B-142392, SEP. 7, 1960

B-142392: Sep 7, 1960

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TO AMPEX DATA PRODUCTS COMPANY: REFERENCE IS MADE TO COPY OF YOUR LETTER DATED MARCH 11. IT IS CONTENDED. CERTAIN OTHER MINOR COLLATERAL ISSUES WERE RAISED. ONE BEING THAT QUESTIONS RELATIVE TO THE SPECIFICATIONS WERE REQUIRED TO BE SUBMITTED AT LEAST TEN DAYS PRIOR TO BID OPENING. ALTHOUGH THE INVITATION WAS NOT ISSUED UNTIL TEN DAYS BEFORE OPENING. WAS AN OVERSIGHT ON THE PART OF THE PROCUREMENT OFFICIALS AND IS SO ACKNOWLEDGED. THEREFORE THE DELAY IN ITS DELIVERY TO THE CONTRACTING OFFICER IS CHARGEABLE TO NAVY YARD PERSONNEL. UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES IT IS APPARENT THAT NEITHER POINT IS PREJUDICIAL TO THE OTHER BIDDERS OR DO THEY CONSTITUTE JUSTIFICATION FOR DISREGARDING THE LOCKHEED BID.

B-142392, SEP. 7, 1960

TO AMPEX DATA PRODUCTS COMPANY:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO COPY OF YOUR LETTER DATED MARCH 11, 1960, TO THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF THE NAVY, PROTESTING AGAINST THE AWARD OF A CONTRACT TO LOCKHEED AIRCRAFT CORPORATION UNDER INVITATION FOR BIDS NO. IFB-151-208-60, ISSUED BY THE PHILADELPHIA NAVAL SHIPYARD, FOR CERTAIN TAPE RECORDER EQUIPMENT AND RELATED COMPONENTS. IT IS CONTENDED, IN SUBSTANCE, THAT THE EQUIPMENT OFFERED BY THE LOW BIDDER DOES NOT MEET THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE INVITATION AND THEREFORE THE AWARD SHOULD BE CANCELLED AND AWARD MADE TO YOU AS THE LOWEST RESPONSIVE BIDDER.

CERTAIN OTHER MINOR COLLATERAL ISSUES WERE RAISED, ONE BEING THAT QUESTIONS RELATIVE TO THE SPECIFICATIONS WERE REQUIRED TO BE SUBMITTED AT LEAST TEN DAYS PRIOR TO BID OPENING, ALTHOUGH THE INVITATION WAS NOT ISSUED UNTIL TEN DAYS BEFORE OPENING. THAT, OF COURSE, WAS AN OVERSIGHT ON THE PART OF THE PROCUREMENT OFFICIALS AND IS SO ACKNOWLEDGED. HOWEVER, IT HAS NO EFFECT UPON THE MERITS OF YOUR PROTEST. AS TO THE TIME OF RECEIPT OF THE LOCKHEED BID IT HAS BEEN ESTABLISHED THAT THE PARCEL ARRIVED AT THE FACILITY AT 8:15 A.M., AND THEREFORE THE DELAY IN ITS DELIVERY TO THE CONTRACTING OFFICER IS CHARGEABLE TO NAVY YARD PERSONNEL. UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES IT IS APPARENT THAT NEITHER POINT IS PREJUDICIAL TO THE OTHER BIDDERS OR DO THEY CONSTITUTE JUSTIFICATION FOR DISREGARDING THE LOCKHEED BID.

