B-156235, JUN. 2, 1965

B-156235: Jun 2, 1965

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TO NIELSON INDUSTRIAL ELECTRONICS COMPANY: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 25. IT IS STATED IN YOUR LETTER THAT ON FEBRUARY 19. YOU WERE CONTRACTED BY THE CHARLESTON ARMY DEPOT ABOUT THE POSSIBILITY OF FURNISHING ON AN EMERGENCY ORDER 54 RADIOTELEPHONE SETS. YOU STATE THAT THE SPECIFICATIONS WERE OUTLINED TO YOU AS FOLLOWS: "AT LEAST 100 WATTS INPUT POWER TO THE FINAL AMPLIFIER. 8 OR MORE CRYSTAL CONTROLLED CHANNELS WITH CRYSTALS WHOSE FREQUENCY WAS TO BE SPECIFIED LATER. DELIVERY WAS SPECIFIED AS THREE DAYS AFTER RECEIPT OF THE ORDER FOR THE FIRST 22 UNITS AND THE OTHER 32 UNITS A WEEK LATER. THE ORDER ALSO WAS TO INCLUDE ANTENNAS AND SPARE PARTS KITS.'. THEREAFTER YOU CONTACTED THE BENDIX CORPORATION WHOM YOU REPRESENT IN THE AREA AND YOU WERE ABLE TO OBTAIN A VERY ATTRACTIVE PRICE AND MET DELIVERY REQUIREMENTS ON 54 BENDIX SKIPPER MODEL 430 (130 WATTS) RADIOS.

B-156235, JUN. 2, 1965

TO NIELSON INDUSTRIAL ELECTRONICS COMPANY:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 25, 1965, PROTESTING THE AWARD MADE BY THE CHARLESTON ARMY DEPOT FOR 54 COMMERCIAL MARINE RADIO SETS EQUAL TO THE AN/SRC-8BZ. IT IS STATED IN YOUR LETTER THAT ON FEBRUARY 19, 1965, YOU WERE CONTRACTED BY THE CHARLESTON ARMY DEPOT ABOUT THE POSSIBILITY OF FURNISHING ON AN EMERGENCY ORDER 54 RADIOTELEPHONE SETS. YOU STATE THAT THE SPECIFICATIONS WERE OUTLINED TO YOU AS FOLLOWS:

"AT LEAST 100 WATTS INPUT POWER TO THE FINAL AMPLIFIER, 24 VOLTS DC INPUT VOLTAGE, 8 OR MORE CRYSTAL CONTROLLED CHANNELS WITH CRYSTALS WHOSE FREQUENCY WAS TO BE SPECIFIED LATER, PHYSICALLY NO LARGER THAN THE AN/SRC- 8 THEY HAD BEEN USING IN THE PAST, AND A BUILT-IN POWER SUPPLY. DELIVERY WAS SPECIFIED AS THREE DAYS AFTER RECEIPT OF THE ORDER FOR THE FIRST 22 UNITS AND THE OTHER 32 UNITS A WEEK LATER. THE ORDER ALSO WAS TO INCLUDE ANTENNAS AND SPARE PARTS KITS.'

THEREAFTER YOU CONTACTED THE BENDIX CORPORATION WHOM YOU REPRESENT IN THE AREA AND YOU WERE ABLE TO OBTAIN A VERY ATTRACTIVE PRICE AND MET DELIVERY REQUIREMENTS ON 54 BENDIX SKIPPER MODEL 430 (130 WATTS) RADIOS, TOGETHER WITH ANTENNAS, CRYSTALS, AND SPARE PARTS KITS. YOU ADVISED THE CHARLESTON ARMY DEPOT TO THIS EFFECT ON THE SAME DAY. IT IS STATED THAT ON FEBRUARY 24 YOU WERE ADVISED THAT YOU HAD SUBMITTED THE LOWEST OFFER, BUT A DECISION WOULD HAVE TO BE MADE BY THE ARMY ELECTRONICS COMMAND IN PHILADELPHIA AS TO THE ACCEPTABILITY OF THE BENDIX SKIPPER MODEL 430 OFFERED, AND THAT ON FEBRUARY 25 YOU WERE ADVISED THAT THE ELECTRONICS COMMAND HAD DECIDED TO AUTHORIZE THE PURCHASE OF RAYTHEON MODEL 1130 RADIOS. YOU STATE THAT YOU ARE FAMILIAR WITH BOTH YOUR BENDIX SKIPPER MODEL 430 AND THE COMPETING RAYTHEON MODEL 1130, AND THAT THERE IS VERY LITTLE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THEM. YOU STATED THAT THERE IS NO DIFFERENCE IN THE POWER RATINGS OUTPUT OR SENSITIVITY AND THAT THE ONLY DIFFERENCE IS THAT THE RAYTHEON MODEL USES A SEPARATE POWER SUPPLY, WHICH YOU HAD BEEN INFORMED WAS UNACCEPTABLE. IT IS FURTHER STATED THAT "NOW, WHEN I FIND THAT A COMPETITOR CAN OVERBID ME BY $10,000.00 AND STILL BE AWARDED THE CONTRACT WHEN WE ARE OFFERING SUBSTANTIALLY THE SAME EQUIPMENT I AM NATURALLY AROUSED. * * * AT THE BEST SOMEONE IS BEING CARELESS WITH OUR MONEY AND AT THE WORST GRAFT AND PAYOLA IS SUSPECTED.'

