B-153985, AUG. 31, 1964

B-153985: Aug 31, 1964

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TO CCA ELECTRONICS CORPORATION: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR TELEGRAM AND LETTER OF APRIL 17. THE CONTRACT REFERRED TO ABOVE WAS AWARDED PURSUANT TO FORMAL ADVERTISING PROCEDURES ON FEBRUARY 20. INSPECTION AND ACCEPTANCE WERE TO BE AT DESTINATION. ALTHOUGH DELIVERY WAS MADE ON TIME. THE CONTRACT WAS TERMINATED BY THE CONTRACTING OFFICER FOR DEFAULT ON APRIL 13. ADVICE TO THIS EFFECT WAS ALSO RECEIVED FROM THE BOARD. WHICH WERE THE SUBJECT OF A REPORT FROM HEADQUARTERS U.S. ARE CONSIDERED BELOW IN THE NUMERICAL ORDER IN WHICH YOU PRESENTED THEM TO THIS OFFICE. YOU ALLEGE THAT THE HEAD OF THE ENGINEERING SECTION (AT SACRAMENTO ARMY DEPOT) IS PREJUDICED AGAINST YOUR FIRM. IN SUBSTANTIATION YOU HAVE SUBMITTED THE FOLLOWING: "/A) ON FEBRUARY 5.

B-153985, AUG. 31, 1964

TO CCA ELECTRONICS CORPORATION:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR TELEGRAM AND LETTER OF APRIL 17, 1964, AND SUBSEQUENT CORRESPONDENCE PROTESTING AGAINST THE REJECTION OF EQUIPMENT DELIVERED BY YOU TO SACRAMENTO ARMY DEPOT, SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA, UNDER CONTRACT NO. OI-04-170-04-50070/M), AND QUESTIONING OTHER PROCUREMENT ACTIONS BY THAT DEPOT.

THE CONTRACT REFERRED TO ABOVE WAS AWARDED PURSUANT TO FORMAL ADVERTISING PROCEDURES ON FEBRUARY 20, 1964, IN THE AMOUNT OF $3,845, AND CALLED FOR DELIVERY F.O.B. SACRAMENTO ARMY DEPOT OF ONE 1,000 WATT AM BROADCAST TRANSMITTER WITHIN 15 CALENDAR DAYS AFTER AWARD. INSPECTION AND ACCEPTANCE WERE TO BE AT DESTINATION. ALTHOUGH DELIVERY WAS MADE ON TIME, FAILURE OF YOUR EQUIPMENT TO MEET A MAJOR REQUIREMENT OF THE SPECIFICATIONS, STIPULATING THAT TOTAL POWER CONSUMPTION SHALL NOT EXCEED 4,000 WATTS AT 100 PERCENT MODULATION, RESULTED IN REJECTION OF THE EQUIPMENT AFTER 3 TEST PROCEDURES HAD FAILED TO QUALIFY IT FOR ACCEPTANCE. THE CONTRACT WAS TERMINATED BY THE CONTRACTING OFFICER FOR DEFAULT ON APRIL 13, 1964. YOU APPEALED SUCH DECISION OF THE CONTRACTING OFFICER PURSUANT TO THE DISPUTES CLAUSE, THE APPEAL HAVING BEEN SUBMITTED ON MAY 12, 1964, TO THE ARMED SERVICES BOARD OF CONTRACT APPEALS. HOWEVER, BY LETTERS OF MAY 20 AND JULY 2, 1964, YOU ADVISED US YOU HAD WITHDRAWN YOUR APPEAL, AND ADVICE TO THIS EFFECT WAS ALSO RECEIVED FROM THE BOARD. THUS, YOUR COMPLAINT TO OUR OFFICE APPEARS TO REST UPON THE FIVE GROUNDS ENUMERATED IN YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 17, 1964, AND RELATES TO THE FOLLOWING CONTRACTS:

TABLE

CONTRACT DATE OF AWARD CONTRACTOR AMOUNT 5436-SAD-63 11/12/63

GATES RADIO CO. $ 1,946 15214-SAD-63 4/16/63 CCA ELECTRONICS 15,840 OI-04 -170-04-50070/M) 2/20/63 CCA ELECTRONICS 3,845

THE FIRST CONTRACT RESULTED FROM REQUEST FOR QUOTATIONS F-3276-9540 FP- 31; THE SECOND FROM INVITATION FOR BIDS AMC-04-170-63-272, AND THE THIRD FROM INVITATION FOR BIDS AMC-04-170-64-119.

THE CHARGES, WHICH WERE THE SUBJECT OF A REPORT FROM HEADQUARTERS U.S. ARMY SUPPLY AND MAINTENANCE COMMAND AND OF AN ON-SITE INVESTIGATION BY REPRESENTATIVES OF THIS OFFICE, ARE CONSIDERED BELOW IN THE NUMERICAL ORDER IN WHICH YOU PRESENTED THEM TO THIS OFFICE.

CHARGE NO. 1. YOU ALLEGE THAT THE HEAD OF THE ENGINEERING SECTION (AT SACRAMENTO ARMY DEPOT) IS PREJUDICED AGAINST YOUR FIRM, AND IN SUBSTANTIATION YOU HAVE SUBMITTED THE FOLLOWING:

"/A) ON FEBRUARY 5, 1963 THE ARMED FORCES RADIO ON IFB NO. AMC-04 170-63- 272 REQUESTED, ON AN EMERGENCY SIX WEEKS DELIVERY BASIS, SIX (6) 250 WATT BROADCAST TRANSMITTERS. ALTHOUGH OUR COMPANY WAS THE LOW BIDDER, MR. ELDRIDGE TRIED UNSUCCESSFULLY FOR A PERIOD OF EIGHT (8) WEEKS TO ELIMINATE CCA AS THE SUPPLIER.

"/B) AFTER CCA SHIPPED THE SIX TRANSMITTERS ON TIME TWO UNITS WERE RECEIVED DAMAGED BY THE CARRIER. WE WERE ADVISED THAT REPLACEMENT OF THESE TWO UNITS WOULD HAVE TO BE AFFECTED WITHIN TWO WEEKS OR A PORTION OF THE CONTRACT WOULD BE CANCELLED. CCA INCURRED CONSIDERABLE EXPENSE IN WORKING OVERTIME, EXPEDITING PARTS AND SHIPPING VIA AIR FREIGHT BUT DID MEET THE TWO WEEK REQUIREMENT.

