B-150035, FEB. 4, 1963

B-150035: Feb 4, 1963

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THE AIR FORCE BUYER REPORTS THAT THE EXHAUST SYSTEMS INVOLVED IN THESE AIRCRAFT ENGINES ARE AMONG THE MOST COMPLEX OF ALL COMPARABLE-USE SYSTEMS IN THE AIR FORCE AND ARE DIFFERENT FROM ANY OTHER TYPE EXHAUST SYSTEM. IT WAS CONSIDERED ESSENTIAL THAT THE WORK BE PERFORMED BY A CONTRACTOR KNOWN TO HAVE AVAILABLE THE NECESSARY FIXTURES AND GAUGES ALL ALIGNED TO AN EXACTNESS ASSURING THAT THE OVERHAULED PARTS WILL FIT TO THE EXACTING TOLERANCES REQUIRED. IT IS FURTHER REPORTED THAT THE SPECIAL TOOLING REQUIRED TO PERFORM THIS WORK WAS NOT AVAILABLE FROM AIR FORCE INVENTORY. A PURCHASE REQUEST WAS RECEIVED BY THE AIR FORCE BUYER FOR THIS WORK IN AUGUST 1962. AUTHORITY WAS REQUESTED (IN ACCORDANCE WITH AIR FORCE REGULATION AFPI-3-101.50/C) ( TO ALLOW ONLY 14 DAYS FOR A SUBMISSION OF PROPOSALS.

B-150035, FEB. 4, 1963

TO TEICHER METAL AND PLASTIC CORPORATION:

THIS REFERS TO YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 1, 1962, PROTESTING AGAINST THE AWARD MADE UNDER LETTER REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS NO. OCPAS-3398, ISSUED BY THE OKLAHOMA CITY AIR MATERIEL AREA, TINKER AIR FORCE BASE, OKLAHOMA.

THE SUBJECT RFP COVERED THE OVERHAUL AND REPAIR OF THE B-50 AND C/KC-97 AIRCRAFT EXHAUST SYSTEM COMPONENTS. THE AIR FORCE BUYER REPORTS THAT THE EXHAUST SYSTEMS INVOLVED IN THESE AIRCRAFT ENGINES ARE AMONG THE MOST COMPLEX OF ALL COMPARABLE-USE SYSTEMS IN THE AIR FORCE AND ARE DIFFERENT FROM ANY OTHER TYPE EXHAUST SYSTEM, IN THAT EXTREMELY CLOSE TOLERANCES MUST BE MAINTAINED TO PROPERLY FIT THE UNITS. IT WAS CONSIDERED ESSENTIAL THAT THE WORK BE PERFORMED BY A CONTRACTOR KNOWN TO HAVE AVAILABLE THE NECESSARY FIXTURES AND GAUGES ALL ALIGNED TO AN EXACTNESS ASSURING THAT THE OVERHAULED PARTS WILL FIT TO THE EXACTING TOLERANCES REQUIRED. IT IS FURTHER REPORTED THAT THE SPECIAL TOOLING REQUIRED TO PERFORM THIS WORK WAS NOT AVAILABLE FROM AIR FORCE INVENTORY.

A PURCHASE REQUEST WAS RECEIVED BY THE AIR FORCE BUYER FOR THIS WORK IN AUGUST 1962, AND AUTHORITY WAS REQUESTED (IN ACCORDANCE WITH AIR FORCE REGULATION AFPI-3-101.50/C) ( TO ALLOW ONLY 14 DAYS FOR A SUBMISSION OF PROPOSALS. THE REASON PRESENTED WAS THAT THE SUPPORT CAPABILITY FOR THE EQUIPMENT INVOLVED WAS INSUFFICIENT TO AWAIT RECEIPT OF SERVICEABLE MATERIAL FROM A CONTRACTOR PENDING THE NORMAL PERIOD OF NEGOTIATION AND PERFORMANCE.

THE CONTRACTING OFFICER STATES THAT THE AIR FORCE WAS AWARE OF ONLY THREE SOURCES THAT COULD PERFORM THE REQUIRED WORK WITHIN THE TIME ALLOWED. THESE SOURCES WERE AS FOLLOWS:

THE BOEING COMPANY

RYAN AERONAUTICAL COMPANY

LAWRENCE AVIATION INDUSTRIES

THESE FIRMS WERE KNOWN BECAUSE BOEING IS THE PRIME DESIGN AIRFRAME MANUFACTURER AND RYAN WAS THE ORIGINAL SUBCONTRACTOR FOR THE EXHAUST SYSTEMS WITH BOTH CONTRACTORS HAVING HELD JOINT DESIGN AND PROPRIETARY RIGHTS TO THE REQUIRED TOOLING. IN ADDITION TO THESE TWO FIRMS, LAWRENCE WAS THE ONLY SOURCE KNOWN TO HAVE PERFORMED ACCEPTABLE QUALITY WORK ON THE COMPONENTS AND THUS KNOWN TO HAVE ADEQUATE TOOLING. AIR FORCE PERSONNEL ESTIMATED THAT ADDITIONAL LEAD TIME OF AT LEAST 90 DAYS WOULD BE REQUIRED BY A NEW CONTRACTOR (I.E. WITHOUT TOOLING)TO PURCHASE FROM RYAN, IF OBTAINABLE, OR TO HAVE TOOLING BUILT. IT WAS NOT CONSIDERED THAT SUCH TIME WAS AVAILABLE ON THIS URGENT PROCUREMENT.

