B-151760, AUG. 9, 1963

B-151760: Aug 9, 1963

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INC.: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR TELEGRAM OF JUNE 11. PROPOSALS FOR DEVELOPING AND FURNISHING ONE LABORATORY TV TEST CAMERA PLUS A CABINET AND REPORT WERE SOLICITED FROM 19 FIRMS. DISCUSSIONS WERE THEN HAD WITH THE FOUR FIRMS. YOU PROTEST THE PROPOSED AWARD ON THE GROUNDS THAT (1) THE AWARD TO ANOTHER FIRM WILL RESULT IN DUPLICATION OF COSTS SINCE YOU ARE NOW PERFORMING SIMILAR WORK UNDER A CURRENT CONTRACT NUMBERED NAS5-2947. PARTICULAR IT IS STATED THAT THERE WOULD BE AN UNNECESSARY EXPENDITURE IN EXCESS OF $125. THE DETERMINATION TO AWARD THE CONTRACT TO RAYTRONICS WAS BASED ON THE FOLLOWING FACTS AS STATED BY THE CONTRACTING OFFICER IN HIS "FINDINGS AND DETERMINATION: " "THE GODDARD SPACE FLIGHT CENTER PROPOSES TO AWARD A CONTRACT FOR THE DESIGN.

B-151760, AUG. 9, 1963

TO THE AUTOMATION LABORATORIES, INC.:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR TELEGRAM OF JUNE 11, 1963, AND YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 18, 1963, PROTESTING THE AWARD OF A CONTRACT TO ANY OTHER BIDDER UNDER REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS NO. 38400 ISSUED BY THE NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION ON MARCH 4, 1963.

PURSUANT TO THE PROVISIONS OF NASA PROCUREMENT REGULATION 3.101 AND 3.102, PROPOSALS FOR DEVELOPING AND FURNISHING ONE LABORATORY TV TEST CAMERA PLUS A CABINET AND REPORT WERE SOLICITED FROM 19 FIRMS. THE REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS ADVISED INTERESTED PARTIES TO FURNISH COST DATA, TECHNICAL DATA AND SUCH OTHER INFORMATION AS SPECIFIED IN THE REQUEST. UPON RECEIPT OF THE PROPOSALS A TECHNICAL EVALUATION COMMITTEE EXAMINED ALL PROPOSALS AND FOUND THAT "FOUR PROPOSALS STOOD OUT AMONG ALL OTHERS.' YOUR FIRM SUBMITTED ONE OF THE FOUR PROPOSALS SO CONSIDERED. DISCUSSIONS WERE THEN HAD WITH THE FOUR FIRMS, INCLUDING YOUR FIRM, AND THE EVALUATION COMMITTEE SCORED THE FIRMS, AS FOLLOWS: FIRST PLACE, RAYTRONICS, DIVISION OF DIECRAFT; SECOND PLACE, FAIRCHILD CAMERA; THIRD PLACE, GENERAL PRECISION LABORATORIES; AND FOURTH PLACE, YOUR FIRM. ACCORDINGLY THE CONTRACTING OFFICER PROPOSED TO AWARD THE CONTRACT TO RAYTRONICS.

YOU PROTEST THE PROPOSED AWARD ON THE GROUNDS THAT (1) THE AWARD TO ANOTHER FIRM WILL RESULT IN DUPLICATION OF COSTS SINCE YOU ARE NOW PERFORMING SIMILAR WORK UNDER A CURRENT CONTRACT NUMBERED NAS5-2947; AND (2) ANY AWARD OF A CONTRACT TO ANY OTHER FIRM WOULD VIOLATE THE ESTABLISHED POLICY AND PROCEDURE OF NASA AS SET OUT IN ITS PR 3.102. PARTICULAR IT IS STATED THAT THERE WOULD BE AN UNNECESSARY EXPENDITURE IN EXCESS OF $125,000.

