B-157282, OCT. 27, 1965

B-157282: Oct 27, 1965

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TO SERVO CORPORATION OF AMERICA: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR TELEFAX OF JULY 20. THE REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS WAS ISSUED FEBRUARY 19. THE PROCUREMENT WAS A FIXED-PRICE NEGOTIATED PROCUREMENT FOR DEVELOPMENTAL WORK AUTHORIZED BY A DULY EXECUTED DETERMINATION AND FINDING PURSUANT TO 10 U.S.C. 2304 (A) (11). THE DIGITAL CONVERTERS ARE REQUIRED FOR THE PERFORMANCE OF OPERATIONAL READINESS TESTS TO BE CONDUCTED TO DETERMINE THE EFFECTIVENESS OF THE NAVAL TACTICAL DATA WEAPONS SYSTEMS ON GUIDED MISSILE FRIGATES (DLG-S). THE DIGITAL CONVERTERS WHEN USED ABOARD SHIP IN CONJUNCTION WITH SUCH COMPUTERS ARE INTENDED TO PROVIDE ELECTRICAL SIGNALS WHICH IN TURN POSITION FIRE CONTROL ASSEMBLIES OR ANTENNAS.

B-157282, OCT. 27, 1965

TO SERVO CORPORATION OF AMERICA:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR TELEFAX OF JULY 20, 1965, PROTESTING AWARD MADE TO ASTROSYSTEMS INC. UNDER DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS NO.P.R. 687D1-58945 (S).

THE REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS WAS ISSUED FEBRUARY 19, 1965, AND MAILED TO 57 FIRMS AND SYNOPSIZED IN THE COMMERCE BUSINESS DAILY. THE PROCUREMENT WAS A FIXED-PRICE NEGOTIATED PROCUREMENT FOR DEVELOPMENTAL WORK AUTHORIZED BY A DULY EXECUTED DETERMINATION AND FINDING PURSUANT TO 10 U.S.C. 2304 (A) (11). IT CALLED FOR THE DESIGN, DEVELOPMENT AND CONSTRUCTION OF EIGHT 400G DIGITAL SERVICE TEST CONVERTERS AND RELATED TECHNICAL DATA, REPAIR PARTS AND ENGINEERING SERVICES. THE DIGITAL CONVERTERS ARE REQUIRED FOR THE PERFORMANCE OF OPERATIONAL READINESS TESTS TO BE CONDUCTED TO DETERMINE THE EFFECTIVENESS OF THE NAVAL TACTICAL DATA WEAPONS SYSTEMS ON GUIDED MISSILE FRIGATES (DLG-S). THE SPECIFICATIONS PROVIDE THAT "THIS SPECIFICATION APPLIES TO THE DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION OF SERVICE TEST MODELS OF DIGITAL TO SYNCHRO CONVERTERS WHICH SHALL OPERATE UNDER THE CONTROL OF A COMPUTER, CP 642A/USQ-20 (V).' THE DIGITAL CONVERTERS WHEN USED ABOARD SHIP IN CONJUNCTION WITH SUCH COMPUTERS ARE INTENDED TO PROVIDE ELECTRICAL SIGNALS WHICH IN TURN POSITION FIRE CONTROL ASSEMBLIES OR ANTENNAS. ADDITIONALLY, THE CONVERTERS PROVIDE ELECTRICAL SIGNALS WHICH FURNISH INFORMATION ON TARGET RANGE.

ON MARCH 23, 1965, THE CLOSING DATE SPECIFIED IN THE REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS, OFFERS WERE RECEIVED FROM YOUR COMPANY AND ASTROSYSTEMS INC. BOTH WERE SUBMITTED ON A FIRM FIXED-PRICE BASIS, AS CALLED FOR IN THE REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS, YOUR PRICE BEING $88,174 AND ASTROSYSTEMS' $94,666.34.

IT IS REPORTED THAT ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW OF THE TECHNICAL INFORMATION SUBMITTED BY YOUR COMPANY DEMONSTRATED THAT ITS PROPOSED TECHNICAL APPROACH WAS NOT SATISFACTORY TO MEET THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE SOLICITATION. YOUR PROPOSED APPROACH WAS CONSIDERED TO BE OVERLY COMPLEX AND, THUS, AS NOT MEETING THE DESIGN OBJECTIVES OF THE SPECIFICATIONS FOR SIMPLICITY. FURTHER, THE BLOCK DIAGRAMS INCLUDED IN THE PROPOSAL SHOWED THAT THE DIGITAL CONVERTERS WOULD NOT BE COMPATIBLE WITH THE CP-642A/USQ- 20 (V) COMPUTER WITH WHICH THE SPECIFICATION CLEARLY STATED THEY WERE TO OPERATE. THEREFORE, WHILE YOU DID NOT FORMALLY TAKE EXCEPTION TO SPECIFICATION REQUIREMENTS, THE TECHNICAL INFORMATION CONTAINED IN YOUR PROPOSAL DEMONSTRATED THAT YOU WERE NOT OFFERING TO FURNISH EQUIPMENT WHICH WOULD MEET THE NAVY'S REQUIREMENTS AND WHICH WOULD BE SUITABLE FOR USE FOR THE PURPOSE OF SERVICE TEST ABOARD SHIP.

