B-157033, NOV. 19, 1965

B-157033: Nov 19, 1965

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Edda Emmanuelli Perez
(202) 512-2853
EmmanuelliPerezE@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

CONNER AND CUNEO: WE HAVE RECEIVED LETTERS FROM YOUR CLIENT. YOU CHARGE THAT IBM'S PROPOSAL WAS ACCEPTED NOTWITHSTANDING ITS FAILURE TO CONFORM TO CERTAIN MANDATORY REQUIREMENTS OF THE RFP. THAT UNIVAC WAS PREJUDICED BY NOT BEING GIVEN THE OPPORTUNITY TO SUBMIT AN OFFER IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE RELAXATION OF SUCH REQUIREMENTS. THE PROCUREMENT INVOLVES ADPE TO BE ASSEMBLED INTO CONFIGURATIONS WHICH WILL CONFORM TO THE REQUIREMENTS OF REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS (RFP) 001-64. WHICH WILL THEREBY SUPPORT THE MARINE CORPS UNIFIED MATERIEL MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS (MUMMS). SINCE THE ACTUAL PIECES OF EQUIPMENT MAKING UP THE CONFIGURATIONS ARE TO BE PURCHASED AGAINST GSA FEDERAL SUPPLY SCHEDULE (FSS) MULTIPLE AWARD CONTRACTS.

B-157033, NOV. 19, 1965

TO SELLERS, CONNER AND CUNEO:

WE HAVE RECEIVED LETTERS FROM YOUR CLIENT, UNIVAC, DATED JUNE 18 AND JULY 8, 1965, AND YOUR LETTERS DATED JULY 15, AUGUST 11 AND 13, SEPTEMBER 14, 23, AND 28, AND OCTOBER 15 AND 21, 1965, PROTESTING AN AWARD BY THE UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS OF A CONTRACT TO INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS MACHINE CORPORATION (IBM) FOR THE RENTAL AND OPTION FOR SUBSEQUENT PURCHASE OF CONFIGURATIONS OF AUTOMATIC DATA PROCESSING EQUIPMENT (ADPE). YOU CHARGE THAT IBM'S PROPOSAL WAS ACCEPTED NOTWITHSTANDING ITS FAILURE TO CONFORM TO CERTAIN MANDATORY REQUIREMENTS OF THE RFP, AND THAT UNIVAC WAS PREJUDICED BY NOT BEING GIVEN THE OPPORTUNITY TO SUBMIT AN OFFER IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE RELAXATION OF SUCH REQUIREMENTS.

THE PROCUREMENT INVOLVES ADPE TO BE ASSEMBLED INTO CONFIGURATIONS WHICH WILL CONFORM TO THE REQUIREMENTS OF REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS (RFP) 001-64, INCLUDING A REQUIREMENT FOR ONE PRIMARY AND ONE ALTERNATE DIRECT MASS STORAGE SYSTEM TO HOUSE A MASTER INVENTORY FILE, AND WHICH WILL THEREBY SUPPORT THE MARINE CORPS UNIFIED MATERIEL MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS (MUMMS). SINCE THE ACTUAL PIECES OF EQUIPMENT MAKING UP THE CONFIGURATIONS ARE TO BE PURCHASED AGAINST GSA FEDERAL SUPPLY SCHEDULE (FSS) MULTIPLE AWARD CONTRACTS, THE PROCUREMENT BEARS A SUPERFICIAL SIMILARITY TO FSS PROCUREMENTS OF RELATIVELY UNCOMPLICATED COMMON-USE ITEMS SUCH AS STATIONERY SUPPLIES AND OFFICE EQUIPMENT. HOWEVER, THE SELECTION OF THIS ADPE WAS PRECEDED BY SEVERAL MONTHS OF INVESTIGATION ESSENTIAL TO DRAWING SPECIFICATIONS APPROPRIATE FOR MARINE CORPS NEEDS. THESE SPECIFICATIONS CONSTITUTED THE MAJOR PART OF THE VOLUMINOUS RFP WHICH WAS ISSUED TO SELECTED OFFERORS ON DECEMBER 30, 1964, BY THE DATA PROCESSING DIVISION OF THE MARINE CORPS. THE PROVISIONS OF THE RFP WHICH ARE RELEVANT TO UNIVAC'S PROTEST ARE SET FORTH BELOW:

"CHAPTER I

"0106 INQUIRIES. INQUIRIES CONCERNING THIS RFP WILL BE SUBMITTED IN WRITING TO THE DIRECTOR OF THE ISSUING OFFICE, CITING THE PROPOSAL REFERENCE NUMBER. QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS OF A SUBSTANTIVE NATURE WILL BE MAILED TO ALL VENDORS WHO INDICATE A DESIRE TO PARTICIPATE. A SUMMARY OF MAJOR DEADLINES FOR THIS PROJECT IS CONTAINED IN PARA 0120.

"0107 VENDOR'S CONFERENCE. A VENDOR'S CONFERENCE MAY BE HELD CONSISTING OF A QUESTION AND ANSWER PERIOD. ANYTHING WHICH CLARIFIES OR AMENDS THIS REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL WILL BE MADE AVAILABLE TO ALL MANUFACTURERS CONCERNED AS AN ADDENDUM TO THE BASIC RFP. A REASONABLE NUMBER OF SESSIONS WILL BE HELD WITH EACH VENDOR, ON REQUEST. SUBSEQUENT QUESTIONS WILL BE PRESENTED FORMALLY BY LETTER AS PROVIDED IN PARAGRAPH 0106.

"0110 EQUIPMENT AVAILABILITY. EQUIPMENT PROPOSED IN RESPONSE TO THIS RFP MUST HAVE BEEN FORMALLY ANNOUNCED FOR MARKETING PURPOSES AS OF THE CLOSING DATE OF THIS REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL, AND EXIST AT LEAST IN PROTOTYPE FORMS.

"0111 TYPE OF PROCUREMENT. THE EQUIPMENT PROPOSED TO BE PURCHASED OR LEASED UNDER THIS RFP WILL BE ORDERED FROM THE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION (GSA) FEDERAL SUPPLY SCHEDULE IF AVAILABLE.

"0120 CALENDAR FOR MARINE CORPS PROJECT 001-64

"NO. ACTIVITY DATES

3 PROPOSAL SUBMISSION DEADLINE 1 APR. 1965

6 EQUIPMENT INSTALLATION AT ICP

(INVENTORY CONTROL POINT),

PHILADELPHIA COMPLETED 1 FEB. 1966*

7 EQUIPMENT INSTALLATION AT ALL

ACTIVITIES COMPLETED 1 JUN. 1966*

*THESE DATES ARE TENTATIVE AND MAY BE CHANGED

BY THE MARINE CORPS AS REQUIRED.

"CHAPTER II

"0123 EVALUATION CRITERIA. THE DATA PROCESSING DIVISION WILL VALIDATE AND EVALUATE ALL PROPOSALS RECEIVED AND EFFECT PROPOSAL SELECTION. EQUIPMENT PROPOSALS WHICH DO NOT MEET THE REQUIREMENTS OF THIS ATTACHMENT AND/OR PROCESSING SPECIFICATIONS OUTLINED IN ATTACHMENTS 2-15 WILL NOT BE CONSIDERED FOR SELECTION.

"0124 MANDATORY REQUIREMENTS. THE FOLLOWING SUBPARAGRAPHS PRESCRIBE THE MANDATORY REQUIREMENTS TO BE COMPLIED WITH IN RESPONDING TO THIS RFP. STATEMENT ABOUT EACH ITEM LISTED IS REQUIRED IN THE VENDOR'S PROPOSAL, PART I, SECTION 2, MANDATORY REQUIREMENTS, AS PRESCRIBED IN CHAPTER III, ATTACHMENT 1.

"1. SYSTEM COMPLIANCE. THE PROPOSAL MUST CLEARLY DEMONSTRATE THE CAPABILITY OF THE PROPOSED EQUIPMENT CONFIGURATION TO MEET THE TOTAL SYSTEM PROCESSING REQUIREMENTS.

