B-143428, OCT. 20, 1960

B-143428: Oct 20, 1960

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WE ARE ADDRESSING OUR REPLY TO YOU AS REQUESTED BY MR. THERE ARE QUOTED BELOW THE PERTINENT EXTRACTS FROM A REPORT FURNISHED OUR OFFICE BY THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF THE NAVY (MATERIAL): "AN OSCILLOSCOPE IS A GENERAL PURPOSE ELECTRONIC TEST INSTRUMENT. WHICH AMONG OTHER USES IS ESSENTIAL TO THE ROUTINE OPERATION AND MAINTENANCE OF PRIME ELECTRONIC EQUIPMENT SUCH AS RADAR. THE NATURE AND EXTENT OF PRIME (AS DISTINGUISHED FROM TEST) ELECTRONIC HARDWARE THAT IS NECESSARY FO TODAY'S NAVY IS SUCH THAT ABOUT 30-35 PERCENT OF THE TOTAL COST OF A COMBATANT VESSEL GOES FOR SUCH EQUIPMENTS. AIRCRAFT OR COMMUNICATIONS STATION IN WHICH IT IS INSTALLED SUFFERS. PRIME ELECTRONIC EQUIPMENT IS SO COMPLEX AND VITAL THAT ITS DAY-TO-DAY OPERATION.

B-143428, OCT. 20, 1960

TO SULLIVAN, SHEA AND KENNEY:

BY LETTER DATED JUNE 30, 1960, WITH ENCLOSURES, LAVOIE LABORATORIES, INC., PROTESTED AGAINST THE NEGOTIATED PROCUREMENT OF CERTAIN OSCILLOSCOPES BY THE BUREAU OF SHIPS, DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY, FROM THE HEWLETT-PACKARD COMPANY. WE ARE ADDRESSING OUR REPLY TO YOU AS REQUESTED BY MR. RICHARD LAUFER, TREASURER, LAVOIE LABORATORIES, INC.

IN ORDER THAT YOU MIGHT BE FULLY APPRISED OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE JUSTIFICATION FOR THE PROCUREMENT AS MADE, THERE ARE QUOTED BELOW THE PERTINENT EXTRACTS FROM A REPORT FURNISHED OUR OFFICE BY THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF THE NAVY (MATERIAL):

"AN OSCILLOSCOPE IS A GENERAL PURPOSE ELECTRONIC TEST INSTRUMENT, WHICH AMONG OTHER USES IS ESSENTIAL TO THE ROUTINE OPERATION AND MAINTENANCE OF PRIME ELECTRONIC EQUIPMENT SUCH AS RADAR, SONAR, RADIO COMMUNICATION AND NAVIGATION EQUIPMENT. THE NATURE AND EXTENT OF PRIME (AS DISTINGUISHED FROM TEST) ELECTRONIC HARDWARE THAT IS NECESSARY FO TODAY'S NAVY IS SUCH THAT ABOUT 30-35 PERCENT OF THE TOTAL COST OF A COMBATANT VESSEL GOES FOR SUCH EQUIPMENTS. A PRIME ELECTRONIC EQUIPMENT MUST OPERATE AT DESIGNED OR PEAK PERFORMANCE; OTHERWISE THE SHIP, AIRCRAFT OR COMMUNICATIONS STATION IN WHICH IT IS INSTALLED SUFFERS, NOT JUST A LOSS IN EFFICIENCY THAT CAN BE TOLERATED, BUT A LOSS OF ONE OR MORE OF THE CAPABILITIES ESSENTIAL TO ITS MISSION. PRIME ELECTRONIC EQUIPMENT IS SO COMPLEX AND VITAL THAT ITS DAY-TO-DAY OPERATION, AS WELL AS ITS MAINTENANCE, BY OPERATING FORCES REQUIRES TEST EQUIPMENT TO DETERMINE WHETHER THE PRIME EQUIPMENT IS OPERATING SATISFACTORILY AND PERFORMING THE VITAL FUNCTIONS FOR WHICH IT IS DESIGNED. SUCH TEST EQUIPMENT ITSELF HAS TO BE PERIODICALLY CHECKED AND TESTED AGAINST STANDARDS REFERRING ULTIMATELY TO THOSE OF THE NATIONAL BUREAU OF STANDARDS.