THE REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS SPECIFICALLY ADVISED PROSPECTIVE OFFERORS THAT AWARD MIGHT BE MADE WITHOUT DISCUSSION OF PROPOSALS RECEIVED, THAT PROPOSALS SHOULD BE SUBMITTED INITIALLY ON THE MOST FAVORABLE TERMS, AND THAT AWARD MIGHT BE MADE TO OTHER THAN THE LOW OFFEROR. THE RELEVANT PROVISIONS OF THE SOLICITATION IN THESE RESPECTS ARE SET FORTH IN CLAUSES AS FOLLOWS: 7 (D) AND 7 (F) OF THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS AS FOLLOWS:

"/D) IT IS CONTEMPLATED THAT A CONTRACT WILL BE AWARDED TO THAT RESPONSIBLE OFFEROR WHOSE PROPOSAL WILL BE MOST ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT, PRICE AND OTHER FACTORS CONSIDERED. THE RIGHT IS RESERVED TO ACCEPT OTHER THAN THE LOWEST PROPOSAL AND TO REJECT ANY OR ALL PROPOSALS.

"/F) PURSUANT TO 10 U.S.C. 2304 (G), THE GOVERNMENT MAY AWARD A CONTRACT, BASED ON INITIAL PROPOSALS RECEIVED, WITHOUT DISCUSSION OF SUCH PROPOSALS. ACCORDINGLY, SUCH INITIAL PROPOSAL SHOULD BE SUBMITTED ON THE MOST FAVORABLE TERMS FROM A PRICE AND TECHNICAL STANDPOINT WHICH THE OFFEROR CAN SUBMIT TO THE GOVERNMENT.'

IN ADDITION, CLAUSE 7,"FORMAT OF PROPOSALS," PAGE 5 OF THE REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS, PROVIDED:

"UNNECESSARILY ELABORATE BROCHURES AND OTHER PRESENTATIONS BEYOND THAT SUFFICIENT TO PRESENT A COMPLETE AND EFFECTIVE PROPOSAL ARE NOT DESIRED AND MAY BE CONSTRUED AS AN INDICATION OF THE OFFEROR'S LACK OF COST CONSCIOUSNESS.'

THE REVIEW OF THE TECHNICAL INFORMATION SUBMITTED BY ASTROSYSTEMS INC. INDICATED THAT THAT COMPANY PROPOSED TO FURNISH DIGITAL CONVERTERS MEETING ALL REQUIREMENTS OF THE SPECIFICATIONS. ACCORDINGLY, CONTRACT NO. NOBSR- 93426 WAS AWARDED TO ASTROSYSTEMS INC. ON JUNE 30, 1965. NO NEGOTIATIONS WERE CONDUCTED WITH EITHER YOUR COMPANY OR ASTROSYSTEMS.

IT APPEARS FROM THE RECORD THAT THE APPLICABLE STATUTES AND REGULATIONS (10 U.S.C. 2304 (A) (1) AND 2304 (G) AND ARMED SERVICES PROCUREMENT REGULATION 2-202.5 AND 3-300) HAVE BEEN FOLLOWED IN THIS CASE. ASTROSYSTEMS INC. WAS DETERMINED TO BE THE ONLY ONE OF THE OFFERORS MEETING ALL REQUIREMENTS OF THE SPECIFICATIONS AT AN ACCEPTABLE PRICE AND THEREFORE FURTHER NEGOTIATION WAS NOT REQUIRED. SINCE EVALUATION WAS BASED ON FACTORS IN ADDITION TO PRICE, THE FACT THAT YOUR PROPOSAL WAS OFFERED AT A LOWER PRICE IS NOT CONTROLLING SINCE IT WAS DETERMINED TO BE NONRESPONSIVE BECAUSE ITS TECHNICAL APPROACH DID NOT MEET THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE SOLICITATION.

THE DETERMINATION OF THE NEEDS OF THE GOVERNMENT AND THE METHOD OF ACCOMPLISHING SAME IS PRIMARILY THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE PROCURING AGENCY, AS IS THE EVALUATION OF PROPOSALS RECEIVED, AND IN THE ABSENCE OF EVIDENCE OF BAD FAITH OR LACK OF A REASONABLE BASIS FOR THE ACTION TAKEN WE ARE NOT REQUIRED TO OBJECT TO SAME. THIS IS PARTICULARLY TRUE WHERE, AS IN THIS CASE, THE PROCUREMENT IS FOR EQUIPMENT OF A HIGHLY SPECIALIZED SCIENTIFIC NATURE AND THE DETERMINATION MUST BE BASED ON EXPERT TECHNICAL OPINION. SINCE THE REPORTED FACTS INDICATE THAT THERE WAS A REASONABLE BASIS FOR THE NAVY'S ACTION AND THAT THERE WAS COMPLIANCE WITH APPLICABLE PROVISIONS OF STATUTES AND REGULATION, WE FIND NO BASIS FOR DISTURBING THE AWARD AS MADE, AND YOUR PROTEST MUST BE DENIED.