B-155980, MAY 28, 1965

B-155980: May 28, 1965

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INC.: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JANUARY 20. THIRTY-ONE PROSPECTIVE CONTRACTORS WERE SOLICITED. IT IS ADMINISTRATIVELY REPORTED THAT YOUR FIRM WAS THE LOW BIDDER ON ITEMS 1. CERTAIN CHANGES WERE SHOWN IN INK ON THE CATALOG SHEET. YOU STATED IN THE LETTER ACCOMPANYING YOUR BID THAT THE CHANGES ON THE CATALOG SHEET AND THE SUBMITTAL OF DRAWINGS WERE "TO INDICATE CHANGES TO BE MADE ON OUR TRANSDUCER MODEL FG-200 IN ACCORDANCE WITH YOUR REQUIREMENTS.'. YOUR BID WAS TECHNICALLY EVALUATED ON THE BASIS OF YOUR CATALOG SHEET AND DRAWING. WERE FOUND TO BE NONRESPONSIVE AFTER TECHNICAL EVALUATION. THE DISCUSSION OF THE FACTS GIVING RISE TO YOUR PROTEST ARE DIRECTED TO ITEMS 1. 6 OF THE INVITATION (TO WHICH THE BID OF DATA SENSORS WAS COMPLETELY RESPONSIVE.

B-155980, MAY 28, 1965

TO F AND F ENGINEERING, INC.:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JANUARY 20, 1965, AND ENCLOSURES, PROTESTING AGAINST AWARD OF CONTRACT TO DATA SENSORS, INC., UNDER INVITATION FOR BIDS NO. C-121273, ISSUED BY THE NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION, LEWIS RESEARCH CENTER, CLEVELAND, OHIO.

THE SUBJECT INVITATION FOR BIDS, ISSUED ON SEPTEMBER 16, 1964, COVERED THE PROCUREMENT OF EIGHT ITEMS OF STRAIN GAGE PRESSURE TRANSDUCERS. THIRTY-ONE PROSPECTIVE CONTRACTORS WERE SOLICITED, AND SIX OF THESE SUBMITTED BIDS IN RESPONSE TO THE INVITATION. IT IS ADMINISTRATIVELY REPORTED THAT YOUR FIRM WAS THE LOW BIDDER ON ITEMS 1, 5 AND 6 OF THE INVITATION, AND INCLUDED AS PART OF YOUR BID A LETTER DATED OCTOBER 9, 1964, WITH YOUR DRAWING NO. 200193 9N AND CATALOG SHEET FOR TRANSDUCER MODEL FG-200. CERTAIN CHANGES WERE SHOWN IN INK ON THE CATALOG SHEET, AND YOU STATED IN THE LETTER ACCOMPANYING YOUR BID THAT THE CHANGES ON THE CATALOG SHEET AND THE SUBMITTAL OF DRAWINGS WERE "TO INDICATE CHANGES TO BE MADE ON OUR TRANSDUCER MODEL FG-200 IN ACCORDANCE WITH YOUR REQUIREMENTS.' ACCORDINGLY, YOUR BID WAS TECHNICALLY EVALUATED ON THE BASIS OF YOUR CATALOG SHEET AND DRAWING. ALL THE BIDS RECEIVED ON ITEMS 3, 4, 7, AND 8, AS WELL AS THOSE RECEIVED ON THE FIRST TWO TRANSDUCERS OF ITEM 2 OF THE INVITATION, WERE FOUND TO BE NONRESPONSIVE AFTER TECHNICAL EVALUATION. THEREFORE, THE DISCUSSION OF THE FACTS GIVING RISE TO YOUR PROTEST ARE DIRECTED TO ITEMS 1, 5, AND 6 OF THE INVITATION (TO WHICH THE BID OF DATA SENSORS WAS COMPLETELY RESPONSIVE, AND TO WHICH YOUR BID WAS RESPONSIVE ONLY AS TO ITEM 6), PLUS A QUANTITY OF EIGHT TRANSDUCERS UNDER ITEM 2.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT PARAGRAPH C.4 OF ARTICLES I AND V OF THE INVITATION REQUIRED A MAXIMUM COMBINED NON-LINEARITY, HYSTERESIS AND NON- REPEATABILITY NOT EXCEEDING .2 PERCENT FULL SCALE OUTPUT FOR ITEMS 1 AND 5. UPON TECHNICAL REVIEW OF YOUR BID, AS SET FORTH IN YOUR CATALOG SHEET AND DRAWINGS, IT WAS DETERMINED THAT YOUR COMPANY WAS OFFERING TRANSDUCERS UNDER ITEMS 1 AND 5 HAVING A COMBINED NON LINEARITY, HYSTERESIS AND NON- RESPECTABILITY GREATER THAN THE MAXIMUM .2 PERCENT FULL SCALE OUTPUT SET FORTH IN THE SPECIFICATIONS. THEREFORE, THE TECHNICAL EVALUATOR PROPERLY FOUND THAT YOUR BID WAS NOT RESPONSIVE TO THE INVITATION FOR ITEMS 1 AND 5. HOWEVER, YOUR BID FOR ITEM 6 WAS FOUND TO BE TECHNICALLY RESPONSIVE TO THE INVITATION. THE BID OF DATA SENSORS WAS DETERMINED UPON TECHNICAL EVALUATION TO BE RESPONSIVE FOR ITEMS 1, 5, AND 6, AND A PORTION OF ITEM 2. BIDS OF THE OTHER BIDDERS FOR THE ITEMS HERE INVOLVED WERE NONRESPONSIVE.

