B-157011, JAN. 12, 1966

B-157011: Jan 12, 1966

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WULSIN AND VOGELER: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JULY 2. INVITED PROSPECTIVE CONTRACTORS TO SUBMIT PROPOSALS COVERING "THE PROGRAM OUTLINED IN EXHIBITS A AND B AND IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE FORMAT AND INSTRUCTIONS CONTAINED IN EXHIBITS C AND " THEY WERE ADVISED THAT A CONTRACT OF 14 MONTHS (12 MONTHS SERVICES (TECHNICAL EFFORT) AND 2 MONTHS FOR FINAL REPORT) WAS CONTEMPLATED. THEY WERE FURTHER ADVISED THAT PROPOSALS WERE REQUIRED TO BE RECEIVED BY THE CONTRACTING AGENCY ONOR BEFORE NOVEMBER 5. " PROSPECTIVE CONTRACTORS WERE ADVISED THAT FUTURE NAVIGATION SYSTEMS WOULD REQUIRE THE USE OF AUTOMATIC PRECISION ANGLE MEASUREMENT DEVICES FOR CELESTIAL TRACKING GIMBAL POSITION READOUT. THAT OPTICAL SYSTEMS WERE NOW MORE RELIABLE THAN MAGNETIC OR CAPACITIVE COUPLE SYSTEMS.

B-157011, JAN. 12, 1966

TO KYTE, CONLAN, WULSIN AND VOGELER:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JULY 2, 1965, AND SUBSEQUENT CORRESPONDENCE RELATIVE TO THE PROTEST OF BALDWIN ELECTRONICS, INC., AGAINST THE AWARD OF CONTRACT NO. AF 33/615/-3092 TO SPERRY RAND CORPORATION (SPERRY GYROSCOPE COMPANY DIVISION) BY THE DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE.

BY REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL NO. 21009-KEB, DATED OCTOBER 5, 1964, THE SYSTEMS ENGINEERING GROUP, RESEARCH AND TECHNOLOGY DIVISION (SEK), AIR FORCE SYSTEMS COMMAND, WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, OHIO, INVITED PROSPECTIVE CONTRACTORS TO SUBMIT PROPOSALS COVERING "THE PROGRAM OUTLINED IN EXHIBITS A AND B AND IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE FORMAT AND INSTRUCTIONS CONTAINED IN EXHIBITS C AND " THEY WERE ADVISED THAT A CONTRACT OF 14 MONTHS (12 MONTHS SERVICES (TECHNICAL EFFORT) AND 2 MONTHS FOR FINAL REPORT) WAS CONTEMPLATED, BUT IF THE PROSPECTIVE CONTRACTOR COULD COMPLETE THE PROGRAM IN LESS TIME, THE PROPOSAL SHOULD INDICATE THE SHORTER PERIOD, AND IF A PROPOSAL RESULTED IN THE SELECTION OF A CONTRACTOR FOR THE NEGOTIATION OF A CONTRACT, THE CONTRACTOR WOULD BE REQUIRED TO FURNISH A REPRESENTATIVE OR REPRESENTATIVES FOR THE NEGOTIATION WHO HAD AUTHORITY TO OBLIGATE IT. THEY WERE FURTHER ADVISED THAT PROPOSALS WERE REQUIRED TO BE RECEIVED BY THE CONTRACTING AGENCY ONOR BEFORE NOVEMBER 5, 1964, AND THAT, IF A PROSPECTIVE CONTRACTOR HAD ANY QUESTIONS AS TO THE TECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS OF THE REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL, THEY MIGHT BE DIRECTED IN WRITING TO THE "SYSTEMS ENGINEERING GROUP, RESEARCH AND TECHNOLOGY DIVISION, ATTN: SEKEB, LT. JAMES L. GREEN, WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, OHIO.'