THE DETERMINATION TO AWARD THE CONTRACT TO RAYTRONICS WAS BASED ON THE FOLLOWING FACTS AS STATED BY THE CONTRACTING OFFICER IN HIS "FINDINGS AND DETERMINATION: "

"THE GODDARD SPACE FLIGHT CENTER PROPOSES TO AWARD A CONTRACT FOR THE DESIGN, DEVELOPMENT, FABRICATION AND DELIVERY OF A UNIVERSAL TEST CAMERA. PRIOR TO AWARD OF A CONTRACT A FORMAL PROTEST HAS BEEN MADE BY ONE OF THE OFFERORS SOLICITED UNDER REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL PC 38400. THE CONTRACT HAS BEEN NEGOTIATED UNDER THE AUTHORITY GRANTED BY 10 U.S.C. 2304 (A) (11).

"THIS DETERMINATION TO AWARD THE CONTRACT TO RAYTRONICS, A DIVISION OF DIECRAFT INCORPORATED, SPARKS, MARYLAND IS BASED ON THE FOLLOWING FACTS:

"/1) THE TECHNICAL PROPOSAL IS DEFINITELY SUPERIOR TO THAT OF AUTOMATION IN THREE SPECIFIC AREAS: (A) LOGIC PROGRAMMER, (B) SWEEP DEFLECTION SYSTEM, AND (C) VIDEO PREAMPLIFIER. * * *

"/2) AN AWARD TO RAYTRONICS IS EXPECTED TO PROVIDE A CONSIDERABLY MORE FLEXIBLE CAMERA AND DOES NOT DUPLICATE DEVELOPMENT REQUIRED UNDER THE EXISTING CONTRACT WITH AUTOMATION. * * *

"/3) THE USE OF A FIXED PRICE CONTRACT WOULD, IN ALL PROBABILITY, LEAD TO A LIMITED AND MINIMUM PERFORMANCE CAPABILITY IN THE UNIVERSAL CAMERA. THE ESTIMATED ADDITIONAL COST OF $11,752 (FIXED PRICE OFFER OF $99,548 AS OPPOSED TO THE NEGOTIATED CPFF AMOUNT OF $111,300) IS CONSIDERED AS RELATIVELY INSIGNIFICANT. A COST SAVING OF $125,000, AS INDICATED BY AUTOMATION, CANNOT BE RECONCILED.

"/4) RAYTRONICS IS A "SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN" AND DOES HAVE ADEQUATE FINANCIAL RESOURCES, AND AVAILABLE FACILITIES, AND MANPOWER TO PERFORM THE WORK REQUIRED.'

IT IS STATED BY THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE IN ITS REPORT OF JULY 8, 1963, TO OUR OFFICE THAT YOUR EXPERIENCE OBTAINED UNDER YOUR PRESENT CONTRACT FOR A TELEVISION IMAGE EVALUATION FACILITY WAS FULLY WEIGHED IN EVALUATION OF PROPOSALS. EVEN IF THERE HAD BEEN SOME DUPLICATION OF EFFORT INVOLVED BETWEEN THE TWO CONTRACTS, THE POLICY OF NASA IN FAVOR OF FOSTERING COMPETITION WOULD HAVE MITIGATED AGAINST MAKING THIS A "SOLE SOURCE" PROCUREMENT. IT MIGHT BE ADDED THAT IN EVALUATING YOUR PROPOSAL THE TECHNICAL PERSONNEL CONSIDERED THAT THE RAYTRONICS PROPOSAL WAS DEFINITELY SUPERIOR TO YOUR PROPOSAL IN SEVERAL AREAS, NAMELY, LOGIC PROGRAMMER, SWEEP DEFLECTION SYSTEM AND VIDEO PREAMPLIFIER.

THE EVALUATION OF THE BIDS IN THIS CASE, FOR THE MOST PART, INVOLVES MATTERS OF TECHNICAL KNOWLEDGE AND JUDGMENT AS TO WHICH WE MUST NECESSARILY ACCEPT THE DETERMINATION OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE. THIS CONNECTION, SEE SECTION 2310, TITLE 10, U.S.C. WHICH EXPRESSLY PROVIDES THAT DETERMINATIONS AND DECISIONS TO NEGOTIATE UNDER CERTAIN CLAUSES IN SECTION 2304 (A), TITLE 10, U.S.C. INCLUDING CLAUSE (11), ARE FINAL.