B-154947, OCT. 9, 1964

B-154947: Oct 9, 1964

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PROPOSALS WERE REQUESTED FOR FURNISHING THE NECESSARY SUPPLIES AND SERVICES FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF AN EXPERIMENTAL TELEVISION BRIEFING CONSOLE IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE TECHNICAL WORK STATEMENT AND SPECIFICATIONS ATTACHED. OFFERORS WERE ADVISED THAT THE CONTRACTOR WOULD BE SELECTED UPON THE BASIS OF PRICE AND BEST DESIGN PROPOSAL. THAT WHERE THERE WAS UNCERTAINTY AS TO PRICING OR TECHNICAL ASPECTS OF ANY PROPOSAL. THE ATTACHED SPECIFICATION STATED THAT: "THE GENERAL REQUIREMENT OF THIS WORK STATEMENT IS THE DESIGN AND FABRICATION OF AN EXPERIMENTAL TELEVISION BRIEFING CONSOLE. AS THIS CONSOLE WILL BE USED FOR DEVELOPMENT OF DESIGN PARAMETERS. FIVE PROPOSALS WERE RECEIVED. YOUR PROPOSAL WAS THIRD LOWEST AT $18.

B-154947, OCT. 9, 1964

TO SARKES TARZIAN, INC.:

THIS REFERS TO YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 12, 1964, PROTESTING AGAINST THE REJECTION OF YOUR PROPOSAL UNDER REQUEST FOR QUOTATION DCA-3, DATED MARCH 3, 1964, ISSUED BY THE DEFENSE COMMUNICATIONS AGENCY, DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE.

PROPOSALS WERE REQUESTED FOR FURNISHING THE NECESSARY SUPPLIES AND SERVICES FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF AN EXPERIMENTAL TELEVISION BRIEFING CONSOLE IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE TECHNICAL WORK STATEMENT AND SPECIFICATIONS ATTACHED. OFFERORS WERE ADVISED THAT THE CONTRACTOR WOULD BE SELECTED UPON THE BASIS OF PRICE AND BEST DESIGN PROPOSAL, AS ADJUDGED BY DCA, SUBMITTED BY PROSPECTIVE OFFERORS; THAT THE THE OFFEROR SHOULD SUBMIT HIS MOST FAVORABLE TERMS AS AWARD MIGHT BE MADE WITHOUT DISCUSSION OF PROPOSALS, BUT THAT WHERE THERE WAS UNCERTAINTY AS TO PRICING OR TECHNICAL ASPECTS OF ANY PROPOSAL, AWARD WOULD NOT BE MADE WITHOUT FURTHER EXPLANATION AND DISCUSSION PRIOR TO AWARD. THE ATTACHED SPECIFICATION STATED THAT: "THE GENERAL REQUIREMENT OF THIS WORK STATEMENT IS THE DESIGN AND FABRICATION OF AN EXPERIMENTAL TELEVISION BRIEFING CONSOLE. AS THIS CONSOLE WILL BE USED FOR DEVELOPMENT OF DESIGN PARAMETERS, IT MUST PROVIDE A DEGREE OF FLEXIBILITY OF OPERATION SUFFICIENT TO EVALUATE A VARIETY OF OPERATING CONDITIONS AND HUMAN FACTORS CONSIDERATIONS.'

FIVE PROPOSALS WERE RECEIVED. YOUR PROPOSAL WAS THIRD LOWEST AT $18,662, WHILE RAC SUBMITTED THE NEXT (FOURTH) LOWEST PROPOSAL AT $28,050. THE ADMINISTRATIVE FILE CONTAINS A MEMORANDUM OF ,TECHNICAL EVALUATION OF PROPOSALS," DATED MARCH 30, 1964, INDICATING THAT THE FOUR MEMBERS OF THE EVALUATION PANEL RECOMMENDED INDIVIDUALLY AND COLLECTIVELY THAT RCA, HAVING SUBMITTED THE ONLY COMPLETELY RESPONSIVE AND FULLY ACCEPTABLE PROPOSAL, SHOULD RECEIVE THE AWARD. REGARDING THE RCA PROPOSAL, THE MEMORANDUM STATED:

