B-147208, NOV. 27, 1961

B-147208: Nov 27, 1961

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ESQUIRE: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED SEPTEMBER 28. BIDDERS WERE ADVISED. THAT TIME OF DELIVERY WAS AN IMPORTANT FACTOR AND THAT THE GOVERNMENT RESERVED THE RIGHT TO MAKE AN AWARD BASED ON EARLIER DELIVERY. THE SPECIFICATIONS ARE INTENDED TO BE GENERAL RATHER THAN RESTRICTIVE. TWO BIDS WERE RECEIVED IN RESPONSE TO THE INVITATION AND WERE OPENED ON SEPTEMBER 8. 800 PER UNIT BY AMERICAN CONCERTONE WAS LOW. THE SECOND BID WAS SUBMITTED BY PRECISION INSTRUMENT COMPANY IN THE UNIT AMOUNT OF $11. THE CONTRACTING AGENCY WAS OF THE OPINION THAT THE INVITATION WAS DEFECTIVE BECAUSE THE SPECIFICATIONS IMPROPERLY STATED THE GOVERNMENT'S NEEDS AND BECAUSE NOTE 33 SOLICITED BIDS WHICH DID NOT OFFER COMPLIANCE WITH THE SPECIFICATIONS.

B-147208, NOV. 27, 1961

TO ALAN Y. COLE, ESQUIRE:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED SEPTEMBER 28, 1961, AND SUBSEQUENT CORRESPONDENCE WRITTEN IN BEHALF OF AMERICAN CONCERTONE, INC., AND PROTESTING AGAINST THE ACTION OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY IN CANCELLING IFB 163/A124-1-4-62, IN ISSUING RFP A124-1-4 FOR THE SAME REQUIREMENTS, AND IN AWARDING A CONTRACT THEREUNDER TO PRECISION INSTRUMENT COMPANY AT A PRICE IN EXCESS OF THAT OFFERED BY AMERICAN CONCERTONE'S PROPOSAL.

IFB 163/A124-1-4-62 REQUESTED BIDS FOR SUPPLYING 34 RECORDER REPRODUCER AND ELECTRONIC AMPLIFIERS. THE INVITATION SET OUT A DELIVERY SCHEDULE WHICH INCLUDED DELIVERY OF THE INITIAL UNIT WITHIN 30 DAYS, ONE UNIT IN 60 DAYS, 2 UNITS IN 90 DAYS, AND 5 UNITS EACH 30 DAYS THEREAFTER, BUT PROVIDED THAT BIDDERS UNABLE TO MEET THIS DELIVERY SCHEDULE COULD SUBMIT AN ALTERNATE SCHEDULE OFFERING A LONGER TIME FOR DELIVERY, AND SUCH BIDS WOULD BE CONSIDERED. BIDDERS WERE ADVISED, HOWEVER, THAT TIME OF DELIVERY WAS AN IMPORTANT FACTOR AND THAT THE GOVERNMENT RESERVED THE RIGHT TO MAKE AN AWARD BASED ON EARLIER DELIVERY, IN WHICH EVENT THE CONTRACT AWARDED WOULD PROVIDE FOR THE ASSESSMENT OF DAMAGES FOR LATE DELIVERY, PRORATED ON A DAILY BASIS TO EQUAL THE PREMIUM PAID FOR EARLY DELIVERY IN THE EVENT THE CONTRACTOR FAILED TO DELIVER BEFORE THE DELIVERY TIME STATED IN THE BID OF THE LOWEST OTHERWISE ACCEPTABLE BIDDER.

THE INVITATION INCLUDED DRAWING 61A19F329, WHICH CONTAINED THE FOLLOWING LANGUAGE AS NOTE 33:

"THESE DRAWINGS AND SPECIFICATIONS REPRESENT THE MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS FOR A RECORDER-REPRODUCER AND ELECTRONIC AMPLIFIER TO BE USED IN THE RECEIVING -RECORDING-SCORING SET, TELEMETRIC DATA, AN/SKQ 1. THE SPECIFICATIONS ARE INTENDED TO BE GENERAL RATHER THAN RESTRICTIVE. EACH MANUFACTURER PROPOSING TO SUPPLY EQUIPMENT IN ACCORDANCE WITH THIS SPECIFICATION MUST SUBMIT WITH HIS PROPOSAL DETAILED PHYSICAL AND PERFORMANCE DATA ON HIS EQUIPMENT FOR ENGINEERING EVALUATION. ANY DEVIATIONS FROM THIS SPECIFICATION MUST BE SPECIFICALLY INDICATED IN THE PROPOSAL.'