IN EXHIBIT A,"ADVANCED CELESTIAL TRACKER TECHNIQUES," PROSPECTIVE CONTRACTORS WERE ADVISED THAT FUTURE NAVIGATION SYSTEMS WOULD REQUIRE THE USE OF AUTOMATIC PRECISION ANGLE MEASUREMENT DEVICES FOR CELESTIAL TRACKING GIMBAL POSITION READOUT, AND THAT OPTICAL SYSTEMS WERE NOW MORE RELIABLE THAN MAGNETIC OR CAPACITIVE COUPLE SYSTEMS, BUT SUCH DEVICES HAD BASIC LIMITATIONS WHICH REQUIRED FURTHER IMPROVEMENT IN ORDER TO ADVANCE THE STATE-OF-THE-ART IN SMALL DIAMETER, HIGH RESOLUTION PRECISION ENCODERS. RELATIVE TO THE OBJECTIVES OF THE SUBJECT PROCUREMENT, THE AREA OF CONSIDERATION WHICH PROSPECTIVE CONTRACTORS WERE EXPECTED TO PURSUE IN CONNECTION WITH THEIR PROPOSAL FOR ATTAINING THEM, THE WORK REQUIREMENTS, AND THE METHOD OF APPROACH AND MODELS TO BE SUBMITTED, THE EXHIBIT STATED:

"B. OBJECTIVES:

1. TO DESIGN A PRECISION ANGLE ENCODER FOR USE AS A CELESTIAL TRACKER GIMBAL POSITION READOUT.

2. TO PROVIDE A TELESCOPE GIMBAL ANGLE READOUT THAT CAN BE EASILY COUPLED TO A DIGITAL COMPUTER, AND IS ENTIRELY PRACTICAL FOR USE IN NEW CELESTIAL TRACKER DESIGNS.

3. TO ELIMINATE ERROR SOURCES THAT ARE INHERENT IN SMALL DIAMETER, HIGH RESOLUTION DEVICES.

4. TO PROVIDE ANGLE MEASUREMENT DEVICES WHICH HAVE AN ACCURACY GOAL OF 21 BITS AND ARE SIMPLE, SMALL (CASE SIZE: 3 INCHES IN DIAMETER, 1 1/2 INCHES IN LENGTH), RELIABLE, AND WITH A DIGITAL OUTPUT.

"C. AREAS OF CONSIDERATION:

1. ABSOLUTE POSITION DEVICES WILL BE ANALYZED, DESIGNED, FABRICATED, AND EXPERIMENTALLY EVALUATED. EMPHASIS WILL BE PLACED ON ELIMINATING ERROR SOURCES SUCH AS PATTERN ALIGNMENT, ELECTRONIC READOUT, LINE PLACEMENT, AND ECCENTRICITIES OF BEARING AND DISC.

2. DETAILED INFORMATION WILL BE REQUIRED COVERING PROPOSED OPERATIONAL CHARACTERISTICS, E.G., ACCURACY, RESOLUTION, POWER INPUT, SLEW RATE, MAXIMUM ROTATION RATE WITHOUT DEGRADATION, STARTING TORQUE, RUNNING TORQUE, TYPE READOUT, ENCODER WEIGHT AND VOLUME, ELECTRONICS WEIGHT AND VOLUME, LIFE, ZERO REFERENCE, BEARING TYPE, BEARING LIFE, WORKING TEMPERATURE RANGE, ETC.

3. UNIQUE IDEAS THAT ARE SUBSTANTIATED WITH THEORETICAL ANALYSES AND PRELIMINARY EVALUATIONS, AND WHICH SHOW A FAVORABLE GROWTH POTENTIAL WILL BE GIVEN SPECIAL CONSIDERATION.

"D. WORK REQUIREMENTS: THIS WORK SHALL INCLUDE:

1. THEORETICAL AND EXPERIMENTAL ANALYSES OF IDEA IN RELATION TO REQUIREMENTS, ULTIMATE USE AND "TRADE-OFF" CAPABILITIES.

2. BREADBOARDING OF MOST PROMISING EXPERIMENTAL APPROACH.

3. TEST AND EVALUATION.

"E. METHOD OF APPROACH: "IN ACCORDANCE WITH SELECTED CONTRACTOR'S PROPOSAL--- TO BE INCLUDED IN THIS SECTION DURING NEGOTIATIONS.'

