B-155710, APR. 15, 1965

B-155710: Apr 15, 1965

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THIS INVITATION WAS ISSUED ON JULY 20. THE BID OPENING DATE WAS EXTENDED TO SEPTEMBER 2. THIS AMENDMENT ADVISED BIDDERS THAT THE DRAWINGS FURNISHED IN THE ORIGINAL BID SET WERE INCOMPLETE. THAT THE DRAWINGS IN SOME CASES WERE NOT THE LATEST REVISIONS AND THAT A COMPLETE UP-TO-DATE SET OF DRAWINGS WOULD BE FORWARDED TO PROSPECTIVE BIDDERS. THE BID OPENING WAS EXTENDED TO SEPTEMBER 30. THE BID OPENING WAS EXTENDED TO OCTOBER 6. WITH THIS AMENDMENT BIDDERS WERE FURNISHED WITH A COMPLETE UP-TO-DATE SET OF DRAWINGS. WITH RESPECT TO THIS CONTENTION YOU WERE ADVISED BY AIR FORCE REPRESENTATIVES THAT THE DRAWINGS DID PROVIDE FOR BALLAST MOUNTING HOLES. BIDS WERE OPENED ON OCTOBER 6. WAS LOW.

B-155710, APR. 15, 1965

TO RED CIRCLE CORPORATION:

WE REFER TO YOUR TELEGRAM OF DECEMBER 4, 1964, AND LETTER WITH ENCLOSURES DATED DECEMBER 31, 1964, PROTESTING THE AWARD OF A CONTRACT UNDER INVITATION FOR BIDS NO. 33-657-64-319. THIS INVITATION WAS ISSUED ON JULY 20, 1964, BY THE AERONAUTICAL SYSTEMS DIVISION, AIR FORCE SYSTEMS COMMAND, WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, OHIO, FOR THE PROCUREMENT OF 42 FILM PLOTTING TABLES IN ACCORDANCE WITH APPLICABLE SPECIFICATIONS UNDER ITEM NO. 1; 42 FILM SPOOL BRACKETS UNDER ITEM NO. 2.1 AND FOR APPLICABLE DATA UNDER ITEM NO. 3.1.

PAGE 3 OF THE INVITATION STATED UNDER ITEM NO. 1:

"NOTE: IN THE EVENT OF CONFLICT BETWEEN THE ABOVE REFERENCED SPECIFICATION AND DRAWINGS CITED THEREIN, THE DRAWINGS SHALL GOVERN.'

BY AMENDMENT NO. 1, ISSUED ON AUGUST 5, 1964, THE BID OPENING DATE WAS EXTENDED TO SEPTEMBER 2, 1964. THIS AMENDMENT ADVISED BIDDERS THAT THE DRAWINGS FURNISHED IN THE ORIGINAL BID SET WERE INCOMPLETE, THAT THE DRAWINGS IN SOME CASES WERE NOT THE LATEST REVISIONS AND THAT A COMPLETE UP-TO-DATE SET OF DRAWINGS WOULD BE FORWARDED TO PROSPECTIVE BIDDERS. AMENDMENT NO. 2, DATED AUGUST 28, 1964, THE BID OPENING WAS EXTENDED TO SEPTEMBER 30, 1964. BY AMENDMENT NO. 3, DATED SEPTEMBER 15, 1964, THE BID OPENING WAS EXTENDED TO OCTOBER 6, 1964, AND WITH THIS AMENDMENT BIDDERS WERE FURNISHED WITH A COMPLETE UP-TO-DATE SET OF DRAWINGS.

ON SEPTEMBER 24, 1964, YOU ADVISED AIR FORCE REPRESENTATIVES BY TELEPHONE THAT AIR FORCE DRAWING NO. 57D54116, REVISION B4, DID NOT PROVIDE FOR MOUNTING HOLES FOR THE FLUORESCENT LIGHT BALLASTS TO THE MOLDED BODY. WITH RESPECT TO THIS CONTENTION YOU WERE ADVISED BY AIR FORCE REPRESENTATIVES THAT THE DRAWINGS DID PROVIDE FOR BALLAST MOUNTING HOLES, AND AFTER A TECHNICAL REVIEW THE SERVICE ENGINEERING DIVISION, DIRECTORATE OF MATERIEL MANAGEMENT, WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, CONFIRMED THAT DESIGNATION "B" ON DRAWING NO. 57D54116, REVISION B4, PROVIDED FOR BALLAST MOUNTING HOLES.