THE RECORD FURNISHED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY SHOWS THAT THE CHARLESTON ARMY DEPOT RECEIVED A REQUIREMENT FOR THE PURCHASE OF 54 COMMERCIAL MARINE RADIO SETS EQUAL TO THE RAY-JEFFERSON (AN/SRC/8BZ) RADIO SET. THE NEED FOR OBTAINING COMMERCIAL SUBSTITUTE SETS FOR THE AN/SRC-8BZ WAS THAT WHILE SOME OF SUCH SETS WERE ON ORDER, DELIVERY WAS NOT EXPECTED UNTIL JULY, AUGUST, SEPTEMBER, AND OCTOBER 1965. THESE RADIOS WERE CONSIDERED TO BE ESSENTIAL EQUIPMENT AND NEEDED AT ONCE FOR COMPLIANCE WITH THE ORDERS OF VESSELS. DUE TO THE URGENCY, APPROPRIATE DETERMINATIONS AND FINDINGS WERE MADE IN ACCORDANCE WITH ASPR 3-202.3 THAT THE RADIO SETS SHOULD BE PURCHASED BY NEGOTIATION UNDER THE AUTHORITY OF 10 U.S.C. 2304 (A) (2). PURSUANT TO SUCH DETERMINATION A REPRESENTATIVE OF THE CHARLESTON ARMY DEPOT TELEPHONED YOU AND OTHERS IN THE AREA REQUESTING THAT HE BE FURNISHED THE AVAILABILITY, PRICE, AND EARLIEST DELIVERY SCHEDULE OF COMMERCIAL RADIO SETS EQUAL TO THE RAY-JEFFERSON (AN/SRC-8BZ), TOGETHER WITH ANTENNAS, CRYSTALS, AND SPARE PARTS KITS. IS REPORTED THAT, IN TALKING WITH YOU CONCERNING THE REQUIREMENT, YOU ASKED WHAT INPUT VOLTAGE WOULD BE REQUIRED AND YOU WERE ADVISED 24 VOLTS DC. IN RESPONSE TO A STATEMENT BY YOU THAT COMMERCIAL RADIOS DO NOT HAVE OUR EIGHT CHANNELS, YOU WERE ADVISED THAT IF THE RADIO MET ALL OTHER SPECIFICATIONS OF THE AN/SRC-8BZ IT WAS FELT THAT THE REQUIREMENT FOR TEN CHANNELS COULD BE WAIVED. IT IS ALSO REPORTED THAT YOU WERE ADVISED THAT THE RADIO COULD NOT BE ANY LARGER PHYSICALLY THAN THE RAY JEFFERSON (AN/SRC-8BZ). THE PHYSICAL SIZE WAS MENTIONED SINCE LCM (8/'S WERE MODIFIED FOR THE RAY-JEFFERSON RADIOS AND TO USE A LARGER RADIO WOULD REQUIRE ADDITIONAL MODIFICATIONS. WHILE YOU STATE YOU WERE ADVISED THAT A SEPARATE POWER SUPPLY WAS UNACCEPTABLE, THIS IS DENIED. IT IS REPORTED THAT NOTHING WAS MENTIONED CONCERNING THE REQUIREMENT OF THE POWER SUPPLY. HOWEVER, THE RAY-JEFFERSON DOES HAVE A SEPARATE POWER SUPPLY UNIT. IN THIS CONNECTION, IT IS REPORTED THAT SINCE YOU WERE A RADAR EQUIPMENT INSTALLER-REPAIRER AT THE CHARLESTON ARMY DEPOT FOR APPROXIMATELY 7 YEARS, AND DURING THAT TIME YOU HAD PERFORMED MAINTENANCE, ACCOMPLISHED INSTALLATIONS, AND COMPLETELY OVERHAULED RAY JEFFERSON (AN/SRC/8BZ) RADIOS FOR THE ARMY, IT WAS FELT THAT IF ANY INDIVIDUAL WAS COMPLETELY FAMILIAR WITH THE TECHNICAL ASPECTS OF THE RAY-JEFFERSON (AN/SRC-8BZ) RADIO, IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN YOU.