TWO BIDS WERE RECEIVED IN RESPONSE TO THE INVITATION AND WERE OPENED ON SEPTEMBER 8, 1961. THE BID OF $9,800 PER UNIT BY AMERICAN CONCERTONE WAS LOW. HOWEVER, THIS BID PROPOSED DELIVERY OF THE FIRST UNIT IN 60 DAYS, AND PROPOSED TO DEVIATE FROM THE SPECIFICATIONS BY EXCEEDING THE 1 1/4 INCH MAXIMUM PROTRUSION BEYOND THE MOUNTING FLANGE SHOWN IN THE DRAWINGS AND BY FURNISHING A UNIT WEIGHING 82 POUNDS RATHER THAN THE 75 POUND MAXIMUM SPECIFIED.

THE SECOND BID WAS SUBMITTED BY PRECISION INSTRUMENT COMPANY IN THE UNIT AMOUNT OF $11,608.05, AND OFFERED TO MEET THE DELIVERY SCHEDULE SET OUT IN THE INVITATION. HOWEVER, WHILE THE SPECIFICATIONS REQUIRED THE CROSSTALK BETWEEN DATA CHANNELS TO BE GREATER THAN 55 DB BELOW TAPE SATURATION LEVEL AT 500 CPS, PRECISION'S BID OFFERED ONLY 45 DB.

UNDER DATE OF SEPTEMBER 17, 1961, AMERICAN CONCERTONE OFFERED TO MODIFY ITS BID TO MEET THE PRECISE WEIGHT AND OVERHANG REQUIREMENTS OF THE INVITATION. HOWEVER, THE CONTRACTING AGENCY WAS OF THE OPINION THAT THE INVITATION WAS DEFECTIVE BECAUSE THE SPECIFICATIONS IMPROPERLY STATED THE GOVERNMENT'S NEEDS AND BECAUSE NOTE 33 SOLICITED BIDS WHICH DID NOT OFFER COMPLIANCE WITH THE SPECIFICATIONS. FURTHER, THE BIDS RECEIVED WERE NOT CONSIDERED SUSCEPTIBLE OF EVALUATION ON AN EQUAL BASIS, AND IT WAS CONSIDERED IMPROPER TO ACCEPT AMERICAN CONCERTONE'S OFFER, MADE AFTER BID OPENING, TO COMPLY WITH THE SPECIFICATIONS.

THE INVITATION WAS THEREFORE CANCELLED AND A DETERMINATION WAS MADE, BASED UPON A NEED FOR THE ARTICLES IN QUESTION BEGINNING OCTOBER 31, 1961, TO NEGOTIATE THE PROCUREMENT UNDER THE AUTHORITY OF 10 U.S.C. 2304 (A) (2). PURSUANT TO SUCH DETERMINATION, RFP A124-1-4-62, REQUESTING PROPOSALS BY SEPTEMBER 27, WAS ISSUED ON SEPTEMBER 18. UNDER THIS RFP THE DELIVERY SCHEDULE, THE PROVISION FOR AWARD BASED UPON EARLIER DELIVERY, AND THE DAMAGE PROVISION FOR LATE DELIVERY, WERE IDENTICAL WITH THOSE SET OUT IN THE CANCELLED IFB. HOWEVER, SEVERAL CHANGES WERE MADE IN THE SPECIFICATIONS, INCLUDING A RELAXATION OF THE CROSS-TALK REQUIREMENT TO 45 DB AND ELIMINATION OF NOTE 33.

AMERICAN CONCERTONE SUBMITTED A PROPOSED UNIT PRICE OF $10,780, WITH DELIVERY OF 1 UNIT IN 60 DAYS, 2 UNITS IN 90 DAYS, 2 UNITS IN 110 DAYS, 4 UNITS IN 120 DAYS, AND 5 EVERY 30 DAYS UNTIL COMPLETE. BY TELEGRAM DATED SEPTEMBER 26 THIS PROPOSAL WAS MODIFIED TO $9,800 PER UNIT WITH A DISCOUNT OF 1/10 PERCENT FOR 20-DAY PAYMENT, BUT NO CHANGE WAS PROPOSED IN THE DELIVERY SCHEDULE.

PRECISION INSTRUMENT SUBMITTED A UNIT PRICE OF $11,608.06 WITH DELIVERY AS STATED IN THE RFP AND DISCOUNT OF 1/2 PERCENT FOR PAYMENT IN 10 DAYS.

