B-155901, FEB. 10, 1965

B-155901: Feb 10, 1965

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THE BASIS OF YOUR PROTEST IS THAT YOUR PROPOSAL WAS PRICED SUBSTANTIALLY LOWER THAN THE PLANNING RESEARCH PROPOSAL AND THAT YOU ARE WELL QUALIFIED TO PERFORM THE SERVICES INVOLVED. PROSPECTIVE OFFERORS WERE APPRISED OF THE EVALUATION CRITERIA AND REQUIRED PROPOSAL CONTENT. QUOTATIONS WILL NOT BE RATED ON THE BASIS OF PRICE ALONE. THE PROPOSALS SUBMITTED IN RESPONSE TO THIS REQUEST FOR QUOTATIONS WILL PROVIDE A PRIMARY BASIS FOR THE SELECTION OF A CONTRACTOR FOR THIS REQUIREMENT. TECHNICAL EVALUATION WILL INCLUDE THE FACTORS LISTED BELOW: (1) QUALITY AND RESPONSIVENESS OF PROPOSAL (2) ADEQUACY AND MERIT OF TECHNICAL APPROACH (3) PAST AND PRESENT EXPERIENCE OF THE COMPANY IN THE AREA OF SUBMARINE INFORMATION FLOW ANALYSIS (4) COST AND TIME ESTIMATES (5) DELIVERY "2.

B-155901, FEB. 10, 1965

TO ELCOM DIVISION, AUDIGER, INC.:

YOUR TELEGRAM DATED JANUARY 7, 1965, PROTESTS AWARD OF A NEGOTIATED CONTRACT BY THE UNITED STATES NAVY PURCHASING OFFICE, BROOKLYN, NEW YORK, TO PLANNING RESEARCH CORPORATION. THE BASIS OF YOUR PROTEST IS THAT YOUR PROPOSAL WAS PRICED SUBSTANTIALLY LOWER THAN THE PLANNING RESEARCH PROPOSAL AND THAT YOU ARE WELL QUALIFIED TO PERFORM THE SERVICES INVOLVED.

THE PROCUREMENT IN QUESTION HAS BEEN IDENTIFIED AS REQUEST FOR QUOTATIONS (RFQ) NO. Q-9687, ISSUED OCTOBER 9, 1964, WHICH SOLICITED PROPOSALS, ON A FIRM FIXED PRICE BASIS, TO PERFORM TECHNICAL RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT WORK RELATING TO THE SSN-671 (ATTACK) SUBMARINE ELECTRONIC SUIT. AT A PRE- QUOTATION TECHNICAL CONFERENCE ON OCTOBER 2, PROSPECTIVE OFFERORS WERE APPRISED OF THE EVALUATION CRITERIA AND REQUIRED PROPOSAL CONTENT. THIS RESPECT, THE RFQ READS, IN PERTINENT PART, AS FOLLOWS:

"NOTES TO QUOTERS

"1.EVALUATION CRITERIA

A. QUOTATIONS WILL NOT BE RATED ON THE BASIS OF PRICE ALONE. THE PROPOSALS SUBMITTED IN RESPONSE TO THIS REQUEST FOR QUOTATIONS WILL PROVIDE A PRIMARY BASIS FOR THE SELECTION OF A CONTRACTOR FOR THIS REQUIREMENT. TECHNICAL EVALUATION WILL INCLUDE THE FACTORS LISTED BELOW:

(1) QUALITY AND RESPONSIVENESS OF PROPOSAL

(2) ADEQUACY AND MERIT OF TECHNICAL APPROACH

(3) PAST AND PRESENT EXPERIENCE OF THE COMPANY IN THE AREA OF SUBMARINE INFORMATION FLOW ANALYSIS

(4) COST AND TIME ESTIMATES

(5) DELIVERY

"2. PROPOSAL CONTENT:

A. PROPOSED TECHNICAL APPROACH AND FORMAT, SHOWING EXAMPLES.

B. PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE, IN FUNCTIONAL AND INFORMATION FLOW ANALYSIS, SUBMARINE OPERATION AND SUBMARINE SYSTEMS.