"3B. PROGRAM. THE PROPOSED EQUIPMENT MUST BE ABLE TO COMPILE AND OPERATE COBOL (COMMON BUSINESS ORIENTATED LANGUAGE) SOURCE PROGRAMS FROM STATEMENTS UNDER THE REQUIRED PORTIONS OF COBOL 61 EXTENDED. EVEN THOUGH CENTRALIZED PROGRAMMING MAY NOT RESULT FROM COBOL STATEMENTS, THERE WILL BE OTHER APPLICATIONS WHICH WILL INVOLVE THE ADPE SELECTED AND COBOL CAPABILITY IS THEREFORE PERTINENT.

"5. AVAILABILITY OF EQUIPMENT.

"A. EQUIPMENT PROPOSED IN RESPONSE TO THIS RFP MUST HAVE BEEN FORMALLY ANNOUNCED FOR MARKET PURPOSES AS OF THE CLOSING DATE OF THIS REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL AND EXIST IN AT LEAST A PROTOTYPE FORM.

"B. THE GOVERNMENT DESIRES THE EQUIPMENT BE INSTALLED AND OPERATIONAL IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE ,INSTALLATION DATE" AS SHOWN IN PARAGRAPH 0120.

"12. SOFTWARE. (WE UNDERSTAND THAT "SOFTWARE," BROADLY DEFINED, MAY BE TAKEN TO INCLUDE THE MEDIA AND LANGUAGE BY WHICH MAN COMMUNICATES WITH THE MACHINES, AND THE MACHINES WITH EACH OTHER.)

"A. THE VENDOR MUST PROVIDE THE FOLLOWING MINIMAL SOFTWARE ROUTINES OR EQUIVALENT, CAPABLE OF BEING OPERATED ON THE PROPOSED EQUIPMENT CONFIGURATION FOR THE ICP:

(1) SORT/MERGE GENERATOR

(2) EXECUTIVE ROUTINE

(3) COBOL"

IN THE MARINE CORPS LETTER OF DECEMBER 30, 1965, WHICH ACCOMPANIED THE ISSUANCE OF THE RFP, OFFERORS WERE ADVISED OF AN ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENT, AS FOLLOWS:

"IN ADDITION, IT IS INTENDED TO REQUIRE THE VENDORS WHO SUBMIT PROPOSALS TO PROGRAM AND DEMONSTRATE THE CAPABILITY OF THEIR EQUIPMENT TO ACCOMPLISH THE DATA PROCESSING FUNCTIONS SPECIFIED IN THIS RFP. THE DEMONSTRATION WILL REQUIRE PROGRAMMING OF THE PROCESSES SPECIFIED BELOW TO INDICATE THROUGHPUT SPEED AND ACCESS TIME FOR RECORDS OF A SIMILAR LENGTH.

"THE DEMONSTRATION MUST BE ACCOMPLISHED ON A CONFIGURATION OF IDENTICAL SPEED AND CAPACITY TO THAT RECOMMENDED BY THE MANUFACTURER. POSITIVE BLOCK OUTS OF EXCESS MEMORY, SPECIAL DEVICES, INPUT/OUTPUT EQUIPMENT, ETC, WILL BE USED, AS REQUIRED, ON THE DEMONSTRATION HARDWARE.

"THE "BENCHMARK" PROBLEM WILL CONSIST OF THE FOLLOWING:

"TWO REELS OF TAPE FROM EACH OF THE TWO COMPLEX INVENTORY FILES WILL BE PROVIDED EACH VENDOR. THESE TAPES MUST BE CONVERTED FROM THE PRESENT UNIVAC III MODE TO THE NEW CONSOLIDATED RECORD FORMAT OF THE MASTER INVENTORY FILE DESCRIBED IN ATTACHMENT 03 OF THIS RFP. THE NEW CONVERTED AND CONSOLIDATED RECORDS WILL BE LOADED IN THE DIRECT ACCESS MODE STORAGE OFFERED BY THE VENDOR. THE TAPES WILL BE AVAILABLE AT THE VENDORS' REQUEST ON 15 JANUARY 1965 TO ALLOW SUFFICIENT TIME TO TEST CONVERSION PROGRAMS.

"A DEMONSTRATION OF THROUGHPUT SPEED AND RANDOM ACCESS TIMES WILL BE REQUIRED BY PROCESSING 2000 TRANSACTIONS IN A PREARRANGED SEQUENCE, ACCESSING THE APPROPRIATE RECORD IN DIRECT ACCESS STORAGE, AND PRINTING ALL OR PORTIONS OF THE RECORD AS SPECIFIED BY A TRANSACTION CODE IN THE INPUT. PUNCHED CARDS CONTAINING 2000 FEDERAL STOCK NUMBERS WILL BE PROVIDED FOR TEST PURPOSES ALONG WITH THE TAPE FILES. WHEN THE ACTUAL DEMONSTRATION IS PERFORMED ANOTHER 2000 TRANSACTIONS WILL BE DELIVERED TO THE VENDOR IN A PREARRANGED SEQUENCE. THE DEMONSTRATION MUST ACCEPT THE TRANSACTIONS IN THE PREARRANGED SEQUENCE, ACCESS THE MASTER FILE IN THE SAME ORDER AND PERPETUATE THE SEQUENCE IN THE PRINTED OUTPUT.'

OFFERORS WERE FURNISHED FURTHER DETAIL WITH RESPECT TO THE BENCHMARK PROBLEM IN A LETTER OF DECEMBER 15, 1965, WHEREIN THE FOLLOWING STATEMENTS WERE MADE:

"THE BENCHMARK PROBLEM WILL BE PROGRAMMED AND RUN TWICE: FIRST, IN AN ASSEMBLY LANGUAGE AND, SECOND IN COBOL OR A SIMILAR COMPILER LANGUAGE.

"FOR THE PURPOSE OF THIS DEMONSTRATION MUCH DETAIL REQUIRED FOR AN ACTUAL CONVERSION HAS BEEN OMITTED. ONLY THOSE ELEMENTS READILY CONVERTED WITH A MINIMUM OF LOGIC ARE CONSIDERED FOR THIS DEMONSTRATION. IT IS ESTIMATED THE MASTER INVENTORY FILE CONSTRUCTED FOR THIS BENCHMARK WILL REQUIRE ONLY 30 PERCENT OF THE STORAGE CAPACITY WHICH WILL ULTIMATELY BE REQUIRED WHEN THE FILE IS CONSTRUCTED WITH ALL FIELDS CODED AND LOADED.'

DURING THE NEGOTIATIONS, THE MARINE CORPS ISSUED SEVERAL LETTERS TO CLARIFY OR AMEND THE RFP IN ACCORDANCE WITH PARAGRAPH 0107 OF THE RFP, OR TO ANSWER INQUIRIES SUBMITTED IN ACCORDANCE WITH PARAGRAPH 0106. RELEVANT PART, THE LETTERS PROVIDED: (LETTER OF JANUARY 29, 1965)

"SEVERAL QUESTIONS CONCERNING THE MUMMS REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS HAVE BEEN SUBMITTED BY A MANUFACTURER (UNIVAC). THE QUESTIONS AND OUR ANSWERS ARE GIVEN BELOW FOR YOUR INFORMATION.

"QUESTION NO. 3: DO YOUR PLANS FOR IMPLEMENTATION INCLUDE EXTENSIVE COBOL UTILIZATION FOR THE MASTER INVENTORY UPDATE AND RELATED APPLICATIONS? NOT, WHERE SPECIFICALLY DO YOU PLAN TO UTILIZE COBOL PROGRAMMING?

"ANSWER: SINCE COBOL IS REQUIRED BY DOD DIRECTIVE, ALL EQUIPMENT PROPOSED MUST HAVE IT AVAILABLE. HOWEVER, IT IS IMPOSSIBLE AT THIS TIME TO SPECIFY HOW MUCH OR WHERE COBOL WILL BE USED IN MUMMS.

"QUESTION NO. 7: ARE WE CORRECT IN ASSUMING THAT WHAT YOU MEAN BY FORMALLY ANNOUNCED COMPUTING SYSTEMS MEANS DULY CERTIFIED WITH THE GSA SCHEDULE ON ALL CONTENTS PRIOR TO 1 APRIL 1965?