"F.SPECIAL PROVISION: SUCH BREADBOARD MODELS OF DEVICES AND EXPERIMENTAL MODELS AS MAY BE DEEMED NECESSARY TO PROVE THE FEASIBILITY OF TECHNIQUES AND VERIFY RESULTS OF EXPERIMENTATION, SHALL BE FABRICATED. THESE EXPERIMENTAL MODELS SHALL BE AVAILABLE FOR DELIVERY TO THE GOVERNMENT AS REQUESTED.'

EXHIBIT B,"DELIVERABLE ITEMS," SET FORTH THE SEVERAL TYPES OF REPORTS WHICH THE SUCCESSFUL CONTRACTOR WOULD BE REQUIRED TO FURNISH TO THE CONTRACTING AGENCY DURING THE PERFORMANCE OF THE WORK UNDER THE CONTRACT AND AFTER THE COMPLETION THEREOF.

IN EXHIBIT C,"GENERAL INSTRUCTIONS FOR PREPARING TECHNICAL PROPOSALS," PROSPECTIVE CONTRACTORS WERE ADVISED THAT SINCE THEIR "TECHNICAL PROPOSAL" WOULD DETERMINE THE CAPABILITY OF THEIR ORGANIZATION TO PARTICIPATE IN THE RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM INVOLVED, IT SHOULD BE COMPLETE IN EVERY DETAIL, AND IN ORDER THAT THE TECHNICAL PROPOSAL MIGHT BE EVALUATED STRICTLY ON THE MERIT OF THE MATERIAL SUBMITTED, THE ONLY DOLLAR COSTS TO BE INCLUDED THEREIN WOULD BE THOSE CONTAINED IN PARAGRAPHS 2A (5) (A) 2, 3, 4 AND 2A (7) (B) OF THE EXHIBIT. THESE PARAGRAPHS PROVIDED THAT PROPOSALS WERE TO CONTAIN AN ESTIMATE OF THE EXTENT OF SUBCONTRACTING ANTICIPATED TOGETHER WITH A LIST OF ITEMS OR EFFORT TO BE SUBCONTRACTED AND AN ESTIMATE OF THE COSTS THEREOF, AND ITEMIZATION OF EQUIPMENT AND MATERIALS TO BE PURCHASED INCLUDING THE ESTIMATED COSTS, AN ESTIMATE OF THE TRAVEL REQUIRED AND THE ESTIMATED TOTAL TRAVEL COSTS, AND A SPECIFIC STATEMENT OF ADDITIONAL PLANT, EQUIPMENT AND TEST FACILITIES REQUIRED FOR THE PROJECT TOGETHER WITH INDIVIDUAL COST AND DELIVERY ESTIMATES WHICH THE CONTRACTOR WOULD PROVIDE FROM HIS OWN RESOURCES.

PROSPECTIVE CONTRACTORS WERE FURTHER ADVISED IN EXHIBIT C AS FOLLOWS:

"1. GENERAL:

"B. THE PROPOSALS SHOULD CONTAIN AN OUTLINE OF THE PROPOSED LINES OF INVESTIGATION, METHOD OF APPROACH TO THE PROBLEM, ANY RECOMMENDED CHANGES TO THE TECHNICAL EXHIBIT (EXHIBIT A), THE PHASES OR STEPS INTO WHICH THIS PROJECT MIGHT LOGICALLY BE DIVIDED, ESTIMATED TIME REQUIRED TO COMPLETE EACH PHASE OR STEP, AND ANY OTHER INFORMATION CONSIDERED PERTINENT TO THE PROBLEM. THE PROPOSAL SHOULD NOT MERELY OFFER TO CONDUCT AN INVESTIGATION IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE TECHNICAL EXHIBIT BUT SHOULD OUTLINE THE ACTUAL INVESTIGATION PROPOSED AS SPECIFICALLY AS POSSIBLE. FURTHER, THE TECHNICAL EXHIBIT IS NOT INTENDED AS A STATEMENT OF WORK TO BE ACCOMPLISHED, BUT RATHER AS AN INDICATION OF SOME OF THE POSSIBLE APPROACHES TO THE PROBLEM AS RECOGNIZED BY THIS AGENCY. THE CONTRACTOR IS NOT LIMITED TO THE SUGGESTED APPROACHES BUT IS ENCOURAGED TO SUBMIT HIS OWN APPROACHES FOR EQUAL OR EVEN PREFERRED CONSIDERATION.

