B-146121, JUN. 28, 1961

B-146121: Jun 28, 1961

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ESQUIRE: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 13. THE DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY HAS RESPONDED AS FOLLOWS: "THE POSITION OF BUSANDA IS THAT THE ALVEY-FERGUSON BID DID SUBMIT THE REQUIRED TECHNICAL DATA ON ACCUMULATION EQUIPMENT AND TRANSFER UNITS AS WELL AS THE REQUIRED TECHNICAL DATA ON THE OTHER ITEMS REQUIRED IN PARAGRAPH 3.3 OF THE SPECIFICATIONS. THE ACCUMULATION EQUIPMENT IS DESCRIBED ON PAGE 69. THE EQUIPMENT IS ILLUSTRATED. THE TRANSFER UNITS ARE DESCRIBED IN ENCLOSURE 2. THE TRANSFER UNITS ARE ILLUSTRATED ON PAGES IV-12 AND IV-13 OF THE AFOREMENTIONED SECTION OF ENCLOSURE 2. IS A DETAILED ASSEMBLY DRAWING. " THESE DEVICES ARE NOT CONSIDERED TRANSFER UNITS BUT ARE A PARTICULAR TYPE OF A DIVERTER AND THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE SUBMISSION OF TECHNICAL DATA ARE INCLUDED IN PARAGRAPH 3.1 OF THE SPECIFICATIONS WHICH REQUIRES .

B-146121, JUN. 28, 1961

TO CARL L. SHIPLEY, ESQUIRE:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 13, 1961, PROTESTING, ON BEHALF OF THE JOINT VENTURE OF CONTROL DESIGN AND FABRICATE, INC., AND UNIVERSAL ECSCO CORPORATION AGAINST ANY AWARD BEING MADE UNDER IFB600-1134 -61 TO THE LOW BIDDER, ALVEY-FERGUSON, BECAUSE OF ITS ALLEGED FAILURE TO FURNISH CERTAIN DESCRIPTIVE DATA WITH ITS BID AS REQUIRED BY THE INVITATION FOR THE EVALUATION OF BIDS.

IN RESPONSE TO THE CONTENTION THAT THE BIDDER DID NOT FURNISH DIMENSIONAL DATA REQUIRED TO BE SUBMITTED ON ACCUMULATION EQUIPMENT AND TRANSFER UNITS, THE DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY HAS RESPONDED AS FOLLOWS:

