B-157174, SEP. 8, 1965

B-157174: Sep 8, 1965

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INC.: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR TELEGRAM OF JULY 5. THE BASIS OF YOUR PROTEST IS THAT THE SPECIFICATIONS ARE RESTRICTIVE IN THAT THEY LIMIT THE PROCUREMENT TO A SINGLE ITEM OF MANUFACTURE PROPRIETARY TO ONLY ONE COMPANY. THE INFORMATION OF RECORD DISCLOSES THAT YOUR PROTEST INITIALLY WAS PRESENTED TO THE PROCURING AGENCY BY LETTER DATED JUNE 17. THE CONTRACTING OFFICER ADVISED YOU THAT INFORMATION WAS AVAILABLE WHEN THE IFB WAS ISSUED "WHICH CLEARLY INDICATED THAT RECORDING OSCILLOGRAPHS CAN BE MANUFACTURED WITH FIFTY-TWO CHANNELS AND THAT THE MANUFACTURING PROCESSES AND CAPABILITIES NECESSARY ARE NOT RESTRICTIVE OR PROPRIETARY TO ANY ONE COMPANY.'. THAT HE HAD DETERMINED UPON REVIEW OF THE MATTER THAT THE PROCUREMENT BY FORMAL ADVERTISING WAS PROPER AND THAT AN AWARD HAD BEEN MADE TO THE LOW RESPONSIVE AND RESPONSIBLE BIDDER.

B-157174, SEP. 8, 1965

TO MIDWESTERN INSTRUMENTS, INC.:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR TELEGRAM OF JULY 5, 1965, PROTESTING AGAINST THE AWARD OF A CONTRACT UNDER ADVERTISED INVITATION FOR BIDS IFB NO. 178-95-65 ISSUED BY THE NAVAL WEAPONS LABORATORY, DAHLGREN, VIRGINIA, FOR FURNISHING A RECORDING OSCILLOGRAPH SYSTEM HAVING FIFTY-TWO CHANNELS. THE BASIS OF YOUR PROTEST IS THAT THE SPECIFICATIONS ARE RESTRICTIVE IN THAT THEY LIMIT THE PROCUREMENT TO A SINGLE ITEM OF MANUFACTURE PROPRIETARY TO ONLY ONE COMPANY.

THE INFORMATION OF RECORD DISCLOSES THAT YOUR PROTEST INITIALLY WAS PRESENTED TO THE PROCURING AGENCY BY LETTER DATED JUNE 17, 1965. IN THIS LETTER YOU REQUESTED THAT THE SPECIFICATIONS "BE AMENDED TO READ 50 DATA CHANNELS" OR, IN THE ALTERNATIVE, THAT THE IFB BE CANCELLED AND THE REQUIREMENT BE PROCURED BY NEGOTIATION ON A SOLE SOURCE BASIS. IN HIS LETTER OF JULY 6, 1965, DENYING YOUR PROTEST, THE CONTRACTING OFFICER ADVISED YOU THAT INFORMATION WAS AVAILABLE WHEN THE IFB WAS ISSUED "WHICH CLEARLY INDICATED THAT RECORDING OSCILLOGRAPHS CAN BE MANUFACTURED WITH FIFTY-TWO CHANNELS AND THAT THE MANUFACTURING PROCESSES AND CAPABILITIES NECESSARY ARE NOT RESTRICTIVE OR PROPRIETARY TO ANY ONE COMPANY.' ALSO, THAT HE HAD DETERMINED UPON REVIEW OF THE MATTER THAT THE PROCUREMENT BY FORMAL ADVERTISING WAS PROPER AND THAT AN AWARD HAD BEEN MADE TO THE LOW RESPONSIVE AND RESPONSIBLE BIDDER.

INFORMATION SUBMITTED IN SUPPORT OF THE CONTRACTING OFFICER'S DETERMINATION DISCLOSES THAT A NEED EXISTED FOR 77 CHANNELS, THAT THE MAXIMUM NUMBER OF CHANNELS AVAILABLE ON A COMMERCIAL OSCILLOGRAPH WAS 52 CHANNELS AND THAT, FROM A TECHNICAL STANDPOINT, A NUMBER OF MANUFACTURERS HAD THE CAPABILITY TO MANUFACTURE OSCILLOGRAPH RECORDERS WITH 52 OR MORE CHANNELS. IT WAS ALSO FOUND THAT THE COST OF A 52 CHANNEL OSCILLOGRAPH WAS WELL BELOW THE PROJECTED COST OF A COMBINATION OF TWO 36-CHANNEL OSCILLOGRAPHS. THE SPECIFICATION STIPULATED THAT "THE OSCILLOGRAPH SHALL ACCEPT AT LEAST 52 GALVANOMETERS.' THE FACT THAT OTHER COMPANIES INCLUDING YOUR OWN MAY NOT HAVE SEEN FIT TO BID ON THE REQUIREMENT SPECIFIED, IN OUR OPINION, AFFORDS NO ADEQUATE BASIS FOR A FINDING THAT THE SPECIFICATIONS WERE RESTRICTIVE, AS URGED BY YOU, AND YOU HAVE FURNISHED NOTHING TO SUPPORT THE CONTENTIONS CONTAINED IN YOUR PROTEST.

FROM A CAREFUL CONSIDERATION OF THE FOREGOING WE FIND NO REASONABLE GROUND FOR QUESTIONING THE ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION TAKEN IN THIS CASE. YOUR PROTEST IS THEREFORE DENIED.