FOLLOWING RECEIPT OF THESE PROPOSALS, BOTH OFFERORS WERE ADVISED THAT THE DELIVERY REQUIREMENT AS STATED IN THE RFP HAD BEEN CHANGED FROM 2 UNITS TO 1 UNIT IN 90 DAYS AND THAT ONE FINAL CHANCE TO CHANGE THEIR PROPOSALS IN ANY WAY WOULD BE CONSIDERED. PRECISION INSTRUMENT THEREAFTER REDUCED ITS UNIT PRICE TO $10,449. NO CHANGE, OTHER THAN THAT OF SEPTEMBER 26 OUTLINED ABOVE, WAS MADE IN AMERICAN CONCERTONE'S PROPOSAL.

BASED UPON SUCH FINAL PROPOSALS, THE ONLY MATERIAL DIFFERENCE OTHER THAN PRICE APPEARS TO BE THAT PRECISION INSTRUMENT OFFERED DELIVERY OF THE FIRST UNIT WITHIN 30 DAYS, AND AMERICAN CONCERTONE OFFERED DELIVERY OF THE FIRST UNIT WITHIN 60 DAYS. NOTWITHSTANDING A PRICE DIFFERENTIAL OF APPROXIMATELY $22,399, A CONTRACT WAS AWARDED TO PRECISION INSTRUMENT BASED UPON ITS EARLIER DELIVERY. THE CONTRACT SET LIQUIDATED DAMAGES FOR EACH CALENDAR DAY OF UNEXCUSED DELAY IN DELIVERY OF THE FIRST UNIT AT $746.64 PER DAY FOR THE FIRST 30 CALENDAR DAYS OF SUCH DELAY. HOWEVER, WE ARE ADVISED THAT THE FIRST UNIT WAS DELIVERED ON OCTOBER 31, 1961, IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONTRACT DELIVERY SCHEDULE.

YOUR PROTEST AGAINST CANCELLATION OF IFB 163/A124-1-4-62 CONTENDS THAT THE BIDS WERE SUBMITTED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF NOTE 33, QUOTED ABOVE; THAT THE VARIATIONS FROM THE SPECIFICATIONS, AS SET OUT IN BOTH BIDS, WERE NOT SUFFICIENTLY SIGNIFICANT TO PRECLUDE EVALUATION OF THE BIDS BY THE CONTRACTING OFFICER; AND THAT AMERICAN CONCERTONE'S OFFER ON SEPTEMBER 17 TO MEET ALL REQUIREMENTS OF THE SPECIFICATIONS CONSTITUTED A LATE MODIFICATION OF THE LOW BID WHICH THE CONTRACTING OFFICER WAS REQUIRED TO RECOGNIZE AND ACCEPT UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF ASPR 2-201 (A) (XXV).

IT IS A BASIC RULE THAT THE SPECIFICATIONS IN AN ADVERTISED PROCUREMENT MUST SPECIFY THE ACTUAL NEEDS OF THE GOVERNMENT AND MUST BE SO DRAWN AS TO PERMIT THE EVALUATION OF BIDS ON AN EQUAL AND IDENTICAL BASIS. 17 COMP. GEN. 789. IT IS OUR OPINION THAT NOTE 33 ON DRAWING 61A19F329 INVITED BIDDERS TO DEVIATE FROM THE STATED REQUIREMENTS OF THE SPECIFICATIONS; THAT ITS INCLUSION IN THE INVITATION WAS THEREFORE IMPROPER; AND THAT AN AWARD BASED UPON A BID WHICH DEVIATED FROM THE STATED REQUIREMENTS OF THE SPECIFICATIONS IN ANY WAY THAT WOULD AFFECT THE QUALITY OF THE ARTICLES OFFERED OR THE PRICE BID WOULD BE IMPROPER. SEE 33 COMP. GEN. 567; 30 ID. 179. IT IS OUR FURTHER OPINION THAT THE DEVIATIONS IN BOTH BIDS FROM THE STATED REQUIREMENTS OF THE SPECIFICATIONS WERE SUCH AS COULD REASONABLY BE EXPECTED TO AFFECT THE PRICE BID, AND THAT THE CONTRACTING OFFICER WAS THEREFORE WITHOUT AUTHORITY TO ACCEPT EITHER BID AS SUBMITTED.