"/C) DESPITE THE FACT THAT ONLY SIX BROADCAST SUPPLIERS ARE AVAILABLE TO PROVIDE BROADCAST TRANSMITTERS, THE ARMED FORCES RADIO INTENTIONALLY OMITTED OUR COMPANY FROM THE BIDDERS' LIST FOR BROADCAST EQUIPMENT FROM THE PERIOD OF MARCH 1963 TO AUGUST 1963. WE FINALLY HAD TO BRING IT TO THE ATTENTION OF MR. SERPA OF THE PROCUREMENT SECTION WITH A VEILED THREAT OF CONTRACTING YOUR OFFICE BEFORE WE WERE CONSIDERED FOR BROADCAST TRANSMITTERS.

"/D) ON OCTOBER 18, 1963, THE SACRAMENTO ARMY DEPOT REQUESTED ON THEIR IFB NO. 32769540-FP-31 A 50 WATT FM TRANSMITTER. WE DID NOT HAVE A REPRESENTATIVE PRESENT AT THE BID OPENING BUT WE DID REQUEST THAT WE BE ADVISED OF THE RESULTS. IT REQUIRED TWO ADDITIONAL LETTERS AND APPROXIMATELY EIGHT (8) WEEKS OF WAITING BEFORE WE DISCOVERED THAT OUR BID WAS LOW BY A PERCENTAGE OF ALMOST 25 PERCENT BELOW OUR COMPETITOR. HOWEVER, WE WERE NOT AWARDED THE BID BECAUSE MR. ELDRIDGE WAS ABLE TO DETERMINE HIS BASIS FOR ELIMINATING US. ANY KNOWLEDGEABLE ENGINEER WOULD HAVE RECOGNIZED THAT WE COULD CONFORM AND A $2.00 TELEPHONE CALL WOULD HAVE VERIFIED THIS FACT AND COULD HAVE SAVED THE GOVERNMENT A SUBSTANTIAL SUM.

"/E) ON FEBRUARY 17, 1964, A BID OPENING WAS MADE ON EQUIPMENT THAT REQUIRED 15 DAY DELIVERY. CCA WAS THE LOW BIDDER. SINCE THE DELIVERY REQUIREMENT WAS VERY SHORT, MR. ELDRIDGE "ASSISTED S" BY ADVISING US OF THE AWARD ON FEBRUARY 24, FOUR (4) DAYS AFTER THE ACTUAL AWARD DATE. THEN HIS PROCUREMENT REPRESENTATIVES PROCEEDED TO CALL US ON A NUMBER OF OCCASIONS COMMENCING ON FEBRUARY 26TH (NOT ON THE DATE OF THE AWARD) CONVEYING THEIR CONCERN FOR THE EXTREMELY SHORT DELIVERY REQUIREMENT. THIS METHOD OF ADVISING US OF OUR AWARD VIA SLOW MAIL AND PUSHING US VIA TELEPHONE CALLS WAS DONE OBVIOUSLY TO ADD ADDITIONAL PRESSURE ON OUR COMPANY AND WAS CERTAINLY NOT AN EXAMPLE OF COOPERATION BETWEEN VENDOR AND CUSTOMER.

"/F) SACRAMENTO ARMY DEPOT IN EVALUATING THE TRANSMITTER SUPPLIED UNDER CONTRACT NO. OI-04-170-04-50070/M) FOUND THAT IT WAS CAPABLE OF MEETING ALL OF THE SPECIFICATIONS REQUESTED SAVE ONE. IN ORDER TO PROVIDE COMPLIANCE WITH THIS SPECIFICATION IT REQUIRES COMPETENT ENGINEERS AND PRECISION EQUIPMENT. THIS SPECIFICATION IS EXTREMELY MINOR AND SINCE THE EQUIPMENT AS TESTED ALMOST MET THE DESIRED SPECIFICATION, A COOPERATIVE, KNOWLEDGEABLE ENGINEER WOULD HAVE WAIVED THIS REQUIREMENT. CCA FEELS CONFIDENT THAT THE EQUIPMENT CONFORMS AND HAS OFFERED TO PROVIDE A REPRESENTATIVE TO PROVE SAME--- PROVIDING SACRAMENTO ASSURE PAYMENT OF HIS EXPENSES IF WE CAN PROVE COMPLIANCE. APPARENTLY THIS OFFER HAS NOT BEEN ACCEPTED.'

IN RESPONSE TO CHARGE NO. 1, YOU ARE ADVISED THAT THE RECORDS OF THE PROCURING ACTIVITY INDICATE AS FOLLOWS:

(A) ON FEBRUARY 20, 1963, THE BIDS FOR IFB NO. AMC-04-170-63-272 WERE OPENED AND ON APRIL 16, 1963, THE AWARD WAS MADE TO YOUR FIRM. THIS EIGHT WEEKS DELAY WAS THE RESULT OF EFFORTS TO DETERMINE (1) THE CAPABILITY OF YOUR FIRM AS A SUPPLIER AND (2) THE RESPONSIVENESS OF YOUR BID. THIS WAS YOUR INITIAL BID TO THE SACRAMENTO ARMY DEPOT; SINCE IT WAS WITHOUT SUFFICIENT INFORMATION CONCERNING YOUR FIRM TO MAKE THE REQUIRED DETERMINATION OF YOUR RESPONSIBILITY THE MATTER WAS REFERRED TO THE ARMY ELECTRONICS MATERIAL AGENCY IN PHILADELPHIA, ON FEBRUARY 26, AND THE REPORT OF THAT AGENCY WAS NOT RECEIVED UNTIL APRIL 3. IT WAS ALSO NECESSARY TO OBTAIN A RULING ON A QUESTION OF RESPONSIVENESS, SINCE THE SPECIFICATIONS STATED "TRANSMITTERS SHALL BE FCC TYPE APPROVED," WHILE YOUR BID STATED THAT THE TRANSMITTER WOULD BE FCC TYPE APPROVED PRIOR TO SHIPMENT. FURTHER, WHILE THIS PROCUREMENT WAS OF A LOW PRIORITY (IPD-18-- - WHICH, ACCORDING TO ARMY REGULATIONS 725-50, REQUIRES DELIVERY OVERSEAS IN 60 TO 75 DAYS) EXCESS TIME DOES NOT APPEAR TO HAVE BEEN INCURRED THROUGH MALICIOUS EFFORTS TO ELIMINATE YOUR FIRM AS A SUPPLIER BUT, RATHER, TO DETERMINE YOUR CAPABILITIES AS A RESPONSIBLE SUPPLIER SO AS TO EVALUATE THE RESPONSIVENESS OF YOUR BID. THE SIX WEEKS DELIVERY PERIOD WAS NOT THE RESULT OF AN EMERGENCY PROCUREMENT. WE ARE FURTHER ADVISED THAT THE ITEM IS STANDARD, AS THERE ARE APPROXIMATELY 1,221 LICENSED AND OPERATING 250 WATT BROADCAST TRANSMITTERS IN THE UNITED STATES AS SHOWN BY THE "BROADCAST" MAGAZINE YEAR BOOK.

