B-140677, NOV. 2, 1959

B-140677: Nov 2, 1959

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INC.: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED SEPTEMBER 3. TO FURNISH NEW AIRCRAFT PROPELLER BLADES AND THAT YOU HAVE BEEN ADVISED THAT THE BLADES FURNISHED THEREUNDER ARE NOT NEW. YOUR LETTER ALSO STATES THAT YOU HAVE INFORMATION THE CONTRACTING OFFICIALS HAVE DECIDED TO AMEND THE CONTRACT TO PERMIT THE CONTRACTOR TO FURNISH OVERHAULED BLADES. AS SECOND LOW BIDDER UNDER THE REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS ON WHICH THE CONTRACT IN QUESTION WAS AWARDED. THE DESCRIPTION OF THE BLADE ASSEMBLIES ALSO INCLUDED THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION: "RECONDITIONED ASSEMBLIES WILL BE ACCEPTABLE IF CERTIFIED TO BE IN CONDITION "A.'. MAJOR REPAIR AND ALTERATION FORM ACA-337 MUST BE FURNISHED FOR EACH ASSEMBLY CERTIFYING THAT BLADES AND COMPONENT PARTS HAVE BEEN INSPECTED AND RECONDITIONED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE REQUIREMENTS OF AIR FORCE TECHNICAL ORDERS 3H1-1-43-OVERHAUL INSTRUCTIONS FOR ALUMINUM ALLOY PROPELLER BLADES.

B-140677, NOV. 2, 1959

TO PACIFIC PROPELLER, INC.:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED SEPTEMBER 3, 1959, IN WHICH YOU ADVISE THAT ROCK ISLAND ARSENAL AWARDED A CONTRACT TO AIRCRAFT SUPPLIES, INC., TO FURNISH NEW AIRCRAFT PROPELLER BLADES AND THAT YOU HAVE BEEN ADVISED THAT THE BLADES FURNISHED THEREUNDER ARE NOT NEW. YOUR LETTER ALSO STATES THAT YOU HAVE INFORMATION THE CONTRACTING OFFICIALS HAVE DECIDED TO AMEND THE CONTRACT TO PERMIT THE CONTRACTOR TO FURNISH OVERHAULED BLADES, AND THAT YOUR COMPANY, AS SECOND LOW BIDDER UNDER THE REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS ON WHICH THE CONTRACT IN QUESTION WAS AWARDED, CONSIDERS EITHER THE ACCEPTANCE OF USED BLADES UNDER THE CONTRACT AS PRESENTLY CONSTITUTED, OR THE AMENDMENT OF SUCH CONTRACT TO PERMIT THE CONTRACTOR TO FURNISH OVERHAULED BLADES, AS CONSTITUTING A BASIS FOR CANCELLATION OF THE PRESENT CONTRACT AND AWARDING A NEW CONTRACT TO YOUR COMPANY.

OUR INVESTIGATION INTO THIS MATTER INDICATES THAT REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS NO. 59W-13 ORIGINALLY ASKED FOR PROPOSALS ON SUPPLYING 133 MATED PAIRS OF PROPELLER BLADE ASSEMBLIES, PART NO. 6101A-18 OF THE HAMILTON MANUFACTURING CO., INC., OR EQUAL. THE DESCRIPTION OF THE BLADE ASSEMBLIES ALSO INCLUDED THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION:

"RECONDITIONED ASSEMBLIES WILL BE ACCEPTABLE IF CERTIFIED TO BE IN CONDITION "A.' C.A.A. MAJOR REPAIR AND ALTERATION FORM ACA-337 MUST BE FURNISHED FOR EACH ASSEMBLY CERTIFYING THAT BLADES AND COMPONENT PARTS HAVE BEEN INSPECTED AND RECONDITIONED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE REQUIREMENTS OF AIR FORCE TECHNICAL ORDERS 3H1-1-43-OVERHAUL INSTRUCTIONS FOR ALUMINUM ALLOY PROPELLER BLADES, DATED 1/1/58 AND 3H4 2-1 COUNTERWEIGHT PROPELLERS, REV. 1, AUGUST 1957. CONFIGURATION OF BLADE TIPS SHALL BE ROUND IN ACCORDANCE WITH BASIC BLADE DESIGN.'

