTORY.

ASSOCIATED TECHNICAL WRITERS. THIS COMPANY'S SAMPLES WERE CLEARLY UNSATISFACTORY. ITS PRICE ALSO WOULD HAVE PRECLUDED CONSIDERATION, BEING NINTH AMONG ALL BIDDERS.

THUS, IT WOULD APPEAR CLEAR THAT THE CHOICE OF CONTRACTORS FOR THIS PROCUREMENT WAS A FAIR AND UNBIASED ONE, RESULTING IN AWARD TO THE TWO FIRMS WHOSE PRICE PROPOSALS WERE THE BEST RECEIVED, AFTER ELIMINATION OF UNQUALIFIED AND TECHNICALLY UNACCEPTABLE BIDDERS. THE ALLEGATIONS OF FAVORITISM TOWARD MR. FANTEL'S ORGANIZATION WOULD SEEM TO BE REFUTED BY THE PAINSTAKING METHODS USED IN MAKING THIS PROCUREMENT AND THE FACT THAT AWARDS WERE MADE TO THE LOWEST QUALIFIED SOURCES. IN ADDITION, HOWEVER, THE DEPARTMENT HAS CAREFULLY EXAMINED SUCH ALLEGATIONS BOTH WITH REGARD TO THIS AND PREVIOUS PROCUREMENTS. DESPITE THE GREAT AMOUNT OF TIME AND MONEY EXPENDED IN INVESTIGATING SUCH PROTESTS IN NO CASE HAS SUCH INVESTIGATION DISCLOSED THAT ANY AWARD WAS MADE AS A RESULT OF FAVORITISM.

IT SHOULD ALSO BE POINTED OUT THAT, CONTRARY TO YOUR CONTENTION, THE SUCCESSFUL BIDDERS HAVE PROVED COMPETENT, AND THEIR WORK THUS FAR SUBMITTED HAS BEEN SATISFACTORY. AS OF THE END OF NOVEMBER, 1953, A TOTAL OF NINE COMPLETED TRANSLATIONS WERE RECEIVED FROM THE PRESENT CONTRACTORS. EACH TRANSLATION WAS PROCESSED BY COGNIZANT PERSONNEL OF ATIC FOR (A) TECHNICAL ACCURACY, (B) GRAMMATICAL CORRECTNESS, (C) ADEQUACY OF ART WORK, (D) ADEQUACY OF REPRODUCTION, (E) ADEQUACY OF EDITING, (F) SPEED OF ACCOMPLISHMENT, AND (G) COMPLIANCE WITH INSTRUCTIONS; AND EACH TRANSLATION HAS BEEN ACCEPTED AS SATISFACTORY IN ALL PHASES.

ACCORDINGLY, IT MUST BE CONCLUDED THAT YOUR PROTEST IS WITHOUT SUFFICIENT MERIT TO JUSTIFY THIS OFFICE IN QUESTIONING THE ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION TAKEN IN THE MATTER.