"THIS PROPOSAL DEMONSTRATES A SIGNIFICANTLY HIGHER LEVEL OF ENGINEERING EFFORT THAN WAS APPARENT ON THE OTHER PROPOSALS. THE PERFORMANCE OF THIS SYSTEM EXCEEDS THE MINIMUM SPECIFIED REQUIREMENTS IN THE CRITICAL AREAS OF CORNER RESOLUTION, SIGNAL-TO-NOISE RATIO, AND STABILITY. THESE FACTORS WILL CONSIDERABLY ASSIST IN THE PRIME OBJECTIVES OF THE CONSOLE, NAMELY THAT OF THE DEVELOPMENT OF FUTURE DESIGN PARAMETERS AND UNATTENDED OPERATION BY NON-TECHNICAL PERSONNEL. TWO MINOR EXCEPTIONS TO THE SPECIFICATIONS WERE NOTED. THESE HAVE BEEN CONSIDERED AND ACCEPTED AS NOT DETRACTING FROM THE SYSTEM PERFORMANCE OF THE CONSOLE.'

SIX REASONS WERE LISTED IN THE MEMORANDUM WHY YOUR PROPOSAL WAS UNACCEPTABLE, AND THESE REASONS WERE PRESENTED TO YOU BY THE CONTRACTING OFFICER IN HIS LETTER OF APRIL 24, 1964. YOU WERE ALSO NOTIFIED THAT RCA RECEIVED THE AWARD AT $28,050. (THE AWARD WAS MADE ON APRIL 22, 1964). BY LETTER OF JUNE 18, 1964, YOU WRITE THE CONTRACTING OFFICER, DISPUTING THE VALIDITY OF REJECTING YOUR LOW PROPOSAL FOR THE REASONS PRESENTED. YOU STATED, HOWEVER, THAT YOU DELAYED SUBMITTING YOUR LETTER BECAUSE YOU DID NOT WANT IT TO BE CONSTRUED AS A PROTEST, "BUT RATHER AS A COMMENT WHERE WE FEEL THAT QUESTIONABLE EVALUATION WAS MADE OF OUR BID SUBMISSION.' THEREAFTER, BY LETTER OF JULY 16, 1964, THE CONTRACTING OFFICER FURNISHED YOU WITH THE PANEL'S CONSIDERATIONS OF THE CONTENTIONS STATED IN YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 18, 1964. FINALLY, BY LETTER OF AUGUST 12, 1964, YOU ASKED THIS OFFICE TO DIRECT THAT AWARD BE MADE TO YOUR FIRM OR THAT THE PROCUREMENT BE READVERTISED.

OF THE REASONS PRESENTED WHY YOUR PROPOSAL WAS FOUND TO BE UNACCEPTABLE, THE CONTRACTING OFFICER REPORTS THAT THE FIRST LISTED REASON, TO WIT: YOU PROPOSED TO SUPPLY AN ELECTROMAGNETIC FOCUS CAMERA TUBE INSTEAD OF AN ELECTROSTATIC TUBE AS SPECIFIED (PARAGRAPH 13 (T) OF THE SPECIFICATION, ENTITLED "CAMERA EQUIPMENT" STATED THAT "THE CAMERA SHALL INCORPORATE ELECTROSTATIC FOCUS IN ORDER TO ASSURE A FLAT FOCUS FILED)," WAS THE MAJOR AND CONTROLLING FACTOR LEADING TO THE UNACCEPTABILITY OF YOUR PROPOSAL. YOU ACKNOWLEDGED IN YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 18, THAT YOU HAD QUOTED ON AN ELECTROMAGNETICALLY FOCUSED TUBE, BUT YOU STATED THAT THIS WAS INSUFFICIENT REASON FOR REJECTING A PROPOSAL. IN THE EXPLANATORY LETTER OF JULY 16, 1964, YOU WERE ADVISED THAT THE PANEL DISAGREED WITH YOUR CONCLUSION THAT AN ELECTROMAGNETICALLY FOCUSED TUBE WAS FUNCTIONALLY SIMILAR TO THE SPECIFIED ELECTROSTATIC TUBE, PRINCIPALLY BECAUSE:

"A. THE SATISFACTORY PRESENTATION OF DATA IN A COMMAND AND CONTROL ENVIRONMENT REQUIRES THAT THE CORNER RESOLUTION APPROACH THE RESOLUTION ATTAINED AT THE CENTER OF THE RASTER IN ORDER THAT PRINTED OR SYMBOLOGY OR LINE DRAWING MATTER CAN BE AS EASILY READ IN THE CORNERS OF THE RASTER AS IN THE CENTER.

