B-157515, NOV. 22, 1965

B-157515: Nov 22, 1965

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THE CONTRACTOR WILL BE REQUIRED TO ESTABLISH AND MAINTAIN A COMPLETE ENGINEERING AND TECHNICAL WRITING CAPABILITY IN ALBUQUERQUE. WHERE THE CONTRACT IS TO BE PERFORMED. HE WILL ALSO BE REQUIRED TO MAINTAIN A CURRENT TECHNICAL REFERENCE LIBRARY CONSISTING OF EXISTING NUCLEAR WEAPON T.O.-S. A ONE-YEAR CONTRACT IS PROPOSED. THE RFP FURTHER PROVIDES THAT CALLS FOR THE REQUIRED WORK WILL NOT BE ISSUED UNTIL 60 DAYS AFTER AWARD OF CONTRACT. THE CONTRACTOR WAS REQUIRED TO DETAIL THE TRAINING PROGRAM THAT HE WOULD CONDUCT DURING THE FIRST 60 DAYS OF THE CONTRACT. A BRIEF STATEMENT WAS REQUIRED OF THE CONTRACTOR'S EXPERIENCE IN WORKING WITH NUCLEAR WEAPON T.O.-S. SAMPLE PAGES OF SUCH WORK WERE TO BE INCLUDED.

B-157515, NOV. 22, 1965

TO STUDIO ONE, CREATIVE ART AND DESIGN:

THIS REFERS TO YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 17, 1965, WITH ENCLOSURES, PROTESTING AGAINST THE REJECTION OF YOUR PROPOSAL UNDER REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL NO. 65-2282-235, ISSUED AT THE AIR FORCE SPECIAL WEAPONS CENTER, KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE, NEW MEXICO.

THE RFP CALLS FOR THE PREPARATION OF AN ESTIMATED CONTRACT REQUIREMENT FOR 11,000 PAGES OF INSTRUCTIONS AND TECHNICAL ORDERS COVERING THE HANDLING, LOADING AND DELIVERY OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS. THE CONTRACTOR WILL BE REQUIRED TO ESTABLISH AND MAINTAIN A COMPLETE ENGINEERING AND TECHNICAL WRITING CAPABILITY IN ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO, WHERE THE CONTRACT IS TO BE PERFORMED. HE WILL ALSO BE REQUIRED TO MAINTAIN A CURRENT TECHNICAL REFERENCE LIBRARY CONSISTING OF EXISTING NUCLEAR WEAPON T.O.-S, AIRCRAFT T.O.-S, AND OTHER PERTINENT SOURCE DATA. A ONE-YEAR CONTRACT IS PROPOSED, WITH A GOVERNMENT OPTION TO EXTEND FOR TWO ADDITIONAL ONE-YEAR PERIODS, THE RFP FURTHER PROVIDES THAT CALLS FOR THE REQUIRED WORK WILL NOT BE ISSUED UNTIL 60 DAYS AFTER AWARD OF CONTRACT, AND THAT DURING THE 60 DAY PERIOD THE CONTRACTOR MUST CONDUCT AND COMPLETE A TRAINING PROGRAM TO PREPARE ITS EMPLOYEES FOR THE CONTRACT WORK.

THE CONTRACTOR WAS REQUIRED TO DETAIL THE TRAINING PROGRAM THAT HE WOULD CONDUCT DURING THE FIRST 60 DAYS OF THE CONTRACT, INCLUDING INFORMATION AS TO HIS WRITING AND QUALITY CONTROL STAFF. A BRIEF STATEMENT WAS REQUIRED OF THE CONTRACTOR'S EXPERIENCE IN WORKING WITH NUCLEAR WEAPON T.O.-S, MISSILE SYSTEM FLIGHT MANUALS, MAINTENANCE MANUALS OR AEROSPACE GROUND EQUIPMENT, AND SAMPLE PAGES OF SUCH WORK WERE TO BE INCLUDED. THE RFP STATED THAT: "TO QUALIFY, THE CONTRACTOR MUST HAVE HAD AT LEAST ONE YEAR OF EXPERIENCE IN THE PRODUCTION OF DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE TECHNICAL ORDERS AND MUST HAVE AN EXISTING OPERATING TECHNICAL ORDER PRODUCTION FACILITY.' THE CONTRACTOR WAS ALSO REQUIRED TO DESCRIBE THE WORK FORCE THAT HE WOULD ASSIGN TO THE CONTRACT. IN THIS CONNECTION, THE RFP STATED:

"ALTHOUGH IT IS NOT MANDATORY THAT ALL EMPLOYEES BE PRESENTLY EMPLOYED BY THE CONTRACTOR, IT IS MANDATORY THAT A NUCLEUS OF QUALIFIED PEOPLE BE ALREADY EMPLOYED. IT IS NOT MANDATORY THAT ALL KEY PERSONS POSSESS DEGREES IN ENGINEERING, ART, AND ENGLISH. IT IS MANDATORY HOWEVER, THAT ONE GRADUATE ENGINEER AND ONE GRADUATE ENGLISH MAJOR BE EMPLOYED FULL TIME UNDER THIS CONTRACT. SPECIFY THE EDUCATION AND EXPERIENCE OF PRESENT EMPLOYEES WHO WILL BE UTILIZED UNDER THIS CONTRACT. * * *"

IN ADDITION, THE CONTRACTOR WAS ASKED TO EXPLAIN HOW HE PROPOSED TO PROCESS THE WORK, FROM THE DEFINITION OF REQUIREMENTS AS STATED IN THE SPECIFICATIONS THROUGH NEGATIVE PRODUCTION.

ON JUNE 1, 1965, PROPOSALS WERE RECEIVED FROM SIX FIRMS, TWO FROM LARGE BUSINESS AND FOUR FROM SMALL BUSINESS. THE TWO PROPOSALS FROM LARGE BUSINESS WERE CONSIDERED ACCEPTABLE WHILE THE FOUR FROM SMALL BUSINESS WERE NOT. HOWEVER, THE THREE LOWEST ESTIMATED COSTS (BASED ON THE ESTIMATED QUANTITIES) WERE SUBMITTED BY THE SMALL BUSINESS FIRMS, AND, IN AN EFFORT TO INCREASE THE NUMBER OF ACCEPTABLE TECHNICAL PROPOSALS, THE AIR FORCE ISSUED ON JULY 7, 1965, A MODIFICATION TO THE RFP AMPLIFYING PARTS OF THE ORIGINAL RFP. EACH OF THE 6 PROPOSERS WAS AFFORDED THE OPPORTUNITY TO AMEND ITS PROPOSAL BY JULY 19, 1965. THE MODIFICATION SPELLED OUT IN GREATER DETAIL THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE CONTRACT. IT WAS EXPLAINED THAT THE SUCCESSFUL CONTRACTOR MUST HAVE THE ENGINEERING AND TECHNICAL WRITINGABILITY TO PREPARE AIR FORCE T.O.'S FROM THE BRIEFEST POSSIBLE INSTRUCTIONS. REFERENCE WAS MADE TO THE NEED TO SELECT A CONTRACTOR CAPABLE OF PERFORMING IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE HIGH STANDARDS NECESSARY. THE ESTIMATED REQUIREMENTS WERE SET FORTH IN DETAIL. PROPOSERS WERE AGAIN ASKED TO FURNISH THE NAMES OF THEIR KEY PERSONNEL, GIVING COMPLETE RESUMES OF EDUCATION AND EXPERIENCE. INFORMATION WAS AGAIN REQUESTED AS TO THE PROPOSED 60-DAY TRAINING PERIOD AND THE PROPOSERS' FACILITIES, INCLUDING LOCATION, FLOOR SPACE, STORAGE AREA AND LIST OF SPECIALIZED EQUIPMENT. A LIST OF SUPPLIERS WAS TO BE FURNISHED. FINALLY, PROPOSERS WERE ASKED TO DESCRIBE THEIR PRODUCTION PLANS IN DETAIL.