CONCERNING AMERICAN CONCERTONE'S OFFER, AFTER BID OPENING, TO MEET THE SPECIFICATION REQUIREMENTS AT NO INCREASE IN ITS BID PRICE, THE RULE IS SETTLED THAT A BID WHICH IS SUBMITTED IN AN UNACCEPTABLE FORM MAY NOT BE MODIFIED AFTER BID OPENING AND ACCEPTED AS MODIFIED. SEE 30 COMP. GEN. 179; CF. 20 ID. 4. WHILE IT IS TRUE THAT ASPR 2-201 (A) (XXV) PERMITS MODIFICATION AT ANY TIME BY "AN OTHERWISE SUCCESSFUL BIDDER" IF SUCH MODIFICATION MAKES THE TERMS OF THE BID MORE FAVORABLE TO THE GOVERNMENT, THIS REGULATION HAS NO APPLICATION WHERE, AS IN THE CASE OF AMERICAN CONCERTONE'S OFFER TO MEET THE SPECIFICATION REQUIREMENTS, THE LOW BID IS NOT ACCEPTABLE WITHOUT SUCH MODIFICATION.

IN VIEW OF THE ABOVE, IT IS OUR OPINION THAT IFB 163/A124-1-4-62 WAS DEFECTIVE IN THAT IT BOTH FAILED TO STATE THE ACTUAL NEEDS OF THE GOVERNMENT AND FAILED TO SOLICIT BIDS ON THE BASIS OF SUCH ACTUAL NEEDS. UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES WE AGREE THAT CANCELLATION OF THE INVITATION WAS PROPER, AND YOUR PROTEST AGAINST SUCH CANCELLATION MUST BE DENIED.

THE FINDINGS AND DETERMINATION TO NEGOTIATE UNDER THE AUTHORITY OF 10 U.S.C. 2304 (A) (2), WHICH WERE MADE FOLLOWING CANCELLATION OF IFB 163/A124-1-4-62, SET OUT THE NEED FOR DELIVERIES COMMENCING ON OCTOBER 30, 1961, AND CONCLUDE THAT THE NEED FOR SUCH EARLY DELIVERY WILL NOT PERMIT THE DELAY INCIDENT TO FORMAL ADVERTISING. IN SUPPORT THEREOF, AND IN EXPLANATION OF THE NEGOTIATED AWARD TO PRECISION INSTRUMENT AT A PREMIUM PRICE FOR DELIVERY BEGINNING ON THAT DATE, THE DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY HAS ADVISED AS FOLLOWS.

THE RECORDER-REPRODUCER AND ELECTRONIC AMPLIFIER IS A COMPONENT OF TELEMETRIC DATA RECEIVING, RECORDING AND SCORING SET, AN/SKQ-1, EIGHT OF WHICH WERE RECENTLY BUILT AS THE FIRST PROTOTYPE LOT AND SEVEN OF WHICH HAVE ALREADY BEEN SHIPPED TO THE FLEET AND ARE NOW IN USE. HOWEVER, THE SPECIFICATION AND DESIGN FOR THE RECORDER-REPRODUCER AND ELECTRONIC AMPLIFIER HAVE SINCE BEEN CHANGED SUFFICIENTLY TO REQUIRE QUALIFICATION AND PREPRODUCTION TESTING. ADDITIONALLY, NONE OF THE COMPONENTS OF THE AN -SKQ-1 SET, WHEN ASSEMBLED AS A SET, HAVE PASSED THE NECESSARY QUALIFICATION AND PREPRODUCTION TESTING. WHILE THE EIGHTH SET HAS THEREFORE BEEN RETAINED FOR THE PURPOSE OF CONDUCTING SUCH TESTS ON THE NEW COMPONENTS, THIS SET MUST ALSO BE SHIPPED TO THE FLEET BY DECEMBER 1, 1961. IT IS THEREFORE CONSIDERED NECESSARY THAT ALL COMPONENTS UNDER THE PRESENT PROCUREMENT BE QUALIFICATION AND PREPRODUCTION TESTED WHILE THE EIGHTH SET IS AVAILABLE DURING THE MONTH OF NOVEMBER 1961. OTHERWISE TEST RESULTS ON A COMPLETE AN/SKQ-1 SET WILL BE DELAYED UNTIL APRIL 30, 1962, SINCE THE FIRST COMPLETE SET UNDER THE PRESENT PROCUREMENT WILL NOT BE AVAILABLE UNTIL FEBRUARY 28, 1962, AND 60 ADDITIONAL DAYS WILL BE REQUIRED TO CONDUCT THE TESTS AND TO ANALYZE THE TEST DATA. UNDER SUCH CIRCUMSTANCES THE UNITS OF THE COMPONENTS WHICH WOULD HAVE BEEN DELIVERED BY SUPPLIERS, OR ASSEMBLED BY THE CONTRACTING FACILITY, UP TO AND INCLUDING APRIL 30, 1962, WOULD BE ON HAND BUT THE GOVERNMENT WOULD NOT KNOW WHETHER THE DESIGN AND METHOD ASSEMBLY WOULD WITHSTAND THE OPERATING CONDITIONS AS DEMONSTRATED BY QUALIFICATION AND PREPRODUCTION TESTING AND REQUIRED BY OPERATIONAL NEED. THE ESTIMATED VALUE OF SUCH COMPONENTS ON HAND AS OF APRIL 30, 1962, IS $912,000, WHEREAS THE ESTIMATED VALUE OF COMPONENTS ON HAND AS OF DECEMBER 31, 1961, IS $137,000.

