B-151393, JUN. 12, 1963

B-151393: Jun 12, 1963

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THE TECHNICAL PERSONNEL OF THE PROCURING ACTIVITY DETERMINED THAT YOUR PROPOSAL WAS NONRESPONSIVE BECAUSE IT INDICATED OUTPUT LEVEL COMPOSITE AND SINGLE OUTPUTS ADJUSTABLE FROM 0-2 VOLTS RMS. THE QUESTION AS TO WHETHER THE TECHNICAL PERFORMANCE REQUIREMENTS ARE NECESSARY TO MEET THE MINIMUM NEEDS OF THE PROCURING ACTIVITY. ARE NOT ORDINARILY CONSIDERED TO BE WITHIN THE JURISDICTION OF THIS OFFICE. WE USUALLY ARE REQUIRED TO ACCEPT THE ADMINISTRATIVE REPORT AS CORRECT. WHETHER A PARTICULAR BID IS RESPONSIVE TO THE TECHNICAL DETAILS OF THE SPECIFICATIONS IS NOT A MATTER. YOUR PROTEST IS BASED UPON SUCH AN EVALUATION. WE SET FORTH THE FOLLOWING RULE WHICH WE CONSIDER TO BE CONTROLLING IN THE INSTANT MATTER: " "IT IS IN THE PROVINCE OF ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICERS TO DRAFT PROPER SPECIFICATIONS NECESSARY TO SUBMIT FOR FAIR COMPETITIVE BIDDING PROPOSED CONTRACTS TO SUPPLY GOVERNMENTAL NEEDS.

B-151393, JUN. 12, 1963

TO THE GULF AEROSPACE CORPORATION:

IN YOUR TELEGRAM OF APRIL 26, 1963, YOU PROTEST THE AWARD TO ANOTHER FIRM OF A CONTRACT FOR 11-POINT CALIBRATORS, PURSUANT TO REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS RFP-123-31307, ISSUED BY THE NAVY PURCHASING OFFICE, LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA.

THE RECORD ESTABLISHED THAT YOU SUBMITTED THE LOWEST OFFER OF FOUR OFFERS RECEIVED. HOWEVER, AFTER EVALUATING THE DATA YOU HAD SUBMITTED WITH YOUR BID, THE TECHNICAL PERSONNEL OF THE PROCURING ACTIVITY DETERMINED THAT YOUR PROPOSAL WAS NONRESPONSIVE BECAUSE IT INDICATED OUTPUT LEVEL COMPOSITE AND SINGLE OUTPUTS ADJUSTABLE FROM 0-2 VOLTS RMS, WHILE ITEM 1 OF THE SPECIFICATIONS REQUIRED THE OUTPUT LEVEL TO BE "SINGLE CHANNEL--- 1 VOLT PEAK-TO-PEAK, COMPOSITE--- EACH CHANNEL 1 VOLT PEAK-TO-PEAK, COMPOSITE--- EACH CHANNEL 1 VOLT PEAK-TO-PEAK.'

THE QUESTION AS TO WHETHER THE TECHNICAL PERFORMANCE REQUIREMENTS ARE NECESSARY TO MEET THE MINIMUM NEEDS OF THE PROCURING ACTIVITY, AND THE QUESTION AS TO THE MATERIALITY OF THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN YOUR PRODUCT AND THE ONE CALLED FOR IN THE SPECIFICATIONS, ARE NOT ORDINARILY CONSIDERED TO BE WITHIN THE JURISDICTION OF THIS OFFICE. IN OUR DECISION, B-139830, DATED AUGUST 19, 1959, WE MADE THE FOLLOWING OBSERVATION:

"THIS OFFICE HAS NEITHER AN ENGINEERING STAFF NOR A TESTING LABORATORY TO EVALUATE THE TECHNICAL ASPECTS OF SPECIFICATIONS. MOREOVER, IN DISPUTES OF FACT BETWEEN A PROTESTANT AND A GOVERNMENT AGENCY, WE USUALLY ARE REQUIRED TO ACCEPT THE ADMINISTRATIVE REPORT AS CORRECT. WHETHER A PARTICULAR BID IS RESPONSIVE TO THE TECHNICAL DETAILS OF THE SPECIFICATIONS IS NOT A MATTER, ORDINARILY, FOR OUR DETERMINATION. * *

IN THIS REGARD, WE HELD IN OUR DECISION, B-143389, DATED AUGUST 26, 1960, AS FOLLOWS:

"THE QUESTION AS TO THE ACTION, IF ANY, WHICH OUR OFFICE SHOULD TAKE IN CASES INVOLVING THE EVALUATION OF TECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS OF SPECIFICATIONS, ETC., HAS BEEN THE SUBJECT OF A NUMBER OF DECISIONS BY OUR OFFICE. YOUR PROTEST IS BASED UPON SUCH AN EVALUATION. OF NECESSITY, OUR OFFICE HAS ESTABLISHED A RULE GOVERNING SUCH SITUATIONS. IN A DECISION DATED JANUARY 8, 1938, TO THE PRESIDENT, BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, PUBLISHED AT 17 COMP. GEN. 554,557, WE SET FORTH THE FOLLOWING RULE WHICH WE CONSIDER TO BE CONTROLLING IN THE INSTANT MATTER:

" "IT IS IN THE PROVINCE OF ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICERS TO DRAFT PROPER SPECIFICATIONS NECESSARY TO SUBMIT FOR FAIR COMPETITIVE BIDDING PROPOSED CONTRACTS TO SUPPLY GOVERNMENTAL NEEDS, AND TO DETERMINE FACTUALLY WHETHER ARTICLES OFFERED MEET THOSE SPECIFICATIONS. * * *"

IN VIEW OF THE FACTS REPORTED IN THIS CASE, AND FOR THE REASONS SET OUT IN THE ABOVE-CITED DECISIONS, WE WOULD NOT BE JUSTIFIED IN OBJECTING TO THE ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION TAKEN.