"THE POSITION OF BUSANDA IS THAT THE ALVEY-FERGUSON BID DID SUBMIT THE REQUIRED TECHNICAL DATA ON ACCUMULATION EQUIPMENT AND TRANSFER UNITS AS WELL AS THE REQUIRED TECHNICAL DATA ON THE OTHER ITEMS REQUIRED IN PARAGRAPH 3.3 OF THE SPECIFICATIONS. THE ACCUMULATION EQUIPMENT IS DESCRIBED ON PAGE 69, SECTION 3, ENCLOSURE 4 OF THE TECHNICAL DATA SUBMITTED. THE EQUIPMENT IS ILLUSTRATED, DETAILED, AND DIMENSIONED ON PAGE 70, SECTION 3, ENCLOSURE 4 OF THE TECHNICAL DATA, A-F DRAWING NO. J- 3787, SHEET H10A. THE TRANSFER UNITS ARE DESCRIBED IN ENCLOSURE 2, SECTION IV, PARAGRAPH C, PAGES IV-10 AND IV-10A. THE TRANSFER UNITS ARE ILLUSTRATED ON PAGES IV-12 AND IV-13 OF THE AFOREMENTIONED SECTION OF ENCLOSURE 2, FIGURES IV-9 AND IV-10. FIGURE IV-10, EDON DRAWING NO. A990, IS A DETAILED ASSEMBLY DRAWING, DIMENSIONED TO THE DEGREE NECESSARY, WITH A MATERIAL LIST FOR THE SECTION. REGARDING THE "LOAD END AND UNLOAD END TRANSFER UNITS," THESE DEVICES ARE NOT CONSIDERED TRANSFER UNITS BUT ARE A PARTICULAR TYPE OF A DIVERTER AND THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE SUBMISSION OF TECHNICAL DATA ARE INCLUDED IN PARAGRAPH 3.1 OF THE SPECIFICATIONS WHICH REQUIRES ,SPECIFIC TECHNICAL DESIGN AND DESCRIPTIVE DATA.' PAGE IV-6, FIGURE IV-4 OF THE AFOREMENTIONED SECTION OF ENCLOSURE 2 OF THE TECHNICAL DATA SHOWS THE SPECIFIC TECHNICAL DESIGN OF THE RIGHT ANGLE DIVERTER AND THE DIVERTER IS DESCRIBED ON PAGES IV-1 AND IV-5 OF THE SAME SECTION OF DATA. THIS DISTINCTION IN DEFINITION OF A TRANSFER UNIT IS SUBSTANTIATED BY THE FACT THAT THE TECHNICAL DATA SUBMITTED BY THE PROTESTANTS, IN THEIR BID, FOR THE EQUIPMENT TO BE UTILIZED AT THE ENTRANCE AND EXIT OF THE ACCUMULATION CONVEYOR, IS NOT REFERRED TO AS A "TRANSFER UNIT" BUT IS ENTITLED ,ACC LOADER," "LAYOUT-LINE UNLOADER," AND "STORAGE UNLOADER STOP ASSEMBLY," CONDECO DRAWING NUMBERS 2824, 2829, AND 3136, RESPECTIVELY. FURTHER, ECSCO DRAWING NO. B-21-CK1,"WIDE L.R. TRAY TRANSFER," AND CONDECO DRAWING NO. 2345,"4-WAY TRANSFER LAYOUT ASSEMBLY," DO NOT ILLUSTRATED IN THE ALVEY FERGUSON TECHNICAL DATA FOR A "TRANSFER UNIT.' * * *"

WITH RESPECT TO THE ALLEGATION THAT DRAWINGS SUBMITTED ON THE TOTE BOX SIGNAL DEVICE BY THE LOW BIDDER DO NOT CONFORM TO THE SPECIFICATION REQUIREMENTS, THE DEPARTMENT REPORTED:

"THE POSITION OF BUSANDA IS THAT THE DRAWINGS SUBMITTED AS TECHNICAL DATA IN THE ALVEY-FERGUSON BID TO CONFORM TO THE SPECIFICATION REQUIREMENTS. ENCLOSURE 2, SECTION III, PARAGRAPH A, PAGES III-1 THROUGH III-10 AND PAGE III-13 PROVIDE COMPLETE TECHNICAL DESIGN AND DESCRIPTIVE DATA, AND MEET THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE SPECIFICATION. A PROTOTYPE SIGNAL DEVICE WAS ALSO FURNISHED. ON THE PROTOTYPE, THE MARKING OF THE SIGNALS FOR USE IN THE SECONDARY SORT AREA DID NOT CONTAIN THE MARKING OF 1 THRU 9 IN LESSER DOMINANCE. AS THE SAMPLE IS A PROTOTYPE, NOT A PREPRODUCTION MODEL, IT IS NOT CONSIDERED NECESSARY THAT THE SAMPLE CONFORM COMPLETELY TO THE PRODUCTION MODEL. THE SAMPLE SUBMITTED IS ADEQUATE TO SHOW ITS SIZE, CONSTRUCTION, PRINCIPLE OF OPERATION, METHODS OF USE, EASE OF SETTING AND CLEARING SIGNALS, AND THE TYPE OF MARKING TO BE USED. ALTHOUGH THE PROTOTYPE DOES NOT CONTAIN COMPLETE ENGRAVING, THE ADDITIONAL MARKING IS PROVIDED IN THE DESCRIPTIVE DATA. AS THIS IS A PROTOTYPE, NOT A PREPRODUCTION MODEL, THE LOCATION SEQUENCE IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE BY THE NAVY, IT IS CONSIDERED THAT THE PROTOTYPE SAMPLE AND THE DESCRIPTIVE DATA SUBMITTED ADEQUATELY CONFORM TO THE SPECIFICATION REQUIREMENTS.'

