B-157881, DEC. 29, 1965

B-157881: Dec 29, 1965

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THIS INVITATION WAS ISSUED ON AUGUST 4. FIVE BIDS WERE RECEIVED FOR FURNISHING THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE INSTANT INVITATION. THE BATTERY ASSEMBLY SHALL BE PROTECTED AGAINST DISCHARGING INTO THE RECTIFIER WHEN PRIME POWER IS RESTORED AFTER AN OUTAGE.'. YOU HAVE PROTESTED THE DESIGNATION IN THE SPECIFICATION THAT THE STORAGE BATTERY BE AN ALKALINE. YOU CONTEND THAT THE SPECIFICATIONS SHOULD HAVE PROVIDED FOR THE FURNISHING OF A LEAD CALCIUM BATTERY IN ADDITION TO THE NICKEL-CADMIUM BATTERY. THE DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY HAS TAKEN THE POSITION THAT THE LEAD CALCIUM BATTERY WOULD NOT OFFER SATISFACTORY PERFORMANCE UNDER CONDITIONS PECULIAR TO THE NO-BREAK STATIC GENERATORS WHICH WILL BE INSTALLED AS PART OF THE NAVAL COMMUNICATION SYSTEM.

B-157881, DEC. 29, 1965

TO C AND D BATTERIES:

WE REFER TO YOUR LETTERS, WITH ENCLOSURES, DATED OCTOBER 27, DECEMBER 3 AND 10, 1965, IN CONNECTION WITH YOUR PROTEST UNDER INVITATION FOR BIDS NO NBY-70666. THIS INVITATION WAS ISSUED ON AUGUST 4, 1965, BY THE CHESAPEAKE DIVISION, BUREAU OF YARDS AND DOCKS, DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY, FOR THE PROCUREMENT OF STATIC, SOLID STATE, NO BREAK GENERATORS IN ACCORDANCE WITH SPECIFICATION NO. 70666/65. FIVE BIDS WERE RECEIVED FOR FURNISHING THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE INSTANT INVITATION.

PARAGRAPH 2A.7.7 OF THE SPECIFICATIONS PROVIDED AS FOLLOWS:

"2A.7.7 STORAGE BATTERY. - THE STORAGE BATTERY SHALL BE A HEAVY DUTY INDUSTRIAL TYPE DESIGNED FOR AUXILIARY POWER SERVICE. IT SHALL BE AN ALKALINE NICKEL-CADMIUM TYPE HAVING AN AMPERE HOUR RATING SUFFICIENT TO SUPPLY THE DIRECT CURRENT INPUT TO THE INVERTER UNIT FOR 15 MINUTES WITH THE INVERTER OPERATING AT FULL RATED OUTPUT, TO A DISCHARGE LIMIT OF 50 PERCENT. DISCONNECTS SHALL BE PROVIDED SO THAT THE BATTERY MAY BE REMOVED FROM THE DC BUS. THE STORAGE BATTERY ASSEMBLY SHALL BE COMPLETE WITH A HYDROGEN GAS DETECTION DEVICE. THE BATTERY ASSEMBLY SHALL BE PROTECTED AGAINST DISCHARGING INTO THE RECTIFIER WHEN PRIME POWER IS RESTORED AFTER AN OUTAGE.'

YOU HAVE PROTESTED THE DESIGNATION IN THE SPECIFICATION THAT THE STORAGE BATTERY BE AN ALKALINE, NICKEL-CADMIUM TYPE. YOU CONTEND THAT THE SPECIFICATIONS SHOULD HAVE PROVIDED FOR THE FURNISHING OF A LEAD CALCIUM BATTERY IN ADDITION TO THE NICKEL-CADMIUM BATTERY. IN THIS CONNECTION YOU ADVISE THAT THE COST OF A LEAD-CALCIUM BATTERY WOULD BE LESS THAN THE COST OF A NICKEL-CADMIUM BATTERY.

THE DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY HAS TAKEN THE POSITION THAT THE LEAD CALCIUM BATTERY WOULD NOT OFFER SATISFACTORY PERFORMANCE UNDER CONDITIONS PECULIAR TO THE NO-BREAK STATIC GENERATORS WHICH WILL BE INSTALLED AS PART OF THE NAVAL COMMUNICATION SYSTEM. CONSEQUENTLY, THE NAVY DECIDED, AFTER CONSIDERATION OF YOUR TECHNICAL POSITION, NOT TO INCLUDE THE LEAD-CALCIUM BATTERY IN THE INSTANT SPECIFICATIONS.

WE HAVE CONSIDERED THE TECHNICAL INFORMATION WHICH YOU HAVE PRESENTED TO OUR OFFICE. IN VIEW OF THE TECHNICAL CONSIDERATIONS INVOLVED, IT IS NOT FOR OUR OFFICE TO DECIDE WHETHER THE LEAD-CALCIUM BATTERY WOULD BE SUITABLE FOR USE IN CONNECTION WITH A SOLID-STATE, NO BREAK POWER SYSTEM. THE DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY HAS DECIDED THAT THE LEAD-CALCIUM BATTERY WOULD NOT BE SUITABLE FOR THE TYPE OF POWER SYSTEM WHICH WILL BE UTILIZED IN THE INSTANT PROCUREMENT. ON THE BASIS OF THE RECORD WE CANNOT SAY THAT NAVY'S DECISION ON THIS POINT IS ARBITRARY, CAPRICIOUS OR IN BAD FAITH; CONSEQUENTLY, OUR OFFICE WILL NOT QUESTION NAVY'S DECISION. SEE B-156626, JUNE 8, 1965, AND 36 COMP. GEN. 251, 252. A COPY OF THE LETTER WHICH YOU SUBMITTED TO OUR OFFICE ON DECEMBER 10, 1965, HAS BEEN REFERRED TO THE DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY.

IT HAS BEEN HELD THAT WHERE THE PROVISIONS OF SPECIFICATIONS ARE NO MORE RESTRICTIVE THAN NECESSARY TO PROTECT THE LEGITIMATE INTERESTS OF THE GOVERNMENT, OUR OFFICE WILL NOT INTERVENE. SEE B-152015, SEPTEMBER 25, 1963. IN VIEW OF THE RECORD WE FIND NO BASIS FOR CONCLUDING THAT THE RESTRICTIVE PROVISION OF THE INSTANT SPECIFICATION WAS NOT TO PROTECT A LEGITIMATE INTEREST OF THE GOVERNMENT. IT IS ALSO WELL SETTLED THAT AGENCIES OF THE GOVERNMENT ARE NOT REQUIRED TO MAKE PURCHASES WHICH DO NOT FULFILL THEIR REQUIREMENTS SIMPLY BECAUSE THEY ARE OFFERED AT A LOWER PRICE. SEE B-152015, SEPTEMBER 25, 1963.