B-154070, JUN. 24, 1964

B-154070: Jun 24, 1964

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THIS RFP WAS ISSUED BY THE COMMANDANT OF THE MARINE CORPS. IN 1961 THE MARINE CORPS INITIATED A DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM TO REPLACE DIRECT CURRENT POWER SUPPLIES WHICH WERE BECOMING OBSOLETE. TECHNICAL PROPOSALS WERE SOLICITED FROM 32 FIRMS. TWELVE RESPONDED AND THREE WERE SELECTED TO PRODUCE PROTOTYPE MODELS FOR TESTING. WAS SUPERIOR IN ALL RESPECTS TO THE OTHER MODELS FURNISHED. WHICH WAS NOT ONE OF THE 32 SOLICITED IN 1961. THE MARINE CORPS ADVISES THAT A TECHNICAL EVALUATION INDICATES THAT YOUR APPROACH IS SIMILAR TO THAT OF SPACE AVIONICS AND SHOULD PRODUCE A UNIT WHICH IS ACCEPTABLE TO THE MARINE CORPS. IT WAS DETERMINED BY THE MARINE CORPS THAT RFP 83-64 SHOULD BE CANCELLED AND THE PROCUREMENT READVERTISED UNDER THE TWO-STEP FORMAL ADVERTISING METHOD.

B-154070, JUN. 24, 1964

TO MICRODOT, INCORPORATED:

WE REFER TO YOUR LETTER DATED MAY 5, 1964, IN WHICH YOU PROTEST AN ADMINISTRATIVE DETERMINATION TO CANCEL REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS NO. 83 64. THIS RFP WAS ISSUED BY THE COMMANDANT OF THE MARINE CORPS, NAVY ANNEX, WASHINGTON, D.C., ON FEBRUARY 5, 1964, FOR THE PROCUREMENT ON A SOLE- SOURCE BASIS PURSUANT TO AUTHORITY IN 10 U.S.C. 2304 (A) (10) AND ARMED SERVICES PROCUREMENT REGULATION SEC. 3-210.2 (I) OF DIRECT CURRENT POWER SUPPLY UNITS AND RELATED EQUIPMENT AND INFORMATION IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE ATTACHED PURCHASE DESCRIPTION.

IN 1961 THE MARINE CORPS INITIATED A DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM TO REPLACE DIRECT CURRENT POWER SUPPLIES WHICH WERE BECOMING OBSOLETE. TECHNICAL PROPOSALS WERE SOLICITED FROM 32 FIRMS; TWELVE RESPONDED AND THREE WERE SELECTED TO PRODUCE PROTOTYPE MODELS FOR TESTING. AFTER TESTING, THE MARINE CORPS LANDING FORCE DEVELOPMENT CENTER, QUANTICO, DETERMINED THAT THE MODEL FURNISHED BY SPACE AVIONICS, INCORPORATED, ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA, WAS SUPERIOR IN ALL RESPECTS TO THE OTHER MODELS FURNISHED. ON JANUARY 15, 1964, HEADQUARTERS, MARINE CORPS SOLE SOURCE PROCUREMENT REVIEW BOARD, APPROVED THE PROCUREMENT OF 100 DIRECT CURRENT POWER SUPPLIES ON A SOLE- SOURCE BASIS FROM SPACE AVIONICS.

YOUR FIRM, WHICH WAS NOT ONE OF THE 32 SOLICITED IN 1961, REQUESTED A COPY OF RFP 83-64 AND, PRIOR TO AWARD, SUBMITTED AN UNSOLICITED PROPOSAL FOR THIS PROCUREMENT. THE MARINE CORPS ADVISES THAT A TECHNICAL EVALUATION INDICATES THAT YOUR APPROACH IS SIMILAR TO THAT OF SPACE AVIONICS AND SHOULD PRODUCE A UNIT WHICH IS ACCEPTABLE TO THE MARINE CORPS. AFTER AN AUDIT BY THE UNITED STATES ARMY AUDIT AGENCY, WASHINGTON DISTRICT, WASHINGTON, D.C., OF THE PROPOSAL OF SPACE AVIONICS, IT WAS DETERMINED BY THE MARINE CORPS THAT RFP 83-64 SHOULD BE CANCELLED AND THE PROCUREMENT READVERTISED UNDER THE TWO-STEP FORMAL ADVERTISING METHOD. ARE ADVISED THAT YOU AND SPACE AVIONICS WILL RECEIVE AN INVITATION FOR BIDS UNDER THIS TWO-STEP PROCUREMENT.

ON MAY 5, 1964, YOU PROTESTED THE DETERMINATION TO CANCEL RFP 83-64 TO OUR OFFICE ALLEGING THAT NO COGENT OR COMPELLING REASON EXISTS FOR THE CANCELLATION OF THE RFP AND THAT THE REJECTION OF YOUR PROPOSAL IS IMPROPER.

THE STATUTORY AUTHORITY FOR THE PROCUREMENT IS FOUND AT 10 U.S.C. 2304 (A) WHICH REQUIRES PURCHASES TO BE MADE BY FORMAL ADVERTISING UNLESS ONE OF A GIVEN NUMBER OF EXCEPTIONS MAY PROPERLY BE INVOKED. IN THIS CASE THE EXCEPTION AT 10 U.S.C. 2304 (A) (10), UNDER WHICH NEGOTIATION MAY BE EMPLOYED WHEN IT IS IMPRACTICABLE TO OBTAIN COMPETITION, WAS INVOKED ON THE BASIS THAT SPACE AVIONICS REPRESENTED THE ONLY AVAILABLE SOURCE FOR THE EQUIPMENT; AND A PROPOSAL WAS SOLICITED FROM THAT FIRM ONLY. LARGELY AS A RESULT OF THE UNSOLICITED SUBMISSION OF A PROPOSAL BY YOUR COMPANY, IT HAS BEEN DETERMINED THAT IT IS NOT IN FACT IMPRACTICABLE TO OBTAIN COMPETITION. THEREFORE, NO JUSTIFICATION FOR PROCUREMENT BY NEGOTIATION EXISTS AND UNDER THE LAW FORMAL ADVERTISING MUST BE EMPLOYED AS NOW PROPOSED BY THE CONTRACTING AGENCY. UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES, THE CONTRACTING OFFICER NOT ONLY WAS AUTHORIZED TO CANCEL THE RFP, HE WAS REQUIRED TO DO SO.

ACCORDINGLY, WE FIND NO BASIS TO OBJECT TO THE ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION TAKEN.