CONCERNING THE CONTENTION THAT THE BID OF THE LOW BIDDER CONTAINS NO DATA ON CROSSWISE DIVERSION, THE DEPARTMENT HAS SAID:

"* * * THE RIGHT ANGLE DIVERTER IS DESCRIBED IN ENCLOSURE 2, SECTION IV, PARAGRAPH A.2, PAGES IV-1 AND IV-5 OF THE TECHNICAL DATA SUBMITTED AND THE DESIGN IS SHOWN IN FIGURE IV-4, PAGE IV-6 OF THE SAME SECTION. OTHER TYPES OF DIVERTERS ARE ALSO DESCRIBED ON PAGES IV-1 AND IV-5 WITH SPECIFIC DESIGNS IN FIGURES IV-1, IV-2, AND IV-3, PAGES IV-2 THROUGH IV-4, RESPECTIVELY, OF THE SAME SECTION OF DATA. * * *"

FURTHER, IT WAS CONTENDED THAT THE LOW BIDDER'S BID CONTAINS NO DATA ON ADD AND SUBTRACT COUNTERS. THE DEPARTMENT HAS ANSWERED THAT CONTENTION AS FOLLOWS:

"THE TECHNICAL DATA SUBMITTED BY THE ALVEY-FERGUSON BID CONTAINS PROVISIONS FOR THE RELEASE OF MODULES OF TOTE BOXES AS REQUIRED BY THE SPECIFICATION. ADD AND SUBTRACT COUNTERS ARE ALSO PROVIDED FOR EACH OF THE STORAGE LINES, ENCLOSURE 2, SECTION III, PAGE III-40 OF THE TECHNICAL DATA SUBMITTED. INTELLIGENCE OF THE LOADING OF PACKING AND PARCEL POST PACKING LINES IS PROVIDED ON PAGE III-39 OF THE ABOVE REFERENCED SECTION. THE AUTOMATIC CONTROL OF THE MATERIALS HANDLING SYSTEM IS A COMPLEX ELECTRO-MECHANICAL SYSTEM WHICH SCANS POINTS OF INTELLIGENCE OF LINE LOADINGS, AND BALANCES LOADINGS AND AVAILABILITIES TO OBTAIN THE DESIRED FLOW OF MATERIAL. THE TECHNICAL DATA CONTAINS A HIGHLY TECHNICAL AND COMPLEX ELECTRO-MECHANICAL SYSTEM, EXPLAINED TO A DEGREE WITH DESCRIPTIVE DATA, BUT EXPLAINED IN DETAIL BY DRAWINGS OF THE ESSENTIAL CIRCUITRY OF THE SYSTEM. THE SYSTEM AS PROPOSED FULFILLS THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE SPECIFICATION. DESCRIPTIVE DATA, DRAWINGS, AND TECHNICAL DATA ARE CONTAINED IN ENCLOSURE 2, SECTION III, PAGES III-27, III-29, III-42 THROUGH III-58; APPENDIX A OF ENCLOSURE 2; APPENDIX B OF ENCLOSURE 2; SUPPLEMENT 4 TO ENCLOSURE 2; AND SUPPLEMENT 5 TO ENCLOSURE 2. * * *"

NEXT IT WAS ALLEGED THAT IDENTICAL EQUIPMENT WAS RULED NONRESPONSIVE UNDER IFB600-1952-60. TO THAT ALLEGATION THE DEPARTMENT HAS RESPONDED AS FOLLOWS:

"* * * THE SPECIFICATION FOR THIS SYSTEM (IFB600-1952-60) WAS H63, DATED 6 MAY 1960, WHICH INCLUDED BY REFERENCE BUSANDA DRAWING NO. H63 5, SHEETS 1 THROUGH 5, DATED 5 MAY 1960. PARAGRAPH 3.B. OF THIS SPECIFICATION, UNDER TECHNICAL DATA TO BE SUBMITTED WITH THE BID, REQUIRED ,CONVEYORS. SPECIFIC LAYOUT OF THE SYSTEM OFFERED AND DETAILED ENGINEERING AND DIMENSIONAL DATA FULLY ILLUSTRATING AND DESCRIBING ALL THE CONVEYOR EQUIPMENT THE BIDDER PROPOSES TO FURNISH.' THIS SYSTEM SPECIFICALLY REQUIRED SPECIALIZED EQUIPMENT AT THE ENTRANCE AND EXIT OF THE CUSTOMER ORDER ACCUMULATION LINES. SHEET 2 OF 5 OF THE ABOVE REFERENCE DRAWING INDICATED AT THE ENTRANCE TO THE ORDER ACCUMULATION LINES,"F) 28 REQUIRED AT EACH LEVEL," AND AT THE EXIT,"G) 28 REQUIRED AT EACH LEVEL.' THE SYMBOL DESCRIPTION ON THE DRAWING STATES FOR (F),"MUST POSITION TOTE BOXES CROSSWISE UPON UNITS 116 AND 126," AND FOR (G),"MUST POSITION TOTE BOXES LENGTHWISE UPON UNITS 117 AND 127.' THUS, THE DRAWING CLEARLY INDICATES CERTAIN EQUIPMENT AT THE ENTRANCE AND EXIT OF THE ORDER ACCUMULATION LINES. PARAGRAPH 21.K. OF THE ABOVE REFERENCED SPECIFICATION STATES, IN PART, "------ TOTE BOXES WILL BE DIVERTED FROM UNIT 125 ONTO THE PROPER ORDER ACCUMULATION LINE IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE SIGNAL CARD PLACED WITHIN THE CARD HOLDER. TOTE BOXES WILL BE TRANSFERRED FROM A LENGTHWISE POSITION ON UNIT 125 TO A CROSSWISE POSITION ON UNIT 126 BY MEANS OF PNEUMATIC PUSH-OFFS.' PARAGRAPH 21.0. OF THIS SAME SPECIFICATION STATES, IN PART,"COMPLETED ORDERS IN THE ACCUMULATION AREA ARE RELEASED BY THE MASTER CONTROL OPERATOR FROM UNITS 116 AND 126 ONTO UNITS 117 AND 127. IS NECESSARY TO TRANSFER THE TOTE BOX FROM A CROSSWISE POSITION TO A LENGTHWISE POSITION, AND AT THE SAME TIME CREATE A SUITABLE SPACE FOR LOADING INTO THE SECONDARY SORT AREA. -----" THUS, THE SPECIFICATION FURTHER INDICATES CERTAIN EQUIPMENT AT THE ENTRANCE AND EXIT OF THE ORDER ACCUMULATION LINES, AND FURTHER REQUIRES CONTROL OF SPACING AT THE EXIT. BIDS WERE RULED NONRESPONSIVE UNLESS THE BID CONTAINED TECHNICAL DATA FOR BOTH OF THESE ITEMS.'

THE DETERMINATION WHETHER DESCRIPTIVE LITERATURE SUBMITTED WITH BIDS MEETS THE SPECIFICATION REQUIREMENTS IS LARGELY A TECHNICAL MATTER WHICH THE PROCURING AGENCIES ARE BEST QUALIFIED TO MAKE. 17 COMP. GEN. 554. THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE IN THIS CASE HAS DETERMINED THAT THE DESCRIPTIVE LITERATURE AND DATA SUBMITTED BY THE LOW BIDDER MEETS THE STATED REQUIREMENTS AND THE DETERMINATION APPEARS TO BE SUPPORTED BY SUBSTANTIAL EVIDENCE. WE THEREFORE CONCLUDE THAT THERE IS NO ADEQUATE BASIS FOR OUR OFFICE TO OBJECT TO THE PROPOSED AWARD.

IT HAS BEEN CONTENDED ALSO THAT THE INVITATION SHOULD BE READVERTISED ON THE BASIS THAT IT IS TOO BROAD TO PERMIT COMPETITION ON A COMMON BASIS. HOWEVER, AN EXAMINATION OF THE SPECIFICATION ACCOMPANYING THE INVITATION INDICATES THAT IT IS RESTRICTED TO SPECIFIC PERFORMANCE AND DESIGN CRITERIA AND CONTAINS SUFFICIENT DEFINITENESS SO AS NOT TO BE IN VIOLATION OF THE COMPETITIVE BIDDING SYSTEM.