(B) ON JUNE 6, 1963, THE SIX TRANSMITTERS WERE RECEIVED BADLY DAMAGED. IT IS ASSUMED THAT THESE UNITS WERE DAMAGED IN TRANSIT. A REPLACEMENT DELIVERY OF TWO WEEKS WAS SET AS THE ITEMS WERE REQUIRED IN KOREA BY JULY 1, 1963. UPON RECEIPT AT THE DEPOT THE ITEMS WERE FORWARDED TO KOREA BY AIR FREIGHT.

(C) DURING THE PERIOD MARCH TO AUGUST 1963, SIX SOLICITATIONS WERE MADE. YOU WERE SOLICITED ON ONE OF THESE (IFB-420, ISSUED ON JUNE 6, 1963) BUT YOU WERE NOT THE LOW BIDDER. ALTHOUGH FOUR DEPOT SOLICITATIONS FOR TRANSMITTERS WERE ISSUED DURING THE PERIOD JULY 31 TO AUGUST 22, 1963, AFTER RECEIPT OF YOUR BIDDER'S MAILING LIST APPLICATION ON JULY 15, 1963, DEPOT REGULATIONS DO NOT REQUIRE THAT ALL VENDORS ON THE MAILING LIST BE SOLICITED FOR EACH PROCUREMENT. NO EVIDENCE WAS FOUND THAT YOU WERE INTENTIONALLY OMITTED FROM THE BIDDER'S LIST FOR BROADCASTING EQUIPMENT FOR THE PERIOD MARCH TO AUGUST 1963, AS ALLEGED.

(D) THE SOLICITATION UNDER NUMBER 3276-9540-FP-31 WAS NOT A FORMALLY ADVERTISED PROCUREMENT (IFB) BUT WAS A REQUEST FOR QUOTATIONS (RFQ), DATED OCTOBER 18, 1963. THE ITEM YOU OFFERED WAS REJECTED BECAUSE YOUR OFFER FAILED TO COMPLY WITH THE REQUIREMENT FOR MULTIPLEXING FACILITIES STATED IN THE SPECIFICATIONS. THE REJECTION WAS BASED ON A TECHNICAL EVALUATION BY COMPETENT PERSONNEL. CONSIDERING THE DIFFERENCE IN BID PRICES (YOUR BID WAS $1,475 WHEREAS GATES' BID AND CONTRACT AWARD AMOUNTED TO $1,964) IT APPEARS THAT THE DEPOT MIGHT WELL HAVE REQUESTED CLARIFICATION OF YOUR BID RATHER THAN SUMMARILY REJECTING IT; HOWEVER, THE REGULATIONS PERMIT A WIDE RANGE OF DISCRETION IN DETERMINING WHETHER TO CONTACT VENDORS FOR CLARIFICATION OF BIDS IN NEGOTIATED PROCUREMENTS, BASED ON CONSIDERATION OF SUCH MATTERS AS THE TYPE OF ITEM INVOLVED, THE PRICE OF THE ITEM, THE DELIVERY SCHEDULE, AND OTHER TECHNICAL FACTORS. ON THE RECORD BEFORE US, WE CANNOT SAY THAT THE FAILURE TO NEGOTIATE FURTHER WITH YOU IN THIS INSTANCE AMOUNTED TO AN ABUSE OF DISCRETION.

(E) THE CONTRACT (OI-04-170-04-50070/M) ( WAS AWARDED ON THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 20, 1964, AND FORWARDED TO YOUR FIRM BY CERTIFIED AIR MAIL, RETURN RECEIPT REQUESTED, ON THE SAME DATE. THE CONTRACT WAS RECEIVED AND ACKNOWLEDGED BY YOUR FIRM ON MONDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 1964. THIS TIME PERIOD INCLUDED A WEEKEND. NORMAL MAIL DELIVERY WOULD HAVE RESULTED IN THE CONTRACT BEING DELIVERED ON SATURDAY. THUS, FROM THE DATE OF AWARD TO THE DATE THE NOTIFICATION OF AWARD SHOULD HAVE BEEN RECEIVED BY YOUR FIRM, ONLY ONE WORKING DAY ELAPSED. THE IFB, IN ACCORDANCE WITH PROCUREMENT REGULATIONS SET OUT IN ASPR 1-305.3/B) (I) AND APP 1 403 (B), STATED THAT NOTIFICATION WOULD BE BY REGULAR MAIL. ACTUALLY, NOTIFICATION WAS SENT VIA CERTIFIED AIR MAIL. THE CERTIFIED RECEIPT WAS NOT RECEIVED AT THE DEPOT UNTIL MARCH 2, 1964, THUS PROMPTING A PHONE CALL TO ESTABLISH THAT YOU HAD RECEIVED THE CONTRACT. THEREAFTER YOU WERE CALLED AND ADVISED THAT THE DELIVERY DATE SPECIFIED WAS THE DATE OF DESIRED RECEIPT OF THE TRANSMITTER AT THE DEPOT AND NOT THE DATE OF DELIVERY TO THE CARRIER. ALSO, ON MARCH 6, 1964, A TELEPHONE CALL WAS MADE TO YOUR FIRM BY THE PROCUREMENT DIVISION TO INFORM YOU THAT THE TRANSMITTER WAS RECEIVED WITHOUT MANUALS OR CRYSTALS. WHILE THE DEPOT DID NOT NOTIFY YOU OF THE AWARD IN THE MOST EXPEDITIOUS MANNER AND IT APPEARS THAT THIS COULD HAVE BEEN DONE CONSIDERING THE SHORT DELIVERY PERIOD, THE FAILURE TO DO SO WAS NOT IN VIOLATION OF ANY OBLIGATION IMPOSED ON THE DEPOT BY LAW OR REGULATION. IN ANY EVENT THE EQUIPMENT WAS DELIVERED WITHIN THE REQUIRED DELIVERY SCHEDULE, AND IT DOES NOT APPEAR THAT YOU WERE MATERIALLY PREJUDICED.

(F) SINCE THE TRANSMITTER SUPPLIED BY YOU UNDER THE CONTRACT DID NOT MEET SPECIFICATIONS (A FACT WHICH YOU ADMIT) IT WAS PROPERLY REJECTED. THE GOVERNMENT IS NOT OBLIGED TO ACCEPT AN INFERIOR PRODUCT NOT MEETING SPECIFICATIONS, NOR IS THERE ANY BASIS ON WHICH THE DEPOT COULD HAVE ACCEPTED YOUR REQUEST TO HAVE A REPRESENTATIVE OF YOUR FIRM TRAVEL TO THE DEPOT AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE IN THIS CONNECTION.

