B-149260, AUG. 16, 1962

B-149260: Aug 16, 1962

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TO GEMMA CORPORATION: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR PROTEST AGAINST ANY AWARD UNDER INVITATION FOR BIDS NO. 36-600-62-362. YOUR PROTEST AGAINST ANY AWARD UNDER THE INVITATION IS ON THE BASIS THAT THE SPECIFICATIONS AND DRAWINGS WERE INSUFFICIENT TO DEFINE THE END PRODUCT INVOLVED AND DID NOT DESCRIBE THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE GOVERNMENT CLEARLY. IT IS ALLEGED THAT THE DRAWINGS AND OTHER RELATED SPECIFICATIONS CONTAINED IN THE INVITATION FOR BIDS. WILL NOT PRODUCE AN END PRODUCT THAT IS CAPABLE OF MEETING CERTAIN SPECIFICATION REQUIREMENTS. IT IS STATED THAT A PROCUREMENT ON SUCH BASIS. IN THIS CONNECTION IT IS STATED THAT AS OF THIS DATE THERE ARE SEVERAL HUNDRED ADDITIONAL DRAWINGS AND/OR DRAWING CHANGES NOT INCLUDED IN THE INVITATION FOR BIDS.

B-149260, AUG. 16, 1962

TO GEMMA CORPORATION:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR PROTEST AGAINST ANY AWARD UNDER INVITATION FOR BIDS NO. 36-600-62-362, ISSUED BY OLMSTED AIR FORCE BASE, PENNSYLVANIA.

THE INVITATION REQUESTED BIDS FOR FURNISHING A NUMBER OF Q-4SIGNAL MONITOR SETS, TOGETHER WITH APPLICABLE SPARE PARTS AND DATA IN ACCORDANCE WITH DRAWINGS AND SPECIFICATIONS PREPARED FOR THE AIR FORCE UNDER A PRIOR CONTRACT WITH THE DENVER RESEARCH INSTITUTE, INC.

YOUR PROTEST AGAINST ANY AWARD UNDER THE INVITATION IS ON THE BASIS THAT THE SPECIFICATIONS AND DRAWINGS WERE INSUFFICIENT TO DEFINE THE END PRODUCT INVOLVED AND DID NOT DESCRIBE THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE GOVERNMENT CLEARLY, ADEQUATELY AND COMPLETELY, NOR CONSTITUTE A COMPLETE ASSEMBLY OF RELATED DOCUMENTS AS REQUIRED BY SECTION 2-101 OF THE ARMED SERVICES PROCUREMENT REGULATION. IT IS ALLEGED THAT THE DRAWINGS AND OTHER RELATED SPECIFICATIONS CONTAINED IN THE INVITATION FOR BIDS, AS AMENDED, WILL NOT PRODUCE AN END PRODUCT THAT IS CAPABLE OF MEETING CERTAIN SPECIFICATION REQUIREMENTS. IT IS STATED THAT A PROCUREMENT ON SUCH BASIS, WITHOUT COMPLETE ENGINEERING AND EVALUATION AND THE RESULTING FULL UNDERSTANDING OF THE TECHNICAL ASPECTS OF THE REQUIREMENT, DENIES FULL AND FREE COMPETITION AND JEOPARDIZES MUTUAL UNDERSTANDING BETWEEN EACH SOURCE AND THE GOVERNMENT. IN THIS CONNECTION IT IS STATED THAT AS OF THIS DATE THERE ARE SEVERAL HUNDRED ADDITIONAL DRAWINGS AND/OR DRAWING CHANGES NOT INCLUDED IN THE INVITATION FOR BIDS, AS AMENDED, WHICH ARE NECESSARY TO PROPERLY MANUFACTURE THE SETS.

YOUR BELIEF CONCERNING THE ALLEGED DEFICIENCIES OF THE SPECIFICATIONS APPARENTLY IS DUE TO THE FACT THAT CERTAIN OF YOUR OFFICERS ARE CONNECTED WITH THE DENVER RESEARCH INSTITUTE, INC., AND WERE, AND STILL ARE, ASSOCIATED WITH THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE Q-4 SIGNAL MONITOR.