"B. THE ELECTROSTATIC TUBE, IN CONJUNCTION WITH WELL DESIGNED CIRCUITRY, IS CAPABLE OF PRODUCING A COMPLETELY RECTANGULAR RASTER WITH A DISTORTION OF LESS THAN 1/2 PERCENT THE ABSENCE OF S OR SPIRAL DISTORTION, WHICH CAUSES A STRAIGHT LINE TO APPEAR SLIGHTLY S-SHAPED, IS OF NOTABLE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE PICTURE PRODUCED BY AN ELECTROSTATIC AND THE MAGNETIC FOCUS TUBE.

"C. THE ESTABLISHED COMMAND AND CONTROL CRITERIA REQUIRES THAT TELEVISION EQUIPMENT MUST ATTAIN PEAK OR OPTIMUM PERFORMANCE WITHIN A TEN MINUTE WARM -UP TIME FROM A COLD START AND MAINTAIN THIS PERFORMANCE FOR AT LEAST EIGHT HOURS WITHOUT OPERATOR ATTENTION. THIS IS RELATIVELY EASY TO ACCOMPLISH WITH AN ELECTROSTATIC FOCUS DESIGN BUT WITH A MAGNETIC FOCUS DESIGN MANY TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES PRESENT THEMSELVES.

"IN ADDITION, YOUR SPECIFICATION RESTRICTS THE FOCUS CURRENT REGULATION TO 1 PERCENT OF 10 PERCENT FOR A LINE VARIATION WHICH IS TEN TIMES THE IDEAL CONDITION. ALSO, IT ALLOWS TWENTY MINUTES WARM-UP TIME WHICH IS TWICE THE ALLOWABLE CRITERION.'

YOU CITE THE SPECIFICATION REQUIREMENTS IN PARAGRAPH 13 (CAMERA EQUIPMENT) THAT RESOLUTION FROM AN EIA TEST CHART SHALL BE 800 TV LINES AT THE CENTER AND 600 TV LINES IN FOUR CORNERS SIMULTANEOUSLY (PARAGRAPH 13 (G) (1) ); THAT VERTICAL RESOLUTION SHALL BE FOR 375 TV LINES AS THE CENTER (PARAGRAPH 13 (G) (2) ); AND THAT GEOMETRIC DISTORTION SHALL NOT EXCEED PLUS OR MINUS 1 PERCENT OF RASTER HEIGHT (PARAGRAPH 13 (K) ). YOU SAY IT IS AN ESTABLISHED FACT THAT AN ELECTROMAGNETIC FOCUS TUBE MEETS ALL OF THESE REQUIREMENTS. YOU POINT TO THE CONTRACTING OFFICER'S LETTER OF JULY 16, QUOTED ABOVE, REFERRING TO THE "ESTABLISHED COMMAND AND CONTROL CRITERIA" (PARAGRAPH C) AS REQUIRING A CERTAIN CLOSENESS OF CORNER AND CENTER RESOLUTION WHICH IS OTHER THAN THE 800 AND 600 SPECIFIED. ALSO, YOU CITE THE STATEMENT (PARAGRAPH B) OF A COMPLETELY RECTANGULAR RASTER HAVING A DISTORTION OF LESS THAN 1/2 PERCENT WITH NO S OR SPIRAL DISTORTION WHICH IS MET BY THE ELECTROSTATIC TUBE, BUT NOT THE MAGNETICALLY FOCUSED TUBE. FROM THIS YOU CONCLUDE THAT:

"* * * THE INVITATION IN ITS SPECIFICATION OF FLAT FOCUS REQUIREMENTS OF 800 CENTER LINES AND 600 CORNER LINES IS THE LEGALLY APPLICABLE SPECIFICATION AND IT CANNOT BE ENLARGED UPON OR CHANGED BY A MERE REFERENCE TO A CERTAIN TYPE OF FOCUS. THE ONLY REQUIREMENTS WHICH THE CONTRACTING OFFICER CONTENDS THAT THE MAGNETIC FOCUS TUBE DOES NOT MEET ARE REQUIREMENTS WHICH WERE NEVER MENTIONED IN THE SPECIFICATIONS AND EVEN IN SUCH CASES THE CONTRACTING OFFICER'S ASSERTION IS INCORRECT.'

IN ITS REPORT TO THIS OFFICE, DCA STATES THAT:

"AS PREVIOUSLY INDICATED, WHERE TECHNICAL DETAIL WAS DEFINED IN THE SPECIFICATION, THE RESPONSE OF EACH PROPOSER WAS CONSIDERED OBJECTIVELY IN DETERMINING THE DEGREE TO WHICH HIS PROPOSAL WOULD MEET THE SPECIFIED REQUIREMENTS. THE SPECIFICATION CLEARLY STATED A REQUIREMENT FOR THE USE OF ELECTROSTATIC FOCUS; SARKES TARZIAN CONFIRMED IN THEIR LETTER OF 18 JUNE THAT THEIR PROPOSAL FAILED TO MEET THIS REQUIREMENT AND THAT THE DCA OBJECTION WAS VALID. UNFORTUNATELY, ADDITIONAL INFORMATION WAS SUPPLIED IN THE DCA RESPONSE ON 16 JULY WHICH APPARENTLY LED SARKES TARZIAN TO THE ERRONEOUS CONCLUSION THAT DETAILED TECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS WERE INTRODUCED DURING THE EVALUATION THAT PROVIDED A BIAS IN THE ORIGINAL DETERMINATION. THIS WAS NOT THE CASE. THE DEFICIENCIES OF THE ORIGINAL PROPOSAL, AS POINTED OUT IN THE DCA LETTER OF 24 APRIL 1964, REMAIN UNALTERED AND ARE CONSIDERED TO BE INDISPUTABLE. FURTHER, BECAUSE OF THE MARKED DISPARITY IN THE RCA AND SARKES TARZIAN PROPOSALS, IT WAS NOT CONSIDERED APPROPRIATE TO ATTEMPT TO NEGOTIATE THE LATTER'S PROPOSAL UP TO ACCEPTABLE CONDITIONS.'

ON THE PRESENT RECORD, IT SEEMS THAT EQUALITY OF RESOLUTION BETWEEN THE CENTER AND CORNERS OF THE RASTER CAN BE MET BY THE ELECTROSTATIC TUBE BETTER THAN BY THE ELECTROMAGNETICALLY FOCUSED TUBE, AND THE SPECIFICATION CALLED FOR ELECTROSTATIC FOCUSING. BE THAT AS IT MAY, FOR THIS PROCUREMENT PRIMARY EMPHASIS WAS PLACED ON SELECTING A CONTRACTOR OFFERING THE BEST DESIGN. WE AGREE WITH DCA THAT IN A PROGRAM OF THIS NATURE STRONG RELIANCE MUST BE PLACED UPON THE PROFESSIONAL JUDGMENT OF THE TECHNICAL EVALUATORS. IT WAS THE UNANIMOUS JUDGMENT OF THE EVALUATING TEAM THAT THE RCA PROPOSAL SHOULD BE ACCEPTED, AND THE CONTRACTING OFFICER ACTED ON THIS RECOMMENDATION.

MOREOVER, YOU DID NOT CLEARLY INDICATE YOUR INTENTION TO PROTEST THE AWARD UNTIL EARLY AUGUST 1964. IT IS REPORTED, HOWEVER, THAT DELIVERY WAS COMPLETED ON AUGUST 24, 1964.

UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES, WE CONCLUDE THAT YOUR PROTEST AGAINST THE AWARD MUST BE DENIED.