B-123771, JUL. 8, 1955

B-123771: Jul 8, 1955

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TO ENGINEERING ENTERPRISES INCORPORATED: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 26. PROTESTING THAT DRAWINGS WERE NOT MADE AVAILABLE TO INTERESTED BIDDERS UNDER INVITATION FOR BIDS IFB-600-1302-55. YOU CONTEND THAT THIS PRACTICE IS RESTRICTIVE AND EVIDENCES A DESIRE ON THE PART OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY TO PLACE CONTRACTS WITH CERTAIN COMPANIES WHILE EXCLUDING OTHER FIRMS FROM SUBMITTING BIDS. YOU STATE THAT "THERE IS INVOLVED IN THIS PROCUREMENT. IF IT WERE NOT INCLUDED IN THE BIDS BY A POTENTIAL CONTRACTOR. IS THE ONLY COMPANY HAVING COMPLETE KNOWLEDGE OF THE EQUIPMENT CALLED FOR BY THE INVITATION FOR BIDS. THE DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY HAS REPORTED THAT THE INVITATION FOR BIDS CLEARLY INDICATED THAT COPIES OF THE SPECIFICATION WERE OBTAINABLE UPON APPLICATION TO THE COMMANDING OFFICER.

B-123771, JUL. 8, 1955

TO ENGINEERING ENTERPRISES INCORPORATED:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 26, 1955, PROTESTING THAT DRAWINGS WERE NOT MADE AVAILABLE TO INTERESTED BIDDERS UNDER INVITATION FOR BIDS IFB-600-1302-55.

YOU STATE THAT THE DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY ADVERTISED FOR THE PROCUREMENT OF SEARCHLIGHT CONTROL EQUIPMENT BUT DID NOT MAKE THE DRAWINGS AND THE MODEL OF THE EQUIPMENT DESIRED AVAILABLE FOR REVIEW BY PROSPECTIVE BIDDERS. YOU CONTEND THAT THIS PRACTICE IS RESTRICTIVE AND EVIDENCES A DESIRE ON THE PART OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY TO PLACE CONTRACTS WITH CERTAIN COMPANIES WHILE EXCLUDING OTHER FIRMS FROM SUBMITTING BIDS. ADDITION, YOU STATE THAT "THERE IS INVOLVED IN THIS PROCUREMENT, A MODIFICATION, WHICH, IF IT WERE NOT INCLUDED IN THE BIDS BY A POTENTIAL CONTRACTOR, COULD EXCLUDE HIM FROM BEING CONSIDERED AS HAVING SUBMITTED A RESPONSIVE BID.' YOU ALLEGE, THEREFORE, THAT THE STRONG ELECTRIC COMPANY, THE FIRM CURRENTLY MANUFACTURING THE EQUIPMENT, IS THE ONLY COMPANY HAVING COMPLETE KNOWLEDGE OF THE EQUIPMENT CALLED FOR BY THE INVITATION FOR BIDS.

WITH REGARD TO THE UNAVAILABILITY OF DRAWINGS AND MODEL OF THE EQUIPMENT, THE DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY HAS REPORTED THAT THE INVITATION FOR BIDS CLEARLY INDICATED THAT COPIES OF THE SPECIFICATION WERE OBTAINABLE UPON APPLICATION TO THE COMMANDING OFFICER, NAVAL AIR STATION, JOHNSVILLE, PENNSYLVANIA, AND THAT THE DRAWINGS WERE NOT CONSIDERED NECESSARY FOR BIDDING PURPOSES AND WERE INTENDED TO BE FURNISHED ONLY TO THE SUCCESSFUL BIDDER. IN VIEW OF THIS EXPLANATION AND HAVING REGARD FOR THE FACT THAT IT IS NOT AN USUAL PRACTICE TO MAKE DRAWINGS OR STANDARD MODELS AVAILABLE WHEN DETAILED SPECIFICATIONS ARE OBTAINABLE, AS IN THIS CASE, IT DOES NOT APPEAR THAT THE FAILURE TO FURNISH THE DRAWINGS AND WORKING MODEL OF THE EQUIPMENT WAS PREJUDICIAL TO PROSPECTIVE BIDDERS.

REGARDING YOUR ALLEGATION THAT THE PROCUREMENT INVOLVED A MODIFICATION WHICH WAS NOT MADE KNOWN TO ALL PROSPECTIVE BIDDERS, IT IS REPORTED BY THE NAVY THAT THE MODIFICATION WAS NOT DESIRED FOR THE 70 SEARCHLIGHT CONTROLS INVOLVED NOR REQUIRED BY THE SPECIFICATION. ONLY SEARCHLIGHT CONTROLS WHICH WERE IDENTICAL AND INTERCHANGEABLE WITH THOSE CARRIED IN THE AVIATION SUPPLY SYSTEM WERE DESIRED IN THIS INSTANCE. IT WOULD SEEM, THEREFORE, THAT, CONTRARY TO YOUR ALLEGATION, A PROSPECTIVE BIDDER COULD SUBMIT A RESPONSIVE BID WITHOUT HAVING KNOWLEDGE OF THE MODIFICATION TO WHICH YOU REFER.

THE DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY ALSO REPORTED THAT ON MAY 11 THE NAVY PURCHASING OFFICE ADVISED ALL BIDDERS THAT THE INVITATION FOR BID HAD BEEN CANCELLED BECAUSE THE SEARCHLIGHT CONTROLS WERE NO LONGER REQUIRED. INASMUCH AS A CONTRACT WAS NOT AWARDED IN THIS CASE AND SINCE IT APPEARS THAT THE ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION WAS NOT PREJUDICIAL TO PROSPECTIVE BIDDERS, WE WOULD NOT BE JUSTIFIED IN TAKING ANY FURTHER ACTION IN THE MATTER.