YOUR CHARGE NO. 2 ALLEGES THAT THE SACRAMENTO ARMY DEPOT DIRECTS PROCUREMENTS OF BROADCASTING EQUIPMENT TO PREDETERMINED SOURCES BY REQUESTING NONREALISTIC, EXTREMELY SHORT DELIVERIES. YOU SAY IT SHOULD BE STRESSED THAT BROADCAST EQUIPMENT IS INTENDED FOR MORALE PURPOSES AND THUS SHOULD NOT NECESSARILY BE CONSIDERED AS EMERGENCY TYPE ITEMS; THAT PROPER PLANNING SHOULD PERMIT PROCUREMENTS IN REASONABLE PERIODS AND THUS ALLOW COMPETITIVE QUOTATIONS BY ALL SUPPLIERS. IN SUBSTANTIATION YOU STATE AS FOLLOWS:

"/A) ON FEBRUARY 5, 1963, THE SACRAMENTO DEPOT REQUESTED SIX 250 WATT AM TRANSMITTERS IN SIX WEEKS. IN THE UNITED STATES THERE IS LITTLE OR NO REQUIREMENT FOR 250 WATT AM TRANSMITTERS. THUS, IT IS QUITE UNLIKELY THAT ANY MANUFACTURER WOULD NORMALLY BE ABLE TO DELIVER SIX 250 WATT UNITS IN SIX WEEKS UNLESS THEY WERE ADVISED SOME TIME IN ADVANCE. WE FEEL THAT IN THIS CASE THE PREDETERMINED SOURCE WAS GATES RADIO. IN THIS PROCUREMENT GATES' UNIT PRICE WAS APPROXIMATELY $3000 EACH. SUBSEQUENTLY, ANOTHER REQUIREMENT APPEARED FOR FOUR (4) UNITS. GATES OBTAINED THIS ORDER AT A UNIT COST OF APPROXIMATELY $2400 EACH. WE SUGGEST THAT YOU CONTACT ANY MAJOR EQUIPMENT SUPPLIER AND WE DOUBT IF ANY WOULD MEET A SIX WEEK DELIVERY FOR SIX 250 WATT TRANSMITTERS WITHOUT ADVANCE NOTICE. "/B) ON OCTOBER 18, 1963 AND FEBRUARY 16, 1964 ON IFB 32769540-FP-31 AND IFB AMC- 04-170-64-119 RESPECTIVELY, TRANSMITTERS WERE REQUESTED FOR WHICH A 15 DAY DELIVERY WAS INSISTED. IT SHOULD BE NOTED THAT IT NORMALLY REQUIRES THREE WEEKS TO OBTAIN CRYSTALS FROM CRYSTAL MANUFACTURERS. IN ADDITION IT TAKES FOUR DAYS FOR EASTERN MANUFACTURERS TO RECEIVE MAIL FROM SACRAMENTO AND AN ADDITIONAL SEVEN TO TEN DAYS FOR TRANSPORTATION FROM THE EAST COAST TO CALIFORNIA. THUS, IT IS PRETTY OBVIOUS THAT THESE PROCUREMENTS WERE DIRECTED TO MID-WESTERN AND FAR-WESTERN COMPANIES WHO HAD ADVANCE NOTICE TO PURCHASE THE UNIQUE-LONG DELIVERY CRYSTAL.'

IN RESPONSE TO CHARGE NO. 2, THE FOLLOWING IS FURNISHED: (A) AS STATED ABOVE IN RESPONSE TO CHARGE NO. 1/A), THE 250 WATT AM TRANSMITTERS WOULD APPEAR TO BE STANDARD ITEMS, AS EVIDENCED BY THE FACT THAT THE "BROADCAST" MAGAZINE YEAR BOOK PRESENTLY SHOWS 1,221 SUCH STATIONS LICENSED AND OPERATING. THE DEPOT CATEGORICALLY DENIES CONTACTING GATES OR ANY OTHER SOURCE PRIOR TO THE SOLICITATION OF BIDS FOR THE SUBJECT CONTRACT. FURTHER, IT APPEARS THAT AT THE TIME OF SUBMITTING BIDS NEITHER YOU NOR ANY OTHER BIDDER QUESTIONED OR OBJECTED TO THE DELIVERY TIME. A 45 DAY DELIVERY SCHEDULE WAS REQUESTED BY THE DEPOT AND WAS MET BY TWO BIDDERS OTHER THAN YOU WITHOUT PROTEST. ADDITIONALLY, WE ARE ADVISED DEPOT PROCUREMENT EXPERIENCE IS THAT A SIX WEEKS PROCUREMENT ORDER FOR A STANDARD ITEM SUCH AS THIS DOES NOT CREATE ANY BURDEN ON THE SUPPLIER.

THE SIX TRANSMITTERS BEING PROCURED UNDER IFB AMC-04-170-63-272, WERE DESTINED FOR KOREA AND HAD BEEN ASSIGNED AN IPD OF 18 BY THE REQUISITIONING UNIT. IPD IS ESTABLISHED, PURSUANT TO ASPR 3-202.2 (VI) AND PARAGRAPH 2-8, AR 725-50, BY THE REQUISITIONING UNIT AND THE DEPOT WAS WITHOUT AUTHORITY TO LOWER IT. WITH RESPECT TO YOUR STATEMENT THAT BROADCASTING EQUIPMENT IS FOR MORALE PURPOSES ONLY, IT IS REPORTED THAT IN OKINAWA, KOREA AND PANAMA THE COMMAND PLACES HIGH PRIORITY ON SUCH ITEMS SINCE THE BROADCAST FACILITY IS USED FOR THE EMERGENCY RECALL OF TROOPS, AND THAT IN OKINAWA THE FACILITY IS ALSO USED FOR THE DISSEMINATION OF TYPHOON WARNINGS. AS TO THE DIFFERENCE IN PRICE OF THE GATES TRANSMITTERS UNDER THE TWO PROCUREMENTS REFERRED TO, OUR INVESTIGATION SHOWS THAT THESE WERE DIFFERENT MODELS OF THEIR 250 WATT TRANSMITTERS, THE MORE EXPENSIVE MODEL BEING AN INTERIM VERSION.