REVISED PROPOSALS WERE RECEIVED BY JULY 19, 1965. THE SIX PROPOSALS WERE EVALUATED IN TERMS OF COST AS FOLLOWS:

TABLE

ADVANCED CYBERNETICS CORPORATION (AVC) $143,735

STUDIO ONE $226,908

CANNON AND SULLIVAN $229,241

HAYES INTERNATIONAL CORPORATION $226,243

GENGE INDUSTRIES $291,910

MARTIN-MARIETTA CORPORATION $348,554

HAYES AND MARTIN ARE THE TWO LARGE BUSINESS CONCERNS. DESPITE THE SUBMISSION OF REVISED PROPOSALS FROM AVC, STUDIO ONE AND GENGE INDUSTRIES (CANNON AND SULLIVAN DID NOT SUBMIT A REVISED PROPOSAL), AIR FORCE STILL FINDS THAT ONLY HAYES AND MARTIN HAVE SUBMITTED ACCEPTABLE PROPOSALS. THE DEPARTMENT PROPOSES TO MAKE THE AWARD TO HAYES.

THE CONTRACTING OFFICER NOTIFIED YOU THAT YOUR PROPOSAL WAS JUDGED NONRESPONSIVE FOR THE FOLLOWING REASONS: LACK OF REQUIRED EXPERIENCE, FAILURE TO QUALIFY IN EXPERIENCE AS REQUIRED BY THE RFP, QUALIFICATIONS OF PROPOSED PERSONNEL FAILED TO MEET REQUIREMENTS IN THE RFP, AND UNACCEPTABILITY OF PROPOSED TRAINING PROGRAM. THESE FINDINGS WERE MADE BY TECHNICAL EVALUATORS OF THE AIR FORCE WEAPONS LABORATORY (WLAW). THEY FOUND THAT YOUR EXPERIENCE AS SET FORTH IN YOUR PROPOSAL CONSISTED OF PRODUCTION TYPE (TYPING AND PRINTING) CONTRACTS BUT NOT WRITING AND ENGINEERING TYPE CONTRACTS. THEY FOUND THAT YOUR PROPOSAL DID NOT DETAIL AN ACCEPTABLE TRAINING PROGRAM BUT MERELY CONTAINED GENERAL STATEMENTS OF INTENTIONS, OF LITTLE OR NO VALUE TO THE GOVERNMENT. NO INDICATION WAS FOUND THAT YOUR PROPOSED TO EMPLOY A GRADUATE ENGINEER. ALSO, YOU DID NOT INDICATE THAT YOU WOULD PROVIDE THE REQUIRED TECHNICAL EDIT IN YOUR PROPOSED PRODUCTION SEQUENCE.

THE CONTRACTING OFFICER ADVISED THAT THE SELECTION OF A MARGINAL CONTRACTOR, MUCH LESS AN UNQUALIFIED CONTRACTOR, WOULD BE EXTREMELY HAZARDOUS FOR THIS PROCUREMENT, AS THE REQUIRED T.O.'S WILL COVER THE HANDLING, LOADING, TRANSPORTATION AND DELIVERY OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS, WHERE ACCURACY AND CLARITY OF PRESENTATION WILL BE ESSENTIAL.

WE FIND NO BASIS TO QUESTION AIR FORCE'S DETERMINATION TO MAKE THE AWARD TO HAYES. FOR THIS CONTRACT THE GOVERNMENT MUST SELECT A HIGHLY QUALIFIED CONTRACTOR. IN CHOOSING SUCH A CONTRACTOR, THE GOVERNMENT MUST DETERMINE WHICH PROPOSER IS BEST QUALIFIED TO PERFORM THE CONTRACT, PRICE AND OTHER FACTORS CONSIDERED. SEE ASPR 3-805.1 (D). EFFORTS WERE MADE BY AIR FORCE TO SOLICIT AS MUCH INFORMATION AS POSSIBLE FROM EACH OF THE PROPOSERS. YOUR TECHNICAL PROPOSAL WAS EVALUATED TWICE. ALTHOUGH YOU HAVE QUOTED LOWER PRICES THAN HAYES, THE CONTRACTING OFFICER FINDS THAT YOUR FIRM DOES NOT HAVE THE EXPERIENCE, KEY PERSONNEL AND FACILITIES OFFERED BY HAYES. FURTHER, HE FINDS THAT YOUR TECHNICAL PROPOSAL IS DEFICIENT IN EXPLAINING HOW YOU PROPOSE TO DO THE CONTRACT WORK. IN HIS JUDGMENT HAYES IS THE MOST QUALIFIED CONTRACTOR FOR THIS CONTRACT, PRICE AND OTHER FACTORS CONSIDERED. WE CANNOT QUESTION HIS JUDGMENT IN THIS MATTER.