"THE COST OF SUCH TEST EQUIPMENT WOULD AVERAGE ABOUT 30 PERCENT OF PRIME EQUIPMENT COSTS IF, EVERY TIME WE PROCURED A PRIME EQUIPMENT, WE BOUGHT THE INSTRUMENTS NECESSARY FOR ITS OPERATIONAL TESTING. WE CAN HOLD THE RELATIVE COST TO 5-10 PERCENT THROUGH THE UTILIZATION OF GENERAL PURPOSE TEST EQUIPMENT SUITABLE FOR CALIBRATING AND OTHERWISE TESTING VARIOUS KINDS AND QUANTITIES OF PRIME EQUIPMENT IN ANY ONE LOCALITY, SUCH AS A SHIP OR AIR STATION. UNFORTUNATELY THIS APPROACH HAS ITS DRAWBACKS, AS IT IS NOT ALWAYS POSSIBLE OR FEASIBLE TO DETERMINE UNTIL AFTER A PRIME EQUIPMENT IS DELIVERED WHAT TEST EQUIPMENT IS NEEDED FOR IT, AND THEN IT OFTEN TURNS OUT THAT NO SUITABLE MILITARY TEST EQUIPMENT IS ON HAND. SUCH CASES WE ARE FORCED TO OBTAIN THE CLOSEST COMMERCIAL EQUIVALENT AS AN INTERIM MEASURE OR PROCURE MILITARY TEST INSTRUMENTS ON THE BASIS OF AN URGENT NEED, OR BOTH. THAT SITUATION OCCURRED HERE.

"DEVELOPMENTS AND IMPROVEMENTS IN THE FAST MOVING FIELD OF PRIME ELECTRONIC EQUIPMENTS REQUIRE COMMENSURATE ADVANCES IN TEST EQUIPMENT. FOR EXAMPLE, MANY TEST MEASUREMENTS MUST BE MADE A HUNDRED TIMES MORE ACCURATELY NOW THAN DURING THE KOREAN WAR. ABOUT 1956, THE DEVELOPMENT OF SINGLE SIDE BAND RADIO COMMUNICATION EQUIPMENT MADE APPARENT A CRITICAL NEED FOR A MILITARY OSCILLOSCOPE WITH CHARACTERISTICS AND PERFORMANCE SUBSTANTIALLY EXCEEDING THEN EXISTING NAVY EQUIPMENTS. (SINGLE SIDE BAD IS THE EQUIPMENT WHICH MAKES IT FEASIBLE FOR A FLEET TASK FORCE TO MAINTAIN THE DISPERSAL - COVERING A 10,000 SQUARE MILE AREA - REQUIRED BY THE THREAT OF NUCLEAR WARFARE.) ACCORDINGLY, ON 6 DECEMBER 1956 THE BUREAU OF SHIPS, WHICH HAS TECHNICAL COGNIZANCE OVER OSCILLOSCOPES FOR THE NAVY, ASSIGNED A PROJECT TO THE U.S. NAVAL RESEARCH LABORATORY TO EVALUATE EXISTING COMMERCIAL AND MILITARY OSCILLOSCOPES TO DETERMINE THE FEASIBILITY OF MODIFYING ONE OR MORE TO MEET THEN CURRENT REQUIREMENTS. THIS COMPREHENSIVE EVALUATION EXTENDED OVER A TWO YEAR PERIOD. ALL KNOWN OSCILLOSCOPES WITHIN A RANGE SUITABLE FOR THIS PROJECT WERE EVALUATED; THE BETTER ONES WERE TESTED THOROUGHLY. APPROXIMATELY 25 OSCILLOSCOPES OF 6 DIFFERENT MANUFACTURERS WERE TESTED, INCLUDING AT LEAST THREE OF LAVOIE'S PRODUCTS. FOR OUR PURPOSES THE LAVOIE OSCILLOSCOPES, AMONG OTHERS, WERE SERIOUSLY DEFICIENT AND COMPLETELY UNSUITABLE, WHILE THE HEWLETT PACKARD COMPANY'S COMMERCIAL MODEL H-P 150A, DESIGNED AND DEVELOPED AT COMPANY EXPENSE, PROVED FAR AND AWAY THE BEST, ALTHOUGH IT STILL FELL SHORT OF WHAT WE WERE LOOKING FOR.