(B) UNDER RFQ 3276-9540-FP-31, A 20 DAY DELIVERY ARO (AFTER RECEIPT OF ORDER) WAS DESIRED, THUS THE FOUR DAYS MAIL PROBLEM MENTIONED IS NOT A FACTOR. THE PURCHASE REQUEST SPECIFIED DELIVERY IN 45 DAYS (IPD 12); HOWEVER, THE PERIOD WAS CHANGED TO 20 DAYS SINCE, ON THE BASIS OF PAST PROCUREMENT HISTORY, IT WAS FELT THAT A 20 DAY DELIVERY TIME WOULD NOT PLACE A BURDEN UPON SUPPLIERS. HAD YOUR FIRM NEEDED ADDITIONAL TIME IT COULD HAVE SO INDICATED ON THE QUOTATION FORM. GATES OFFERED DELIVERY IN 30 DAYS AND AWARD WAS MADE ON THAT BASIS. UNDER IFB AMC-04-170-164-119 (CONTRACT NO. OI-04-170-04 50070/M) ( THE PRIORITY WAS IPD 6 (15 DAYS OVERSEAS) AND THE DEPOT RECEIVED SEVERAL OVERSEAS PHONE CALLS IN REGARD TO THE DELIVERY OF THIS ITEM AS IT WAS URGENTLY NEEDED TO REPLACE A DEFECTIVE UNIT. YOU DID NOT PROTEST THIS PROVISION AT THE TIME OF OPENING OF BIDS. THE DEPOT DENIES CONTACTING ANY BIDDER IN REGARD TO THIS PROCUREMENT PRIOR TO SOLICITATION OF BIDS.

IN CHARGE NO. 3 YOU STATE THAT THE ENGINEERING DEPARTMENT AT SACRAMENTO ARMY DEPOT UTILIZES TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS TO DIRECT PURCHASES TO PREDETERMINED SOURCES. IN SUBSTANTIATION YOU STATE THAT:

"/A) ON OCTOBER 18, 1963, THE SACRAMENTO DEPOT REQUESTED ON IFB 32769540- FP-31 A 50 WATT FM TRANSMITTER WHICH INSISTED ON A PHASE TYPE MODULATOR. THIS MODULATOR SYSTEM IS UTILIZED BY ONLY GATES AND TWO OTHER COMPANIES. ORGANIZATIONS SUCH AS COLLINS RADIO, RCA AND TWO OTHER COMPANIES WERE AUTOMATICALLY ELIMINATED EVEN THOUGH THEY HAVE COMPETITIVE PERFORMING EQUIPMENT. INSTEAD OF REQUESTING OVERALL PERFORMANCE SPECIFICATIONS, SACRAMENTO ENGINEERING SPECIFIED A PARTICULAR SYSTEM TO ASSURE THE AWARD TO A PREDETERMINED SOURCE.

"/B) ON FEBRUARY 17, 1963, THE SACRAMENTO DEPOT REQUESTED ON IFB 04-170- 64-119 A IKW AM TRANSMITTER WHICH INSISTED THAT FORCED AIR BE USED AND THAT IT BE AVAILABLE AT THE TOP OF THE CABINET. THIS ELIMINATED THE COUNTRY'S LARGEST SUPPLIER OF IKW AM TRANSMITTERS SINCE THEY DO NOT USE FORCED AIR COOLING. THIS PURCHASE COMBINED WITH A 15 DAY DELIVERY WAS OBVIOUSLY DIRECTED TOWARDS A CALIFORNIA SOURCE.'

WITH RESPECT TO CHARGE NO. 3, YOU ARE ADVISED AS FOLLOWS:

(A) OUR INVESTIGATION SHOWS THAT UNDER THE CITED RFQ, FOR THE PROCUREMENT OF A 50 WATT FM TRANSMITTER, THE DEPOT DID INCORPORATE THE TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS FOR GATES EQUIPMENT BECAUSE GATES WAS THEN THE ONLY SOURCE KNOWN TO IT. HOWEVER, WE HAVE BEEN ASSURED THAT THE SPECIFICATIONS FOR FUTURE USE WILL BE REWRITTEN TO ACCOMMODATE THREE KNOWN SUPPLIERS.

(B) THE CITED IFB FOR THE IKW AM TRANSMITTER RESULTED IN CONTRACT NO. OI- 04-170-50070/M) WITH YOUR FIRM, WHICH WAS TERMINATED BY DEFAULT. YOUR STATEMENT THAT THE TRANSMITTER SPECIFICATIONS INSISTED ON FORCED AIR COOLING AND THAT IT BE MADE AVAILABLE AT THE TOP OF THE CABINET IS DENIED BY THE PROCURING AGENCY, WHICH STATES THAT THE SPECIFICATIONS DID NOT REQUIRE FORCED AIR COOLING, BUT REQUIRED ONLY THAT THE FRESH AIR IN-TAKE BE THROUGH REMOVABLE AND REUSABLE FILTERS AND EXHAUSTED AT THE TOP OF THE CABINET. CONVICTION, FORCED AIR OR OTHER AIR COOLING SYSTEMS COULD MEET THE REQUIREMENT. TOP EXHAUST WAS REQUESTED SINCE FRONT AND BACK EXHAUST ARE UNACCEPTABLE DUE TO THE INCONVENIENCE FOR SERVICING PERSONNEL, AND EXHAUST WOULD PREVENT PLACING THE TRANSMITTERS ADJACENT TO EACH OTHER OR OTHER OBJECTS.

IN CHARGE NO. 4 YOU STATE THE BROADCAST ENGINEERING DEPARTMENT AT SACRAMENTO DEPOT HAS NEITHER THE TECHNICAL, CAPABLE PERSONNEL NOR THE TEST EQUIPMENT TO PROPERLY EVALUATE BROADCAST EQUIPMENT; THAT THEIR EFFORTS ONLY REPRESENT WASTEFUL EXPENSE ON THE PART OF THE GOVERNMENT. SUBSTANTIATION YOU STATE THAT:

"/A) ON MAY 27, 1963, CCA DELIVERED SIX TRANSMITTERS TO THE DEPOT. THE ENGINEERING GROUP AT THE DEPOT COULD NOT TUNE THE EQUIPMENT AND WE HAD TO SEND OUR CHIEF PROJECT ENGINEER, LEN WEST, AT OUR EXPENSE OF $1000 TO PROVE COMPLIANCE OF OUR EQUIPMENT WITH THE REQUESTED SPECIFICATIONS. HIS REPORT ON THE TECHNICAL COMPETENCE OF THE ENGINEERING GROUP WAS FAR FROM COMPLIMENTARY.

"/B) ON MARCH 19, 1963, SACRAMENTO ENGINEERING COMPLAINED THAT THEY COULD NOT ACHIEVE RATED POWER OUTPUT FROM THE CCA TRANSMITTER DELIVERED AGAINST CONTRACT NO. OI-04-170-04-50070/M) WITHIN THE NORMAL POWER CONSUMPTION SPECIFICATION. IT WAS APPARENT THAT THEY WERE NOT USING PROPER EQUIPMENT OR PROCEDURE TO EVALUATE THEIR FINDINGS.