"2. FORMAT AND SPECIFIC CONTENT:

"A. TO AID IN THE EVALUATION OF THE PROPOSALS, IT IS DESIRED THAT ALL PROPOSALS FOLLOW THE SAME GENERAL FORMAT AND SHALL AT MINIMUM CONTAIN THE INFORMATION SPECIFIED BELOW IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE FOLLOWING GENERAL FORMAT:

"/4) TECHNICAL DISCUSSION OF APPROACHES

"/A) THIS SECTION SHALL CONTAIN THE MAJOR PORTION OF THE TECHNICAL PROPOSAL. IT SHOULD BE PRESENTED IN AS MUCH DETAIL AS POSSIBLE AND CONTAIN AS A MINIMUM THE FOLLOWING:

"3. SPECIFIC STATEMENT OF ANY INTERPRETATIONS, DEVIATIONS, AND EXCEPTIONS TO THE EXHIBIT.'

EXHIBIT D,"GENERAL INSTRUCTIONS FOR PREPARING COST AND CONTRACTUAL PROPOSALS," STATED IN MATERIAL PART:

"1. JUST AS YOUR TECHNICAL PROPOSAL WILL DETERMINE YOUR TECHNICAL CAPABILITY TO PARTICIPATE IN THE R AND D PROGRAM, YOUR COST AND CONTRACTUAL PROPOSAL WILL BE THE BASIS OF CONTRACT NEGOTIATION IN THE EVENT YOUR FIRM IS SELECTED AS THE SUCCESSFUL CONTRACTOR. LIKE THE TECHNICAL PROPOSAL COVERED BY EXHIBIT C, YOUR COST AND CONTRACTUAL PROPOSAL SHOULD ALSO BE SPECIFIC AND COMPLETE IN EVERY DETAIL. * * *

"5. SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS:

"D. THE TERM "NEGOTIATION" AS USED HEREIN SHALL NOT BE INTERPRETATED AS MEANING THAT OFFERORS WILL BE GIVEN THE OPPORTUNITY TO REVISE OR LOWER THEIR ORIGINAL QUOTATION OR OTHERWISE MODIFY THEIR ORIGINAL PROPOSAL. OFFERORS ARE CAUTIONED TO CAREFULLY REVIEW ALL TERMS AND CONDITIONS AND SPECIFICATIONS OF THIS REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL PRIOR TO SUBMISSION OF BIDS. THE CONTRACTING OFFICER MAY CONSIDER OFFEROR'S ORIGINAL PROPOSAL AS FINAL WITHOUT EXTENDING PRIVILEGE TO MODIFY OR REVISE QUOTATION OR CONDUCT FURTHER NEGOTIATIONS.'

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT THE REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL WAS ISSUED IN ACCORDANCE WITH A "PROCUREMENT PLAN" HAVING THE REQUISITE ADMINISTRATIVE APPROVALS, WHICH CALLED FOR THE CONTRACT COVERING THE PROCUREMENT TO BE NEGOTIATED, PURSUANT TO THE AUTHORITY CONTAINED IN 10 U.S.C. 2304 (A) (11).

BY LETTER OF NOVEMBER 2, 1964, BALDWIN ELECTRONICS, INC., SUBMITTED TO THE PROCURING ACTIVITY ITS TECHNICAL PROPOSAL FOR ACCOMPLISHING THE OBJECTIVES OUTLINED IN THE RFP, AS WELL AS A COST AND PRICE ANALYSIS SHOWING TOTAL ESTIMATED COST OF THE WORK, INCLUDING FIXED FEE, TO BE $129,961.

