B-153184, FEB. 26, 1964

B-153184: Feb 26, 1964

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INC.: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO THE TRANSMITTAL TO THIS OFFICE OF A COPY OF YOUR LETTER DATED DECEMBER 26. BIDS WERE REQUESTED WITH A SCHEDULED OPENING DATE OF DECEMBER 2. IT WAS CONTEMPLATED THAT THE AWARD OF ALL THREE ITEMS WOULD BE MADE TO ONE BIDDER. DESCRIPTIVE LITERATURE WAS REQUIRED UNDER THE BRAND NAME OR EQUAL CLAUSE OF THE INVITATION TO BE SUBMITTED WITH BIDS OFFERING EQUIPMENT OTHER THAN THE SPECIFIED MODELS MANUFACTURED BY THE BABCOCK ELECTRONICS CORPORATION. ONLY THREE BIDS WERE RECEIVED. YOUR TOTAL BID PRICES FOR THOSE ITEMS WERE $9. THE EQUIPMENT WHICH YOU PROPOSED TO FURNISH WAS DESCRIBED AS YOUR SIGNAL GENERATOR NO. 303B. NO DESCRIPTIVE LITERATURE WAS ORIGINALLY SUBMITTED WITH RESPECT TO THE AUDIO CODER NO. 100.

B-153184, FEB. 26, 1964

TO ADVANCED MEASUREMENT INSTRUMENTS, INC.:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO THE TRANSMITTAL TO THIS OFFICE OF A COPY OF YOUR LETTER DATED DECEMBER 26, 1963, TO THE WALLOPS STATION, NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION, PROTESTING THE REJECTION OF YOUR BID AND THE MAKING OF A CONTRACT AWARD ON DECEMBER 18, 1963, TO THE BABCOCK ELECTRONICS CORPORATION UNDER INVITATION FOR BIDS NO. P-823 ISSUED ON OCTOBER 28, 1963.

BIDS WERE REQUESTED WITH A SCHEDULED OPENING DATE OF DECEMBER 2, 1963, ON THREE ITEMS CONSISTING OF TWO SIGNAL GENERATORS "TO BE BABCOCK ELECTRONICS CORP. MODEL BSG-8 OR EQUAL" (ITEM NO. 1); TWO 20 CHANNEL AUDIO CODERS "TO BE BABCOCK ELECTRONICS CORP. MODEL B CC-6E OR EQUAL" (ITEM NO. 2); AND CABLES, INTERCONNECTING AND POWER NECESSARY FOR THE OPERATION OF ITEMS NOS. 1 AND 2 AS A SYSTEM. IT WAS CONTEMPLATED THAT THE AWARD OF ALL THREE ITEMS WOULD BE MADE TO ONE BIDDER, AND DESCRIPTIVE LITERATURE WAS REQUIRED UNDER THE BRAND NAME OR EQUAL CLAUSE OF THE INVITATION TO BE SUBMITTED WITH BIDS OFFERING EQUIPMENT OTHER THAN THE SPECIFIED MODELS MANUFACTURED BY THE BABCOCK ELECTRONICS CORPORATION.

ONLY THREE BIDS WERE RECEIVED. ONE BIDDER QUOTED A PRICE OF $23,800 FOR ITEM NO. 1 BUT DID NOT BID ON ITEMS NOS. 2 AND 3. THE BABCOCK ELECTRONICS CORPORATION QUOTED TOTAL PRICES OF $7,800 AND $4,459.20 FOR ITEMS NOS. 1 AND 2 AND OFFERED THE SPECIFIED BABCOCK ELECTRONICS MODELS. YOUR TOTAL BID PRICES FOR THOSE ITEMS WERE $9,500 AND $2,400. BOTH BIDS OFFERED ITEM NO. 3 AT NO EXTRA COST. THE EQUIPMENT WHICH YOU PROPOSED TO FURNISH WAS DESCRIBED AS YOUR SIGNAL GENERATOR NO. 303B, AND YOUR AUDIO CODER NO. 100. HOWEVER, NO DESCRIPTIVE LITERATURE WAS ORIGINALLY SUBMITTED WITH RESPECT TO THE AUDIO CODER NO. 100, AND THE LITERATURE FURNISHED CONCERNING YOUR SIGNAL GENERATOR NO. 303B WAS IN THE FORM OF A PROPOSAL DESCRIBING THE DESIGN OF FM GENERATORS WHICH YOUR FIRM ALLEGEDLY HAD BEEN ENGAGED IN DEVELOPING.

