B-155718, JAN. 22, 1965

B-155718: Jan 22, 1965

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TO CRANE COMPANY: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR COPY OF YOUR LETTER DATED DECEMBER 3. WHICH WAS ISSUED ON NOVEMBER 2. THE PROCUREMENT WAS A TOTAL SET-ASIDE FOR SMALL BUSINESS. SIX BIDS WERE RECEIVED FOR ITEM NO. 1 RANGING FROM $12.06 TO $18.64 EACH. SIX BIDS ALSO WERE RECEIVED FOR ITEM NO. 2. YOU PROTEST THE SET-ASIDE OF THE PROCUREMENT FOR SMALL BUSINESS ON THE BASIS THAT ONLY ONE MANUFACTURER QUALIFIED AS A SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN IS TOOLED -UP TO PRODUCE THIS TYPE OF EQUIPMENT. IT IS YOUR OPINION THAT THE EQUIPMENT BECOME A PROPRIETARY ITEM. * * * SHALL BE SET ASIDE FOR EXCLUSIVE SMALL BUSINESS PARTICIPATION * * * IF THE CONTRACTING OFFICER DETERMINES THAT THERE IS REASONABLE EXPECTATION THAT BIDS OR PROPOSALS WILL BE OBTAINED FROM A SUFFICIENT NUMBER OF RESPONSIBLE SMALL BUSINESS CONCERNS TO THAT AWARDS WILL BE MADE AT REASONABLE PRICES. * * *" THE DEFENSE SUPPLY AGENCY REPORTS THAT FOR BOTH ITEMS NOS. 1 AND 2 THE FOUR LOW BIDS RECEIVED WERE FROM SMALL BUSINESS CONCERNS OFFERING TO FURNISH THE VALVES SPECIFIED WHICH WERE MANUFACTURED BY TWO OTHER SMALL BUSINESS FIRMS.

B-155718, JAN. 22, 1965

TO CRANE COMPANY:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR COPY OF YOUR LETTER DATED DECEMBER 3, 1964, ADDRESSED TO THE DEFENSE CONSTRUCTION SUPPLY CENTER, COLUMBUS, OHIO, SUBMITTING A PROTEST UNDER DEFENSE SUPPLY AGENCY INVITATION NO. DSA-7-65- 1211.

THE INVITATION, WHICH WAS ISSUED ON NOVEMBER 2, 1964, BY THE COLUMBUS SUPPLY CENTER, SOLICITED BIDS FOR FURNISHING ITEMS NOS. 1 AND 2, COVERING VARIOUS QUANTITIES OF CERTAIN TYPES OF GLOBE VALVES IN ACCORDANCE WITH APPLICABLE SPECIFICATIONS FOR DELIVERY TO THE DESTINATIONS SPECIFIED. THE PROCUREMENT WAS A TOTAL SET-ASIDE FOR SMALL BUSINESS. SIX BIDS WERE RECEIVED FOR ITEM NO. 1 RANGING FROM $12.06 TO $18.64 EACH. SIX BIDS ALSO WERE RECEIVED FOR ITEM NO. 2, RANGING FROM $5.87 TO $9.74 EACH. YOU PROTEST THE SET-ASIDE OF THE PROCUREMENT FOR SMALL BUSINESS ON THE BASIS THAT ONLY ONE MANUFACTURER QUALIFIED AS A SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN IS TOOLED -UP TO PRODUCE THIS TYPE OF EQUIPMENT, AND, THEREFORE, IT IS YOUR OPINION THAT THE EQUIPMENT BECOME A PROPRIETARY ITEM.

ARMED SERVICES PROCUREMENT REGULATION 1-706.5/A) (1) PROVIDES, IN PERTINENT PART, AS FOLLOWS:

"SUBJECT TO ANY APPLICABLE PREFERENCE FOR LABOR SURPLUS AREA SET ASIDES * * * THE ENTIRE AMOUNT OF AN INDIVIDUAL PROCUREMENT OR A CLASS OF PROCUREMENTS, * * * SHALL BE SET ASIDE FOR EXCLUSIVE SMALL BUSINESS PARTICIPATION * * * IF THE CONTRACTING OFFICER DETERMINES THAT THERE IS REASONABLE EXPECTATION THAT BIDS OR PROPOSALS WILL BE OBTAINED FROM A SUFFICIENT NUMBER OF RESPONSIBLE SMALL BUSINESS CONCERNS TO THAT AWARDS WILL BE MADE AT REASONABLE PRICES. * * *"

THE DEFENSE SUPPLY AGENCY REPORTS THAT FOR BOTH ITEMS NOS. 1 AND 2 THE FOUR LOW BIDS RECEIVED WERE FROM SMALL BUSINESS CONCERNS OFFERING TO FURNISH THE VALVES SPECIFIED WHICH WERE MANUFACTURED BY TWO OTHER SMALL BUSINESS FIRMS. THUS, THE BID RESPONSE TO THE SUBJECT INVITATION CLEARLY ESTABLISHES THE FACT THAT A REASONABLE EXPECTANCY EXISTED THAT A SUFFICIENT NUMBER OF SMALL BUSINESS CONCERNS WOULD RESPOND TO THE INVITATION AS WOULD ASSURE AN AWARD OF THE CONTRACT AT A REASONABLE PRICE.

ACCORDINGLY, WE SEE NO LEGAL BASIS FOR OBJECTING TO THE FORM IN WHICH INVITATION NO. DA-7-65-1211 WAS ISSUED AND, THEREFORE, THE BIDS RECEIVED IN RESPONSE TO THE INVITATION ARE PROPERLY FOR CONSIDERATION FOR AWARD OF THE CONTRACT INVOLVED.