"OUR CHIEF ENGINEER TESTED A REPRESENTATIVE TRANSMITTER FROM OUR PRODUCTION AND VERIFIED THAT THE EQUIPMENT COULD MEET THE DESIRED SPECIFICATION. WE SO ADVISED SACRAMENTO AND OFFERED OUR TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE IN PROVING COMPLIANCE PROVIDING THEY WOULD ASSURE PAYMENT IF WE WERE CORRECT. SACRAMENTO DECLINED THIS OFFER AND SUBSEQUENTLY CANCELLED OUR CONTRACT.

"/C) THE PROCUREMENTS FOR BROADCAST TRANSMITTERS FOR THE ARMED FORCES RADIO ARE NOT OF SUFFICIENT MAGNITUDE TO WARRANT THE INVESTMENTS IN TEST FACILITIES AND HIGHLY SKILLED TECHNICIANS REQUIRED FOR THEIR EVALUATION.

"ON THE OTHER HAND, EQUIPMENT SUPPLIERS HAVE THE PROPER EQUIPMENT AND PERSONNEL TO SUBSTANTIATE CONFORMANCE AT THEIR PLANTS TO THE SATISFACTION OF ANY COMPETENT INSPECTOR.'

OUR REPLY TO CHARGE NO. 4 FOLLOWS:

(A) OUR INVESTIGATION SHOWS THAT THE DEPOT PERSONNEL INITIALLY TESTED YOUR TRANSMITTERS AT 208 VOLTS RATHER THAN 230 VOLTS SPECIFIED IN THE CONTRACT AND FOUND THEY COULD NOT TUNE THE EQUIPMENT. THEY SUBSEQUENTLY TESTED THE EQUIPMENT AT 230 VOLTS AND STILL FOUND THE EQUIPMENT UNSATISFACTORY. DURING THE TESTING PERIOD IT WAS ESTABLISHED FROM THE INTENDED USER THAT THE TRANSMITTERS WOULD HAVE TO OPERATE IN KOREA AT NO MORE THAN 208 VOLTS. THE DEPOT THEN CONTACTED YOUR FIRM BY TELEPHONE REGARDING THE REJECTION OF THE EQUIPMENT. AT THAT POINT YOU AGREED ORALLY TO MODIFY THE EQUIPMENT TO MEET THE REQUIREMENTS AND IT APPEARS YOUR ENGINEER HAD TO VISIT THE DEPOT IN ANY EVENT IF THE EQUIPMENT WERE TO BE MADE ACCEPTABLE SINCE IT HAD BEEN REJECTED FOR FAILURE TO MEET SPECIFICATIONS.

(B) UNDER THIS CHARGE YOU ADMIT THE EQUIPMENT DID NOT MEET THE SPECIFICATIONS AND EXPRESS THE BELIEF THAT THE DEPOT SHOULD HAVE WAIVED A SPECIFICATION REQUIREMENT. AFRTS QUALIFIED ENGINEERS POINTED OUT THE DEVIATION AFTER TESTING, AND SEVERAL CORRECTIVE ACTIONS WERE TAKEN AT YOUR ADVICE WITHOUT SOLVING THE PROBLEM. IF YOU POSSESSED TRANSMITTERS CAPABLE OF MEETING THE SPECIFICATIONS, IT IS NOT CLEAR WHY THEY WERE NOT OFFERED IN SUBSTITUTION. AS PREVIOUSLY STATED, THE GOVERNMENT IS NOT REQUIRED TO ACCEPT EQUIPMENT NOT MEETING SPECIFICATIONS.

(C) OUR INVESTIGATION DISCLOSES THAT (1) THE DEPOT WAS THE NATIONAL INVENTORY CONTROL POINT FOR PROCUREMENT OF NONSTANDARD COMMERCIAL TYPE BROADCAST TRANSMITTER EQUIPMENT FOR THE ARMED FORCES RADIO AND TELEVISION SERVICES (AFRTS) DURING THE PERIOD SEPTEMBER 1, 1961 TO MAY 5, 1964, AND THAT (2) A PART OF THE DEPOT'S MISSION IS TO PERFORM OVERHAUL AND REPAIR WORK ON TRANSMITTER EQUIPMENT. IN ORDER TO PERFORM OVERHAUL AND REPAIR WORK ON TRANSMITTER EQUIPMENT. IN ORDER TO PERFORM ACCEPTANCE TESTING FOR THIS WORK IT WOULD APPEAR THAT THE DEPOT MUST HAVE TEST EQUIPMENT AND COMPETENT TECHNICAL PERSONNEL. IN ANY EVENT, THE COMPETENCE OF ITS EMPLOYEES IS A MATTER WITHIN THE COGNIZANCE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY, AND WE MUST ASSUME THAT THEIR CAPABILITIES HAVE BEEN PROPERLY DETERMINED.

UNDER CHARGE NO. 5 YOU STATE THAT THE PROCEDURE OF THE CONTRACTING GROUP IS INEFFICIENT, INCOMPETENT AND DESIGNED TO ALIENATE THE SUPPLIER RATHER THAN GENERATE COOPERATION. IN SUBSTANTIATION YOU STATE THAT:

"/A) AFTER SUCCESSFULLY COMPLETING THE SHIPMENT OF SIX (6) 250 WATT TRANSMITTERS UNDER CONTRACT NO. 15214-SAD-63 IN THE RELATIVELY SHORT TIME OF SIX WEEKS, WE WERE ADVISED BY CONTRACTING THAT TWO OF THE UNITS HAD BEEN DAMAGED BY THE CARRIER IN SHIPMENT. CONTRACTING PERMITTED THE ENGINEERING GROUP TO DELAY THIS AWARD FOR EIGHT WEEKS AND YET THEY INSISTED THAT WE REPLACE THE TWO TRANSMITTERS WITHIN A PERIOD OF TWO WEEKS OR SUFFER CANCELLATION CHARGES. THEY WERE AWARE THAT WE WOULD HAVE TO EXPEDITE THIS EQUIPMENT VIA AIR FREIGHT AT CONSIDERABLE EXPENSES TO US YET NO ATTEMPT WAS MADE TO REIMBURSE US FOR OUR ADDITIONAL EXPENSE NOR WAS THERE ANY EXPRESSION OF THANKS OR PERMISSION TO EXTEND THE DELIVERY FOR AN ADDITIONAL WEEK. THIS ADDITIONAL WEEK WOULD PERMIT US TO SHIP THE UNITS THROUGH COMMON CARRIER AND SAVE APPROXIMATELY 25 PERCENT OF OUR TOTAL COST. THIS INDIFFERENCE ON THE PART OF THE CONTRACTING GROUP CERTAINLY DID NOT GENERATE A SATISFACTORY RELATIONSHIP WITH US.