WITH RESPECT TO YOUR ALLEGATION THAT THE LOW BID WAS NOT RESPONSIVE, THE RECORD SHOWS THAT WHILE THE PRINTED PORTION OF THE BID WAS GENERAL IN NATURE, AND FAILED TO DESCRIBE EQUIPMENT DEEMED ADEQUATE TO MEET THE SPECIFICATIONS, THE REMAINING PORTION OF THE BID WAS DEEMED SUFFICIENTLY SPECIFIC TO OVERCOME THE FOREGOING GENERAL DESCRIPTION OF THE PROPOSED UNIT. ALSO, THE BIDDER STATED SPECIFICALLY THAT IT "TAKES NO DEVIATIONS TO THE SUBJECT SPECIFICATIONS AND WILL MANUFACTURE SAID EQUIPMENT IN STRICT ACCORDANCE THERETO.' BY LETTER DATED JUNE 16, 1960, YOUR ATTORNEY FORWARDED CERTAIN ADDITIONAL PAPERS PURPORTING TO SHOW THAT THE EQUIPMENT OFFERED IN THE LOCKHEED BID WILL NOT COMPLY WITH THE TECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS OF THE INVITATION. IN RESPONSE TO OUR REQUEST THAT THE SUPPLEMENTAL DATA BE REVIEWED BY QUALIFIED EXPERTS IN THE DEPARTMENT, WE RECEIVED A REPORT DATED JULY 26, 1960, FROM THE ASSISTANT CHIEF OF THE BUREAU OF SHIPS FOR TECHNICAL LOGISTICS. THE SAID REPORT STATES THAT THE MAJOR ITEM ON WHICH THERE HAS BEEN A QUESTION RAISED IS FLUTTER OR JITTER. IN THAT REGARD THE REPORT STATES IN PERTINENT PART AS FOLLOWS:

"* * * AMPEX, IN THEIR CLAIM, HAS TAKEN A VALUE OF JITTER THAT OCCURRED IN A LOCKHEED MACHINE DESIGNED PREVIOUS TO THE MACHINE CURRENTLY BEING PROPOSED AND HAS TRANSLATED THIS VALUE OF JITTER MATHEMATICALLY INTO A VALUE OF FLUTTER WHICH CAN BE COMPARED TO THE SPECIFICATIONS STATED FOR THE AMPEX RECORDER. THE BUREAU OF SHIPS CONCURS WITH THE TECHNIQUE OF ANALYSIS USED BY AMPEX, HOWEVER, THE RESULTS OBTAINED ARE NOT CONSIDERED PERTINENT TO THE BASIC ARGUMENT. INASMUCH AS THE DESIGN OF THE EQUIPMENT BEING PROPOSED HAS UNDERGONE BASIC CHANGE FROM THAT ON WHICH THE ANALYSIS IS MADE, NO RELATIONSHIP CAN BE ESTABLISHED WHICH IS MEANINGFUL IN ANY DEGREE. THE LOCKHEED PROPOSAL STATES SPECIFICALLY THAT THE EQUIPMENT OFFERED WILL MEET THE REQUIREMENTS FOR FLUTTER. TECHNIQUES FOR MEASUREMENT OF FLUTTER ARE STANDARDIZED AND THE LOCKHEED EQUIPMENT CAN BE MEASURED AT THE NBTL TO GUARANTEE COMPLIANCE.

"IN ADDITION TO MAJOR POINTS, AMPEX MAKES A COMPARISON OF SEVERAL OTHER MINOR POINTS BETWEEN THEIR AR-200 AND FR-600 AND THE LOCKHEED 150067 AND CTR-1. THESE COMPARISONS DEAL WITH POINTS ON WHICH THE MACHINES ARE DIFFERENT BUT NOT NECESSARILY ONE APPROACH BETTER THAN THE OTHER. * * *"

THE REPORT LISTS SEVERAL DIFFERENT ENGINEERING FEATURES INCORPORATED IN THE TWO UNITS WHICH ATTAIN THE SAME RESULT, AND CONCLUDES "THAT THE MACHINES QUOTED ON BY AMPEX AND LOCKHEED ARE EQUAL IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE SUBJECT IFB REQUIREMENTS.'

THE DETERMINATION OF WHETHER A BID IS RESPONSIVE PRIMARILY IS THE FUNCTION OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICERS CONCERNED, AND IN THE ABSENCE OF A SHOWING OF BAD FAITH OR LACK OF REASONABLE FACTUAL BASIS FOR THE DETERMINATION AWARD TO A LOW BIDDER WILL NOT BE QUESTIONED.

SINCE THE LOCKHEED BID IS SUBSTANTIALLY LOWER THAN YOUR OFFER, AND SINCE THE EVALUATION OF THE LOW BID APPEARS TO CONSTITUTE A BONA FIDE DETERMINATION AS TO ITS RESPONSIVENESS, AWARD OF THE CONTRACT AS MADE WILL NOT BE DISTURBED.