B-146017, AUG. 4, 1961

B-146017: Aug 4, 1961

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Edda Emmanuelli Perez
(202) 512-2853
EmmanuelliPerezE@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

TO ELECTRONIC TEACHING LABORATORIES: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 9. THE INVITATION WAS ISSUED AFTER THE EXPERIENCE OF FOREIGN LANGUAGES DEPARTMENT DURING THE 1960-61 ACADEMIC YEAR SHOWED THAT THE EXISTING LANGUAGE LABORATORY WAS INADEQUATE TO HANDLE THE 2. THE EXISTING LABORATORY UTILIZED FIFTEEN INDIVIDUAL TAPE RECORDERS AND IT WAS FOUND THAT CONSIDERABLE TIME WAS LOST IN TRAINING STUDENTS TO OPERATE THE RECORDERS PROPERLY. WHERE HE WAS ABLE TO INSPECT PURDUE'S LABORATORY AS WELL AS EQUIPMENT OFFERED BY SEVERAL FIRMS. MEMBERS OF THE COMMITTEE ALSO MADE AN INSPECTION TOUR OF SEVERAL LANGUAGE LABORATORIES AT LOCAL UNIVERSITIES AND ARMED FORCES ESTABLISHMENTS WHERE SEVERAL TYPES OF EQUIPMENT WERE IN USE.

B-146017, AUG. 4, 1961

TO ELECTRONIC TEACHING LABORATORIES:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 9, 1961, SETTING FORTH THE BASIS FOR YOUR PROTEST AGAINST REJECTION OF YOUR BID ON A LANGUAGE LABORATORY UNDER INVITATION FOR BIDS NO. 161-132-61, ISSUED ON APRIL 21, 1961, BY THE UNITED STATES NAVAL ACADEMY.

THE INVITATION WAS ISSUED AFTER THE EXPERIENCE OF FOREIGN LANGUAGES DEPARTMENT DURING THE 1960-61 ACADEMIC YEAR SHOWED THAT THE EXISTING LANGUAGE LABORATORY WAS INADEQUATE TO HANDLE THE 2,200 MIDSHIPMEN STUDYING FOREIGN LANGUAGES. THE EXISTING LABORATORY UTILIZED FIFTEEN INDIVIDUAL TAPE RECORDERS AND IT WAS FOUND THAT CONSIDERABLE TIME WAS LOST IN TRAINING STUDENTS TO OPERATE THE RECORDERS PROPERLY. THE HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT DESIGNATED A SPECIAL COMMITTEE TO DETERMINE WHAT TYPE OF NEW EQUIPMENT WOULD MEET THE NEEDS OF THE ACADEMY. ONE MEMBER OF THE COMMITTEE ATTENDED A LANGUAGE LABORATORY CONFERENCE AT PURDUE UNIVERSITY FROM MARCH 23 TO 25, 1961, WHERE HE WAS ABLE TO INSPECT PURDUE'S LABORATORY AS WELL AS EQUIPMENT OFFERED BY SEVERAL FIRMS. MEMBERS OF THE COMMITTEE ALSO MADE AN INSPECTION TOUR OF SEVERAL LANGUAGE LABORATORIES AT LOCAL UNIVERSITIES AND ARMED FORCES ESTABLISHMENTS WHERE SEVERAL TYPES OF EQUIPMENT WERE IN USE, INCLUDING ELECTRONIC TEACHING LABORATORIES EQUIPMENT. THE COMMITTEE FOUND THAT DIRECTORS OF THE LANGUAGE LABORATORIES WERE GENERALLY DISSATISFIED WITH SYSTEMS USING INDIVIDUAL RECORDERS FOR EACH STUDENT.

AS A RESULT OF ITS INVESTIGATION, THE COMMITTEE DECIDED THAT THE MINIMUM NEEDS OF THE NAVAL ACADEMY REQUIRED A LABORATORY SIMILAR TO RECORDING IS DONE ON A REMOTE MULTI-TRACK RECORDER HAVING 32 CHANNELS WITH ALL CONTROLS IN THE HANDS OF INSTRUCTORS. THIS DESIGN IS A DEPARTURE FROM THE STANDARD LABORATORY SYSTEM IN THAT NO RECORDING EQUIPMENT IS DESIGNED INTO THE STUDENT BOOTHS. TO INSURE THAT ONLY INTEGRATED, OPERATIONAL SYSTEMS WOULD BE CONSIDERED, THE FOLLOWING PROVISION WAS INCLUDED ON PAGE TWO OF THE INVITATION:

"BIDDERS SHALL SUBMIT WITH THEIR PROPOSAL THE NAME OF THE MANUFACTURER OF THE PRINCIPAL COMPONENTS OF THE SYSTEM, CATALOG OR DATA, PERFORMANCE RATINGS, TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS, AND PRINTS CLEARLY ILLUSTRATING THE EQUIPMENT AND COMPONENTS THEY PROPOSE TO FURNISH. THE BIDDERS SHALL SUBMIT SAMPLES FOR TESTING WHEN REQUIRED. THE BIDDER MUST ESTABLISH TO THE SATISFACTION OF THE GOVERNMENT HIS ABILITY TO PRODUCE AND ASSEMBLE A SYSTEM WHICH WILL MEET THESE SPECIFICATIONS IN ALL RESPECTS. THE COMPONENTS OF THIS SYSTEM MUST BE COMPATIBLE WITH EACH OTHER AND FUNCTION AS AN INTEGRATED UNIT SUITED TO THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE GOVERNMENT.'