YOUR TOTAL BID PRICE WAS $359.20 LESS THAN THE TOTAL BID PRICE OF THE BABCOCK ELECTRONICS CORPORATION, AND IT IS YOUR CONTENTION THAT YOUR BID SHOULD HAVE BEEN ACCEPTED AS THE LOWEST RESPONSIVE BID.

YOUR PROTEST IN THE MATTER WAS DENIED BY LETTER DATED JANUARY 15, 1964, FROM THE CONTRACTING OFFICER, WITH PARTICULAR ATTENTION BEING INVITED TO THE FACT THAT NO DESCRIPTIVE LITERATURE WAS FURNISHED WITH YOUR BID IN REGARD TO YOUR AUDIO CODER NO. 100 AND TO THE FACT THAT, WHILE YOUR BID COULD HAVE BEEN REJECTED FOR THAT REASON AT THE TIME OF OPENING OF BIDS, CONSULTATIONS WITH YOUR REPRESENTATIVES BETWEEN DECEMBER 2 AND 6, 1963, FAILED TO RESULT IN THE FORWARDING OF SUFFICIENT INFORMATION FOR TECHNICAL EVALUATION OF THE EQUIPMENT OFFERED UNDER ITEM NO. 2.

THE WALLOPS STATION ENGINEER FOUND THAT YOUR PROPOSED SIGNAL GENERATOR WOULD REQUIRE MAJOR DEVELOPMENT AS A PROVEN ITEM. IN VIEW THEREOF, AND THE FACT THAT INSUFFICIENT INFORMATION WAS SUBMITTED FOR A TECHNICAL EVALUATION OF YOUR PROPOSED AUDIO CODERS, IT WAS CONCLUDED BY THE PROCUREMENT OFFICE THAT YOUR BID COULD NOT BE CONSIDERED AS RESPONSIVE AND ACCEPTABLE. UPON ITS REVIEW OF THE FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE CASE, THE NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION DETERMINED THAT THE ACTION TAKEN BY THE WALLOPS STATION IN REJECTING YOUR BID AND MAKING THE CONTRACT AWARD TO THE BABCOCK ELECTRONICS CORPORATION WAS PROPER.

THE ADVERTISEMENT FOR BIDS IN THIS CASE DID NOT PURPORT TO PROVIDE DETAILED SPECIFICATIONS, ALTHOUGH IT SET FORTH CERTAIN MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS UNDER THE HEADINGS "SPECIFICATIONS" TO BE CONSIDERED IN DETERMINING THE RESPONSIVENESS OF BIDS OFFERING TO FURNISH OTHER THAN THE SPECIFIED BRAND NAME MODELS OF SIGNAL GENERATORS AND AUDIO CODERS. WALLOPS STATION WAS NOT INTERESTED IN A DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM BUT INTENDED TO PURCHASE EQUIPMENT ALREADY IN EXISTENCE OR TO BE MANUFACTURED GENERALLY IN ACCORDANCE WITH MANUFACTURERS' CURRENT MODELS. CONSEQUENTLY, THE FACT THAT YOU PROPOSED SIGNAL GENERATOR NO. 303B WAS STILL IN A DEVELOPMENT STAGE WOULD APPEAR TO HAVE BEEN SUFFICIENT IN ITSELF TO HAVE JUSTIFIED A REJECTION OF YOUR BID AS NONRESPONSIVE TO THE INVITATION. IN ANY EVENT, SINCE YOU APPARENTLY FAILED TO SUBMIT THE NECESSARY DATA FOR TECHNICAL EVALUATION OF YOUR AUDIO CODER NO. 100, AS REQUIRED UNDER THE BRAND NAME OR EQUAL CLAUSE OF THE INVITATION FOR THE PURPOSE OF DETERMINING WHETHER ANY OFFERED SUBSTITUTE ITEMS WOULD BE EQUAL IN ALL MATERIAL RESPECTS TO THE SPECIFIED BABCOCK ELECTRONICS MODELS, WE FIND NO BASIS FOR TAKING EXCEPTION TO THE ADMINISTRATIVE REJECTION OF YOUR BID AND THE MAKING OF THE CONTRACT AWARD TO THE BABCOCK ELECTRONICS CORPORATION UNDER INVITATION NO. P-823.