"ANSWER: YES.

"QUESTION NO. 11: IN ADDITION TO A SYSTEM THAT HAS BEEN FORMALLY ANNOUNCED AND IN AT LEAST THE PROTOTYPE STAGE, DO YOU FURTHER REQUIRE THAT ALL OPERATIONAL SOFTWARE BE AVAILABLE FOR THIS SYSTEM ON 1 APRIL 1965?

"ANSWER: YES.' (LETTER OF FEBRUARY 17, 1965)

"QUESTION NO. 10: THE BENCHMARK PROGRAM HAS POSED A PROBLEM. IF THE MASTER INVENTORY FILE IS TO BE STORED IN A DIRECT ACCESS MEDIA, THE BENCHMARK CANNOT BE PROGRAMMED IN COBOL 61 EXTENDED AS IT DOES NOT PROVIDE THE ABILITY TO PROCESS DIRECT ACCESS STORAGE. PLEASE COMMENT.

"ANSWER: A TRUE STATEMENT. THE BENCHMARK IS REVISED TO DELETE THE REQUIREMENT FOR PROGRAMMING IN COBOL.' (LETTER OF MARCH 30, 1965)

"A LETTER WAS RECEIVED BY THE MANUFACTURER (RCA) CONTAINING THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION:

"BASED ON OUR DISCUSSION CONCERNING THE MANDATORY EQUIPMENT REQUIREMENT FOR BENCHMARK DEMONSTRATION, WE HAVE REVIEWED CORRESPONDENCE AND YOUR REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL, AND NOTE THE FOLLOWING:

"1. PARAGRAPH 2, LETTER DATED 15 DECEMBER 1964 FROM DIRECTOR DATA PROCESSING DIVISION, U. S. MARINE CORPS TO RCA: "YOUR ATTENTION IS INVITED TO THE FACT THAT SELECTION WILL NOT BE MADE UNTIL MAJOR PROGRAM DEMONSTRATIONS HAVE TAKEN PLACE EMPLOYING SYSTEM EQUIPMENT CONTAINED IN OUR PROPOSALS.'

"2. PARAGRAPH 4, PAGE 1, LETTER DATED 30 DECEMBER 1964 FROM DIRECTOR DATA PROCESSING DIVISION, U.S. MARINE CORPS, TO RCA: "THE DEMONSTRATION MUST BE ACCOMPLISHED ON A CONFIGURATION OF IDENTICAL SPEED AND CAPACITY TO THAT RECOMMENDED BY THE MANUFACTURER.'

"3. PARAGRAPH 11, SAME LETTER: "A DEMONSTRATION OF THRUPUT SPEED AND RANDOM ACCESS TIMES WILL BE REQUIRED BY PROCESSING 2,000 TRANSACTIONS IN A PRE-ARRANGED SEQUENCE, ACCESSING APPROPRIATE RECORD IN DIRECT ACCESS STORAGE...'

"WE UNDERSTAND THIS TO MEAN THAT THOSE CRITICAL COMPONENTS NECESSARY FOR AN ACCURATE MEASURE OF THRUPUT SPEED (MAIN FRAME,IMMEDIATE ACCESS MASS STORAGE DEVICE, ON-LINE HIGH SPEED PRINTER, ETC.) MUST BE DEMONSTRATED ON EQUIPMENT EQUIVALENT IN SPEED AND CAPACITY AS THAT EQUIPMENT RECOMMENDED IN THE MANUFACTURER'S PROPOSAL. IT IS FURTHER UNDERSTOOD THAT THE ONE EXCEPTION TO THE ABOVE IS THAT THE COMMUNICATION INTERFACE MAY BE SIMULATED.

"THE FOLLOWING REFERENCES APPLY IN RESPONSE TO THE ABOVE.

LTR APC-CH 10462/1 OF 15 DEC 1964: PARA 2.

LTR AP-DLS 10462/1 OF 30 DEC 1964: PARA 3, 4 AND 5.

LTR APA-SML 4440 OF 15 JAN 1965: BENCHMARK PROGRAM LTR APC-MCH 10462/1 OF 29 JAN 1965: QUESTION AND ANSWER NO. 1,

5, 6, 7 AND 11.

LTR APC-DLS 10462/1 OF 17 FEB 1965: QUESTION AND ANSWER NO. 4 AND 10.

LTR APC-MCH 10462/1 OF 2 MAR 1965: QUESTION SET "B" QUESTION

AND ANSWER NO. 12.

SYSTEM SPECIFICATIONS FOR MUMMS REP 001-64:

CHAPTER I PARA 0110, 0114.1, 0114.3, PAGE 01-4

CHAPTER II PARA 0124.5, 0124.12, 0124.16, PAGE 01-9, 01-10, 01-11 CHAPTER III, PART II PARA 2-3, PAGE 01-17" "

THE "EVALUATION CRITERIA" SET FORTH IN PARAGRAPH 0123 OF THE RFP PRESUMABLY CONTEMPLATED THE APPLICATION OF PROCEDURES IN ACCORD WITH DOD DIRECTIVE 4105.55, DATED SEPTEMBER 28, 1963, TITLED ,SELECTION AND ACQUISITION OF AUTOMATIC DATA PROCESSING EQUIPMENT (ADPE).' THE SUBJECT DIRECTIVE PROVIDES IN RELEVANT PART:

"IV. GENERAL POLICIES

"A. IN THE SELECTION OF ADPE, EQUAL OPPORTUNITY AND CONSIDERATION SHALL BE ACCORDED TO ALL MANUFACTURERS WHO OFFER EQUIPMENT CAPABLE OF MEETING THE SYSTEM SPECIFICATIONS.

"V. ADPE SELECTION AND ACQUISITION CRITERIA

"A. SELECTION CRITERIA. ALL OF THE FOLLOWING CRITERIA WILL BE ADHERED TO IN SELECTING ADPE.

"1. SPECIFICATIONS

"A. DATA SYSTEM SPECIFICATIONS WILL BE DESIGNED TO INSURE FULL AND FREE COMPETITION AMONG QUALIFIED EQUIPMENT MANUFACTURERS.

"B. IDENTICAL DATA SYSTEMS SPECIFICATIONS WILL BE FURNISHED ALL QUALIFIED VENDORS.

"3. SELECTION FACTORS

"A. TWO PRIME FACTORS SHALL BE CONSIDERED IN THE SELECTION OF EQUIPMENT.

"/1) ITS CAPABILITY TO FULFILL THE DATA SYSTEM SPECIFICATIONS, AND

"/2) ITS OVER-ALL COSTS * * *.

"B. OTHER FACTORS TO BE CONSIDERED IN DETERMINING THE ADVANTAGES OF A PARTICULAR EQUIPMENT IN SATISFYING DOD NEEDS INCLUDE:

"/1) EXISTENCE OF THE EQUIPMENT IN PRODUCTION MODEL, OR AT LEAST IN AN OPERATIONAL PROTOTYPE:

"/2)RELIABILITY OF THE EQUIPMENT WHERE AVAILABLE THROUGH OPERATING EXPERIENCE AT OTHER INSTALLATIONS (DETERMINATION OF UNRELIABILITY SHOULD BE FACTUALLY SUPPORTED).

"/3) PERFORMANCE OF THE EQUIPMENT WHERE SIMULATED (BENCH MARK) PROBLEMS ARE USED AS AN ADDITIONAL MEANS OF COMPARISON AND EVALUATION; * * *.'