FIVE BIDS FOR COMPLETE LANGUAGE LABORATORY SYSTEMS WERE RECEIVED IN RESPONSE TO THE INVITATION AND WERE OPENED ON MAY 23, 1961. THE LOW BID OF SCIENCE ELECTRONICS, INC., CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS, FOR $15,520 WAS REJECTED AS NONRESPONSIVE.

THOMPSON RAMO WOOLDRIDGE, INC., ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, NEW JERSEY, SUBMITTED A BID OF $16,460 FOR A SYSTEM OF 32 INDIVIDUAL RECORDERS. THIS BID DID NOT COMPLY WITH THE REQUIREMENT IN THE INVITATION FOR A MULTI-TRACK STUDENT RECORDER AND WAS REJECTED.

YOUR BID OF $17,182.16 WAS ALSO REJECTED AND THE CONTRACTING OFFICER STATED HIS REASONS IN CONNECTION WITH THE STATEMENT AND CERTIFICATE OF AWARD AS FOLLOWS:

"THIS FIRM PROPOSES TO FULFILL OUR SPECIFICATIONS BY HAVING GENERAL KINETICS, INC. OF ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA, CONSTRUCT A RECORDER DESIGNED FOR OUR USE. THIS APPEARS TO BE AN UNTRIED AND DEVELOPMENTAL SYSTEM. ETL STATES THAT THEIR "PROPOSAL IS PREDICATED UPON MANUFACTURING AND SUPPLYING SPECIAL MATERIAL TO MEET YOUR (OUR) SPECIFICATIONS.' NO SPECIFICATIONS NOR DESCRIPTION WERE SENT ON SUCH A RECORDER, ALTHOUGH CONSIDERABLE LITERATURE ON OTHER PRODUCTS PRODUCED BY THIS FIRM WAS FORWARDED. THERE WAS NO INDICATION AS TO HOW SUCH A RECORDER WOULD BE INTEGRATED ELECTRONICALLY TO FORM THE LANGUAGE LABORATORY. THE BIDDER HAS FAILED TO PROVE TO OUR SATISFACTION HIS ABILITY TO MEET OUR SPECIFICATIONS.'

AWARD WAS MADE TO STANCIL-HOFFMAN CORPORATION, HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA, ON MAY 29, 1961, AT A COST OF $19,935.61 FOR A SYSTEM IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE SPECIFICATIONS.

IN THIS CASE, IT IS OUR OPINION THAT THE NAVAL ACADEMY HAD SUFFICIENT JUSTIFICATION FOR ITS DECISION TO PURCHASE A LANGUAGE LABORATORY UTILIZING A REMOTE MULTI-TRACK STUDENT RECORDER. THE CONTRACTING OFFICER CONSIDERED THE STUDENT RECORDER TO BE THE ESSENTIAL ELEMENT IN THE LABORATORY. YOUR BID CONTAINED NO INFORMATION REGARDING THE STUDENT RECORDER YOU PROPOSED TO FURNISH, OTHER THAN TO STATE THAT IT WOULD BE BUILT BY GENERAL KINETICS OF ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA, DESPITE THE REQUIREMENT IN THE INVITATION THAT PERFORMANCE RATINGS AND TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS BE FURNISHED FOR ALL COMPONENTS. YOUR BID DID NOT CONFORM TO THE INVITATION IN THIS RESPECT AND WAS THEREFORE PROPERLY REJECTED AS NONRESPONSIVE.

DEFENSE MANPOWER POLICE NO. 4 (REVISED) REGARDING AWARDS TO CONTRACTORS IN LABOR-SURPLUS AREAS, WHICH YOU CONTEND SHOULD APPLY TO THIS CASE, IS DIRECTED PRIMARILY TO NEGOTIATED PROCUREMENTS, WITH A POSSIBLE APPLICATION IN THE EVENT OF TIE BIDS IN OTHER TYPES OF PROCUREMENT. SINCE THE PROCUREMENT IN QUESTION HERE IS ADVERTISED RATHER THAN NEGOTIATED AND NO TIE BIDS ARE INVOLVED, THERE CAN BE NO APPLICATION OF THE POLICY FAVORING LABOR-SURPLUS AREAS IN THIS CASE.

FOR THE REASONS STATED, WE MUST CONCLUDE THAT YOUR PROTEST HAS PRESENTED NO PROPER BASIS FOR OBJECTION TO THE AWARD OF THE CONTRACT TO THE LOWEST RESPONSIBLE BIDDER WHOSE BID CONFORMS TO THE SPECIFICATIONS.