B-142891, SEP. 8, 1960

B-142891: Sep 8, 1960

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TO SABRE AVIATION EQUIPMENT COMPANY: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR TELEGRAM OF MAY 12. THE BASIS FOR YOUR PROTEST IS THE ALLEGATION THAT "THE EVIDENCE SHOWN IN THE GOVERNMENT SPECIFICATION REGARDING THE MC1 SWEEPER (IS) THAT THE BLUEPRINTS AND SPECIFICATIONS RECEIVED MAY NOT BE AS PER THE GOVERNMENT SPECIFICATION REQUIREMENTS. TECHNICAL DEFICIENCIES WERE DISCOVERED IN PREVIOUSLY ACQUIRED UNITS WHICH HAD BEEN FABRICATED UNDER SIMILAR SPECIFICATIONS. IT WAS DEEMED ADVISABLE TO CANCEL THE INVITATION PRIOR TO OPENING. WHICH WAS DONE WITHOUT DISCLOSURE OF ANY QUOTED PRICES BY THE RETURN TO BIDDERS OF THEIR BIDS UNOPENED. CANCELLATION OF THE INVITATION WAS NOT PREJUDICIAL TO ANY BIDDER. WAS. THIS MATTER WAS THE SUBJECT OF THOROUGH CONSIDERATION BY US.

B-142891, SEP. 8, 1960

TO SABRE AVIATION EQUIPMENT COMPANY:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR TELEGRAM OF MAY 12, 1960, PROTESTING AGAINST THE AWARD OF A CONTRACT TO ANY BIDDER UNDER INVITATION FOR BIDS NO. IFB-40 -604-60-401, ISSUED BY THE MEMPHIS AIR FORCE DEPOT, FOR A QUANTITY OF AIRCRAFT RUNWAY VACUUM CLEANERS. THE BASIS FOR YOUR PROTEST IS THE ALLEGATION THAT "THE EVIDENCE SHOWN IN THE GOVERNMENT SPECIFICATION REGARDING THE MC1 SWEEPER (IS) THAT THE BLUEPRINTS AND SPECIFICATIONS RECEIVED MAY NOT BE AS PER THE GOVERNMENT SPECIFICATION REQUIREMENTS," AND THAT IT CAUSES UNDUE HARDSHIP WITH THE BIDDERS.

THE RECORD DISCLOSES THAT AFTER ISSUANCE OF THE SUBJECT INVITATION, TECHNICAL DEFICIENCIES WERE DISCOVERED IN PREVIOUSLY ACQUIRED UNITS WHICH HAD BEEN FABRICATED UNDER SIMILAR SPECIFICATIONS. RECTIFICATION OF THESE DEFECTS, WHICH INVOLVED EXCESSIVE EROSION OF THE STEEL FAN AND DUCT, NECESSITATED CHANGES IN THE SPECIFICATIONS AFFECTING BOTH THE QUALITY AND PRICE OF THE EQUIPMENT. IN VIEW OF THE TIME REQUIRED TO REVISE THE SPECIFICATIONS, IT WAS DEEMED ADVISABLE TO CANCEL THE INVITATION PRIOR TO OPENING, WHICH WAS DONE WITHOUT DISCLOSURE OF ANY QUOTED PRICES BY THE RETURN TO BIDDERS OF THEIR BIDS UNOPENED.

IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES, CANCELLATION OF THE INVITATION WAS NOT PREJUDICIAL TO ANY BIDDER, AND WAS, IN OUR VIEW, A PROPER EXERCISE OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE AUTHORITY VESTED IN THE PROCUREMENT OFFICIALS.

SO FAR AS CONCERNS YOUR PROTEST REGARDING THE INVITATION OPENED JUNE 16, 1958, THIS MATTER WAS THE SUBJECT OF THOROUGH CONSIDERATION BY US, AND YOU WERE ADVISED BY DECISION B-136704, SEPTEMBER 19, 1958, OF THE REASONS WHY WE REFUSED TO QUESTION THE ADMINISTRATIVE DETERMINATION THAT YOU SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED THE LOWEST RESPONSIBLE BIDDER. YOU DO NOT APPEAR TO HAVE COMPLAINED TO US, PRIOR TO YOUR TELEGRAM OF MAY 12, 1960, CONCERNING THE INVITATION OPENED OCTOBER 30, 1959, WHICH WAS CANCELLED BY LETTER DATED NOVEMBER 25, 1959, BECAUSE OF DEFICIENCIES IN THE SPECIFICATIONS. IT IS UNDERSTOOD, HOWEVER, THAT YOUR BID ON THAT INVITATION COULD NOT HAVE BEEN ACCEPTED EVEN IF THE INVITATION HAD NOT BEEN CANCELLED BECAUSE OF YOUR FAILURE TO ACKNOWLEDGE AMENDMENTS 1 AND 2 THERETO.

IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, WE MUST CONCLUDE THAT NO LEGAL BASIS EXISTS FOR QUESTIONING THE ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION TAKEN, AND YOUR PROTEST IS DENIED.