WITH RESPECT TO THE DOD GENERAL POLICY OF AFFORDING EQUAL OPPORTUNITY AND CONSIDERATION TO ALL RESPONSIVE MANUFACTURERS, SECNAV INSTRUCTION P10462.7A, THE SUBJECT OF WHICH IS THE NAVY'S ADPE PROGRAM, CONTAINS THE FOLLOWING STATEMENT IN PARAGRAPH IV C:

"IN THE SELECTION OF ADPE, EQUAL OPPORTUNITY AND CONSIDERATION SHALL BE ACCORDED TO ALL SUPPLIERS WHO OFFER EQUIPMENT CAPABLE OF MEETING THEY SYSTEM SPECIFICATIONS. THIS MEANS THAT ALL QUALIFIED SOURCES OF SUPPLY MUST BE CONSIDERED; AND EQUAL INFORMATION, OPPORTUNITY, AND FACILITIES MUST BE MADE AVAILABLE TO EACH POTENTIAL SUPPLIER. THERE IS NO REQUIREMENT, HOWEVER, TO CONSIDER EQUIPMENT WHICH DOES NOT EXIST IN AT LEAST PROTOTYPE FORM.'

IN ADDITION, IT IS NOTED THAT ASPR 5-102.3 MAKES USE OF THE FSS MANDATORY FOR PURCHASES BY DOD AGENCIES FOR GROUP 72, FCS CLASS 7440, AUTOMATIC DATA PROCESSING SYSTEMS, AND ASPR 1-300.1 PROVIDES THAT "ALL PROCUREMENTS, WHETHER BY FORMAL ADVERTISING OR BY NEGOTIATION, SHALL BE MADE ON A COMPETITIVE BASIS TO THE MAXIMUM PRACTICAL EXTENT.' UNDER THE PRECEPTS RECOGNIZED IN OUR DECISION B-121926, B-122682, DATED MARCH 21 AND APRIL 12, 1955, AND FEBRUARY 7 AND MARCH 12, 1956, A CONTRACT BETWEEN THE GOVERNMENT AND A MANUFACTURER OF ADPE WHICH IS TO A SUBSTANTIAL DEGREE PROPRIETARY OR IN MATERIAL RESPECTS DIFFERENT IN FUNCTION, OPERATION OR DESIGN FROM ADPE OFFERED UNDER SIMILAR CONTRACTS BY OTHER MANUFACTURERS, DOES NOT RIPEN INTO A BINDING OBLIGATION FOR ANY PARTICULAR MACHINE OR SYSTEM OF MACHINES UNTIL THE GOVERNMENT HAS MADE A VALID DETERMINATION OF ITS ACTUAL NEEDS AND HAS ISSUED A PURCHASE ORDER TO THE CONTRACTOR SELECTED TO FILL THOSE NEEDS. UNDER THE GROUND RULES ESTABLISHED BY THE INSTANT RFP AND THE ADMINISTRATIVE POLICIES QUOTED ABOVE, IT IS CLEAR THAT THE SPECIFICATIONS DEFINING THE NEEDS OF THE MARINE CORPS WERE TO BE DRAWN, AND THE SUCCESSFUL CONTRACTOR SELECTED, IN SUCH A MANNER AS TO PRESERVE COMPETITION TO THE MAXIMUM EXTENT POSSIBLE AND TO INSURE THE CONSIDERATION OF COMPETITIVE OFFERS ON AN EQUAL BASIS.

PROPOSALS WERE RECEIVED FROM RCA, IBM, AND UNIVAC. AFTER ANALYSIS OF THE PROPOSALS, A MARINE CORPS SELECTION TEAM CONCLUDED THAT IBM'S PROPOSED MAIN MEMORY AND MASS STORAGE, ON-LINE PROCESSING CAPABILITY, REMOTE DEVICES, AND TOTAL SYSTEM CONCEPT OF SOFTWARE ARE MOST SATISFACTORY FOR MARINE CORPS REQUIREMENTS; THAT IBM'S PROPOSED CONFIGURATION WILL PROCESS THE DAILY REQUIREMENTS IN THE LEAST AMOUNT OF TIME WHEN OVERLAP IS APPLIED; THAT IBM'S PROPOSED SYSTEM WAS SUPERIOR WHEN ANALYZED FOR ABILITY TO OPERATE IN A DEGRADED CONDITION; THAT IBM BEST MEETS THE REQUIREMENT OF THE IMMEDIATE AND LONG RANGE OBJECTIVES; AND THAT UNDER ANY COSTING PLAN CONSIDERING ALL COST FACTORS, THE IBM COST WILL BE LESS THAN THAT OF UNIVAC. THE MARINE CORPS' RECOMMENDATION THAT THE AWARD BE MADE TO IBM WAS APPROVED BY A SPECIAL ASSISTANT TO THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY, AND SUPPLY ORDERS WERE ISSUED TO IBM ON JUNE 11, 1965.

YOU ALLEGE THAT COMPETITION WAS CURTAILED AND OFFERORS WERE NOT ABLE TO COMPETE ON AN EQUAL BASIS. SPECIFICALLY, YOU SAY THAT IBM COULD NOT HAVE CONDUCTED ITS BENCHMARK DEMONSTRATIONS ON AN ADPE CONFIGURATION WITH SPEED AND CAPACITY IDENTICAL TO THAT PROPOSED, AS REQUIRED BY THE DECEMBER 30 LETTER, BECAUSE THE DATA CELL DRIVE/2321 PROPOSED BY IBM AS THE PRIMARY MEMORY STORAGE DEVICE FOR ITS SYSTEM/360 WAS NOT INTEGRATED INTO OR OPERATIONAL WITH THAT SYSTEM AT THE TIME OF THE BENCHMARK. FURTHERMORE, YOU CONTEND THAT THE MARINE CORPS LETTER OF MARCH 30 CONSTITUTED A REJECTION OF ANY RELAXATION OF THE "IDENTICAL SPEED AND CAPACITY" STATEMENT TO "EQUIVALENT IN SPEED AND CAPACITY.' IN ADDITION, YOU SAY IBM DID NOT HAVE "ALL OPERATIONAL SOFTWARE" ON APRIL 1, 1965, A REQUIREMENT YOU CONTEND WAS ESTABLISHED BY THE MARINE CORPS LETTER OF JANUARY 29, 1965.

YOU MAINTAIN THAT THE EQUIPMENT A VENDOR CHOSE TO PROPOSE WAS MATERIALLY AFFECTED BY THE FACT THAT SUCH EQUIPMENT HAD TO BE AVAILABLE, AND THAT DEMONSTRATION OF IT WAS REQUIRED. YOU CONCLUDE THAT UNIVAC HAS BEEN PREJUDICED BECAUSE THE REQUIREMENT THAT OFFERORS DEMONSTRATE ON AVAILABLE OPERATING EQUIPMENT IDENTICAL IN SPEED AND CAPACITY TO THAT WHICH IT PROPOSED TO FURNISH PRECLUDED UNIVAC FROM OFFERING COMPONENTS OF ITS 490 SERIES OF SYSTEMS, WHICH SERIES WAS FORMALLY ANNOUNCED BUT NOT OPERATIONAL AT THE TIME OF THE BENCHMARK. AT THE SAME TIME, YOU ALLEGE THAT UNIVAC WOULD HAVE HAD A PROTOTYPE OF THE 490 SYSTEM BY APRIL 1, AS ALSO REQUIRED IN THE DECEMBER 30 LETTER, BUT THAT SUCH PROTOTYPE COULD NOT HAVE SUCCESSFULLY COMPLETED THE BENCHMARK, AND THEREFORE ITS DEVELOPMENT WAS NOT UNDERTAKEN IN VIEW OF THE MANDATORY REQUIREMENT FOR A BENCHMARK DEMONSTRATION OF IDENTICAL EQUIPMENT.

WITH RESPECT TO THE PURPOSE OF REQUIRING A BENCHMARK DEMONSTRATION, THE MARINE CORPS REPORTS THAT THE DEMONSTRATION:

"* * * WAS NOT DESIGNED TO FULLY TEST ANY VENDOR'S CAPABILITY FOR PROCESSING GREAT VOLUMES OF MATERIAL OR THE FULL-BLOWN MUMMS SYSTEM. WHAT THE MARINE CORPS DESIRED FROM THE BENCHMARK WAS AN ASSURANCE THAT HARDWARE DID IN FACT EXIST (AT LEAST IN PROTOTYPE FORM); THAT SOFTWARE WAS AVAILABLE TO DRIVE THE HARDWARE; TO PROGRAM A NEW PROBLEM VICE (SIC., INSTEAD OF) A PREVIOUSLY CANNED PROGRAM; TO INDICATE THE VENDOR'S SYSTEMS AND PROGRAMMERS SUPPORT; AND TO DEMONSTRATE THAT VENDORS WERE SUFFICIENTLY INTERESTED TO PROVIDE A DEMONSTRATION ...

