B-149395, SEP. 5, 1962

B-149395: Sep 5, 1962

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CLOUD: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 17. THE OFFICIAL RECORD SHOWS THAT THE TECHNICAL PROPOSALS THAT WERE RECEIVED FROM THE SEVEN DIFFERENT FIRMS THAT RESPONDED TO THE REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS WERE REFERRED TO GOVERNMENT ENGINEERS FOR TECHNICAL EVALUATION. IT WAS DETERMINED THAT IT HAD 14 DEFICIENCIES IN THE NATURE OF EXCEPTIONS TO THE SPECIFICATIONS AND INADEQUACIES OR OMISSIONS OF TECHNICAL INFORMATION. THE QUESTIONS RAISED BY THE TECHNICAL EVALUATION WERE COMMUNICATED TO YOUR COMPANY AND IT WAS GIVEN AN OPPORTUNITY TO MAKE REVISIONS TO CORRECT THE DEFICIENCIES AND TO INCLUDE MATERIAL THAT WOULD PERMIT THE AGENCY TO DETERMINE WHETHER YOUR PROPOSAL WOULD MEET THE AGENCY'S REQUIREMENTS.

B-149395, SEP. 5, 1962

TO MR. R. F. CLOUD:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 17, 1962, AND PREVIOUS CORRESPONDENCE, CONCERNING YOUR PROTEST AGAINST THE REJECTION OF THE LOW OFFER SUBMITTED UNDER REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS 22083/62 COVERING A PROCUREMENT OF SERVICES AND MATERIALS TO DESIGN, FABRICATE, AND INSTALL A GENERAL PURPOSE PULSE-CODE-MODULATION TELEMETRY MAGNETIC DATA PROCESSING SYSTEM WITH RELATED REPORTS, DRAWINGS, SPECIFICATIONS AND MANUALS AND SPARE PARTS, AND FOR CONDUCTING AN ON-SITE TRAINING COURSE AT THE PACIFIC MISSILE RANGE, POINT MUGU, CALIFORNIA.

THE OFFICIAL RECORD SHOWS THAT THE TECHNICAL PROPOSALS THAT WERE RECEIVED FROM THE SEVEN DIFFERENT FIRMS THAT RESPONDED TO THE REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS WERE REFERRED TO GOVERNMENT ENGINEERS FOR TECHNICAL EVALUATION. UPON REVIEW OF THE TECHNICAL PROPOSAL SUBMITTED BY YOUR FIRM, IT WAS DETERMINED THAT IT HAD 14 DEFICIENCIES IN THE NATURE OF EXCEPTIONS TO THE SPECIFICATIONS AND INADEQUACIES OR OMISSIONS OF TECHNICAL INFORMATION. THE QUESTIONS RAISED BY THE TECHNICAL EVALUATION WERE COMMUNICATED TO YOUR COMPANY AND IT WAS GIVEN AN OPPORTUNITY TO MAKE REVISIONS TO CORRECT THE DEFICIENCIES AND TO INCLUDE MATERIAL THAT WOULD PERMIT THE AGENCY TO DETERMINE WHETHER YOUR PROPOSAL WOULD MEET THE AGENCY'S REQUIREMENTS.

A REVISED PROPOSAL WAS RECEIVED FROM YOUR FIRM AND IT TOO WAS SUBMITTED FOR REVIEW BY TECHNICAL PERSONNEL OF THE REQUIRING ACTIVITY. UPON COMPLETION OF THE TECHNICAL REEVALUATION, IT WAS CONCLUDED THAT THE PROPOSAL WAS STILL UNACCEPTABLE FROM A TECHNICAL STANDPOINT FOR THE FOLLOWING REASONS:

"A. THE PMR SPECIFICATION (PARAGRAPH 4.4.3.1.3) REQUIRES AN INPUT CAPABILITY OF 0 TO -15 DBM (APPROXIMATELY 0.4 TO 2.2 VOLTS PEAK TO PEAK). THE ASTRODATA MODEL 6220 AS OFFERED BY VIDEO DOES NOT MEET THIS REQUIREMENT. THE OFFERED EQUIPMENT HAS AN INPUT AMPLITUDE OF 1 TO 10 VOLTS PEAK TO PEAK.

"B. THE PROPOSAL DOES NOT INDICATE COMPLIANCE WITH PARAGRAPH 4.2.1.1.6 OF THE SPECIFICATION REGARDING INPUT SIGNAL-TO-NOISE RATION.

"C. THE PROPOSAL DOES NOT INDICATE COMPLIANCE WITH PARAGRAPH 4.2.1.1.7 OF THE SPECIFICATION REGARDING CAPTURE RANGE.