THE AIR FORCE REPORTS THAT AT THE TIME OF THE ISSUANCE OF THE INVITATION IT WAS RECOGNIZED THAT THERE WOULD BE SOME DRAWING CHANGES AND MODIFICATIONS IN THE PRODUCTION UNITS, SINCE THE PREPRODUCTION MODELS DEVELOPED BY THE DENVER RESEARCH INSTITUTE WOULD BE IN OPERATION DURING THE PRODUCTION UNDER THE CONTRACT LET PURSUANT TO THIS INVITATION. IT WAS CONSIDERED THAT THESE CHANGES WERE OF A MINOR NATURE, AND NONE OF THE PROPOSED CHANGES HAS AS YET BEEN APPROVED BY THE GOVERNMENT. BIDDERS WERE GIVEN NOTICE IN THE INVITATION THAT CHANGES WERE ANTICIPATED AND THAT THE CONTRACTOR WOULD BE REQUIRED TO INCORPORATE SUCH CHANGES IN THE SETS IN PRODUCTION AS WELL AS THOSE TO BE PRODUCED. HOWEVER, IT WAS CONSIDERED THAT BIDDERS WERE NOT BIDDING ON A PRODUCT THAT WAS NOT ADEQUATELY DESCRIBED, AND THAT ANY DRAWING CHANGES ISSUED AFTER THE AWARD OF THE CONTRACT WOULD NOT CHANGE SUBSTANTIALLY THE PRODUCT DESCRIBED BY THE DRAWINGS AND SPECIFICATIONS SET FORTH IN THE INVITATION. IT IS REPORTED THAT THE DRAWINGS AND SPECIFICATIONS SET FORTH IN THE INVITATION DESCRIBED AN EXISTING PROTOTYPE AND CERTAIN EXISTING PREPRODUCTION SAMPLES OF THE Q- 4 SIGNAL MONITOR, AND THAT THIS EQUIPMENT MEETS, IN ALL MATERIAL RESPECTS, THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE ACCEPTANCE AND FINAL ENGINEERING SPECIFICATIONS SET FORTH IN THE INVITATION.

THE OBJECTION THUS PRESENTED IS THAT, DUE TO YOUR CLOSE ASSOCIATION WITH THE DENVER RESEARCH INSTITUTE IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE Q-4 SIGNAL MONITOR, YOU DO NOT BELIEVE THAT THE DRAWINGS AND SPECIFICATIONS SET FORTH IN THE INVITATION ARE SUFFICIENTLY FINALIZED FOR FORMAL ADVERTISING PURPOSES, WHEREAS THE AIR FORCE DOES. THIS IS PRIMARILY A QUESTION OF JUDGMENT TO BE RESOLVED BY THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICIALS CHARGED WITH THE DUTY OF PROCURING SUCH EQUIPMENT. THE MERE FACT THAT THERE MAY BE SOME FUTURE CHANGES IN THE DRAWINGS AND/OR SPECIFICATIONS DOES NOT MEAN THAT THEY NECESSARILY ARE INADEQUATE OR DO NOT CONSTITUTE A PROPER BASIS FOR FORMAL ADVERTISING PURPOSES.

THE REASON FOR THE PREBIDDING CONFERENCE HELD ON MAY 10, 1962, AT THE DENVER RESEARCH INSTITUTE, INC., UNIVERSITY OF DENVER, WAS TO PERMIT PROSPECTIVE BIDDERS TO STUDY THE Q-4 SIGNAL MONITOR PREPRODUCTION MODELS AND TO ASK ANY QUESTIONS THEY MIGHT HAVE CONCERNING THE SPECIFICATIONS. IT IS NOTED THAT YOU TOOK NO EXCEPTION TO THE SPECIFICATIONS AT THAT TIME. BIDS WERE RECEIVED FROM SEVEN FIRMS, RANGING IN PRICE FROM A LOW OF $1,568,037.09 TO AHIGH OF $2,070,581.20. YOUR BID IN THE AMOUNT OF $1,660,291 WAS SECOND LOW. THE FACT THAT SEVERAL BIDDERS WERE ABLE TO SUBMIT UNQUALIFIED BIDS WOULD SEEM TO SUBSTANTIATE AIR FORCE'S OPINION THAT THE SPECIFICATIONS WERE SUFFICIENTLY CLEAR AND ADEQUATE FOR FORMAL ADVERTISING PURPOSES.

FOR THE FOREGOING REASONS WE SEE NO LEGAL BASIS UPON WHICH WE WOULD BE WARRANTED IN QUESTIONING AN AWARD UNDER THE INVITATION HERE INVOLVED. ACCORDINGLY, YOUR PROTEST IS DENIED.