IT APPEARS THAT BALDWIN'S PROPOSAL, TOGETHER WITH 13 OTHERS WHICH HAD BEEN RECEIVED IN RESPONSE TO THE RFP WERE, AT THE REQUEST OF THE CONTRACTING OFFICER, EVALUATED BY THE NAVIGATION AND GUIDANCE DIVISION, AIR FORCE AVIONICS LABORATORY, WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, FROM THE STANDPOINT OF TECHNICAL ACCEPTABILITY OR UNACCEPTABILITY ON THE BASIS OF THE FOLLOWING AREAS OF CONSIDERATION: UNDERSTANDING OF PROBLEM, SOUNDNESS OF APPROACH, COMPLIANCE WITH REQUIREMENTS, SPECIAL TECHNICAL FACTORS, SPECIFIC EXPERIENCE, TECHNICAL ORGANIZATION, SPECIAL TECHNICAL EQUIPMENT AND FACILITIES, AND ANALYTICAL CAPACITY. ALSO, THE PROPOSALS WERE REVIEWED BY THE LABORATORY FROM THE STANDPOINT OF THE REASONABLENESS OF THE ESTIMATED MANHOURS SHOWN THEREIN FOR THE PERFORMANCE OF THE WORK, AS WELL AS THE REASONABLENESS OF THE INDICATED MATERIAL, EQUIPMENT AND TRAVEL COSTS.

THE RESULTS OF THE EVALUATION ARE SET FORTH IN THE ACTING CHIEF OF THE NAVIGATION AND GUIDANCE DIVISION'S 1ST INDORSEMENT OF JANUARY 20, 1965, TO THE CONTRACTING OFFICER'S LETTER OF NOVEMBER 17, 1964, REQUESTING THE EVALUATION. THE CONTRACTING OFFICER WAS ADVISED THEREIN THAT 10 OF THE PROPOSALS WERE JUDGED UNACCEPTABLE DUE TO LACK OF PRESENTATION OF A GOOD BASIC TECHNICAL PROGRAM, AND FOUR WERE JUDGED ACCEPTABLE. THE LATTER WERE RANKED IN ORDER OF MERIT AND NUMERICAL RATINGS WERE SHOWN FOR EACH, IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE INSTRUCTIONS WHICH HAD BEEN GIVEN BY THE CONTRACTING OFFICER.

THE PROPOSAL OF SPERRY RAND CORPORATION (SPERRY GYROSCOPE COMPANY DIVISION) WAS RANKED FIRST AND THAT OF BALDWIN WAS RANKED SECOND IN ORDER OF TECHNICAL MERIT, AND THEY WERE ACCORDED RATINGS WITH RESPECT TO TECHNICAL MERIT OF (66.0) AND (63.6), RESPECTIVELY. IN THE COST AND PRICE ANALYSIS SUBMITTED WITH ITS PROPOSAL, SPERRY SHOWED TOTAL ESTIMATED COST OF THE WORK, INCLUDING FIXED FEE, AS $96,102.

THE LOW PROPOSAL ON THE BASIS OF ESTIMATED COST, INCLUDING FEE, WAS SUBMITTED BY LITTEN SYSTEMS, INC., IN THE AMOUNT OF $96,101. LITTON'S TECHNICAL PROPOSAL WAS RATED AT (63.3).

RELATIVE TO THE ACTION TAKEN BY THE CONTRACTING OFFICER FOLLOWING THE EVALUATION OF THE PROPOSALS BY THE AIR FORCE AVIONICS LABORATORY, IT IS STATED IN SECTION II-B OF THE "RECORD OF NEGOTIATIONS" OF THE CONTRACT WITH SPERRY, PREPARED BY THE CONTRACTING OFFICER UNDER DATE OF MAY 6, 1965, AS FOLLOWS:

"4. * * * IT WAS DETERMINED THAT THIS AWARD SHOULD BE BASED ON TECHNICAL COMPETENCE, AND SINCE SPERRY WAS THE TOP TECHNICAL SOURCE AND WAS ONLY ONE DOLLAR HIGHER THAN THE LOWEST PRICE ACCEPTABLE BIDDER, IT WAS THEREFORE DETERMINED TO BE IN THE BEST INTEREST OF THE GOVERNMENT TO AWARD THIS PROCUREMENT TO SPERRY GYROSCOPE COMPANY. IT SHOULD BE POINTED OUT THAT AN AWARD TO SPERRY GIVES THE GOVERNMENT A ROYALTY FREE LICENSE TO THIS APPROACH WHICH WAS ONLY RECENTLY PATENTED BY SPERRY, GREATER GROWTH POTENTIAL IN THE HARDWARE, AND RESULTS IN RECOGNITION OF A UNIQUE APPROACH AS OUTLINED IN PARA C. 3 OF THE RFP WORK STATEMENT. NO OTHER SOURCE OFFERS THESE ADVANTAGES.'

THE COST-PLUS-A-FIXED-FEE TYPE CONTRACT REFERRED TO IN THE OPENING PARAGRAPH WAS NEGOTIATED WITH SPERRY, THE USE OF THIS TYPE OF CONTRACT HAVING BEEN AUTHORIZED UNDER THE ORIGINAL ,PROCUREMENT PLAN.'

THE BASIS FOR BALDWIN'S PROTEST IS THAT SPERRY'S PROPOSAL WAS NOT RESPONSIVE TO REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL NO. 21009-KEB IN THE RESPECTS SET FORTH IN BALDWIN'S LETTER OF JULY 2, 1965. BALDWIN STATED THEREIN THAT (1) SPERRY PROPOSED AN ENCODER WHICH EXCEEDED "THE SPECIFIED SIZE OF 3 INCH DIAMETER AND 1 1/2 INCH DEPTH; " (2) SPERRY'S PROPOSAL INCORPORATED AN INCREMENTAL METHOD OF OBTAINING HIGH RESOLUTION, WHEREAS THE "SPECIFICATIONS CALLED FOR AN ABSOLUTE SYSTEM; " AND (3) THAT PROSPECTIVE CONTRACTORS HAD BEEN ADVISED IN THE RFP THAT A PHOTOELECTRIC, SHAFT POSITION, OPTICAL ENCODER WAS PREFERRED AS BEING MORE RELIABLE, WHEREAS SPERRY'S PROPOSAL WAS FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF A DIFFERENT TYPE ENCODER. RELATIVE TO THE SECOND AND THIRD ALLEGATIONS, ABOVE, IT WILL BE OBSERVED THAT THE REPORT SUBMITTED BY THE COMMANDER, SYSTEMS ENGINEERING GROUP, RESEARCH AND TECHNICAL DIVISION, AIR FORCE SYSTEMS COMMAND, WRIGHT- PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE (SEK), TO HEADQUARTERS, AIR FORCE SYSTEMS COMMAND, ON BALDWIN'S PROTEST, A COPY OF WHICH WAS FURNISHED TO YOU WITH OUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 7, 1965, STATES THAT SINCE INCREMENTAL METHODS OF OBTAINING HIGH RESOLUTION ONLY EMPLOY ONE BAND, THEY ARE PROPERLY CLASSIFIABLE AS ABSOLUTE SYSTEMS, AND THAT SPERRY HAD, IN FACT, PROPOSED THE DEVELOPMENT OF A PHOTOELECTRIC SHAFT POSITION ENCODER.

IN VIEW OF THE FACT THAT YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 21, 1965, DOES NOT TAKE ISSUE WITH THIS PORTION OF THE SEK REPORT, AND SINCE WE DO NOT HAVE PERSONNEL OF THE TECHNICAL TRAINING REQUISITE TO MAKING A FIRST HAND EVALUATION OF BALDWIN'S CONTENTIONS IN THE PREMISES, WE MUST ACCEPT THE FACTS AS REPORTED BY THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE.