BIDS WERE OPENED ON OCTOBER 6, 1964, AND THE BID SUBMITTED BY MARION SCREW PRODUCTS CO., INC., MARION, INDIANA, QUOTING A TOTAL PRICE OF $15,680, WITH A DISCOUNT OF 1/4 PERCENT, TEN DAYS, WAS LOW. YOUR BID QUOTING A TOTAL PRICE OF $19,677, WITH A DISCOUNT OF 1/2 PERCENT, TEN DAYS, IF PREPRODUCTION SAMPLE APPROVAL WAS REQUIRED AND $18,837, WITH A DISCOUNT OF 1/3 PERCENT, TWENTY DAYS, IF PREPRODUCTION SAMPLE APPROVAL WAS NOT REQUIRED, WAS SECOND LOW. THREE OTHER BIDS FOR THIS PROCUREMENT WERE RECEIVED.

BY LETTER OF OCTOBER 15, 1964, YOU ADVISED THE AIR FORCE THAT THE DRAWINGS FOR THIS PROCUREMENT CONTAINED DESIGN DISCREPANCIES AND YOU PROTESTED AN AWARD BASED ON THE DRAWINGS FURNISHED. ON NOVEMBER 24, 1964, THE SERVICE ENGINEERING DIVISION, DIRECTORATE OF MATERIEL MANAGEMENT, MIDDLETOWN AIR MATERIEL AREA, OLMSTED AIR FORCE BASE, PENNSYLVANIA, PURSUANT TO A TECHNICAL REVIEW, ADVISED THE PROCURING ACTIVITY THAT THE DRAWINGS FOR THE INSTANT PROCUREMENT WERE ADEQUATE. ON DECEMBER 3, 1964, CONTRACT NO. AF 33/657/-13974, WAS AWARDED TO MARION SCREW PRODUCTS FOR 42 PLOTTING TABLES, APPLICABLE DATA AND SPARE PARTS. A LETTER FROM AIR FORCE HEADQUARTERS DATED MARCH 25, 1965, ADVISES THAT THE PREPRODUCTION SAMPLE UNDER THE CONTRACT WITH MARION SCREW PRODUCTS IS DUE MAY 14, 1965, AND THAT THERE IS NO INDICATION THAT THIS CONTRACTOR WAS HAVING ANY PROBLEMS IN THE MANUFACTURING OF THE SAMPLE.

IN YOUR LETTER OF PROTEST TO OUR OFFICE DATED DECEMBER 31, 1964, YOU ALLEGE THAT THE DRAWINGS FOR THE INSTANT PROCUREMENT CONTAIN MAJOR DESIGN DISCREPANCIES AND YOU HAVE BROUGHT TO OUR ATTENTION YOUR COMMENTS ON THE VARIOUS DRAWINGS. A LETTER DATED FEBRUARY 4, 1965, FROM THE AIR FORCE SYSTEMS COMMAND, ANDREWS AIR FORCE BASE, ADMITS SOME OF THE DISCREPANCIES WHICH YOU HAVE BROUGHT TO OUR ATTENTION. IT IS THE POSITION OF THE AIR FORCE SYSTEMS COMMAND THAT THE MATTERS YOU HAVE BROUGHT TO OUR ATTENTION ARE NOT MATERIAL AND THAT ANY DISCREPANCIES WHICH EXIST CAN BE CORRECTED IN THE PRODUCTION OF THE PREPRODUCTION SAMPLE. IN THIS CONNECTION A TECHNICAL REPORT PREPARED BY THE MIDDLETOWN AIR MATERIEL AREA ADVISES AS FOLLOWS:

"DRAWINGS 57B54112 AND 57B54113--- THE STATEMENT,"FABRICATION SHALL EMPLOY MATCHED METAL LDS," IS NOT ENTIRELY APPLICABLE TO THESE COMPONENTS, BUT IS DIRECTLY APPLICABLE TO THE NEXT HIGHER ASSEMBLY DRAWING (57D54117) REFERENCED ON THESE TWO DRAWINGS. THE PHRASE DOES NOT INTERFERE WITH THE MANUFACTURES AND THERE IS SUFFICIENT INFORMATION DETAILED TO FABRICATE THE COMPONENTS.

"57D54118--- IT IS AGREED THAT THIS PHRASE SHOULD HAVE BEEN DELETED; HOWEVER, IT IS IRRELEVANT TO THE MANUFACTURE OF PART NUMBERS 57B54118 AND 57B54106. THE INFORMATION CONTAINED ON THESE DRAWINGS IS ENTIRELY ADEQUATE FOR FABRICATION OF BOTH COMPONENTS. IF THE DIMENSIONS ON THE DRAWINGS WERE INCORRECT, THIS PHRASE WOULD HAVE A BEARING ON ASSEMBLING THESE COMPONENTS, IF NOT MORE CLEARLY DEFINED. SINCE THE DIMENSIONS ON THE DRAWING ARE CORRECT, THE NOTE HAS NO BEARING ON THE MANUFACTURE AND ASSEMBLY OF THE COMPONENTS.