IN YOUR LETTER OF PROTEST TO OUR OFFICE YOU CONTEND THAT YOUR TOTAL BID PRICE FOR ITEMS 1, 5, AND 6 ($17,155) WAS $10,104.60 LESS THAN THE TOTAL BID PRICE OF DATA SENSORS ($27,259.60). IN THIS RESPECT THE RECORD SHOWS THAT THE TOTAL BID PRICE OF DATA SENSORS, AS REFERRED TO BY YOU, IS NOT A TRUE FIGURE FOR BID COMPARISON PURPOSES, SINCE IT INCLUDES THE AMOUNT OF $2,840 FOR ITEM 2, AN ITEM ON WHICH YOU DID NOT BID. YOUR COMPARISON OF PRICES IS ALSO BASED ON THE ASSUMPTION THAT YOUR BID ON ITEM 1, 5, AND 6 WAS RESPONSIVE. HOWEVER, AS ADMINISTRATIVELY REPORTED, YOUR BID WHILE RESPONSIVE ON ITEM 6, WAS NOT RESPONSIVE ON ITEMS 1 AND 5. IN THIS RESPECT, PARAGRAPH 15 OF THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF THE SUBJECT INVITATION PROVIDES AS FOLLOWS:

"BIDS WILL BE EVALUATED ON THE BASIS OF ADVANTAGES OR DISADVANTAGES TO THE GOVERNMENT THAT MIGHT RESULT FROM MAKING MULTIPLE AWARDS. FOR THIS PURPOSE, THE COST OF ISSUING AN ADVERTISED CONTRACT IS ESTIMATED TO BE $50. ACCORDINGLY, WHERE SEVERAL ITEMS ARE INCLUDED IN AN INVITATION FOR BID AND, AFTER OPENING BIDS, IT IS ASCERTAINED THAT NO ONE RESPONSIBLE BIDDER SUBMITTED THE LOWEST PRICE ON EACH OF THE ITEMS, THE $50 FACTOR OF WHETHER IT WILL BE TO THE BEST INTEREST OF THE GOVERNMENT TO MAKE MULTIPLE AWARDS WILL BE CONSIDERED, OTHER FACTORS BEING EQUAL.'

YOUR BID ON ITEM 6 OF $930.60 (AFTER DEDUCTION OF PAYMENT DISCOUNT) WAS LOWER THAN DATA SENSORS' BID OF $1,512.40 (AFTER DEDUCTION OF PAYMENT DISCOUNT) ON THE SAME ITEM. IN THIS RESPECT, NO ADVANTAGE WOULD HAVE ACCRUED TO THE GOVERNMENT BY AWARDING A CONTRACT TO YOU FOR THIS SINGLE ITEM, AND AWARDING ANOTHER CONTRACT TO DATA SENSORS FOR THE REMAINING ITEMS. THE COMPUTATION THAT FOLLOWS SHOWS THAT THE GOVERNMENT GAINED A PRICE ADVANTAGE OF $1,766.74 ($28,900.05 - $27,123.31) BY MAKING A SINGLE AWARD TO DATA SENSORS--- THAT BIDDER HAVING OFFERED A DISCOUNT OF 8 PERCENT IF AWARDED ALL ITEMS BID UPON-- RATHER THAN MAKING MULTIPLE AWARDS TO YOUR FIRM AND DATA SENSORS:

TABLE

MULTIPLE AWARDS

LESS

PAYMENT EVALUATED

DISCOUNT TOTAL ITEM 1

DATA SENSORS $13,490.00 -$67.45 $13,422.55 ITEM 2 (QUANTITY OF 8)

DATA SENSORS $ 2,840.00 -$14.20 $ 2,825.80 ITEM 5

DATA SENSORS $11,780.00 -$58.90 $11,721.10 ITEM 6

F AND F ENGINEERING, $ 940.00 -$ 9.40 $ 930.60

INC.

