B-154692, OCT. 16, 1964

B-154692: Oct 16, 1964

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TO KOLLSMAN MOTOR CORPORATION: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JULY 2. YOU STATED IN YOUR PROPOSAL THAT P/N B2103000460 SPECIFIED IN THE REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS WAS SUPERSEDED BY THE PART NUMBER ON WHICH YOU QUOTED. THAT IT "IS COMPLETELY MECHANICALLY AND ELECTRICALLY INTERCHANGEABLE WITH P/N B2103000460.'. YOUR FIRM WAS REQUESTED ON APRIL 24. ADVISED THAT IT WAS EXACTLY IDENTICAL TO THE KOLLSMAN P/N B2103000460 AND THAT IT WAS COMPLETELY INTERCHANGEABLE. SUCH PROPOSAL WAS SUBMITTED TO THE COGNIZANT ENGINEERING GROUP AT SAAMA WHO DETERMINED THAT THE ITEM PROPOSED BY SANGAMO WAS INTERCHANGEABLE WITH THE KOLLSMAN P/N B2103000460. WAS SUBMITTED TO SAAMA'S INITIATING AND ENGINEERING ACTIVITIES TO DETERMINE IF THE ITEM PROPOSED WOULD SATISFY THE REQUIREMENT.

B-154692, OCT. 16, 1964

TO KOLLSMAN MOTOR CORPORATION:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JULY 2, 1964, WITH ENCLOSURES, PROTESTING AGAINST THE AWARD OF CONTRACT TO SANGAMO ELECTRIC COMPANY BY THE SAN ANTONIO AIR MATERIEL AREA (SAAMA), KELLY AIR FORCE BASE, TEXAS, UNDER REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS NO. SA-4-83050.

THE SUBJECT REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS, ISSUED ON APRIL 3, 1964, CALLED FOR PROPOSALS ON 235 EACH, KOLLSMAN INSTRUMENT PART NUMBER B2103000460, MOTOR CONTROL, FOR USE IN SUPPORT OF B-52 AIRCRAFT. YOUR FIRM SUBMITTED A PROPOSAL QUOTING A UNIT PRICE OF $44.90 ON YOUR P/N A5033000460. YOU STATED IN YOUR PROPOSAL THAT P/N B2103000460 SPECIFIED IN THE REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS WAS SUPERSEDED BY THE PART NUMBER ON WHICH YOU QUOTED. YOU FURTHER STATED IN YOUR PROPOSAL THAT P/N A5033000460 HAD BEEN FURNISHED TO THE AIR FORCE PREVIOUSLY UNDER CONTRACT AF 41/608/-22321, AND THAT IT "IS COMPLETELY MECHANICALLY AND ELECTRICALLY INTERCHANGEABLE WITH P/N B2103000460.' YOUR FIRM WAS REQUESTED ON APRIL 24, 1964, BY TELEPHONE, TO SUBMIT A PROPOSAL FOR FURNISHING P/N B2103000460 REFERENCED IN THE REQUEST. PURSUANT THERETO YOU QUOTED A UNIT PRICE OF $79.50.

SANGAMO ELECTRIC COMPANY SUBMITTED A PROPOSAL QUOTING A PRICE OF $58.20 ON THEIR P/N 10M2-655510, AND ADVISED THAT IT WAS EXACTLY IDENTICAL TO THE KOLLSMAN P/N B2103000460 AND THAT IT WAS COMPLETELY INTERCHANGEABLE. SUCH PROPOSAL WAS SUBMITTED TO THE COGNIZANT ENGINEERING GROUP AT SAAMA WHO DETERMINED THAT THE ITEM PROPOSED BY SANGAMO WAS INTERCHANGEABLE WITH THE KOLLSMAN P/N B2103000460. IN THIS RESPECT, YOUR ALTERNATE PROPOSAL FOR FURNISHING P/N A5033000460, WITH DRAWINGS, WAS SUBMITTED TO SAAMA'S INITIATING AND ENGINEERING ACTIVITIES TO DETERMINE IF THE ITEM PROPOSED WOULD SATISFY THE REQUIREMENT. IT WAS DETERMINED THAT P/N B2103000460, AS CALLED FOR IN THE REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS, WAS THE ITEM REQUIRED. ON SUCH BASIS, AWARD OF CONTRACT AF 41/608/-30707 WAS MADE TO SANGAMO ELECTRIC COMPANY ON JUNE 26, 1964, AS THE LOWEST RESPONSIVE OFFEROR.

IN YOUR LETTER OF PROTEST YOU CONTEND THAT SINCE B2103000460 EMPLOYS DEFUNCT MANUFACTURING TECHNIQUES WHICH MUST BE REFLECTED IN HIGHER COST/SELLING PRICE AND SINCE THERE WAS PRECEDENT FOR THE OFFER AND ACCEPTANCE OF THE MORE UP-TO-DATE A5033000460 VERSION, YOU SUBMITTED YOUR QUOTATION ON THE A5033000460 AT A UNIT PRICE OF $44.90 EACH. YOU ALSO AVER THAT THE OFFERED UNIT WAS COMPLETELY INTERCHANGEABLE BOTH MECHANICALLY AND ELECTRICALLY, AND YOU ASK THAT IF THE "TECHNICAL BRANCH" OF SAAMA EVALUATED YOUR A5033000460 AND FOUND IT "UNACCEPTABLE" YOU WOULD APPRECIATE BEING ADVISED OF THEIR REASONS FOR FINDING IT SO.