"* * * IBM'S CONFIGURATION MET THE REQUIREMENT OF "IDENTICAL SPEED AND CAPACITY" AND TO "BLOCK OUT EXCESS CAPACITY AND SPEED.' THE CONFIGURATION DEMONSTRATED THAT SOFTWARE WAS AVAILABLE TO DRIVE THE HARDWARE ...

"* * * THE MARINE CORPS DID NOT REQUIRE DEMONSTRATIONS HERE IN WASHINGTON OR ON IDENTICAL EQUIPMENT BUT ALLOWED EACH VENDOR TO SELECT HIS OWN SITE AND TO USE THE EQUIPMENT HE HAD AVAILABLE AND WHICH HE HAD PROPOSED. VENDOR COULD EASILY HAVE EQUIPMENT OF HIGHER SPEED AND/OR GREATER CAPACITY ON WHICH THE BENCHMARK COULD BE DEMONSTRATED. TO PRECLUDE AN UNFAIR ADVANTAGE IN THIS REGARD THE RESTRICTION OF IDENTICAL SPEED AND CAPACITY WAS PLACED ON VENDORS. OBVIOUSLY, A DEMONSTRATION ON SLOWER SPEED AND/OR LESSER CAPACITY EQUIPMENT WOULD BE DETRIMENTAL TO THE VENDOR ...

"* * * IN ADDITION, TO THE BENCHMARK DEMONSTRATION, OTHER DEMONSTRATIONS WERE PROVIDED BY THE IBM AND UNIVAC. ONE OF THE IBM DEMONSTRATIONS WAS THE "DATA CELL DRIVE.' THIS WAS HERE IN WASHINGTON ON 9 APRIL 1965 AND WAS WITNESSED BY 16 OR 19 OF THE SELECTION COMMITTEE MEMBERS. IN ADDITION IBM INVITED THE MARINE CORPS TO A DEMONSTRATION OF THE "DATA CELL DRIVE" IN SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA DURING THE PERIOD 12-23 APRIL 1965 BUT THE MARINE CORPS DECLINED DUE TO BUDGETARY AND TIME RESTRICTIONS. SUBSEQUENT INQUIRY WITH OMI REVEALED THEY HAD WITNESSED THE SAN JOSE DEMONSTRATION AND THAT THE MARINE CORPS VIEWING OF THIS WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN NECESSARY IN THAT THE ,DATA CELL DRIVE" WORKED AS DESCRIBED.'

IBM SAYS THAT IT PROPOSED FOUR DIFFERENT ADPE CONFIGURATIONS FOR THE FIVE MAJOR INSTALLATION POINTS, AND THAT ALL FIVE POINTS WOULD USE A CONFIGURATION EMPLOYING ITS 2311 DISK, A DIRECT ACCESS STORAGE DEVICE, WHILE ONLY THREE WOULD ALSO EMPLOY THE 2321 DATA CELL DRIVE, ANOTHER DIRECT ACCESS STORAGE DEVICE WHICH WE UNDERSTAND IS SLOWER BUT HAS A GREATER CAPACITY THAN A DISK DEVICE. IBM CONCEDES THAT IT DID NOT USE THE 2321 DATA CELL DRIVE FOR THE BENCHMARK DEMONSTRATION OF ITS SYSTEM/360, BUT SAYS IT RELIED UPON THE 2311 DISK DEVICE BECAUSE THE GREATER CAPACITY OF THE 2321 WAS UNNECESSARY TO SUCCESSFULLY COMPLETE THE BENCHMARK. HOWEVER, IBM DOES NOT DENY THAT IT HAD NO AVAILABLE SYSTEM/360 EMPLOYING THE 2321 DATA CELL WHICH COULD HAVE BEEN DEMONSTRATED AS AN INTEGRATED UNIT.

WE ARE ADVISED THAT IBM BLOCKED OUT THE SPEED OF THE 2311 DISK BY MEANS OF A CARD READER SO THAT THE DEMONSTRATION HARDWARE NOT ONLY HAD LESS CAPACITY THAN THE SYSTEM PROPOSED FOR STORING THE MASTER INVENTORY FILE, SINCE THE DEMONSTRATION GEAR FUNCTIONED WITHOUT BENEFIT OF THE DATA CELL, BUT ALSO OPERATED AT A SLOWER SPEED THAN THE SYSTEM IBM PROPOSED TO DELIVER.

IN RESPONSE TO IBM'S POSITION, YOU STATE THAT IBM PROPOSES TO USE THE 2311 DISK IN ITS SYSTEM/360 PRIMARILY IN THREE OF THE MAJOR INSTALLATIONS AS AN INDEX TO GAIN ACCESS TO THE MASTER DATA FILE, WHICH IS TO BE STORED ON THE 2321 DATA CELL. YOU ARGUE THAT SINCE THE PURPOSE OF THE BENCHMARK WAS TO TEST THE OPERATION OF THE SYSTEM PROPOSED FOR USE AT THE INVENTORY CONTROL POINT (ICP) TO HOUSE THE MASTER INVENTORY FILE, USE OF A CONFIGURATION EMPLOYING ONLY THE 2311 DISK STORAGE DEVICE WAS IMPROPER BECAUSE, ALTHOUGH SUCH CONFIGURATION MAY BE IDENTICAL TO ONE IBM PROPOSES FOR USE AT OTHER THAN THE ICP, IT IS NOT IDENTICAL TO THE ONE PROPOSED FOR THE ICP. FURTHERMORE, YOU ASSERT THAT WHILE THE RFP PERMITTED QUANTITATIVE "BLOCK OUT" OF EXCESS MEMORY STORAGE DEVICES FOR THE MASTER INVENTORY FILE, SUCH AS BLOCKING OUT TWO OF THE THREE FASTRAND DRUMS UNIVAC PROPOSED FOR THAT FUNCTION, IT DID NOT PERMIT AN OFFEROR TO TOTALLY ELIMINATE THE TYPE OF MEMORY DEVICE HE PROPOSED FOR STORING THE MASTER INVENTORY FILE, AND TO USE INSTEAD A DIFFERENT MEMORY DEVICE WHICH, IN THE DELIVERED SYSTEM, WOULD SERVE SOME FUNCTION OTHER THAN STORING THE MASTER INVENTORY FILE.

BEFORE DISCUSSING THE CONFLICTING POSITIONS STATED ABOVE, IT SHOULD BE NOTED THAT UNDER THE LITERAL REQUIREMENT OF THE DECEMBER 30 LETTER, "BLOCK OUT" APPARENTLY REFERRED ONLY TO REDUCING MEMORY CAPACITY WHICH WAS EXCESS TO THE IDENTICAL CAPACITY OF THE PROPOSED CONFIGURATION. HOWEVER, IN OUR VIEW, ONE CANNOT REASONABLY CONCLUDE FROM THE DECEMBER 30 LETTER, OR FROM THE MARCH 30 LETTER, WHICH YOU REGARD AS EVIDENCE THAT THE MARINE CORPS REJECTED A SUGGESTION THAT THE WORD "EQUIVALENT" BE SUBSTITUTED FOR THE WORD "IDENTICAL," THAT THE MARINE CORPS INTENDED TO ADVISE OFFERORS THEY COULD NOT BLOCK OUT SUCH HARDWARE TO A DEGREE THAT IT ACTUALLY HAD LESS SPEED AND CAPACITY THAN THE GEAR PROPOSED FOR DELIVERY.

