B-154227, AUG. 19, 1964

B-154227: Aug 19, 1964

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INC.: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR TELEGRAM DATED MAY 19. WHICH WAS ISSUED ON MARCH 13. THE SPECIFICATION FOR THE PLATFORMS AND A GENERAL OUTLINE DRAWING THEREOF WERE SUPPLIED TO PROSPECTIVE BIDDERS WITH THE BID SET AND. MORE DETAILED DRAWINGS WERE TO BE FURNISHED ONLY UPON REQUEST BY PROSPECTIVE BIDDERS. 15 BIDS WERE RECEIVED AND OPENED ON MAY 7. YOU HAVE PROTESTED THE AWARD OF A CONTRACT BY THE ST. CONTENDING PRIMARILY THAT SUFFICIENT INFORMATION WAS NOT AVAILABLE UPON WHICH A FIRM RESPONSIVE BID COULD BE FORMULATED. YOU TAKE THE POSITION THAT FOR THESE REASONS AND OTHER TIME-CONSUMING FACTORS YOU WERE DENIED THE OPPORTUNITY OF SUBMITTING A BID IN RESPONSE TO THE INVITATION AND THAT ONLY FIRMS WHO PREVIOUSLY HAD BUILT SUCH MAINTENANCE PLATFORMS WERE ABLE TO SUBMIT A BID.

B-154227, AUG. 19, 1964

TO LAKELAND EQUIPMENT CO., INC.:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR TELEGRAM DATED MAY 19, 1964, AND YOUR LETTER ALSO DATED MAY 19, 1964, WITH ENCLOSURES, PROTESTING THE AWARD OF ANY CONTRACT UNDER DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY INVITATION NO. AMC (T/-23-204-64 -333.

THE INVITATION, AS AMENDED, WHICH WAS ISSUED ON MARCH 13, 1964, BY THE U.S. ARMY AVIATION AND SURFACE MATERIAL COMMAND, ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI, SOLICITED BIDS FOR FURNISHING TO THE DESTINATIONS SPECIFIED A TOTAL OF 335 TYPE B-1 MAINTENANCE PLATFORMS IN ACCORDANCE WITH MILITARY SPECIFICATION MIL-M-5777C. THE SPECIFICATION FOR THE PLATFORMS AND A GENERAL OUTLINE DRAWING THEREOF WERE SUPPLIED TO PROSPECTIVE BIDDERS WITH THE BID SET AND, UNDER THE TERMS OF THE INVITATION, MORE DETAILED DRAWINGS WERE TO BE FURNISHED ONLY UPON REQUEST BY PROSPECTIVE BIDDERS. IN RESPONSE TO THE INVITATION, 15 BIDS WERE RECEIVED AND OPENED ON MAY 7, 1964. YOU HAVE PROTESTED THE AWARD OF A CONTRACT BY THE ST. LOUIS MATERIAL COMMAND TO ANY BIDDER BASED ON BIDS RECEIVED IN RESPONSE TO THE SUBJECT INVITATION, CONTENDING PRIMARILY THAT SUFFICIENT INFORMATION WAS NOT AVAILABLE UPON WHICH A FIRM RESPONSIVE BID COULD BE FORMULATED, DUE TO EITHER A COMPLETE LACK OF DRAWINGS OR TO ILLEGIBLE REPRODUCTIONS THEREOF, AND DUE ALSO TO THE INSUFFICIENCY OF THE SPECIFICATIONS. YOU TAKE THE POSITION THAT FOR THESE REASONS AND OTHER TIME-CONSUMING FACTORS YOU WERE DENIED THE OPPORTUNITY OF SUBMITTING A BID IN RESPONSE TO THE INVITATION AND THAT ONLY FIRMS WHO PREVIOUSLY HAD BUILT SUCH MAINTENANCE PLATFORMS WERE ABLE TO SUBMIT A BID.

THE GOVERNMENT CONTRACTING OFFICER REPORTS THAT ON APRIL 8, 1964, THERE WERE FORWARDED TO YOU, IN ACCORDANCE WITH YOUR REQUEST, 116 ADDITIONAL DRAWINGS OVER AND ABOVE THE BASIC DRAWINGS FURNISHED YOU WITH THE INVITATION FOR BIDS. MOREOVER, THE CONTRACTING OFFICER ADVISES THAT EXCEPT FOR DRAWINGS NOS. 56D6421 AND 55D6221, THESE CONSTITUTED THE TOTAL NUMBER OF DRAWINGS NECESSARY FOR THE MANUFACTURE OF THE MAINTENANCE PLATFORMS AND THAT SUCH DRAWINGS, TOGETHER WITH THE BASIC DRAWING AND THE MILITARY SPECIFICATION FURNISHED WITH THE INVITATION FOR BIDS, UNQUESTIONABLY ESTABLISHED A SUFFICIENT BASIS FOR A CAPABLE CONTRACTOR TO ARRIVE AT A SOUND BID PRICE. ALSO, THAT DRAWINGS NOS. 56D6421 AND 55D6221, WHICH WERE FURNISHED TO YOU ON MAY 1, 1964, WERE NOT CRUCIAL AND WOULD NECESSITATE ONLY A MINOR REVISION, IF ANY, IN THE ESTIMATED COST OF PERFORMANCE.