"57D54117--- THE COMMENTS ON THIS DRAWING ARE CONSIDERED INVALID FOR THE FOLLOWING REASONS:

"A. BY USE OF THE TYPE MOUNTING PLATE NUTS (57A54099) SPECIFIED, IT IS HIGHLY IMPROBABLE THAT ANY MISALIGNMENT WILL TAKE PLACE WHEN THE MOUNTING SCREWS ARE STAKED.

"B. SINCE THE ROLLER MOUNTING SCREWS WILL BE TIGHTENED BEFORE STAKING TAKES PLACE, NO STRESSING OF THE COVER SHOULD OCCUR.

"C. STAKING MAY IMPEDE REPLACEMENT SLIGHTLY; HOWEVER, IT WILL HAVE NO APPRECIABLE EFFECT ON REMOVAL OF THE SCREWS OR ON PART NUMBER 57D54117. AS A MATTER OF FACT, IF QUALITY MATERIAL IS USED IN THE FABRICATION OF THE ROLLERS, THE MOUNTING SCREWS SHOULD NEVER HAVE TO BE REMOVED IN THE LIFE OF THE LIGHT TABLE.

"57D54116--- IT WAS REALIZED THAT THE BALLAST MOUNTING HOLES WERE PLACED UNDER THE DIFFUSING BLOCK WHEN THE DRAWING WAS MADE. REPLACEMENT OF A BALLAST OCCURS VERY INFREQUENTLY AND REQUIRES VERY LITTLE TIME TO REPLACE. DISASSEMBLY OF THE TABLE IS VERY MINOR AND REQUIRES NO SPECIAL TOOLS TO REMOVE EITHER THE MOLDED COVER OR THE DIFFUSING BLOCK.

"THE CONTRACTOR CITES A TEST REPORT AND STATES THAT IT INDICATES CERTAIN THINGS HAPPENED BECAUSE OF COUNTER-SUNK HOLES. ONE RESULT OBTAINED FROM THIS REPORT WAS THAT THE FAILURES WERE CAUSED BY THE VIBRATION TEST SPECIFIED BEING TOO SEVERE FOR THIS TYPE EQUIPMENT AND WAS SUBSEQUENTLY DELETED AS A SPECIFICATION REQUIREMENT.

"PRIOR TO COMPLETING REVISION OF THESE DRAWINGS A TABLE WAS MODIFIED AND A BALLAST MOUNTED IN THE MANNER SPECIFIED. THE RESULTS SHOWED THAT THROUGH NORMAL HANDLING OF THE TABLE, THIS TYPE MOUNTING IS SATISFACTORY. ANY EQUIPMENT WILL FAIL THROUGH ABUSIVE HANDLING. IT IS TO BE NOTED THAT THE BALLAST SPECIFIED HAS FOUR MOUNTING HOLES, WHEREAS THE OLD BALLAST HAD ONLY TWO.

"57C54115--- 1. SINCE THE BALLAST MOUNTING HOLES ARE COUNTERSUNK THERE IS NO NEED FOR CORRESPONDING HOLES IN THIS COMPONENT.

"2. THIS COMMENT IS IRRELEVANT TO THE MANUFACTURE OF THE TABLE AND IN NO WAY INFLUENCES THE FABRICATION OF THE TABLE.

"57D54091--- THIS IS AN ASSEMBLY DRAWING AND DEPICTS THE TABLE IN ITS ASSEMBLED CONDITION. ITS MAIN PURPOSE IS TO PROVIDE A PROSPECTIVE BIDDER WITH AN ASSEMBLED VIEW OF THE TABLE. THE DETAILED DRAWINGS OF THE TABLE PROVIDE FOR FOUR BALLAST MOUNTING HOLES AND SPECIFIES A BALLAST OF THIS CONFIGURATION.

"57D54189--- 1. IF THE PART SPECIFIED IS MANUFACTURED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE DRAWINGS, THE INTERFERENCE WILL BE MINIMUM AND REQUIRE VERY LITTLE, IF ANY, CORRECTION, DEPENDING UPON THE TOLERANCE HOLD IN MANUFACTURING. INTERFERENCE WOULD OCCUR AND THE INTERFERING PART IS THE FILLER, IT CAN BE VERY EASILY CORRECTED SINCE THE FILLER IS MADE OF WOOD.

"2. THE SPECIFIC SIZE AND LOCATION OF THESE CUSHIONS WERE OMITTED TO PERMIT THE SUCCESSFUL BIDDER TO SELECT AND LOCATE THEM AT ASSEMBLY. THE SPECIFIC SIZE AND LOCATION OF THESE CUSHIONS ARE NOT CRITICAL AND THEREFORE DO NOT REQUIRE ANY DIMENSIONS.