WHILE IT APPEARS FROM SEK'S REPORT THAT THE ACTUAL SIZE OF THE FEASIBILITY MODEL OF THE ENCODER PROPOSED TO BE DEVELOPED BY SPERRY MAY HAVE EXCEEDED THE DIMENSIONS SET FORTH IN PARAGRAPH B-4 OF EXHIBIT A, SUPRA, WE ARE OF THE OPINION THAT ADHERENCE TO THOSE DIMENSIONS WAS NOT MANDATORY UNDER THE TERMS OF THE RFP. PARAGRAPH B-4 SETS FORTH THAT ONE OF THE "OBJECTIVES" OF THE PROCUREMENT IS TO PROVIDE ANGLE MEASUREMENT DEVICES WHICH ARE "SMALL (CASE SIZE: 3 INCHES IN DIAMETER, 1 1/2 INCHES IN LENGTH)," ETC., AND PARAGRAPH C-3 OF EXHIBIT A PROVIDES THAT UNIQUE IDEAS THAT ARE SUBSTANTIATED WITH THEORETICAL ANALYSES AND PRELIMINARY EVALUATIONS, AND WHICH SHOW A FAVORABLE GROWTH POTENTIAL, "WILL BE GIVEN SPECIAL CONSIDERATION.' MOREOVER, PARAGRAPH 1-B OF EXHIBIT C, SUPRA, PROVIDES THAT PROPOSALS SHOULD CONTAIN "ANY RECOMMENDED CHANGES TO THE TECHNICAL EXHIBIT (EXHIBIT A); " THAT THE PROPOSAL SHOULD NOT MERELY OFFER TO CONDUCT AN INVESTIGATION IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE TECHNICAL EXHIBIT BUT SHOULD OUTLINE THE ACTUAL INVESTIGATION PROPOSED; THAT THE TECHNICAL EXHIBIT IS NOT INTENDED AS A STATEMENT OF WORK TO BE ACCOMPLISHED, BUT RATHER AS AN INDICATION OF SOME OF THE POSSIBLE APPROACHES TO THE PROBLEM AS RECOGNIZED BY THE PROCURING ACTIVITY; AND THAT THE PROSPECTIVE CONTRACTOR "IS NOT LIMITED TO THE SUGGESTED APPROACHES BUT IS ENCOURAGED TO SUBMIT HIS OWN APPROACHES FOR EQUAL OR EVEN PREFERRED CONSIDERATION.'

IN VIEW OF THE LATITUDE THUS AFFORDED TO PROSPECTIVE CONTRACTORS WITH RESPECT TO THE TECHNICAL FEATURES OF THE ENCODERS PROPOSED TO BE DEVELOPED IN THEIR PROPOSALS, PARTICULARLY THE INSTRUCTION THAT THE PROPOSAL SHOULD CONTAIN ANY RECOMMENDED CHANGES TO THE TECHNICAL EXHIBIT, THE PROVISION RELATING TO THE DIAMETER AND LENGTH THEREOF CONTAINED IN THE RFP CAN NOT BE REGARDED AS A FIRM REQUIREMENT, BUT MUST BE CONSIDERED TO HAVE BEEN A DESIGN AIM, AS CONTENDED BY THE AIR FORCE.

WITH RESPECT TO THE STATEMENT IN YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 21, 1965, THAT BALDWIN REPRESENTATIVES INFORMED PERSONNEL AT WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE AT A MEETING HELD ON OCTOBER 19, 1965, IN CONNECTION WITH THIS PROTEST THAT HAD THEY KNOWN THE PROVISION OF THE RFP RELATING TO THE DIAMETER AND LENGTH OF THE ENCODER WA NOT AN ABSOLUTE REQUIREMENT BALDWIN WOULD HAVE BEEN ABLE TO REDUCE ITS CONTRACT PRICE VERY SUBSTANTIALLY, WE CAN ONLY STATE IT IS REGRETTABLE THAT BALDWIN DID NOT SEEK CLARIFICATION OF THIS FEATURE OF THE RFP IN THE MANNER PROVIDED FOR THEREIN, AND REFERRED TO ABOVE.

ACCORDINGLY, YOU ARE ADVISED THAT WE FIND NO LEGAL BASIS FOR FURTHER QUESTIONING THE ACTION OF THE AIR FORCE IN AWARDING THE CONTRACT TO SPERRY.