"AS A RESULT, THE BUREAU OF SHIPS IN MAY 1958 BOUGHT THIRTEEN OF THESE COMMERCIAL MODELS H-P 150A AS AN INTERIM MEASURE TO FILL URGENT SHORE REQUIREMENTS, AND ENTERED INTO CONTRACT NOBSR-75278 EXECUTED 13 JUNE 1958 WITH HEWLETT-PACKARD FOR AN IMPROVED VERSION OF THIS MODEL TO BE IN ACCORDANCE WITH AN INTERIM CONTRACT SPECIFICATION, SHIPS-O-2955 DATED 13 JANUARY 1958, WHICH WAS BASED ON INTERIM REPORTS OF THE NAVAL RESEARCH LABORATORY. HEWLETT-PACKARD WAS CONTINUING ITS COMPANY SPONSORED OSCILLOSCOPE DEVELOPMENT, AND IN THE COURSE OF CONTRACT NOBSR-75278 STILL FURTHER IMPROVEMENTS WERE MADE, ADDITIONAL NAVY REQUIREMENTS WERE GENERATED AND MET, AND THE SPECIFICATION WAS FURTHER DEVELOPED AND WAS ULTIMATELY CHANGED TO A NEW MILITARY SPECIFICATION, MIL-0-22237 (SHIPS) DATED 1 OCTOBER 1959, WHICH IS APPLICABLE TO THE PROCUREMENT UNDER CONSIDERATION. OSCILLOSCOPES PRODUCED BY HEWLETT-PACKARD UNDER THIS CONTRACT MET ALL THE REQUIREMENTS AND PASSED ALL THE TESTS OF THIS SPECIFICATION. THE CURRENT MILITARY NOMENCLATURE FOR OSCILLOSCOPES MEETING THIS SPECIFICATION IS AN/USM-105A; HEWLETT-PACKARD'S COMMERCIAL VERSION OF THIS OSCILLOSCOPE IN THEIR MODEL H-P 160B.

"THE DESIGN AND DEVELOPMENT OF ALL THE IMPROVEMENTS CONTAINED IN THE AN/USM-105A OVER THE MODEL H-P 150A WERE FINANCED BY HEWLETT-PACKARD. SUCH COSTS WERE NOT REIMBURSED TO THIS COMPANY UNDER CONTRACT NOBSR 75278 AND IN ADDITION SUBSTANTIALLY ALL OF THE PRODUCTION ENGINEERING COSTS OF SUCH IMPROVEMENTS WERE BORNE BY THE COMPANY.

"THE AN/USM-105A OSCILLOSCOPE IS A HIGHLY SPECIALIZED AND TECHNICAL INSTRUMENT WHICH PROVIDES IN BOTH HORIZONTAL AND VERTICAL CHANNELS EXTREMELY ACCURATE, CALIBRATED DISPLAYS OF ELECTRICAL WAVEFORMS OF PRIME ELECTRONIC EQUIPMENTS AND MAINTAINS SUCH ACCURACY UNDER THE RIGORS OF MILITARY USAGE AND ENVIRONMENTS. SPECIFICATION MIL-O-22237 IS PRIMARILY A PERFORMANCE SPECIFICATION 54 PRINTED PAGES LONG, OF WHICH 37 PAGES SPECIFY THE TESTING WHICH MUST BE PASSED AND WHICH IS THE MINIMUM FOR REASONABLE ASSURANCE THAT THE REQUIRED PERFORMANCE AND CHARACTERISTICS ARE MET. THE SPECIFICATIONS REQUIRES A QUALIFIED PRODUCT, AND THE QUALIFICATIONS TESTS, WHICH ARE PERFORMED IN A GOVERNMENT LABORATORY, ARE NECESSARILY EXTENSIVE. UNDER OPTIMUM CONDITIONS AND USING TWO PRACTICALLY PERFECT MODELS, THE TIME FOR ACCOMPLISHING SUCH TESTING BY THE GOVERNMENT REQUIRES APPROXIMATELY 462 MAN HOURS PLUS MORE THAN 70 HOURS OF UNATTENDED TEST TIME, ALL OF WHICH CAN BE ACCOMPLISHED IN A TOTAL ELAPSED TIME OF ABOUT 49 EIGHT HOUR DAYS. AN ADDITIONAL 28 TWENTY-FOUR DAYS ARE NECESSARY FOR THE FUNGUS TEST, IF FUNGUS-FREE MATERIALS ARE NOT USED. TO SAVE THE TIME AND EXPENSE OF THE GOVERNMENT THAT WOULD BE WASTED IN TESTING SERIOUSLY DEFICIENT MODELS, THE MANUFACTURER IS REQUIRED TO PERFORM THE SAME TESTS BEFORE SUBMITTAL TO THE GOVERNMENT LABORATORY. UNDER NORMAL CONDITIONS AT LEAST TWO OR THREE MONTHS ARE REQUIRED FOR QUALIFICATION TESTING BY THE GOVERNMENT, ASSUMING NO SIGNIFICANT FAILURES IN THE MODEL BEING TESTED. ACTUALLY, IN FORMALLY ADVERTISED PROCUREMENTS OF TEST EQUIPMENT, 95 PERCENT OF THE MODELS SUBMITTED FOR COMPARABLE PRE-PRODUCTION TESTING FAIL TO PASS THE FIRST TIME EVEN THOUGH PREVIOUSLY TESTED BY THE CONTRACTOR, WITH THE FREQUENT AND UNFORTUNATE RESULT THAT THE GOVERNMENT DOES NOT OBTAIN SPECIFIED EQUIPMENT ON TIME.