"3. IT IS AGREED THAT THERE WILL BE AN INTERFERENCE BETWEEN THE COVER AND THE BODY IF THE BID OVERALL DIMENSIONS ARE HELD TO 22 3/16 TIMES 32 3/16. THE DIMENSIONS SHOULD HAVE READ 22 7/16 TIMES 32 7/16. THIS DISCREPANCY WOULD BE REVEALED AT FABRICATION OF THE PREPRODUCTION SAMPLE AND COULD BE RESOLVED WITHOUT ANY DIRECT INFLUENCE ON THE PRODUCTION EQUIPMENT.

"57D54188--- THE MATERIAL FOR THESE PARTS IS SPECIFIED ON THE DRAWING AND THE MATERIAL SPECIFICATION IS MM-L-751.

"57D54190--- A. THIS DRAWING SHOWS THE OVERALL PERMISSIBLE DIMENSIONS AS 20 INCHES; THEREFORE, REQUIRING THAT ANY EXTERNALS (WELDS) AT THESE POINTS BE GROUND TO A SMOOTH FINISH IN ORDER TO HOLD THIS DIMENSION. IT IS AGREED THAT THE TOLERANCE ON THIS DIMENSION IS RATHER TIGHT AND COULD CAUSE A SLIGHT INTERFERENCE; HOWEVER, THIS AGAIN WOULD BE REVEALED AT ASSEMBLY OF THE PREPRODUCTION SAMPLE AND COULD BE RESOLVED WITHOUT ANY DIRECT INFLUENCE ON THE PRODUCTION EQUIPMENT.

"B. THIS TYPE OF RECOMMENDATION CAN BE INCORPORATED BY SIMPLY SPRINGING THE LEGS BY HAND, IF DESIRED, RATHER THAN TRYING TO HOLD A DIMENSION OF THE TYPE SUGGESTED ASSEMBLY. AS A MATTER OF FACT, IT IS VERY DOUBTFUL THAT THE LEGS WILL DROP OUT IF THE DIMENSION OF 19 INCHES IS HELD.'

IT IS THE UNANIMOUS OPINION OF AIR FORCE TECHNICAL PERSONNEL THAT THE DRAWINGS AS REVISED ARE ADEQUATE. THERE IS NO INDICATION THAT OTHER THAN THE LATEST REVISED DRAWINGS WERE USED IN THE INSTANT PROCUREMENT AND IN THIS CONNECTION THE RECORD INDICATES THAT THE BID OPENING WAS EXTENDED THREE TIMES IN ORDER THAT BIDDERS COULD BE FURNISHED WITH THE LATEST DRAWINGS. WE THINK IT IS SIGNIFICANT THAT MARION SCREW PRODUCTS IS APPARENTLY ENCOUNTERING NO DIFFICULTIES IN MANUFACTURING A PREPRODUCTION SAMPLE. IT IS WELL ESTABLISHED THAT THE DRAFTING OF PROCUREMENT SPECIFICATIONS TO REFLECT THE NEEDS OF THE GOVERNMENT, AS WELL AS THE DETERMINATION WHETHER THE BIDS RECEIVED OFFER A PRODUCT MEETING SPECIFICATION REQUIREMENTS, IS PRIMARILY THE FUNCTION AND RESPONSIBILITY OF THE AGENCY CONCERNED. SEE 17 COMP. GEN. 554; 38 ID. 294; 40 ID. 294. CONSEQUENTLY, IN SITUATIONS WHERE DIFFERENCES OF OPINION EXIST AS TO WHETHER SPECIFICATIONS ARE ADEQUATE TO PERMIT THE MANUFACTURE OF A PRODUCT WHICH WILL MEET THE NEEDS OF THE PROCURING AGENCY, THIS OFFICE WILL NOT SUBSTITUTE ITS JUDGMENT FOR THAT OF THE AGENCY UNLESS THERE IS CLEAR AND CONVINCING EVIDENCE THAT THE AGENCY IS IN ERROR. IN THIS CASE THERE IS A DIFFERENCE OF OPINION REGARDING THE MATERIALITY OF THE DESIGN DISCREPANCIES WHICH YOU HAVE BROUGHT TO OUR ATTENTION. HOWEVER, IN VIEW OF THE RECORD PRESENTED, WE CANNOT SAY THAT THE AIR FORCE'S POSITION ON THE MATTER IS ERRONEOUS.

IN THESE CIRCUMSTANCES WE FIND NO BASIS FOR QUESTIONING THE AWARD TO MARION SCREW PRODUCTS.