B-153809, JUN. 2, 1964

B-153809: Jun 2, 1964

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INC.: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED MARCH 24. THE INVITATION FOR BIDS WAS FOR THE PROCUREMENT OF ONE GAS BOOSTER COMPRESSOR AND WAS SCHEDULED AND OPENED ON FEBRUARY 10. TWENTY THREE FIRMS WERE SOLICITED AND FOUR BIDS WERE RECEIVED. THE BIDS WERE FORWARDED TO THE RESPONSIBLE TECHNICAL ACTIVITY OF THE LEWIS RESEARCH CENTER FOR TECHNICAL EVALUATION ON FEBRUARY 10. THE TECHNICAL ACTIVITY REPORTED TO THE PROCUREMENT ACTIVITY THAT YOUR BID WAS NONRESPONSIVE BECAUSE THE SCHEMATIC SUBMITTED WITH THE BID (DRAWING C-3-64021. 1964) SHOWS THAT MANUAL CONTROL VALVES WERE BEING USED. WHICH IS AN EXCEPTION TO PARAGRAPH G OF THE BID SPECIFICATIONS REQUIRING ELECTRICALLY-ACTUATED VALVES.

B-153809, JUN. 2, 1964

TO AMERICAN INSTRUMENT COMPANY, INC.:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED MARCH 24, 1964, PROTECTING THE AWARD OF A CONTRACT TO HASKEL ENGINEERING AND SUPPLY COMPANY UNDER INVITATION FOR BIDS NO. C-119532 ISSUED BY LEWIS RESEARCH CENTER, NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION, CLEVELAND, OHIO.

THE INVITATION FOR BIDS WAS FOR THE PROCUREMENT OF ONE GAS BOOSTER COMPRESSOR AND WAS SCHEDULED AND OPENED ON FEBRUARY 10, 1964. TWENTY THREE FIRMS WERE SOLICITED AND FOUR BIDS WERE RECEIVED. THE BIDS WERE FORWARDED TO THE RESPONSIBLE TECHNICAL ACTIVITY OF THE LEWIS RESEARCH CENTER FOR TECHNICAL EVALUATION ON FEBRUARY 10, 1964. ON FEBRUARY 12, 1964, THE TECHNICAL ACTIVITY REPORTED TO THE PROCUREMENT ACTIVITY THAT YOUR BID WAS NONRESPONSIVE BECAUSE THE SCHEMATIC SUBMITTED WITH THE BID (DRAWING C-3-64021, DATED FEBRUARY 3, 1964) SHOWS THAT MANUAL CONTROL VALVES WERE BEING USED, WHICH IS AN EXCEPTION TO PARAGRAPH G OF THE BID SPECIFICATIONS REQUIRING ELECTRICALLY-ACTUATED VALVES. THE TECHNICAL EVALUATION FURTHER INDICATED THAT HASKEL ENGINEERING AND SUPPLY COMPANY, THE SECOND LOW BIDDER, FULLY MET THE TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS. THEREFORE, THE AWARD WAS MADE TO THAT FIRM ON MARCH 16, 1964. YOUR PROTEST IS BASED ON THE CONTENTION THAT PARAGRAPH G OF THE SPECIFICATIONS DID NOT SPECIFICALLY REQUIRE ELECTRICALLY-ACTUATED VALVES, AND THAT YOU THEREFORE HAVE NOT TAKEN EXCEPTION TO THE SPECIFICATIONS.

PARAGRAPH G, ARTICLE 1 OF THE SPECIFICATIONS PROVIDES:

"G. CONTROL PANEL: THE UNIT SHALL INCLUDE A CONTROL PANEL FOR ALL INSTRUMENTS AND CONTROL VALVES AND ELECTRICAL CONTROL SWITCHES OF THE PUSH BUTTON TYPE.'

UPON FURTHER CONSIDERATION OF YOUR PROTEST THE AGENCY CONCEDES THAT THE LANGUAGE OF THE QUOTED PARAGRAPH DID NOT CLEARLY SPELL OUT THE REQUIREMENT FOR ELECTRICAL OPERATION OF ALL CONTROL VALVES. HOWEVER, IT IS STATED THAT IT WAS THE GOVERNMENT'S INTENTION TO REQUIRE THAT ALL CONTROL VALVES BE ELECTRICALLY OPERATED AND THAT MANUAL CONTROLS WOULD NOT IN FACT MEET THE SERVICE NEEDS OF THE EQUIPMENT. IN THESE CIRCUMSTANCES IT WOULD HAVE BEEN PROPER TO REJECT ALL BIDS AND READVERTISE, BUT SINCE THE GAS BOOSTER COMPRESSOR IS TO BE USED FOR GROUND SUPPORT EQUIPMENT IN THE WASP CENTAUR LAUNCH FROM WALLOPS ISLAND ON JULY 13, 1964, AND MUST BE CHECKED OUT AT THE SITE PRIOR TO THE LAUNCH DATE, THE DELIVERY REQUIREMENT DID NOT APPEAR TO ALLOW SUFFICIENT TIME FOR REPROCUREMENT OF THE ITEM AFTER THE IRREGULARITY OF THE AWARD WAS RECOGNIZED.

IN CONSIDERATION OF THE TIME FACTOR, WE CONCLUDE THAT IT WOULD NOT BE TO THE GOVERNMENT'S INTEREST TO CANCEL THE CONTRACT AND READVERTISE, AND NO OTHER ACTION BY THIS OFFICE APPEARS TO BE APPROPRIATE. YOUR PROTEST MUST THEREFORE BE DENIED.