UNDER DATE OF MARCH 3, 1959, EIGHT BIDDERS WERE REQUESTED TO ADVISE THE CONTRACTING OFFICER WHETHER THEIR PROPOSALS WERE BASED UPON RECONDITIONED BLADES AND, IF SO, THEY WERE REQUESTED TO SUBMIT PROPOSALS FOR FURNISHING NEW BLADES. THIS REQUEST RESULTED IN ADVICE FROM BIDDERS THAT THERE WERE NO NEW 6101-A18 BLADES IN EXISTENCE BUT THAT NEW BLADES OF LONGER LENGTHS COULD BE MODIFIED TO COMPLY WITH THE ORIGINAL FACTORY DIMENSIONS AND TOLERANCES OF THE 6101-A18 BLADES.

ON MARCH 26, 1959, YOU AND OTHER BIDDERS WERE THEREFORE ADVISED THAT THE ABOVE-QUOTED PORTION OF THE REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS WAS AMENDED TO READ AS FOLLOWS:

"BLADE ASSEMBLIES SHALL BE WITHIN ORIGINAL HAMILTON STANDARD FACTORY NEW PRODUCTION TOLERANCES AS SPECIFIED ON APPLICABLE HAMILTON STANDARD DRAWINGS. ASSEMBLIES SHALL BE IN UNUSED CONDITION (NOT OVERHAULED) AND MAY BE MODIFIED FROM LONGER LENGTHS.'

ON MARCH 27 YOU ADVISED THAT THE BLADE ASSEMBLIES OFFERED BY YOUR PROPOSAL WERE IN UNUSED CONDITION, NOT OVERHAULED, MODIFIED FROM LONGER LENGTH, AND WITHIN THE ORIGINAL HAMILTON STANDARD FACTORY NEW PRODUCTION TOLERANCE AS SPECIFIED ON APPLICABLE HAMILTON STANDARD DRAWINGS. YOU ALSO CONFIRMED YOUR BID PRICE OF $500 PER PAIR ON A QUANTITY OF 133 PAIRS, WHICH PRICE YOU REDUCED TO $470 PER PAIR ON APRIL 29.

ON MARCH 27 AIRCRAFT SUPPLIES ALSO CONFIRMED ITS BID PRICE OF $389 PER PAIR FOR FURNISHING BLADE ASSEMBLIES MODIFIED FROM LONGER BLADE LENGTHS WITH ALL DIMENSIONS EQUIVALENT TO ORIGINAL HAMILTON STANDARD FACTORY NEW PRODUCTION TOLERANCES. IT THEREFORE APPEARS THAT BOTH YOUR COMPANY AND AIRCRAFT SUPPLIES WERE PROPOSING TO FURNISH IDENTICAL EQUIPMENT, AND CONTRACT NO. DA-11-070-508-ORD-875, REQUIRING PERFORMANCE IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE AMENDED REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS, WAS THEREFORE AWARDED TO AIRCRAFT SUPPLIES AS LOW BIDDER.

OUR INVESTIGATION HAS FAILED TO DIVULGE ANY EVIDENCE THAT THE CONTRACTOR HAS FAILED TO COMPLY WITH ITS OBLIGATIONS, OR THAT THE BLADE ASSEMBLIES FURNISHED DO NOT MEET THE CONTRACT REQUIREMENTS. WHILE THE CONTRACT CALLS FOR "UNUSED" BLADES, AND YOUR PROTEST ALLEGES THAT THE BLADES FURNISHED ARE NOT "NEW," WE CONSIDER THE TERMS IN THIS CASE TO BE SYNONYMOUS. THE INSPECTION DEPARTMENT AT ROCK ISLAND ARSENAL, AS A RESULT OF YOUR PROTEST, WAS ALTERED TO THE POSSIBILITY THAT USED BLADES MIGHT BE OFFERED BY THE CONTRACTOR. SUBSEQUENT INSPECTIONS BY THAT DEPARTMENT HAVE ESTABLISHED THAT THE BLADES RECEIVED ARE, IN FACT, UNUSED.

CONCERNING YOUR ALLEGATION THAT CONTRACTING OFFICIALS HAVE DECIDED TO AMEND THE CONTRACT TO ACCEPT OVERHAULED BLADES, THE CONTRACTING OFFICER HAS ADVISED THAT HE HAS NO INTENTION OF SO MODIFYING THE CONTRACT.

IN VIEW OF THE ABOVE, THERE WOULD APPEAR TO BE NO BASIS UPON WHICH THIS OFFICE WOULD BE JUSTIFIED IN QUESTIONING THE AWARD OR ADMINISTRATION OF THE CONTRACT, AND YOUR PROTEST MUST THEREFORE BE DENIED.