C. ACCESSIBILITY OF NECESSARY TECHNICAL AND OPERATIONAL INFORMATION.

D. FIRM ESTIMATES OF TIME TO COMPLETION, LABOR AND MATERIAL COSTS AND STARTING DATE.'

SIX QUOTATIONS ON A FIRM FIXED PRICE BASIS WERE RECEIVED BY THE PROCURING AGENCY. YOUR QUOTATION OF $42,372.00 WAS LOW; RCA SERVICE COMPANY WITH A QUOTATION OF $55,356.00 WAS SECOND; AND PLANNING RESEARCH CORPORATION WITH A QUOTATION OF $60,845.00 WAS THIRD.

IN CONNECTION WITH THE TECHNICAL EVALUATION OF YOUR PROPOSAL, THE CONTRACTING OFFICER'S REPORT INCLUDES THE FOLLOWING COMMENTS:

"/A) PRESENTATION OF THE LEVELS OF SYSTEM DESCRIPTION WAS INCONSISTENT AND INDICATED CONFUSION OVER THE PURPOSE OF THIS BREAKDOWN IN THE REQUEST FOR QUOTATION.

"/B) THE USE OF FUNCTIONAL SEQUENCE DIAGRAMS (FSD-S) AND OPERATIONAL SEQUENCE DIAGRAMS (OSD-S) AS DESCRIBED IN THE PROPOSAL WOULD HAVE BEEN INSUFFICIENT TO PRESENT ALL THE REQUIRED INFORMATION IN PROPER FORM. THE EXAMPLES ILLUSTRATED WERE OVERSIMPLIFIED AND GAVE NO INSIGHT OF THE DEPTH OF ANALYSIS REQUIRED.

"/C) THE THIRD LEVEL SIGNAL FLOW DETAILS SHOWED MISUNDERSTANDING OF THE MEANING OF FLOW RATE AND CHANNEL CAPACITY. THE FORMAT OF THIS LEVEL IS LIMITED IN ABILITY TO PORTRAY DATA FLOW THROUGH A COMPLEX MULTI-PATH SYSTEM.

"/D) IN GENERAL, THIS QUOTATION WAS REJECTED AS BEING TECHNICALLY INADEQUATE AND NOT CONVEYING SUFFICIENT APPRECIATION OF THE GOVERNMENT'S REQUIREMENTS IN TERMS OF FORMAT AND DEPTH OF SOPHISTICATION.' IT IS FURTHER REPORTED THAT THE PROPOSAL FROM RCA SERVICE COMPANY WAS ALSO REJECTED AS NOT MEETING MINIMUM ACCEPTABILITY.

AS TO THE PROPOSAL OF PLANNING RESEARCH, WHICH MET THE TECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS, IT WAS ALSO DETERMINED THAT THE PRICE WAS FAIR AND REASONABLE AND THAT THE CONCERN WAS A RESPONSIBLE CONTRACTOR UNDER THE ARMED SERVICES PROCUREMENT REGULATION. ACCORDINGLY, A CONTRACT WAS AWARDED TO PLANNING RESEARCH ON DECEMBER 31, IN THE AMOUNT OF $60,845.00.

AS INDICATED ABOVE, THE REJECTION OF YOUR PROPOSAL WAS BASED ON A DETERMINATION THAT IT WAS TECHNICALLY INADEQUATE TO MEET THE PROCUREMENT NEEDS. IN THIS REGARD, WE HAVE HELD THAT THE RESPONSIBILITY FOR DETERMINING WHETHER A TECHNICAL PROPOSAL MEETS THE GOVERNMENT'S PERFORMANCE SPECIFICATION IS SOLELY THAT OF THE PROCURING ACTIVITY, AND IN LINE WITH ESTABLISHED PRECEDENTS WE HAVE DECLINED TO QUESTION BONA FIDE DETERMINATIONS IN THAT AREA. 40 COMP. GEN. 40. SINCE THE TECHNICAL EVALUATION WAS MADE WITHOUT REGARD TO PRICE AND AWARD WAS MADE TO THE TECHNICALLY ACCEPTABLE FIRM SUBMITTING THE LOWEST PROPOSAL, THERE APPEARS TO BE NO BASIS ON WHICH WE MAY CONCLUDE THAT THE AWARD BY THE PROCURING AGENCY HAS NOT BEEN MADE, IN KEEPING WITH THE PROVISIONS OF ASPR 3-101, TO THE BEST ADVANTAGE OF THE GOVERNMENT, PRICE AND OTHER FACTORS CONSIDERED. YOUR PROTEST IS THEREFORE DENIED.