WITH THIS BACKGROUND, THE RFP WAS ISSUED ON SEPTEMBER 7, 1962, AND THE CLOSING DATE FOR RECEIPT OF PROPOSALS WAS SET FOR SEPTEMBER 24, 1962. THE PROPOSED CONTRACT SCHEDULE CALLED FOR THE CONTRACTOR TO DELIVER REPAIRED ITEMS VARYING IN QUANTITY FROM 10 PERCENT TO 56 PERCENT OF EACH ITEM, WITHIN 30 DAYS FROM CONTRACTOR'S RECEIPT OF THE INITIAL GOVERNMENT INPUT OF THE ITEMS. DELIVERY WAS THEREAFTER SPECIFIED AT 1/6 OF THE REMAINING PORTION OF THE ANTICIPATED QUANTITY OF EACH ITEM EACH MONTH UNTIL COMPLETION.

THE PROCUREMENT WAS NEGOTIATED PURSUANT TO 10 U.S.C. 2304 (A) (10) (IMPRACTICABLE TO OBTAIN COMPETITION), WITH THE AFOREMENTIONED FIRMS. IS REPORTED THAT ON SEPTEMBER 28, 1962, FOUR DAYS AFTER THE CLOSING DATE FOR RECEIPT OF PROPOSALS, AN INQUIRY WAS FIRST MADE IN YOUR BEHALF CONCERNING THIS PROCUREMENT. YOU WERE INFORMED BY THE PROCURING ACTIVITY THAT NEGOTIATIONS WERE CLOSED AND THAT A PROPOSAL FROM YOUR FIRM WOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED. BY LETTER OF OCTOBER 1, 1962, YOU PROTESTED TO THIS OFFICE AGAINST "THE HASTY NATURE OF THIS NEGOTIATION.' YOU NOTED THAT PROPOSALS FOR THIS PROCUREMENT WERE NOT MADE AVAILABLE AT THE NEW YORK AIR PROCUREMENT DISTRICT. YOU REQUESTED THAT YOU BE PERMITTED TO SUBMIT A PROPOSAL WHICH WOULD BE CONSIDERED FOR THE AWARD.

THE ADMINISTRATIVE AUTHORITY FOUND THAT THE URGENCY FOR THE REQUIRED WORK HAD INCREASED, AND THE PROCURING AUTHORITY PROCEEDED TO MAKE THE AWARD TO LAWRENCE AVIATION INDUSTRIES, THE FIRM WHICH HAD QUOTED THE LOWEST PRICE.

THE FACTS SHOW THAT THE AIR FORCE REQUIRED THE CONTRACTED SERVICES AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. THE NATURE OF THE WORK WAS SUCH THAT ONLY CONTRACTORS HAVING THE NECESSARY SPECIAL TOOLING WERE QUALIFIED FOR THE CONTRACT. WAS ESTIMATED BY AIR FORCE TECHNICAL PERSONNEL THAT IT WOULD TAKE AT LEAST 90 DAYS FOR A NEW CONTRACTOR TO OBTAIN THE SPECIAL TOOLING. THE AIR FORCE KNEW OF ONLY THREE SOURCES THAT ALREADY POSSESSED THE REQUIRED TOOLING, AND THE URGENCY OF THE WORK DID NOT ALLOW THE TIME CONSIDERED NECESSARY FOR A NEW CONTRACTOR TO OBTAIN THE REQUIRED TOOLING. AS A RESULT THE AIR FORCE SOLICITED PROPOSALS ONLY FROM THE THREE KNOWN SOURCES.

ASPR 3-802.2 STATES THAT PROPOSALS SHOULD BE SOLICITED FROM A SUFFICIENT NUMBER OF COMPETENT POTENTIAL SOURCES TO INSURE ADEQUATE COMPETITION. THE SECTION ALSO STATES THAT BIDDERS MAILING LISTS SHOULD BE USED WHERE APPROPRIATE. SINCE ONLY THREE SOURCES WERE KNOWN THAT COULD DO THE REQUIRED WORK WITHIN THE AVAILABLE TIME IT DOES NOT APPEAR THAT SOLICITATION FROM A FULL BIDDERS LIST WOULD HAVE SERVED TO INCREASE COMPETITION. IN ANY EVENT, YOU WERE NOT INCLUDED ON THE BIDDERS LIST AT THE TIME.

EXCEPT IN CERTAIN LIMITED CASES, PROPOSALS WHICH ARE NOT RECEIVED AT THE TIME SPECIFIED FOR THEIR SUBMISSION ARE NOT TO BE CONSIDERED FOR AWARD. SEE ASPR 3-804.2. YOU DID NOT COME WITHIN ANY OF THE "LATE PROPOSAL" EXCEPTIONS STATED IN THE PROPOSAL. ACCORDINGLY, A PROPOSAL RECEIVED FROM YOUR FIRM AFTER SEPTEMBER 24, 1962, COULD NOT PROPERLY HAVE BEEN CONSIDERED FOR THE AWARD.

WE FIND NO BASIS TO CONCLUDE THAT THE AIR FORCE ACTED IMPROPERLY IN THIS NEGOTIATION. SEE B-144775, MARCH 22, 1961, COPY ENCLOSED. ACCORDINGLY, YOUR PROTEST IS DENIED.