THE INQUIRY TO WHICH THE MARCH 30 LETTER RESPONDED PARAPHRASED THE ACTUAL LANGUAGE OF THE SUBSTANTIVE REQUIREMENTS OF THE RFP WITHOUT INDICATING WHETHER ANY MATERIAL CHANGES WERE INTENDED, AND IT WAS SUBMITTED ONLY A FEW DAYS PRIOR TO THE APRIL 1 CLOSING DATE FOR RECEIPT OF PROPOSALS. APPEARS THAT RATHER THAN TAKE THE CHANCE OF INADVERTENTLY SANCTIONING CHANGES OF SUBSTANCE, THE MARINE CORPS ANSWERED THE INQUIRY AS PROVIDED FOR IN PARAGRAPH 0106 OF THE RFP BY MERELY FURNISHING AN APPARENTLY EXHAUSTIVE LIST OF EARLIER ANSWERS, LETTERS AND DOCUMENTS, WHICH MAY HAVE HAD SOME RELATION TO THE BENCHMARK. IT DOES NOT APPEAR TO US THAT THE MARINE CORPS WAS ATTEMPTING TO CLARIFY THE RFP IN SUCH A MANNER AS TO PROHIBIT OFFERORS FROM PERFORMING THE BENCHMARK WITH ONLY SO MUCH EQUIPMENT AS WAS NECESSARY TO MEET THE DEMANDS OF THAT BENCHMARK. ASSUME YOU DO NOT DISAGREE WITH THIS GENERAL CONCLUSION, SINCE IT APPEARS FROM THE RECORD THAT UNIVAC REDUCED THE UNNEEDED CAPACITY OF ITS DEMONSTRATION HARDWARE BY BLOCKING OUT TWO OF ITS THREE FASTRAND MEMORY DEVICES AND, THEREFORE, LIKE IBM AT LEAST IN THIS RESPECT, DEMONSTRATED EQUIPMENT WHICH ACTUALLY HAD LESS RATHER THAN IDENTICAL CAPACITY TO THE CONFIGURATION PROPOSED TO HANDLE THE MASTER INVENTORY FILE. THE FIRST POINT AT ISSUE THEREFORE APPEARS TO BE WHETHER THE MARINE CORPS IS CORRECT IN CONCLUDING THAT THE IBM DEMONSTRATION DESCRIBED ABOVE SATISFIED THAT REQUIREMENT IN THE DECEMBER 30 LETTER, THE INTENTION OF WHICH WAS TO ADVISE OFFERORS THAT THEY MUST DEMONSTRATE ON A CONFIGURATION OF NO GREATER SPEED AND CAPACITY THAN THAT PROPOSED, AND ACCORDINGLY MUST REDUCE THE SPEED OR CAPACITY OF DEMONSTRATION HARDWARE WHICH EXCEEDED THE PERFORMANCE OF THE PROPOSED SYSTEM IN THESE RESPECTS. AS INDICATED ABOVE, THE RECORD SHOWS THAT SINCE THE BENCHMARK PROBLEMS WOULD REQUIRE ONLY ABOUT 30 PERCENT OF THE STORAGE CAPACITY ULTIMATELY NEEDED, BOTH UNIVAC'S AND IBM'S DEMONSTRATION HARDWARE OPERATED AT LESS THAN THE FULL LEVEL OF PERFORMANCE OF THEIR PROPOSED SYSTEMS. YOU URGE THAT THIS "BLOCK OUT" PROCEDURE IS IN ACCORD WITH THE RFP ONLY SO LONG AS IT INVOLVES WHAT YOU CHARACTERIZE AS "QUANTITATIVE" ELIMINATIONS RATHER THAN "QUALITATIVE" SUBSTITUTIONS. THIS VIEW WAS FIRST EXPOUNDED AT A TIME WHEN YOU APPARENTLY ASSUMED THAT IBM HAD COMPLETED THE BENCHMARK BY USING AN IBM 1300 DISK STORAGE DEVICE WHICH IBM APPARENTLY DOES NOT PROPOSE TO USE IN ITS DELIVERED SYSTEM FOR THE MUMMS PROCUREMENT. IT NOW DEVELOPS THAT IBM PERFORMED THE BENCHMARK BY ELIMINATING ONE OF THE TWO DIRECT ACCESS STORAGE DEVICES IT PROPOSED TO SUPPLY, AND USING THE REMAINING DEVICE FOR FUNCTIONS IT WOULD NOT SERVE IN ACTUAL OPERATION WITH THE FULL MASTER INVENTORY FILE.

WITH THIS BACKGROUND, WE NOW CONSIDER YOUR POSITION THAT UNIVAC WAS PREJUDICED BY THE MARINE CORPS' FAILURE TO ENFORCE THE REQUIREMENT THAT IT PERFORM THE BENCHMARK ON AVAILABLE EQUIPMENT WHICH WAS IDENTICAL TO THAT WHICH IT PROPOSED TO DELIVER. IT APPEARS FROM THE SPECIFICATIONS AND AMENDMENTS THERETO, AS SET OUT ABOVE, THAT THE EQUIPMENT CHOSEN TO CONSTITUTE THE PROPOSED CONFIGURATIONS HAD TO BE IMMEDIATELY "AVAILABLE" ONLY IN THE SENSE OF HAVING BEEN DULY CERTIFIED WITH THE GSA SCHEDULE PRIOR TO APRIL 1, 1965, AND EXIST IN AT LEAST PROTOTYPE FORM. THE RECORD INDICATES THAT IBM MET THESE REQUIREMENTS. ADDITIONALLY, OFFERORS WERE NOT REQUIRED TO DEMONSTRATE ON AN AVAILABLE CONFIGURATION IDENTICAL TO THAT PROPOSED, BUT ON DEMONSTRATION HARDWARE WHICH WAS NO FASTER AND HAD NO GREATER CAPACITY THAN THE SYSTEM PROPOSED FOR DELIVERY. IBM MET THIS REQUIREMENT BY A TECHNIQUE WHICH WAS ACCEPTABLE TO THE MARINE CORPS AND COMPATIBLE WITH THE "BLOCK OUTS" CONTEMPLATED BY THE RFP, WHICH NOWHERE PRECLUDED AN OFFEROR FROM ELIMINATING FROM THE DEMONSTRATION HARDWARE ONE OF ITS TWO PROPOSED MEMORY STORAGE DEVICES.

WHILE THE LANGUAGE OF THE DECEMBER 30 LETTER SPOKE OF "BLOCK OUT" ONLY WITH RESPECT TO EXCESS CAPACITY, IT APPEARS THAT A BLOCK OUT OF SPEED IN EXCESS OF THE PROPOSED CONFIGURATION WAS CERTAINLY CONSISTENT WITH THE CLEAR INTENTION OF THE MARINE CORPS TO PROHIBIT BENCHMARK DEMONSTRATIONS ON HARDWARE WHICH WAS FASTER THAN SUCH CONFIGURATION. WE HAVE ALREADY INDICATED THAT THERE WAS NO OBJECTION TO EMPLOYING THE BLOCK OUT TECHNIQUE SO THAT THE BENCHMARK HARDWARE MAINTAINED ONLY SUCH A LEVEL OF PERFORMANCE AS WAS NECESSARY TO MEET THE LIMITED DEMANDS OF THE BENCHMARK DEMONSTRATION. FURTHERMORE, IT WOULD APPEAR THAT A BLOCK OUT OF EXCESS SPEED COULD HAVE WORKED TO THE DISADVANTAGE ONLY OF THE OFFEROR USING SUCH BLOCK OUT, SINCE HARDWARE INFERIOR TO THE CONFIGURATION IT PROPOSED TO SUPPLY WAS LESS LIKELY TO SUCCESSFULLY COMPLETE THE BENCHMARK.