"/B) AFTER THE RECEIPT OF THESE SIX UNITS THE ENGINEERING GROUP AT SACRAMENTO WERE NOT CAPABLE OF TUNING THE EQUIPMENT. IT WAS APPARENT TO US HERE AT CCA THAT THERE WAS NO BASIS PROBLEM AND WE HAD TO INCUR SUBSTANTIAL EXPENSE OF THE ORDER OF $1000 TO SEND OUR CHIEF ENGINEER TO THE WEST COAST. HE DETERMINED THAT THE ONLY PROBLEM WAS THAT THE PEOPLE WERE TESTING THE EQUIPMENT AT A RADICALLY DIFFERENT LINE VOLTAGE FROM THAT REQUESTED IN THE ORIGINAL PURCHASE ORDER. WHILE HE WAS THERE HE MODIFIED THE EQUIPMENT TO REFLECT PERFORMANCE AT THIS NON-REQUESTED VOLTAGE. DID NOT CHARGE SACRAMENTO FOR THE ADDITIONAL COMPONENTS OR EXPENSE REQUIRED TO ACHIEVE COMPLIANCE OF THE EQUIPMENT UNDER CONDITIONS NOT REQUESTED. STILL THE PROCUREMENT GROUP DID NOT ACKNOWLEDGE OUR CONTRIBUTION AND INSTEAD FORMALIZED THEIR SATISFACTION WITH SOME WISHY- WASHY LETTER THAT WE HAD ,SOLVED OUR PROBLEM IN SACRAMENTO.'

"/C) ON OCTOBER 18, 1963 WE WERE 25 PERCENT BELOW THE SECOND LOW BIDDER ON THE SACRAMENTO ARMY DEPOT IFB NO. 32796540-FP-31. IN OUR ORIGINAL PRESENTATION WE HAD REQUESTED NOTIFICATION OF THE RESULTS OF THE BID. THIS WAS NOT SENT TO US. WE REQUESTED THIS INFORMATION IN TWO ADDITIONAL LETTERS. FINALLY WE WERE ADVISED BY MR. SERPA EIGHT WEEKS AFTER THE ORIGINAL OPENING THAT WE HAD NOT BEEN AWARDED THE CONTRACT DUE TO NON- CONFORMANCE. WE WERE SO ADVISED BY TELEPHONE AFTER WE OBJECTED TO THE AWARD OF THIS CONTRACT TO THE SECOND LOW BIDDER. DON-T YOU THINK THIS SAME TELEPHONE CALL MIGHT HAVE BEEN MADE AT THE TIME OF THE BID OPENING TO DETERMINE FURTHER CLARIFICATION OF OUR BID? IT WOULD HAVE RESULTED IN THE GOVERNMENT SAVING $600.

"/D) IN MARCH WE RECEIVED AN EMERGENCY TELEPHONE CALL FROM MRS. MOLANDER OF THE CONTRACTING GROUP WHICH BEGAN WITH THE FOLLOWING QUOTATION: "YOUR EQUIPMENT HAS BEEN REJECTED," AND THEN WE FOUND THAT THREE MINOR PARTS WERE DEFECTIVE. TWO MUST HAVE OCCURRED IN SHIPMENT WHILE ONE WAS CERTAINLY THE RESULT OF MISHANDLING BY THE "TECHNICAL" PERSONNEL AT THE DEPOT. THIS EXPENSIVE TELEPHONE CALL WAS FOLLOWED UP BY EXPENSIVE CORRESPONDENCE TO CONFIRM THAT THESE PARTS WERE DEFECTIVE AND THAT OUR EQUIPMENT WAS AGAIN "REJECTED.' WE REPLACED THE PARTS CONSISTENT WITH OUR WARRANTY BUT IT WAS QUITE APPARENT TO US THAT EVEN AT THIS POINT THIS TREMENDOUS FORMALITY AND GRAVITY WHICH THE SACRAMENTO DEPOT WAS APPLYING TO $40 WORTH OF MATERIAL WAS A STRONG INDICATION OF THEIR INDIFFERENCE TO US AS A SUPPLIER. EACH AND EVERY FOLLOWING CORRESPONDENCE THAT WE HAVE RECEIVED FROM MRS. MOLANDER BEGAN WITH HERE FAVORITE QUOTE THAT "YOUR EQUIPMENT HAS BEEN ECTED.' I POINT OUT TO HER THAT THIS PHRASEOLOGY IS DISTURBING AND REFLECTS INDIFFERENCE ON THE PART OF THE GOVERNMENT FOR EQUIPMENT SUPPLIERS. SHE HAS NEVER ONCE CHANGED HER APPROACH IN THE MANY CONTACTS WITH US. I MUST ADMIT THAT IF HER OBJECTIVE WAS TO RATTLE OUR ORGANIZATION SHE HAS CERTAINLY ACHIEVED SAME. BUT I CERTAINLY DON-T THINK THIS IS THE NORMAL ATTITUDE OF A CONTRACTING GROUP. "/E) ON FEBRUARY 17, 1964, WE WERE THE LOW BIDDER FOR A CONTRACT FROM SACRAMENTO. THE CONTRACTING GROUP RECOGNIZED THAT A 15 DAY DELIVERY WAS EXTREMELY SHORT CONSIDERING THAT THE TRANSPORTATION REQUIRES APPROXIMATELY 7 TO 10 DAYS FROM THE EAST COAST. NEVERTHELESS, THEY ALLOCATED TO ADVISE US VIA SLOW MAIL AND THEN PROCEEDED TO CALL US ONE WEEK LATER ON THREE OCCASIONS REMINDING US OF THE NECESSITY FOR DELIVERY ON TIME. THE EXPENSE INCURRED BY THESE TELEPHONE CALLS AND LETTERS WOULD HAVE BEEN OF ASSISTANCE TO US AND MUCH MORE BENEFICIAL TO THE GOVERNMENT IF WE HAD BEEN ADVISED AT THE TIME OF THE AWARD RATHER THAN FOUR DAYS AFTER.

"/F) THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE IS INVITED TO INVESTIGATE ALL CORRESPONDENCE RECEIVED FROM THE CONTRACTING PEOPLE AT SACRAMENTO WHICH REFLECTS THEIR WASTEFULNESS, THEIR INEFFICIENCIES AND THEIR COMPLETE INDIFFERENCE TO SUPPLIERS.'