IT IS OUR OPINION THAT THE FOREGOING PRESENTS ADEQUATE JUSTIFICATION, FOLLOWING CANCELLATION OF IFB 163/A124-1-4-62, FOR INVOKING THE NEGOTIATION AUTHORITY OF 10 U.S.C. 2304 (A) (2) RATHER THAN DELAYING THE PROCUREMENT FOR SUCH ADDITIONAL TIME AS WOULD HAVE BEEN REQUIRED TO AGAIN ADVERTISE FOR SEALED BIDS. SEE ASPR 2-201.1. THE ONLY QUESTIONS REMAINING FOR DETERMINATION WOULD THEREFORE APPEAR TO BE WHETHER AN AWARD TO PRECISION INSTRUMENT AT A PREMIUM PRICE BASED UPON EARLIER DELIVERY WAS PROPER UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL AND THE EXISTING CIRCUMSTANCES AND, IF SO, WHETHER THE ADDITIONAL COST OF $22,399.20 WHICH WILL RESULT FROM THE CONTRACT AWARDED TO PRECISION INSTRUMENT IS EXCESSIVE.

THE AUTHORITY TO MAKE AN AWARD, BASED UPON EARLIER DELIVERY, TO OTHER THAN THE LOWEST BIDDER IS WELL ESTABLISHED, 9 COMP. GEN. 65; 28 ID. 719. AS INDICATED ABOVE, BOTH THE INVITATION FOR BIDS AND THE REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL IN THE INSTANT PROCUREMENT CLEARLY ADVISED ALL BIDDERS THAT THE TIME OF DELIVERY SET OUT THEREIN WAS CONSIDERED AN IMPORTANT FACTOR AND THAT FAILURE BY THE LOW BIDDER TO OFFER TO MEET SUCH DELIVERY MIGHT RESULT IN AN AWARD TO A HIGHER BIDDER BASED UPON HIS OFFER TO COMPLY WITH THE DELIVERY REQUIREMENTS. IN THE LIGHT OF THE NEED FOR EARLY DELIVERY OF RECORDER-REPRODUCER AND ELECTRONIC AMPLIFIERS, AS DESCRIBED ABOVE, WE ARE UNABLE TO CONCLUDE THAT IT WAS IMPROPER TO INCLUDE PROVISION FOR AWARD BASED UPON EARLY DELIVERY IN THE SOLICITATION OF BIDS AND OFFERS FOR SUPPLYING THESE ITEMS.

CONCERNING WHETHER THE PRICE DIFFERENTIAL TO PRECISION INSTRUMENT FOR SUCH EARLY DELIVERY WAS EXCESSIVE, THE DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY HAS ADVISED AS FOLLOWS:

"ON 3 OCTOBER 1961, WHEN THE DECISION WAS MADE TO PURCHASE THESE SUPPLIES FROM THE PRECISION INSTRUMENT COMPANY RATHER THAN AMERICAN CONCERTONE, INC., IT WAS EXPECTED THAT THE OTHER TWO COMPONENTS LISTED IN PARAGRAPH 12C WOULD BE AVAILABLE AND THAT THE CONTEMPLATED, SCHEDULED AND NECESSARY QUALIFICATION AND PREPRODUCTION TESTING COULD BE ACCOMPLISHED DURING THE MONTH OF NOVEMBER 1961, WHEN THE EIGHTH AND LAST UNIT FROM THE PRIOR AND FIRST PROTOTYPE LOT WOULD BE AVAILABLE. SPECIFICALLY, THE OSCILLOGRAPH AND TAKE-UP REEL HAD BEEN PURCHASED FROM CONSOLIDATED ELECTRODYNAMICS COMPANY ON CONTRACT N163-9563 FOR DELIVERY OF THE FIRST UNIT BY 10 OCTOBER 1961, AND THE DELIVERY OF THE FIRST DISCRIMINATOR COULD AND WOULD BE MADE IN 14 DAYS AFTER THE RECEIPT OF A CONTRACT. AS A MATTER OF FACT, A CONTRACT WAS AWARDED ON 16 OCTOBER 1961 FOR DELIVERY OF THE FIRST UNIT WITHIN 10 CALENDAR DAYS AFTER RECEIPT OF AWARD. "IT IS TRUE THAT THE GOVERNMENT HAS PAID $22,399.00 FOR 30 DAYS EARLIER DELIVERY OF ONE UNIT OF THE RECORDER REPRODUCER AND ELECTRONIC AMPLIFIER; HOWEVER, THE IMPORTANT POINT IS THAT THE UNIT OF THE SUPPLIER FROM WHOM THEY WILL BE SUPPLIED MUST BE AVAILABLE DURING THE MONTH OF NOVEMBER, WHEN OTHER COMPONENTS OF THE AN/SKQ-1 SET ARE AVAILABLE. BUWEPS SCHEDULE FOR THE AN/SKQ-1 WAS ESTABLISHED FOR SHIPS AND FOREIGN COUNTRIES, AND CONTRACTUAL COMMITMENTS HAVE BEEN MADE TO CONTRACTORS TO FURNISH THESE SETS AS GFM, AS SHOWN BY THE SCHEDULE IN PARAGRAPH 11. DELAY IN SHIPMENT OF THE SETS WOULD SERIOUSLY INJURE THE GOVERNMENT IN DELAY IN PLANNED OPERATIONAL MISSION OF THE SHIPS AND POSSIBLE ADDITIONAL COST FOR DELAY IN FURNISHING OF GFM. IS TRUE THAT THE AN/SKQ-1 SETS COULD BE SUPPLIED AS REQUIRED WITHOUT BEING QUALIFICATION AND PREPRODUCTION TESTED; HOWEVER, DUE TO THE COMPLEX AND DELICATE NATURE OF SOME OF THE COMPONENTS AND THE EXTREME ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS OF PLANNED USE, IT IS NOT IN THE BEST INTERESTS OF THE GOVERNMENT TO RISK INSTALLATION FOR USE WITHOUT PROPER TESTING.'

THE DOLLAR VALUE TO THE GOVERNMENT OF ADHERENCE TO ITS ESTABLISHED SCHEDULES AND PROGRAMS, OR THE MONETARY AND OTHER DAMAGES WHICH MIGHT BE EXPECTED TO RESULT FROM FAILURE TO OBTAIN THE FIRST RECORDER REPRODUCER AND ELECTRONIC AMPLIFIER SUFFICIENTLY EARLY TO PERMIT ADHERENCE TO THE ESTABLISHED TEST SCHEDULE, WOULD APPEAR TO BE CONJECTURAL AT BEST. CERTAINLY, IT WOULD APPEAR THAT UNDER CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES, SUCH AS TEST RESULTS INDICATING DEFICIENCIES REQUIRING MAJOR REVISIONS IN DESIGN OR PERFORMANCE CHARACTERISTICS, THE DISCOVERY OF SUCH DEFICIENCIES AT THE EARLIEST POSSIBLE DATE PRIOR TO PRODUCTION AND DELIVERY OF ADDITIONAL UNITS OR OTHER COMPONENTS MIGHT RESULT IN SAVINGS IN EXCESS OF THE ADDITIONAL COST OF THE CONTRACT AWARDED TO PRECISION INSTRUMENT. IN VIEW THEREOF, AND IN THE ABSENCE OF CONVINCING EVIDENCE THAT SUCH ADDITIONAL COSTS COULD NOT REASONABLY BE EXPECTED TO RESULT FROM LATER DELIVERY, WE ARE UNABLE TO CONCLUDE THAT THE ADDITIONAL COST OF THE AWARD TO PRECISION INSTRUMENT WAS EXCESSIVE. YOUR PROTEST AGAINST SUCH AWARD MUST THEREFORE BE DENIED.