WE ARE ALSO AWARE THAT WHILE THE LANGUAGE OF THE DECEMBER 30 LETTER DID NOT PROHIBIT OFFERORS FROM BLOCKING OUT DEMONSTRATION HARDWARE CAPACITY OR SPEED IN EXCESS OF THAT NEEDED TO PERFORM THE BENCHMARK DEMONSTRATION, AND REQUIRED THEM TO BLOCK OUT CAPACITY IN EXCESS OF THE PROPOSED CONFIGURATION, IT NONETHELESS LITERALLY REQUIRED THE DEMONSTRATION HARDWARE TO HAVE A SPEED AND CAPACITY IDENTICAL TO THE PROPOSED CONFIGURATION, EVEN THOUGH THE MAXIMUM SPEED AND CAPACITY WOULD BE NEITHER NEEDED NOR USED FOR THE BENCHMARK DEMONSTRATION. HOWEVER, IT APPEARS THAT IF IBM HAD HAD THE 2321 DATA CELL IN ITS DEMONSTRATED CONFIGURATION, IT COULD HAVE BLOCKED OUT THE DATA CELL SO THAT THE ACTUAL CAPACITY OF THE PROPOSED CONFIGURATION NEED NEVER HAVE BEEN DEMONSTRATED. MOREOVER, NOTHING IN THE DOCUMENTS MAKING UP THE RFP EXPRESSLY REQUIRES AN IDENTITY BETWEEN THE DEMONSTRATION HARDWARE AND THE CONFIGURATION PROPOSED FOR THE MASTER INVENTORY FILE. IBM DID DEMONSTRATE A CONFIGURATION WHICH WAS IDENTICAL IN SPEED AND CAPACITY TO ONE OF THE MINOR CONFIGURATIONS IT PROPOSED TO SUPPLY (ALTHOUGH THE MAXIMUM SPEED OF THE CONFIGURATION WAS BLOCKED OUT WHEN THE DEMONSTRATION WAS ACTUALLY PERFORMED). WHILE THIS DEMONSTRATION MET THE LITERAL REQUIREMENT OF THE RFP, WE RECOGNIZE THAT THE MARINE CORPS WAS NOT INTERESTED IN TESTING A "MINOR" CONFIGURATION AS SUCH, AND WOULD REGARD AS PURE COINCIDENCE THE APPARENT FACT THAT IBM'S DEMONSTRATION HARDWARE COULD BE CONSIDERED BOTH AS A BLOCKED OUT VERSION OF THE CONFIGURATION PROPOSED FOR STORING THE MASTER INVENTORY FILE, AS WELL AS A SUBSTANTIALLY IDENTICAL VERSION OF A CONFIGURATION PROPOSED FOR OTHER PURPOSES. JUST AS THE MARINE CORPS WOULD ACCORD NO SIGNIFICANCE TO THE LITERAL FACT THAT IBM DEMONSTRATED A MINOR CONFIGURATION "IDENTICAL" TO ONE OF THOSE IT PROPOSED TO DELIVER, WE ARE DISPOSED TO ACCORD NO SIGNIFICANCE TO THE FACT THAT, TAKEN LITERALLY, THE DECEMBER 30 LETTER REQUIRED OFFERORS TO PERFORM THE BENCHMARK DEMONSTRATION WITH A COMPLETE CONFIGURATION, NOTWITHSTANDING THEIR FREEDOM TO MAKE ONLY PARTIAL USE OF SUCH COMPLETE CONFIGURATION IN SUCCESSFULLY RUNNING THE BENCHMARK. THEREFORE, WE FIND NO VALID BASIS FOR OBJECTION TO AN OFFEROR PERFORMING THE DEMONSTRATION WITH A CONFIGURATION WHICH DID NOT INCLUDE A COMPONENT WHICH THE OFFEROR COULD HAVE BLOCKED OUT IN ANY EVENT.

YOU ALSO CONTEND THAT IBM DID NOT MEET ALL PREREQUISITES NECESSARY FOR CONSIDERATION OF ITS OFFER BECAUSE IT FAILED TO COMPLY WITH AN ADDENDUM REQUIREMENT ESTABLISHED BY THE MARINE CORPS JANUARY 29 LETTER ANSWERING QUESTIONS SUBMITTED BY UNIVAC. YOU POINT OUT THAT THE FIRST QUESTION ASKED AND THE ANSWER GIVEN BY THE MARINE CORPS WAS:

"WHAT IS THE LAST DATE ON WHICH THE VENDOR WILL BE ALLOWED TO DEMONSTRATE THE PRESCRIBED BENCHMARK?

"DEMONSTRATIONS WILL BE REQUIRED BETWEEN 12-23 APRIL 1965.'

YOU THEN EMPHASIZE THAT UNIVAC RECEIVED AN UNEQUIVOCAL "YES" ANSWER TO THE FOLLOWING QUESTION RELATED TO SOFTWARE AVAILABILITY:

"IN ADDITION TO A SYSTEM THAT HAS BEEN FORMALLY ANNOUNCED AND IN AT LEAST THE PROTOTYPE STAGE, DO YOU FURTHER REQUIRE THAT ALL OPERATIONAL SOFTWARE BE AVAILABLE FOR THIS SYSTEM ON 1 APRIL 1965?

NEITHER THE MARINE CORPS NOR IBM DENY YOUR ASSERTION THAT ON APRIL 1 IBM DID NOT HAVE THE MANDATORY SOFTWARE SET FORTH IN PARAGRAPH 0124/12) OF THE RFP, OR ALL OF ITS OTHER SOFTWARE NECESSARY TO OPERATE THE CONFIGURATION PROPOSED FOR STORAGE OF THE MASTER INVENTORY FILE. HOWEVER, THEY TAKE THE POSITION THAT THE ONLY REQUIREMENT ESTABLISHED BY THE ANSWER TO THE ABOVE QUESTION WAS THAT OFFERORS HAVE AVAILABLE ALL SOFTWARE NECESSARY FOR THE OPERATIONS CONTEMPLATED ON APRIL 1, I.E., THE BENCHMARK DEMONSTRATION, SCHEDULED FOR APRIL 12-23. WE ARE INFORMALLY ADVISED BY THE MARINE CORPS THAT THE ONLY SOFTWARE IBM NEEDED TO PERFORM THE BENCHMARK WAS THE ASSEMBLY LANGUAGE, AND CERTAIN SUBROUTINES SUCH AS THE INPUT-OUTPUT HANDLER. IN ADDITION, THE MARINE CORPS ASSERTS THAT ANY OTHER INTERPRETATION WOULD BE UNREASONABLE SINCE SOFTWARE COULD NOT BE FULLY OPERABLE UNTIL THE SYSTEM HAD BEEN INSTALLED AND A DETAILED ANALYSIS OF THE USER'S PROBLEMS HAD BEEN MADE.

YOUR CONTENTION THAT THE MARINE CORPS' INTERPRETATION OF "OPERATIONAL SOFTWARE" ROBS THE PHRASE OF ANY SUBSTANTIAL MEANING IS WELL TAKEN, SINCE THE REQUIREMENT FOR SOLVING THE BENCHMARK PROBLEMS NECESSARILY IMPLIED THAT OFFERORS WOULD HAVE ALL SOFTWARE NEEDED TO SUCCESSFULLY OPERATE THE BENCHMARK HARDWARE. AT THE SAME TIME, ONE MUST ALSO RECOGNIZE THAT THE READER OF UNIVAC'S QUESTION MAY HAVE ASSUMED THAT ITS OFFER HAD ASKED A QUESTION THE ANSWER TO WHICH OBVIOUSLY WARRANTED NO MORE THAN A SIMPLE "YES; " I.E., YES, AN OFFEROR NECESSARILY WOULD HAVE TO HAVE ALL SOFTWARE NECESSARY TO SUCCESSFULLY OPERATE ITS BENCHMARK HARDWARE.

IN OUR VIEW, THERE IS MUCH TO SUPPORT THE POSITION THAT, IN LIGHT OF OTHER PROVISIONS IN THE RFP AND IN AMENDMENTS THERETO, THE WORD "OPERATIONAL" SHOULD NOT BE CONSTRUED SO AS TO CREATE A REQUIREMENT THAT SOFTWARE IN ADDITION TO THAT NEEDED TO OPERATE THE BENCHMARK BE AVAILABLE ON APRIL 1. IN THE FIRST PLACE, PARAGRAPH 0124/5/B OF THE RFP DOES NOT REQUIRE THE EQUIPMENT TO BE ,OPERATIONAL" BEFORE FEBRUARY 1966, THE FIRST INSTALLATION DATE, AND ON PAGE 01-17 OF THE RFP, OFFERORS ARE ASKED TO LIST "SOFTWARE PACKAGES AVAILABLE OR TO BE AVAILABLE AT INSTALLATION TIME FOR USE ON THE PROPOSED CONFIGURATIONS. DESCRIBE THE FUNCTION OF EACH PACKAGE, ... AND FURNISH REPRESENTATIVE OPERATIONAL TIMES. INCLUDE SUCH PACKAGES AS ASSEMBLY LANGUAGES, COMPILERS, EXECUTIVE AND MONITORING PROGRAMS ...' THESE REQUIREMENTS WERE NEVER AMENDED OR CLARIFIED, AND THEY ARE AT BEST DIFFICULT TO RECONCILE WITH YOUR POSITION THAT "ALL OPERATIONAL SOFTWARE" WAS REQUIRED TO BE AVAILABLE BY APRIL 1.