WITH REGARD TO THE TECHNICAL ASPECTS OF YOUR PROTEST, THE PROCUREMENT AGENCY REPORTS AS OLLOWS:

"RESEARCH OF BLUE PRINTS OBTAINED FROM THE CONTRACTOR REVEALSX/N 6105 587 -6803 (P/N B210300460 AND P/N A5033000460) AND 6105-967-0382 (P/N A5033000487) ARE FUNCTIONALLY IDENTICAL; HOWEVER, P/N B210300460 IS STILL THE PREFERRED ITEM DUE TO CHANGE OF CONTROL AND FIXED PHASE TERMINALS.

"2. SUBJECT MOTOR IS REQUIRED FOR REPAIR OF S/N 6605-567-6014 (P/N A2697000001) CORRECTION COMPUTER, WHICH IS A COMPONENT OF THE MD-1 ASTRO COMPASS SYSTEM AT A 30 PERCENT REPLACEMENT TOR.'

IT IS FURTHER REPORTED THAT THE CHANGE OF THE MOTOR FROM B2103000460 TYPE TO A5033000460 TYPE IS SUBJECT TO THE FOLLOWING OBJECTIONS.

"2. THE FIXED PHASE WINDING OF B21030 TYPE MOTOR ARE TERMINALS 1 AND 2 COLOR OF WIRES ARE GREEN AND YELLOW RESPECTFULLY. THE FIXED PHASE WINDING OF A50330 TYPE MOTOR ARE TERMINALS 1 AND 3. THE CONTROL PHASE WINDING OF B21030 TYPE ARE TERMINALS 3 AND 4 COLOR CODE YELLOW AND BLACK. THE CONTROL PHASE OF A50330 TYPE MOTOR IS TERMINALS 2 AND 4.

"3. ENGINEERING DATA SUCH AS STARTING VOLTAGE, DIRECTION OF ROTATION, RESISTANCE VALUES OF WINDINGS AND PARTS BREAKDOWN IS NOT AVAILABLE AT MAAMA FOR A50330 TYPE MOTOR.

"4. THE CORRECTION COMPUTER HARNESS WIRES TERMINATED AT THE B21030 MOTOR WITH ELECTRICAL LUGS AND ARE CONNECTED WITH SCREWS INTO THE REAR OF THIS MOTOR. REMOVAL FOR REPAIR AND/OR REPLACEMENT OF B21030 MOTOR IS RELATIVELY EASY AND DOES NOT CHANGE THE LENGTH OF HARNESS WIRES. REPEATED REMOVAL AND REPLACEMENT CAN BE ACCOMPLISHED, WITHOUT REGARD TO COMPUTER HARNESS. THE A50330 MOTOR HOWEVER IS A SHORT MOTOR WITH TERMINAL POSTS AT THE REAR. THIS REQUIRES THE EXISTING LUGS BE CUT OFF, INSULATION OF HARNESS WIRES REMOVED, AND A SOLDER CONNECTION BE MADE. THIS STRETCHES THE HARNESS WIRES TO THE LIMIT. REPEATED REMOVAL AND REPLACEMENT WOULD REQUIRE NEW HARNESS WIRES TO BE INSTALLED.'

THE QUESTION AS TO THE ACTION, IF ANY, WHICH OUR OFFICE SHOULD TAKE IN CASES INVOLVING THE EVALUATION OF TECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS OF SPECIFICATIONS, ETC., HAS BEEN THE SUBJECT OF A NUMBER OF DECISIONS BY OUR OFFICE. YOUR PROTEST IS BASED UPON SUCH AN EVALUATION. OF NECESSITY, OUR OFFICE HAS ESTABLISHED A RULE GOVERNING SUCH SITUATIONS. IN A DECISION DATED JANUARY 8, 1938, TO THE PRESIDENT, BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, PUBLISHED AT 17 COMP. GEN. 554, 557, WE SET FORTH THE FOLLOWING RULE WHICH WE CONSIDER TO BE CONTROLLING IN THE INSTANT MATTER:

"IT IS IN THE PROVINCE OF ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICERS TO DRAFT PROPER SPECIFICATIONS NECESSARY TO SUBMIT FOR FAIR COMPETITIVE BIDDING PROPOSED CONTRACTS TO SUPPLY GOVERNMENTAL NEEDS, AND TO DETERMINE FACTUALLY WHETHER ARTICLES OFFERED MEET THOSE SPECIFICATIONS. * * *"

YOUR CONTENTIONS HAVE REFERENCE TO THE TECHNICAL ASPECTS OF YOUR P/N A5033000460 WHICH IS STATED TO BE SUPERIOR TO AND LESS EXPENSIVE THAN THE P/N B2103000460 SPECIFIED IN THE REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS. IN THIS REGARD, IN OUR DECISION B-139830, DATED AUGUST 19, 1959, WE MADE THE FOLLOWING OBSERVATION:

"THIS OFFICE HAS NEITHER AN ENGINEERING STAFF NOR A TESTING LABORATORY TO EVALUATE THE TECHNICAL ASPECTS OF SPECIFICATIONS. MOREOVER, IN DISPUTES OF FACT BETWEEN A PROTESTANT AND A GOVERNMENT AGENCY, WE USUALLY ARE REQUIRED TO ACCEPT THE ADMINISTRATIVE REPORT AS CORRECT. WHETHER A PARTICULAR BID IS RESPONSIVE TO THE TECHNICAL DETAILS OF THE SPECIFICATIONS IS NOT A MATTER, ORDINARILY, FOR OUR DETERMINATION. * * *"