"THE TIME-CONSUMING NATURE OF THESE NECESSARY TESTS WOULD RESULT IN UNDUE DELAY IN DELIVERY, IF PERFORMED AFTER A CONTRACT WAS AWARDED. THE COMPLEXITY AND VITAL FUNCTION OF THE AN/USM-105A OSCILLOSCOPE MAKES IT NECESSARY THAT THE GOVERNMENT BE ASSURED, PRIOR TO AWARD, THAT THE PRODUCT CONTRACTED FOR FULLY MEETS THE SPECIFICATIONS. FOR THESE REASONS A QUALIFIED PRODUCTS LIST, QPL 22237-1 DATED 16 DECEMBER 1959, WAS ESTABLISHED FOR THIS OSCILLOSCOPE. PUBLICITY WAS GIVEN THERETO BY FORWARDING THE APPROPRIATE QUALIFICATION TEST INFORMATION ON 5 FEBRUARY 1960 FOR PUBLICATION IN THE SYNOPSIS OF U.S. GOVERNMENT PROPOSED PROCUREMENT, SALES AND CONTRACT AWARDS. IN ADDITION DURING THE NEXT TWO MONTHS OR SO ABOUT A DOZEN MANUFACTURERS OF OSCILLOSCOPES, INCLUDING LAVOIE, WERE ORALLY ADVISED OF THIS QPL BY BUREAU OF SHIPS ENGINEERING PERSONNEL, THESE FIRMS COMPRISING ALL COMPANIES WHOSE LINE OF PRODUCTS WAS SUCH AS TO INDICATE POSSIBLE INTEREST IN PRODUCING THE AN-USM-105A OSCILLOSCOPE.

"IN THE SPRING OF 1960 THE NAVY'S THEN KNOWN REQUIREMENTS FOR AN USM-105A OSCILLOSCOPES WERE FOR A QUANTITY OF APPROXIMATELY 1373, OF WHICH A SUBSTANTIAL NUMBER WERE URGENTLY NEEDED FOR VITAL PRIME EQUIPMENTS CURRENTLY BEING USED BY THE OPERATING FORCES FOR WHICH NO OTHER OSCILLOSCOPE WOULD BE SATISFACTORY. NO MANUFACTURER OTHER THAN HEWLETT- PACKARD HAD A QUALIFIED PRODUCT; ANY OTHER MANUFACTURER WOULD HAVE TO DESIGN AND BUILD A SUBSTANTIALLY OR COMPLETELY NEW PRODUCT. THE TIME FOR THIS, PLUS THE TIME NECESSARY FOR QUALIFICATION TESTING RESULTS IN A PERIOD OF EIGHT OR NINE MONTHS TO OBTAIN QPL APPROVAL. UNDER THESE CIRCUMSTANCES THE BUREAU OF SHIPS, IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE OTHER REQUIRING AGENCIES (CHIEF OF NAVAL OPERATIONS AND BUREAU OF NAVAL WEAPONS) DETERMINED THAT PROCUREMENT OF ALL BUT 485 OF THE TOTAL QUANTITY COULD BE POSTPONED SUFFICIENTLY TO PERMIT A REASONABLE OPPORTUNITY FOR OTHER MANUFACTURERS TO QUALIFY. AS TO THESE 485 THE NEED WAS SUCH THAT DELIVERIES WERE REQUIRED TO BEGIN FOUR MONTHS AFTER AWARD OF CONTRACT, THE EARLIEST PRACTICABLE DATE THEY COULD BE OBTAINED. ONLY HEWLETT-PACKARD COULD SUPPLY A PRODUCT THAT WOULD HAVE PASSED QUALIFICATION TESTING BY THIS DATE.