TWO FIRMS QUOTED ON FURNISHING THE RAYTHEON MODEL 1130, THE LOWEST TOTAL PRICE BEING $45,900. ANOTHER FIRM OFFERED TO FURNISH RAYTHEON MODEL 1095C. HOWEVER, THIS QUOTATION WAS NOT EVEN ABSTRACTED SINCE IT WAS KNOWN THAT IT WOULD NOT MEET REQUIREMENTS AS IT HAD ONLY 103 WATTS INPUT POWER AND A MINIMUM OF 120 WATTS WAS REQUIRED. YOU QUOTED A TOTAL PRICE OF $37,808.30 ON FURNISHING THE BENDIX SKIPPER MODEL 430 (130 WATTS).

THE MODELS OFFERED WERE TECHNICALLY EVALUATED AND IT WAS DETERMINED THAT THE BENDIX SKIPPER MODEL 430 OFFERED BY YOU WAS NOT EQUAL TO THE RAY- JEFFERSON (AN/SRC-8BZ) FOR THE FOLLOWING EASONS:

1. UNIT HAS A PRINTED CIRCUIT; REQUIRED WAS A CONVENTIONAL CIRCUIT.

2.UNIT WAS A TRANSISTOR TYPE; REQUIRED WAS A TUBE TYPE.

3.UNIT CONTAINED ITS OWN BUILT-IN POWER SUPPLY; REQUIRED WAS A SEPARATE POWER SUPPLY UNIT.

4. UNIT AS A STOCK ITEM IS AVAILABLE IN 12 AND 32-VOLT SYSTEMS AND WOULD REQUIRE MODIFICATIONS TO BOTH THE SET AND THE POWER SUPPLY TO CONVERT EITHER UNIT TO A 24-VOLT SYSTEM, AS REQUIRED.

ITEMS 1 AND 2 ABOVE WERE CONSIDERED MATERIAL SINCE IN THE EVENT OF BREAKDOWN THE BENDIX SKIPPER MODEL 430 WOULD REQUIRE DEPOT MAINTENANCE, WHICH WOULD NECESSITATE RETURNING THE UNIT TO A RADIO SHOP FOR REPAIRS BY A QUALIFIED TECHNICIAN, WHEREAS THE AN/SRC-8BZ IS A CONVENTIONAL TYPE RADIO AND IN THE EVENT OF BREAKDOWN COULD BE REPAIRED IN PLACE, ABOARD THE VESSEL, BY A RADIO SERVICEMAN, UNLESS MAJOR REPAIRS WERE NECESSARY. ALSO, THE TUBES ARE STANDARD AND AVAILABLE IN MOST PORTS. WITH RESPECT TO ITEM 3, IT WAS CONSIDERED MATERIAL SINCE IN THE EVENT OF FAILURE A RADIO WITH A SEPARATE POWER SUPPLY UNIT COULD BE INTERCHANGED WITH ANOTHER POWER SUPPLY UNIT TO RESTORE OPERATIONS.

THE RAYTHEON MODEL 1130 WAS CONSIDERED TO BE EQUAL TO THE RAY JEFFERSON (AN/SRC-8BZ) IN EVERY RESPECT WITHOUT MODIFICATION, EXCEPT THAT THE RAYTHEON SET HAS EIGHT CHANNELS INSTEAD OF TEN. THE TECHNICAL DETERMINATIONS WERE CONCURRED IN BY U.S. ARMY ELECTRONICS COMMAND IN PHILADELPHIA AND ON FEBRUARY 25 THE CHARLESTON CONTRACTOR SELECTION BOARD, CONSISTING OF FOUR MEMBERS, MET FOR THE PURPOSE OF REVIEWING AND DETERMINING THE AWARD OF THE 54 RADIO SETS TO THE LOWEST RESPONSIVE BIDDER, PRICE AND OTHER FACTORS CONSIDERED. THE BOARD REVIEWED THE PROCUREMENT RECORD INCLUDING THE FIRMS SOLICITED, PRICES QUOTED, THE TECHNICAL EVALUATION OF THE MODELS OFFERED AND RECOMMENDED TO THE CONTRACTING OFFICER THAT AWARD BE MADE TO RADIO LABORATORIES CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA, AS THE LOWEST RESPONSIVE BIDDER ON THE RAYTHEON MODEL1130. THE AWARD WAS MADE TO RADIO LABORATORIES ON THE RAYTHEON MODEL 1130 ON FEBRUARY 25, 1965, UNDER CONTRACT NO. DA-23-195 ANC-00117 (T).

THE FOREGOING, IN OUR OPINION, DOES NOT SUPPORT YOUR ALLEGATIONS OF DISREGARD OF THE GOVERNMENT'S INTERESTS OR WRONGDOING ON THE PART OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICIALS CONCERNED. RATHER, IT APPEARS THAT A CONSCIENTIOUS EFFORT WAS MADE TO PROTECT THE GOVERNMENT'S INTERESTS. ACCORDINGLY, WE FIND NO BASIS TO QUESTION THE ADMINISTRATIVE ACTIONS TAKEN IN CONNECTION WITH THE AWARD.