B-153328, MAR. 31, 1964

B-153328: Mar 31, 1964

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INC.: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JANUARY 20. WAS ISSUED ON DECEMBER 11. WAS OPENED JANUARY 10. THE LOWEST BID WAS SUBMITTED BY GLOBE INDUSTRIES. THIS ITEM WAS REMOVED FROM QUALIFIED PRODUCTS LIST 64-325 AND IS BEING PROCURED UNDER REVISED SPECIFICATIONS AND FIRST ARTICLE TEST REQUIREMENTS. IT IS REPORTED THAT THE PROCUREMENT COULD NOT BE DELAYED FOR THE TIME REQUIRED TO COMPLETE THE QUALIFIED PRODUCTS LIST TESTING REQUIREMENTS. YOU CONTEND THAT IT IS IMPOSSIBLE FOR ANY CONTRACTOR TO MEET THE INVITATION REQUIREMENT FOR SUBMISSION OF THREE "FIRST ARTICLE" SAMPLES FOR TESTING WITHIN 60 DAYS AFTER AWARD WITHOUT HAVING ON HAND THREE TESTED FIRST ARTICLE SAMPLES WITH TEST REPORTS.

B-153328, MAR. 31, 1964

TO SMALL MOTORS, INC.:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JANUARY 20, 1964, PROTESTING THE PROPOSED AWARD OF A CONTRACT TO A LOW BIDDER UNDER INVITATION FOR BIDS NO. 36-600-64-325 ISSUED BY MIDDLETOWN AIR MATERIEL AREA, OLMSTEAD AIR FORCE BASE, MIDDLETOWN, PENNSYLVANIA.

THE INVITATION, WHICH PROVIDES FOR A 50 PERCENT SMALL BUSINESS SET ASIDE, WAS ISSUED ON DECEMBER 11, 1963, AND WAS OPENED JANUARY 10, 1964. CALLED FOR BIDS ON 1,422 AIRCRAFT TACHOMETER GENERATORS. THE LOWEST BID WAS SUBMITTED BY GLOBE INDUSTRIES, INCORPORATED, DAYTON, OHIO, A SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN, AT A UNIT PRICE OF $29.45. YOUR FIRM SUBMITTED THE FIFTH LOWEST BID AT $43.90 PER UNIT.

THIS ITEM WAS REMOVED FROM QUALIFIED PRODUCTS LIST 64-325 AND IS BEING PROCURED UNDER REVISED SPECIFICATIONS AND FIRST ARTICLE TEST REQUIREMENTS. IT IS REPORTED THAT THE PROCUREMENT COULD NOT BE DELAYED FOR THE TIME REQUIRED TO COMPLETE THE QUALIFIED PRODUCTS LIST TESTING REQUIREMENTS.

YOU CONTEND THAT IT IS IMPOSSIBLE FOR ANY CONTRACTOR TO MEET THE INVITATION REQUIREMENT FOR SUBMISSION OF THREE "FIRST ARTICLE" SAMPLES FOR TESTING WITHIN 60 DAYS AFTER AWARD WITHOUT HAVING ON HAND THREE TESTED FIRST ARTICLE SAMPLES WITH TEST REPORTS, AND THAT NO CONTRACTOR COULD "START FROM SCRATCH" AND MANUFACTURE, TEST AND DELIVER THE THREE FIRST ARTICLES WITHIN THE REQUIRED SIXTY DAYS. HOWEVER, THE COGNIZANT AIR FORCE ENGINEERING ACTIVITY IS OF THE OPINION THAT ANY MANUFACTURER WHO HAS THE KNOW-HOW AND THE FACILITIES TO MAKE GENERATORS OR SMALL MOTORS CAN COMPLY WITH THE SIXTY DAY FIRST ARTICLE REQUIREMENTS. WE HAVE NO REASON TO BELIEVE SUCH IS NOT THE CASE. IN ADDITION, YOUR ALLEGATION WAS REFERRED TO THE DAYTON CONTRACT MANAGEMENT DISTRICT, WHICH HAD CONDUCTED A PRE- AWARD SURVEY OF THE LOW BIDDER'S FACILITIES AND CAPABILITIES, WHICH AFTER ADDITIONAL CHECKING REPORTED AS FOLLOWS:

"RESULTS OF A COMPREHENSIVE ANALYSIS OF PROPOSED BIDDERS PLANNING MANAGEMENT AND PRODUCTION OF THIS REQUIREMENT STRONGLY INDICATE REQUIRED DELIVERY SCHEDULES WILL BE MET. BIDDER POSSESSES TECHNICAL KNOWLEDGE AND MANUFACTURING EXPERIENCE ON SIMILAR ITEMS. PREVIOUS FCR RECOMMENDATION STANDS FIRM.'

IT IS WELL ESTABLISHED THAT AN ADMINISTRATIVE DETERMINATION OF THE RESPONSIBILITY OF A PROSPECTIVE CONTRACTOR IS CONCLUSIVE IN THE ABSENCE OF EVIDENCE THAT THE DETERMINATION WAS ARBITRARY OR CAPRICIOUS. 36 COMP. GEN. 421, 37 ID. 798; 38 ID. 14; 39 ID. 684. SINCE THERE IS NOTHING BEFORE US TO INDICATE ANY SUCH BASIS FOR QUESTIONING THE REPORT ON GLOBE INDUSTRIES, NC., AN AWARD TO THAT FIRM APPEARS PROPER.