"AFTER HAVING THE MATTER AGAIN REVIEWED, I WAS FULLY SATISFIED THAT THE QUANTITY OF 485 AND THE REQUIRED DELIVERY DATES THEREFOR WERE THE MINIMUMS CONSISTENT WITH THE MAINTENANCE OF THE OPERATIONAL CAPABILITY AND, EVEN SO, WOULD MEAN SHARING OF THIS TEST EQUIPMENT AMONG ACTIVITIES. FURTHER, NO SATISFACTORY SUBSTITUTES WERE ON HAND OR AVAILABLE. ACCORDINGLY, ON 8 JUNE 1960 PURSUANT TO 10 U.S.C. 2304 (A) (14) I AUTHORIZED A PROPOSED CONTRACT FOR 485 AN/USM-105A OSCILLOSCOPES AND RELATED SUPPLIES (SUCH AS REPAIR PARTS, TECHNICAL MANUALS AND REPORTS) TO BE NEGOTIATED WITH HEWLETT -PACKARD. * * * CONTRACT NOBSR 81535, * * * WAS EXECUTED 27 JUNE 1960 BY THE BUREAU OF SHIPS AND HEWLETT-PACKARD FOR THESE SUPPLIES AT A PRICE OF $2,000 PER OSCILLOSCOPE AND A TOTAL PRICE, EXCLUSIVE OF REPAIR PARTS, OF $970,000, SUBJECT TO REDETERMINATION DOWNWARD ONLY, WITH DELIVERIES TO START IN OCTOBER 1960.

"PRIOR TO THE AWARD OF THIS CONTRACT TO HEWLETT-PACKARD, TWO LATE, UNSOLICITED PROPOSALS IN LETTER FORM WERE RECEIVED. ONE OF THESE WAS FROM LAVOIE OFFERING TO SUPPLY 485 AN/USM-105A OSCILLOSCOPES ATA UNIT PRICE OF $1,879 AND A TOTAL PRICE OF $911,315 EXCLUSIVE OF REPAIR PARTS. THE OTHER WAS FROM ELECTRONIC TUBE CORPORATION OFFERING THE SAME SUPPLIES AT $1,710 PER UNIT FOR A TOTAL OF $829,350 ALSO EXCLUSIVE OF REPAIR PARTS. BOTH OFFERED DELIVERIES STARTING IN FOUR MONTHS, BUT NEITHER OF THESE PROPOSALS OFFERED A QUALIFIED PRODUCT. THEY WERE THEREFORE NON-RESPONSIVE AND WERE REJECTED FOR THAT REASON. BY LETTERS OF 25 JULY 1960 BOTH OFFERORS WERE SO ADVISED AND URGED TO QUALIFY FOR THE PROCUREMENT OF THE BALANCE OF THE 1373 OSCILLOSCOPES.

"ALSO PRIOR TO THE AWARD, WE HAD AFFORDED LAVOIE A FULL OPPORTUNITY IN VARIOUS CONFERENCES WITH THE BUREAU OF SHIPS AND THE CHIEF OF NAVAL MATERIAL AND BY CORRESPONDENCE TO PRESENT ITS CASE FOR BEING CONSIDERED AS A SOURCE FOR THIS PROCUREMENT. IN THIS CONNECTION IF LAVOIE COULD HAVE BEEN CONSIDERED AS A SOURCE, SO COULD ELECTRONIC TUBE CORPORATION AND AT LEAST A DOZEN OTHERS WHO DID NOT HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO QUOTE. CAREFULLY CONSIDERED THE POSSIBILITY OF WAIVING THE QPL REQUIREMENT FOR THE PROCUREMENT OF THE 485 UNITS BUT FOUND THAT THERE WAS NO OTHER WAY TO REASONABLY ASSURE THAT ACCEPTANCE AN/USM-105A OSCILLOSCOPES WOULD BE TESTED, PRODUCED AND DELIVERED ON TIME. NEITHERLAVOIE NOR ELECTRONIC TUBE IN THEIR PROPOSALS OFFERED ANY FEASIBLE AND SATISFACTORY PROCEDURE FOR ACCOMPLISHING THE REQUIRED TESTING PRIOR TO BEGINNING DELIVERIES.