THE CONTRACTING OFFICER FURTHER REPORTS THAT AMONG THE DRAWINGS WHICH YOU REQUESTED ON APRIL 21, 1964, SIX OF THEM ALREADY HAD BEEN SENT TO YOU ON APRIL 8, 1964. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS, HOWEVER, YOUR REQUEST WAS ACKNOWLEDGED AND DUPLICATE COPIES WERE FURNISHED YOU, AS WELL AS COPIES OF THE NONESSENTIAL DRAWINGS NOS. 56D6421 AND 55D6221 REFERRED TO ABOVE. IS ALSO REPORTED THAT YOU REQUESTED DRAWINGS THAT WERE REFERENCED ON OTHER DRAWINGS ALREADY IN YOUR POSSESSION BUT WHICH WERE NOT CRUCIAL FOR BIDDING PURPOSES, AND THAT YOU WERE ADVISED OF THIS FACT; ALSO, IN AT LEAST ONE INSTANCE, A REQUEST WAS MADE BY YOU AND HONORED, EVEN THOUGH IT INVOLVED THE FURNISHING OF ONE PARTICULAR DRAWING FOR THE THIRD TIME; AND THAT ON ONE OCCASION SIX OR SEVEN DRAWINGS THAT WERE REQUESTED BY YOU CONSTITUTED A LIST OF NONPERTINENT DRAWINGS AND THE SEVENTH DRAWING WAS ONE PREVIOUSLY SUPPLIED YOU BUT AGAIN FURNISHED. THE CONTRACTING OFFICER STATES THAT AT LEAST 114 OF THE DRAWINGS FURNISHED TO YOU WERE LEGIBLE DRAWINGS AND THAT IT WAS FELT OTHER ADDITIONAL DRAWINGS ALSO FURNISHED WERE, IN EACH INSTANCE, TIMELY SUPPLIED.

THE RECORD BEFORE US SHOWS THAT IN PROCUREMENTS OF THIS SAME ITEM DURING 1958 AND 1960, NO DIFFICULTIES SUCH AS YOU REFER TO WERE EXPERIENCED, AND IN A PROCUREMENT OF THE PLATFORMS IN 1963, FOUR BIDDERS SUBMITTED A BID USING THE SAME 116 DRAWINGS COVERED IN THE SUBJECT PROCUREMENT. IT WOULD APPEAR SIGNIFICANT, HOWEVER, THAT 15 BIDDERS RESPONDED TO INVITATION NO. AMC (T/-23-204-64-333, TWO OF WHICH ALREADY HAD COMPLETE SETS OF DRAWINGS BY VIRTUE OF HAVING BEEN AWARDED CONTRACTS DURING 1960 AND 1963. EIGHT OTHERS DID NOT REQUEST ADDITIONAL DRAWINGS BEYOND THE INFORMATION RECEIVED WITH THE INVITATION FOR BIDS AND PRESUMABLY HAD SETS FROM OTHER MANUFACTURERS OR PERHAPS FROM HAVING BEEN AWARDED A CONTRACT FOR THIS ITEM BY THE AIR FORCE, AND THE REMAINING DRAWINGS WHICH YOU RECEIVED. THUS, THERE CAN BE NO DOUBT THAT ALL SUCH BIDDERS UNDERSTOOD THE PROCUREMENT AND WERE ABLE TO ANALYZE THE DATA PROVIDED THEM AND SUBMIT BIDS THEREON. MOREOVER, THE DRAWING PACKAGE WAS REVIEWED BY ARMY ENGINEERING PERSONNEL AND THEY DETERMINED THAT THE DRAWINGS WERE ADEQUATE.

WITH RESPECT TO THE TIME ALLOWED FOR PREPARING BIDS, IT IS NOTED THAT BY THREE AMENDMENTS TO THE INVITATION, THE TIME FOR OPENING OF BIDS WAS EXTENDED FROM THE ORIGINAL OPENING DATE OF APRIL 17, 1964, TO MAY 7, 1964, AND THE CONTRACTING OFFICER ADVISES THAT THE FIRST AMENDMENT, EXTENDING THE TIME FOR OPENING FROM APRIL 17 TO APRIL 24, WAS INITIATED UPON THE BASIS OF YOUR REQUEST.

IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, WE CANNOT CONCLUDE THAT YOU WERE NOT ADEQUATELY INFORMED AS TO THE GOVERNMENT'S REQUIREMENTS UNDER THIS PROCUREMENT OR THAT YOU WERE DENIED THE OPPORTUNITY TO SUBMIT A BID. WE, THEREFORE, FIND NO LEGAL BASIS FOR OBJECTING TO THE ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION TAKEN.