B-153973, AUG. 3, 1964

B-153973: Aug 3, 1964

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TO RESEARCH INSTRUMENTS CORPORATION: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 14. THE INVITATION WAS SENT TO 41 COMPANIES AND 5 SUBMITTED BIDS AS FOLLOWS: TABLE BIDDER AMOUNT LEAR SIEGLER. 745.00 AFTER TECHNICAL EVALUATION OF THE BIDS IT WAS FOUND THAT ONLY ONE BIDDER. IT WAS FOUND THAT YOUR PROPOSAL DID NOT MEET THE BASIC INTENT OF THE SPECIFICATIONS SINCE IT DID NOT PROVIDE EIA (ELECTRICAL INDUSTRIES ASSOCIATION ACCEPTED STANDARD) SYNCHRONIZATION. OTHER MAJOR EXCEPTIONS TO THE SPECIFICATIONS CONTAINED IN YOUR BID ARE THAT WHILE THE SPECIFICATIONS STATE THAT ALL UNITS OF THE SYSTEM SHALL BE DESIGNED TO OPERATE WITHOUT ANY CHANGE IN PICTURE SIZE AND QUALITY ON A STEADY STATE LINE VOLTAGE VARIATION FROM 100 TO 130 VOLTS.

B-153973, AUG. 3, 1964

TO RESEARCH INSTRUMENTS CORPORATION:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 14, 1964 PROTESTING THE ACTION OF THE NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION (NASA) IN AWARDING A CONTRACT UNDER INVITATION FOR BIDS NO. P-775 FOR CERTAIN TELEVISION EQUIPMENT ISSUED BY NASA WALLOPS STATION, VIRGINIA.

THE PROCUREMENT COVERED A CLOSED CIRCUIT TELEVISION SYSTEM TO BE USED AT THE NEW SCOUT PAD AND SPIN FACILITY ON WALLOPS ISLAND. THE INVITATION WAS SENT TO 41 COMPANIES AND 5 SUBMITTED BIDS AS FOLLOWS:

TABLE

BIDDER AMOUNT LEAR SIEGLER, INC. $113,926.00 RESEARCH INSTRUMENT CORP. 119,357.75 INDUSTRIAL TELEVISION, INC.

124,738.00

113,738.00 - ALTERNATE MOTOROLA, INC.

149,960.00 DAGE TELEVISION COMPANY 159,745.00

AFTER TECHNICAL EVALUATION OF THE BIDS IT WAS FOUND THAT ONLY ONE BIDDER, DAGE TELEVISION COMPANY, MET ALL THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE SPECIFICATIONS. IT WAS FOUND THAT YOUR PROPOSAL DID NOT MEET THE BASIC INTENT OF THE SPECIFICATIONS SINCE IT DID NOT PROVIDE EIA (ELECTRICAL INDUSTRIES ASSOCIATION ACCEPTED STANDARD) SYNCHRONIZATION. OTHER MAJOR EXCEPTIONS TO THE SPECIFICATIONS CONTAINED IN YOUR BID ARE THAT WHILE THE SPECIFICATIONS STATE THAT ALL UNITS OF THE SYSTEM SHALL BE DESIGNED TO OPERATE WITHOUT ANY CHANGE IN PICTURE SIZE AND QUALITY ON A STEADY STATE LINE VOLTAGE VARIATION FROM 100 TO 130 VOLTS, YOUR BID PROPOSES TO FURNISH CAMERAS AND CAMERA CONTROL UNITS DESIGNED TO OPERATE FROM 105 TO 130 VOLTS; THAT YOUR BID PROPOSES USE OF A SYNC GENERATOR WITH A FREQUENCY DIVISION SYSTEM WHICH DIVIDES BY 7, 5, 5, AND 3, AND THAT THE SPECIFICATIONS REQUIRE THAT THE SYNC GENERATOR SHALL EMPLOY BINARY DIVIDERS FOR MAXIMUM STABILITY, REQUIRING NO ADJUSTMENTS, WHILE YOUR PROPOSED EQUIPMENT REQUIRES FOUR SEPARATE ADJUSTMENTS. FURTHER, THE SPECIFICATIONS CALL FOR AN ADJUSTABLE WHITE PEAK CLIPPER TO BE UTILIZED TO PREVENT OVERDRIVING THE MONITOR WHEN BRIGHT SPOTS ARE TELEVISED. THE CAMERA CONTROL UNITS WHICH YOUR COMPANY PROPOSED DO NOT HAVE THIS FEATURE. ANOTHER AREA WHEREIN YOUR EQUIPMENT WAS FOUND TO BE NONRESPONSIVE WAS IN AN APPARENT FAILURE TO MEET THE INTENT OF THE SPECIFICATIONS THAT THERE BE A CAMERA WITH AN EXPLOSION- PROOF HOUSING MOUNTED WITHIN AN EXPLOSION-PROOF HOUSING.

THE RECORD SHOWS FURTHER THAT CONTRARY TO THE ALLEGATIONS SET FORTH IN YOUR PROTEST LETTER OF APRIL 14, 1964, YOUR COMPANY WAS NOT THE LOWEST BIDDER FULLY MEETING THE SPECIFICATIONS; THAT YOU WERE ADVISED THAT THE PRIMARY REASON FOR REJECTION OF YOUR BID WAS LACK OF EIA SYNCHRONIZATION AND THAT THE DECISION TO FORMALLY ADVERTISE THE PROCUREMENT, RATHER THAN TO NEGOTIATE, WAS MADE IN GOOD FAITH BASED ON AN ADMINISTRATIVE DETERMINATION THAT THE SYSTEM WAS AVAILABLE FROM VARIOUS COMMERCIAL SOURCES.

WE HAVE HELD THAT THE DUTY OF DETERMINING THE ACTUAL NEEDS OF THE GOVERNMENT AND THE DRAFTING OF SPECIFICATIONS WHICH AFFORD A BASIS FOR FAIR COMPETITIVE BIDDING ON THOSE NEEDS ARE FUNCTIONS OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICERS RATHER THAN THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE. THIS CASE THE EVALUATION BY THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE CONSTITUTED A BONA FIDE DETERMINATION SUPPORTED BY ADEQUATE EVIDENCE. THE UNITED STATES IS NOT REQUIRED TO PURCHASE EQUIPMENT MERELY BECAUSE IT IS OFFERED AT A LOWER PRICE WHEN IN THE CONTRACTING OFFICER'S CONSIDERED JUDGMENT THE ACTUAL NEEDS OF THE GOVERNMENT WOULD NOT BE MET.

IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES WE MUST CONCLUDE THAT YOUR PROTEST FURNISHES NO PROPER BASIS ON WHICH WE WOULD BE JUSTIFIED IN QUESTIONING THE ACTION TAKEN BY THE CONTRACTING AGENCY AND YOUR PROTEST IS, THEREFORE, DENIED.