B-156435, JUN. 1, 1965

B-156435: Jun 1, 1965

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MORTIMER TAUBE: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 29. REFERENCE ALSO IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF MAY 10. INDICATING YOU BELIEVE YOUR COMPANY'S PROPOSAL WAS INTERPRETED INCORRECTLY. THE SUBJECT PROCUREMENT WAS SET ASIDE FOR NEGOTIATION UNDER THE AUTHORITY OF 10 U.S.C. 2304 (A) (10). THE LAW PERTAINING TO FORMALLY ADVERTISED COMPETITIVE BIDDING REQUIRING THAT A CONTRACT BE AWARDED TO THE LOWEST RESPONSIBLE BIDDER IS NOT REQUIRED TO BE APPLIED TO NEGOTIATED PROCUREMENTS. IF EVALUATION IS NOT MADE ON THE BASIS OF PRICE ALONE. IT IS NOT IMPROPER. 40 COMP. WHILE YOU PROTEST THAT AN AWARD WAS NOT MADE TO YOUR FIRM AT ITS FIXED PRICE LOWER THAN THE ESTIMATED PRICE NEGOTIATED WITH THE SUCCESSFUL PROPONENT.

B-156435, JUN. 1, 1965

TO DR. MORTIMER TAUBE:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 29, 1965, PROTESTING AGAINST THE AWARD OF A CONTRACT FOR THE PERFORMANCE OF AN APPRAISAL OF AUTOMATIC DATA PROCESSING APPLIED TO LIBRARY FUNCTIONS UNDER DEFENSE SUPPLY AGENCY REQUEST FOR QUOTATIONS DSA-7-65-RFQ-147 TO BOOZ-ALLEN APPLIED RESEARCH INC. ON A LABOR-HOUR BASIS IN AN ESTIMATED AMOUNT OF $114,264, EXCLUDING TRAVEL, BECAUSE YOUR COMPANY QUOTED A FIXED PRICE OF $63,332 FOR THE WORK, INCLUDING TRAVEL, AND REFERENCE ALSO IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF MAY 10, 1965, INDICATING YOU BELIEVE YOUR COMPANY'S PROPOSAL WAS INTERPRETED INCORRECTLY.

AS YOU MAY KNOW, THE SUBJECT PROCUREMENT WAS SET ASIDE FOR NEGOTIATION UNDER THE AUTHORITY OF 10 U.S.C. 2304 (A) (10). THE LAW PERTAINING TO FORMALLY ADVERTISED COMPETITIVE BIDDING REQUIRING THAT A CONTRACT BE AWARDED TO THE LOWEST RESPONSIBLE BIDDER IS NOT REQUIRED TO BE APPLIED TO NEGOTIATED PROCUREMENTS. IN THE LATTER SITUATION, THE CONTRACTING AGENCY IN ITS DISCRETION HAS AUTHORITY TO RELY UPON FACTORS OTHER THAN PRICE AND TO MAKE AN AWARD TO OTHER THAN THE LOWEST RESPONSIBLE BIDDER. B-155983, MARCH 31, 1965. IF EVALUATION IS NOT MADE ON THE BASIS OF PRICE ALONE, IT IS NOT IMPROPER. 40 COMP. GEN. 508. OUR OFFICE HAS UPHELD THE AWARD OF A NEGOTIATED CONTRACT TO A PROPONENT OTHER THAN THE PROPONENT WHO SUBMITTED THE BEST PRICE ON THE BASIS OF OTHER FACTORS. B-147394, SEPTEMBER 4, 1962. ALSO, WHILE YOU PROTEST THAT AN AWARD WAS NOT MADE TO YOUR FIRM AT ITS FIXED PRICE LOWER THAN THE ESTIMATED PRICE NEGOTIATED WITH THE SUCCESSFUL PROPONENT, WE OBSERVE THAT THERE WERE THREE OTHER BIDDERS WHICH QUOTED FIXED PRICES LOWER THAN YOUR COMPANY'S QUOTATION.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT 32 PROPOSALS WERE RECEIVED BY THE DEFENSE SUPPLY AGENCY, ALL OF WHICH WERE EVALUATED BY AN EVALUATION COMMITTEE. PRICE WAS ONLY ONE FACTOR CONSIDERED BY THE COMMITTEE. OTHER FACTORS WHICH WERE EVALUATED WERE THE QUALIFICATIONS OF EACH PROPONENT'S PERSONNEL, ITS CORPORATE EXPERIENCE AND APPROACH TO THE TASK. EACH PROPOSAL WAS EVALUATED ON A POINT BASIS FOR EACH FACTOR. THE COMMITTEE DECIDED ON THE TOTAL POINT BASIS THAT BOOZ-ALLEN HAD THE MOST FAVORABLE OVERALL PROPOSAL. YOUR COMPANY'S PROPOSAL RECEIVED HIGH RATINGS ON THREE FACTORS, BUT IT DID NOT RATE WELL ON THE APPROACH TO THE TASK. THE NET RESULT WAS THAT YOUR COMPANY'S PROPOSAL WAS RANKED EIGHTH BY THE COMMITTEE. WHILE YOU INDICATE THAT YOUR COMPANY'S PROPOSAL MAY HAVE BEEN MISUNDERSTOOD, EVEN IF YOU ARE CORRECT IN THAT REGARD, WE HAVE NO WAY OF KNOWING THAT IT WOULD HAVE RANKED SIGNIFICANTLY BETTER IF THE CIRCUMSTANCES WERE OTHERWISE, SINCE IT APPEARS THAT THE EVALUATORS DECIDED THAT ALL THINGS CONSIDERED THE SUCCESSFUL PROPONENT'S PROPOSAL WAS SUPERIOR TO ANY OTHER PROPOSAL RECEIVED. IN THAT CONNECTION, IT IS NOT THE FUNCTION OF OUR OFFICE TO TECHNICALLY EVALUATE THE PROPOSALS OR TO MAKE AN INDEPENDENT DETERMINATION WHETHER YOUR COMPANY SHOULD HAVE RATED HIGHER. B 150507, MARCH 29, 1963.

SINCE THIS PROCUREMENT WAS MADE UNDER NEGOTIATED PROCEDURES PERMITTING PROCUREMENT PERSONNEL A BROAD RANGE OF DISCRETION, THERE IS NO LEGAL OBJECTION WHICH OUR OFFICE COULD STATE AGAINST THE AWARD MADE AND NO RELIEF WHICH OUR OFFICE COULD ACCORD YOUR COMPANY IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES. THEREFORE, IT IS UNNECESSARY FOR US TO PURSUE THIS MATTER WITH YOU FURTHER AS YOU HAVE INDICATED ..END :