TOTAL FOR EVALUATION PURPOSES $28,900.05

SINGLE AWARD

AWARD OF ALL ITEMS TO ONE CONTRACTOR

LESS 8 PERCENT LESS 1/2

ITEM PERCENT EVALUATED

DISCOUNT TOTAL DISCOUNT TOTAL ITEM 1 $13,490.00 -$1,079.20 $12,410.80 - $62.05 $12,348.75 ITEM 2

(8 EACH) $ 2,840.00 -$ 227.20 $ 2,612.80 -$13.06 $ 2,599.74 ITEM 5 $11,780.00

-$ 942.40 $10,837.60 -$54.19 $10,783.41 ITEM 6 $ 1,520.00 -$ 121.60 $ 1,398.40 -$ 6.99 $ 1,391.41

TOTAL FOR EVALUATION PURPOSES $27,123.31

IN OUR DECISION OF JANUARY 12, 1962, B-147815, 41 COMP. GEN. 455, IT WAS HELD THAT (QUOTING THE SYLLABUS):

"UNDER AN INVITATION FOR SEVERAL ITEMS WHICH PROVIDES THAT AWARDS WILL BE BASED ON THE LOWEST BID BY ITEM, THAT QUALIFIED BIDS ARE PERMISSIBLE, AND THAT BIDS MAY BE EVALUATED ON THE BASIS OF ADVANTAGE OR DISADVANTAGE TO THE GOVERNMENT IN MAKING MULTIPLE AWARDS, SEPARATE AWARDS FOR EACH ITEM ARE NOT REQUIRED, THE MULTIPLE AWARD EVALUATION PROVISION HAVING THE EFFECT OF RESERVING TO THE GOVERNMENT THE RIGHT NOT TO MAKE MULTIPLE AWARDS WHEN THAT BASIS WOULD BE MORE COSTLY; THEREFORE, WHEN ONLY ONE CONTRACT IS TO BE AWARDED THE BIDDER WHO OFFERED THE LOWEST TOTAL AGGREGATE BID ON AN ALL OR NONE BASIS, EVEN THOUGH THE PRICE OF A PARTICULAR ITEM MAY BE HIGHER THAN SOME OTHER BIDDER'S PRICE FOR THAT ITEM, IS ENTITLED TO THE AWARD.'

THAT BEING THE CASE, AND SINCE DATA SENSORS SUBMITTED THE LOWEST RESPONSIVE AGGREGATE BID ON ITEMS 1, 5, AND 6, AND A PORTION OF ITEM 2, THE AWARD MADE TO THAT COMPANY WAS CONSISTENT WITH PARAGRAPH 15 OF THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF THE INVITATION AND THE ACTION OF THE CONTRACTING OFFICER WAS CONSISTENT WITH THE PRINCIPLE EXPRESSED IN 41 COMP. GEN. 455.

WHILE YOU ARE CORRECT IN STATING THAT YOU WERE REQUESTED ON TWO OCCASIONS TO EXTEND YOUR BID ACCEPTANCE TIME, IT IS ADMINISTRATIVELY REPORTED THAT THESE EXTENSIONS WERE NECESSARY BECAUSE CONSIDERABLE TIME WAS REQUIRED TO THOROUGHLY REVIEW ALL BIDS. MOREOVER, DURING THE PERIOD OCTOBER 16, 1964, TO JANUARY 15, 1965, EACH BIDDER WAS REQUESTED TO EXTEND HIS BID ACCEPTANCE DATE IN ORDER TO PRECLUDE THE POSSIBILITY OF AN OTHERWISE LOW BID EXPIRING. ALSO, IT IS REPORTED THAT WHILE A PRE-AWARD SURVEY WAS ORIGINALLY CONTEMPLATED FOR ITEM 6, IT WAS SUBSEQUENTLY DETERMINED THAT THE LOW DOLLAR VALUE OF THE ITEM DID NOT WARRANT A PLANT VISIT.

FOR THE FOREGOING REASONS, WE SEE NO LEGAL BASIS FOR OBJECTING TO THE AWARD MADE TO DATA SENSORS, AND YOUR PROTEST IS DENIED.