IN ANSWER TO CHARGE NO. 5, THE FOLLOWING IS FURNISHED:

(A) A REPLACEMENT DELIVERY PERIOD OF TWO WEEKS WAS AUTHORIZED BY THE CONTRACTING OFFICER SINCE CONSIDERABLE DELAY HAD BEEN INCURRED DUE TO THE RECEIPT OF DAMAGED EQUIPMENT. BY THAT TIME THE ITEMS WERE URGENTLY NEEDED AND THUS THE SHORT DELIVERY TIME WAS NECESSARY. AS TO THE ADDITIONAL COST NECESSITATED BY A SECOND SHIPMENT, IT WOULD SEEM THAT THIS WAS THE RESULT OF THE DAMAGE TO THE GOODS AND THEREFORE A MATTER BETWEEN YOU AND THE CARRIER, WITH WHICH THE GOVERNMENT IS NOT CONCERNED. WITH RESPECT TO THE DELAY IN THE AWARD, SEE THE ANSWER TO CHARGE 1/A).

(B) IF THE CONDITIONS AS ALLEGED BY YOU EXISTED, THE PROPER RECOURSE WOULD HAVE BEEN A REQUEST FOR EXCESS COST INCURRED AS A RESULT OF A CONSTRUCTIVE CHANGE BY THE GOVERNMENT. APPARENTLY THIS WAS NOT CONSIDERED TO BE THE SITUATION AT THE TIME SINCE NO CLAIM WAS MADE. MOREOVER, THE AFRTS ENGINEERS OBSERVING YOUR ENGINEER NOTICED THAT, IN ADDITION TO CHANGING THE TRANSFORMER, SEVERAL OTHER ITEMS SUCH AS TUNING CAPACITORS WERE ADDED.

(C) THIS WAS DISCUSSED IN THE ANSWER TO CHARGE NO 1/D).

(D) THE TELEPHONE CALL REFERRED TO WAS NOT AN EMERGENCY CALL, BUT WAS MADE IN THE NORMAL COURSE OF BUSINESS. THE TERM "REJECTED" IS NORMALLY USED AND IS MERELY DESCRIPTIVE INFORMING THE CONTRACTOR THAT THE ITEM SUPPLIED HAS NOT PASSED INSPECTION. THE DEPOT DOES NOT CONSIDER THE COST OF MAKING REPAIRS A SIGNIFICANT FACTOR IN DETERMINING THE MEANS OF INFORMING THE CONTRACTOR. THIS ITEM HAD AN IPD OF 6 WHICH INDICATES THE TRANSMITTER WAS URGENTLY NEEDED. IT IS THE POSITION OF THE DEPOT THAT IT DOES NOT INTENTIONALLY USE TERMS DESIGNED TO HARASS AND "RATTLE" CONTRACTORS BUT, RATHER, TO INFORM THEM OF THE STATUS OF THE EQUIPMENT AND AID THEM IN PLACING THEIR ITEMS IN AN ACCEPTABLE STATUS. THE DEPOT CATEGORICALLY DENIES THAT ONE OF THE ITEMS WAS DAMAGED AS A RESULT OF MISHANDLING BY THE DEPOT, AND ALLEGES THAT THE DAMAGED ITEMS WERE DEFECTIVE EITHER AT THE TIME OF SHIPMENT OR RENDERED DEFECTIVE IN TRANSIT.

(E) THIS WAS COVERED IN THE ANSWER TO CHARGE 1/E).

(F) AS INDICATED ABOVE, OUR INVESTIGATION WAS MADE AT THE SACRAMENTO ARMY DEPOT AS WE BELIEVED THAT WOULD BEST SERVE OUR PURPOSE. ALSO, WE CONSIDERED YOUR RECOMMENDATIONS AS WELL AS YOUR CHARGES. EXCEPT AS INDICATED IN OUR ANSWER TO CHARGES 1/D) AND (E) AND CHARGE 3/A), THE RESULT OF OUR INQUIRY IS SUMMARIZED AS FOLLOWS:

(A) THE CONTRACTING OFFICER, AFTER CONSIDERING EVIDENCE AND RECOMMENDATIONS OF TECHNICAL AND LEGAL ADVISORS, ACTED AND MADE DECISIONS WITHOUT BIAS OR PARTIALITY IN ACCORD WITH THE RIGHTS, OBLIGATIONS, AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE PARTIES TO THE CONTRACT AT ISSUE. FOR ALL PRELIMINARIES PRECEDING CONTRACT AWARD, IT WOULD APPEAR THAT THE PROCEDURES WERE IN SUBSTANTIAL ACCORD WITH THE PROVISIONS OF ASPR. FOUND NO EVIDENCE THAT THE CONTRACTING OFFICER'S TREATMENT OF YOUR FIRM WAS ANY DIFFERENT THAN THAT ACCORDED ANY OTHER POTENTIAL OR ACTUAL CONTRACTOR.

(B) REQUIREMENTS OF THE SACRAMENTO ARMY DEPOT ARE FREQUENTLY OF A HIGH PRIORITY, SINCE THE DEPOT HAS WORLD WIDE RADIO AND TELEVISION PROCUREMENT, SUPPLY, AND MAINTENANCE RESPONSIBILITIES FOR THE ENTIRE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE. TO ENABLE THE DEPOT TO ACCOMPLISH THIS, THIS DEPOT'S PROCUREMENT ACTIONS MUST BE RESPONSIVE TO THE NEEDS OF THE MILITARY DEPARTMENTS.

(C) WE FIND NO EVIDENCE THAT THE DEPOT'S TECHNICAL PERSONNEL ARE NOT CAPABLE OF DETERMINING OBJECTIVELY THE QUALITATIVE ACCEPTABILITY OF AN ITEM PROCURED UNDER AN IFB OR RFQ, OR THAT THEIR INSPECTION AND TESTING OF YOUR DELIVERED ITEMS WAS NOT OBJECTIVELY PERFORMED.

(D) THE LOCATION AT WHICH THE GOVERNMENT ACCOMPLISHES INSPECTION AND ACCEPTANCE IS NOT CONSIDERED A MATERIAL POINT ON THE ITEM PROCURED FROM YOUR FIRM. THE FAILURE OF THE ITEM TO MEET THE SPECIFICATIONS WAS DETERMINED UNDER ESTABLISHED PROCEDURE. YOU STATED IN YOUR BID THAT YOU WOULD COMPLY WITH AND MEET THE SPECIFICATIONS STIPULATED BY THE GOVERNMENT. YOU FAILED TO DO SO. IT MUST BE ASSUMED THAT THE RESULT OF THE GOVERNMENT TEST, WHETHER AT ORIGIN OR DESTINATION, WOULD HAVE BEEN IDENTICAL.

ON THE BASIS OF THE FOREGOING, WE FIND NO SUFFICIENT BASIS FOR ANY ACTION BY THIS OFFICE WITH RESPECT TO YOUR COMPLAINTS.