"D. THE PROPOSAL DOES NOT INDICATE COMPLIANCE WITH PARAGRAPH 4.2.1.1.8 OF THE SPECIFICATION REGARDING TRACKING RANGE.

"E. THE PROPOSAL DOES NOT INDICATE COMPLIANCE WITH PARAGRAPH 4.2.1.2.1 OF THE SPECIFICATION REGARDING WORD AND FRAME SYNCHRONIZATION.

"F. THE PROPOSAL DOES NOT INDICATE COMPLIANCE WITH PARAGRAPH 4.2.1.4 OF THE SPECIFICATION REGARDING WORD RANGE.

"G. THE TECHNICAL APPROACH IN BOTH THE ORIGINAL PROPOSAL AND THE REVISED PROPOSAL OF 10 JUNE 1962 DID NOT GIVE ADEQUATE INFORMATION TO ENABLE INTELLIGENT EVALUATION OF THE AREAS OF BIT DECISION CIRCUITRY, BIT SYNC, BIT RATE TRACKING, INPUT SIGNAL FILTERING, INTEGRATION OF THE IRIG PARALLEL TAPE RECORDER/REPRODUCER, ACCOMMODATION OF RANDOM WORDS OCCURRING IN THE MINUTEMAN DATA FORMAT, TITAN II MINOR FRAME RECOGNITION AS WELL AS OTHER AREAS.'

THIS INFORMATION WAS COMMUNICATED TO YOU BY PURCHASING OFFICE LETTER OF JULY 16, 1962. THE LETTER CONCLUDED THAT THE TECHNICAL PROPOSAL SUBMITTED BY YOUR COMPANY WAS SO INCOMPLETE AS TO MAKE IT IMPOSSIBLE IN THE OPINION OF THE TECHNICAL PERSONNEL OF THE USING ACTIVITY TO DETERMINE PRECISELY WHAT THE GOVERNMENT MIGHT RECEIVE. YOU CONTEND THAT THE TECHNICAL EVALUATION WAS ERRONEOUS AND THAT THE AGENCY WAS NOT JUSTIFIED IN CONTRACTING WITH THE NEXT OFFEROR AT A SUBSTANTIALLY HIGHER PRICE.

THE SUBJECT PROCUREMENT IS HIGHLY COMPLEX AND EXPENSIVE AND THE RECORD INDICATES THAT THE TECHNICAL PROPOSALS WERE EVALUATED BY COMPETENT TECHNICAL PERSONNEL IN THE REQUISITIONING AGENCY. THIS IS RIGHTLY SO, SINCE THE SPECIFICATIONS CAN BE UNDERSTOOD COMPLETELY ONLY BY QUALIFIED ENGINEERS. FOR US TO DETERMINE WHETHER THE TECHNICAL PROPOSALS MEET THE STANDARDS ESTABLISHED BY THE REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS WOULD REQUIRE THE EMPLOYMENT OF THE SAME KIND OF ENGINEERING EXPERTNESS. THIS WE DO NOT HAVE. THEREFORE, AS IT IS NOT APPARENT FROM THE RECORD THAT THE ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION WAS ARBITRARY OR CAPRICIOUS, WE WILL NOT ATTEMPT TO SUBSTITUTE OUR JUDGMENT FOR THAT OF THE CONTRACTING AGENCY, NOR DO WE PERCEIVE ANY BASIS UPON WHICH WE COULD OBJECT TO THE AWARD TO A HIGHER PROPOSER, SINCE THE AGENCIES OF THE GOVERNMENT ARE NOT REQUIRED TO MAKE PURCHASES OF EQUIPMENT NOT FULFILLING THEIR REQUIREMENTS SIMPLY BECAUSE A LOWER PRICE CAN BE OBTAINED IN THAT WAY.

FURTHER, WITH RESPECT TO THE QUESTION OF WHETHER OFFERINGS TO THE GOVERNMENT MEET THE GOVERNMENT'S SPECIFICATIONS, IT IS AN ESTABLISHED RULE THAT THESE FACTUAL DETERMINATIONS ARE THE PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITY OF THE PROCURING AGENCIES. 17 COMP. GEN. 554, 19 ID. 587 AND 40 ID. 35.

IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES, THERE APPEARS TO BE NO FURTHER ACTION THAT CAN BE TAKEN BY OUR OFFICE IN THIS CASE AT THIS TIME, BUT IT MAY BE THAT YOUR FURTHER COMMUNICATION WITH THE CONTRACTING AGENCY NOW MIGHT HELP TO RESOLVE ANY DOUBTS YOU MAY HAVE ABOUT THE TECHNICAL INSUFFICIENCY OF YOUR TECHNICAL PROPOSAL.