MOREOVER, THE PHRASE "OPERATIONAL SOFTWARE" APPARENTLY HAS NO UNIVERSALLY UNDERSTOOD MEANING. FOR EXAMPLE, UNIVAC ASSERTS THAT TWO SOFTWARE ROUTINES IT PROPOSED TO FURNISH, BECAUSE REQUESTED BY THE MARINE CORPS AFTER THE BENCHMARK DEMONSTRATION, WERE NOT "OPERATIONAL," BUT WERE ONLY ,ADDITIONAL" OR "NICE TO HAVE.' ONE SUCH ROUTINE, REFERRED TO IN A UNIVAC LETTER OF JUNE 7, 1965, TO THE MARINE CORPS, AS THE "BINARY PACK AND UNPACK," WAS GUARANTEED TO WORK "EXACTLY AS STATED AND WITH THE PERCENTAGES OF RANDOM STORAGE SAVED. (45 PERCENT).' ALTHOUGH YOU REGARD THE BINARY PACK AND UNPACK AS "NICE TO HAVE," THE MUMMS STAFF STUDY REPORT DATED MAY 14, 1965, INDICATES THAT "THE MARGINAL AMOUNT OF MASS STORAGE (HARDWARE) UNIVAC PROPOSED MAKES IT MANDATORY THAT THE MARINE CORPS USE A PACKING/EXPANSION ROUTINE (SOFTWARE). UNIVAC HAS INDICATED THE DESIRE AND ABILITY TO WRITE AND TO FURNISH A SOFTWARE ROUTINE TO PACK/EXPAND DATA TO/FROM MASS STORAGE. IBM AND RCA HAVE PROPOSED SUFFICIENT MASS STORAGE TO PRECLUDE SUCH REQUIREMENT WITH THEIR EQUIPMENT.'

YOU STATE THAT SINCE THESE "ADDITIONAL" SOFTWARE ROUTINES WERE NOT REQUESTED BY THE MARINE CORPS UNTIL LATE APRIL, THEY COULD NOT BE SAID TO FALL WITHIN THE APRIL 1 AVAILABILITY REQUIREMENT. HOWEVER, THIS ASSUMES THE EXISTENCE OF AN APRIL 1 AVAILABILITY REQUIREMENT FOR SOFTWARE "ADDITIONAL" TO THAT NECESSARY TO RUN THE BENCHMARK HARDWARE IN APRIL, AND FURTHER ASSUMES THAT UNIVAC'S PHRASE OF "ALL OPERATIONAL SOFTWARE" DID NOT INCLUDE THE "NICE TO HAVE" OR ,ADDITIONAL" SOFTWARE WHICH THE MARINE CORPS STAFF STUDY REGARDED AS "MANDATORY.' SINCE UNIVAC DID NOT AT THE TIME IT FIRST USED THE TERM "OPERATIONAL SOFTWARE" EXPLICITLY DEFINE WHAT THE PHRASE WAS INTENDED TO MEAN, WE FIND IT VERY DIFFICULT AT THIS POINT TO SAY WHICH SOFTWARE, OTHER THAN WHATEVER SOFTWARE ROUTINES WERE NECESSARY TO OPERATE THE DEMONSTRATION HARDWARE FOR THE BENCHMARK, CLEARLY MAY BE CONSIDERED "OPERATIONAL.'

PARAGRAPH 0124/12) OF THE RFP LISTS SORT/MERGE, EXECUTIVE AND COBOL ROUTINES AS "MANDATORY" SOFTWARE. YOU SAY THAT THE TERM "OPERATIONAL SOFTWARE" AT LEAST ENCOMPASSED THESE ROUTINES, AND THEREFORE, THAT THEY HAD TO BE AVAILABLE ON APRIL 1. HOWEVER, IT IS SIGNIFICANT THAT WHILE THE PROPOSED EQUIPMENT MUST COMPILE AND OPERATE COBOL, CENTRALIZED PROGRAMMING MAY NOT RESULT FROM COBOL STATEMENTS, AND APPARENTLY THE COBOL REQUIREMENT WAS INCLUDED NOT BECAUSE IT WOULD NECESSARILY BE USED IN THE OPERATION OF THE MUMMS PROGRAM, BUT BECAUSE INCLUSION OF COBOL IS REQUIRED BY DOD DIRECTIVE.

IN OUR VIEW, YOUR CONTENTION THAT THE RFP REQUIRED THESE THREE "MANDATORY" AND ALLEGEDLY ,OPERATIONAL" SOFTWARE ROUTINES TO BE AVAILABLE ON APRIL 1, 1965, RATHER THAN IN FEBRUARY OF 1966, WOULD BE MORE PERSUASIVE IF SUCH ROUTINES WERE ESSENTIAL TO OPERATING THE DEMONSTRATION HARDWARE IN RUNNING THE BENCHMARK. HOWEVER, IT APPEARS THAT THE BENCHMARK PROBLEMS WERE SO DESIGNED THAT SORT/MERGE AND EXECUTIVE ROUTINES COULD NOT BE EMPLOYED. FURTHERMORE, THE ORIGINAL REQUIREMENT THAT THE BENCHMARK PROBLEM BE PROGRAMMED IN COBOL SOFTWARE WAS DELETED BY THE MARINE CORPS IN ITS LETTER OF FEBRUARY 17, 1965, ISSUED SHORTLY AFTER IT HAD AFFIRMATIVELY ANSWERED UNIVAC'S QUESTION CONCERNING THE AVAILABILITY OF "OPERATIONAL SOFTWARE" ON APRIL 1. THUS, IT APPEARS THAT BY URGING US TO ADOPT YOUR INTERPRETATION OF "OPERATIONAL," YOU SEEK TO ESTABLISH FOR THE MARINE CORPS ON APRIL 1 AVAILABILITY REQUIREMENT OF SOFTWARE WHICH WAS UNNEEDED FOR ANY PURPOSE STATED IN THE RFP UNTIL AFTER THE INSTALLATION DATE OF FEBRUARY 1966. WE ARE UNABLE TO ACCEPT SUCH INTERPRETATION, AND MUST THEREFORE AGREE WITH THE MARINE CORPS THAT THE ONLY SOFTWARE REQUIRED BY THE RFP TO BE AVAILABLE ON APRIL 1 WAS THAT WHICH WAS NECESSARY TO DRIVE THE OFFEROR'S BENCHMARK DEMONSTRATION HARDWARE.

FOR THE FOREGOING REASONS, WE MUST CONCLUDE THAT THE RECORD FAILS TO SUPPORT YOUR CONTENTION THAT IBM'S PROPOSAL DID NOT CONFORM TO THE MANDATORY REQUIREMENTS OF THE RFP. WHILE UNIVAC'S APPARENT MISINTERPRETATION OF THE RFP REQUIREMENTS, AND ANY RESULTING FAILURE ON ITS PART TO SUBMIT A PROPOSAL OFFERING A BETTER OR MORE ECONOMICAL SYSTEM, IS REGRETTABLE, WE SEE NO BASIS UPON WHICH TO CONCLUDE THAT THE PROCEDURES FOLLOWED BY THE PROCURING ACTIVITY AFFORD ANY SUFFICIENT GROUND TO QUESTION THE VALIDITY OF THE CONTRACT AWARDED TO IBM. ACCORDINGLY, YOUR PROTEST IS DENIED.