"AS TO THE BALANCE OF THE TOTAL QUANTITY OF 1373, THE BUREAU OF SHIPS ON 29 JULY 1960 ISSUED FORMALLY ADVERTISED INVITATION FOR BIDS NO. 600-57- 61'S FOR STEPLADDER QUANTITIES, RANGING UP TO 2,000, OF QPL APPROVED AN- USM-105A OSCILLOSCOPES TOGETHER WITH RELATED SUPPLIES WITH OPENING DATE SET FOR 2 FEBRUARY 1961. THIS PERIOD BETWEEN BID ISSUANCE AND OPENING IS CONSIDERED ADEQUATE FOR INTERESTED MANUFACTURERS TO QUALIFY THEIR PRODUCTS AND COMPETE, BUT IF CIRCUMSTANCES WARRANT THE PERIOD MAY BE EXTENDED. "LAVOIE HAS BEEN REPEATEDLY INVITED AND URGED TO QUALIFY ITS PRODUCT AND WAS MAILED A BID SET OF IFB 600-57-61-S. THIS FIRM HAS SHOWN SOME INTEREST AND TAKEN SOME STEPS TOWARD QUALIFYING BUT WE DO NOT KNOW AT THIS TIME WHETHER IT WILL ATTEMPT TO DO SO. A NUMBER OF OTHER FIRMS HAVE SHOWN INTEREST. TWO OF THESE, HICKOK ELECTRICAL INSTRUMENT COMPANY AND BARKER AND WILLIAMSON, ARE EACH KNOWN TO BE AGGRESSIVELY WORKING TO SUBMIT A MODEL FOR QUALIFICATION TESTING, AND WE HAVE REASON TO EXPECT THERE WILL BE MORE THAN ONE CONCERN TO COMPETE UNDER THE ABOVE INVITATION FOR BIDS AND FOR FUTURE PROCUREMENTS OF AN-USM-105A OSCILLOSCOPES WITH A QUALIFIED PRODUCT THAT WILL MEET THE STRINGENT SPECIFICATIONS FOR THESE ADVANCED, SPECIALIZED AND CRITICAL OSCILLOSCOPES.' THE CONTRACT WITH HEWLETT- PACKARD RECITES THAT IT WAS NEGOTIATED UNDER 10 U.S.C. 2304 (A) (14). THAT SUBSECTION AUTHORIZES THE NEGOTIATION OF A CONTRACT IF:

"* * * THE PURCHASE OR CONTRACT IS FOR TECHNICAL OR SPECIAL PROPERTY THAT HE (THE AGENCY HEAD) DETERMINES TO REQUIRE A SUBSTANTIAL INITIAL INVESTMENT OR AN EXTENDED PERIOD OF PREPARATION FOR MANUFACTURE, AND FOR WHICH HE DETERMINES THAT FORMAL ADVERTISING AND COMPETITIVE BIDDING MIGHT REQUIRE DUPLICATION OF INVESTMENT OR PREPARATION ALREADY MADE OR WOULD UNDULY DELAY THE PROCUREMENT OF THAT PROPERTY.'

SECTION 2310 OF TITLE 10, U.S.C., EXPRESSLY PROVIDES THAT FINDINGS UNDER THE ABOVE SUBSECTION 14, AMONG OTHERS, BY THE HEAD OF THE AGENCY, INCLUDING ANY ASSISTANT SECRETARY, SHALL BE FINAL. CONSEQUENTLY, THE FINDINGS MADE BY THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY ON JUNE 8, 1960, THAT PROCUREMENT OF THE URGENTLY REQUIRED OSCILLOSCOPES FROM ANY FIRM OTHER THAN HEWLETT- PACKARD WOULD UNDULY DELAY DELIVERY; THAT THE OSCILLOSCOPES WERE OF A TECHNICAL AND SPECIALIZED NATURE; AND THAT AN EXTENSIVE PERIOD OF PREPARATION FOR MANUFACTURE WAS REQUIRED, MUST BE REGARDED BY OUR OFFICE AS FINAL AND NOT SUBJECT TO LEGAL OBJECTION. WE, THEREFORE, HAVE NO ALTERNATIVE OTHER THAN TO DENY THE PROTEST. SEE 37 COMP. GEN. 430.