B-158998, JUL. 11, 1966

B-158998: Jul 11, 1966

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THE PROTEST WHICH YOU HAVE MADE WAS BROUGHT BEFORE OUR OFFICE AFTER THE PROCUREMENT BY THE NAVAL SHIP SYSTEMS COMMAND (FORMERLY BUREAU OF SHIPS). THE IFB WAS ISSUED SEPTEMBER 13. IT IS STATED: "WE REQUEST. SINCE FIVE OF THE BIDDERS WERE LOWER THAN BURNETT. WITH WHOM THE PRESENT NEGOTIATION IS PROPOSED. EIGHT BIDS WERE RECEIVED. YOUR CORPORATION WAS THE FOURTH LOWEST BIDDER. BECAUSE THE COMMAND HAD SUBSTANTIAL DOUBTS CONCERNING THE CAPABILITY OF THE FOUR LOWEST BIDDERS IT WAS NECESSARY TO SIMULTANEOUSLY CONDUCT PRE AWARD SURVEYS ON ALL FOUR FIRMS. WAS DETERMINED BY THE COMMAND NOT TO BE A RESPONSIBLE BIDDER. THE MATTER WAS REFERRED TO THE SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION. CERTIFIED THAT FUTURONICS CORPORATION IS COMPETENT.

B-158998, JUL. 11, 1966

TO SPACE AVIONICS, INCORPORATED:

WE REFER AGAIN TO YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 18, 1966, PROTESTING AGAINST A PROPOSED PROCUREMENT ACTION BY THE DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY, BUREAU OF SHIPS.

THE PROTEST WHICH YOU HAVE MADE WAS BROUGHT BEFORE OUR OFFICE AFTER THE PROCUREMENT BY THE NAVAL SHIP SYSTEMS COMMAND (FORMERLY BUREAU OF SHIPS), UNDER RFP 1621C1D-67090, OF 100 AN/PQS-1 SONAR DETECTING SETS FROM BURNETT ELECTRONICS INCORPORATED, SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA. THE PROCUREMENT UNDER THE RFP FOLLOWED THE ISSUANCE OF INVITATION FOR BIDS NO. 600-112-66'S WHICH CALLED FOR A QUANTITY OF 152 AN/PQS-1 SONAR DETECTING SETS, 50 PERCENT ON A LABOR SURPLUS SET-ASIDE. THE IFB WAS ISSUED SEPTEMBER 13, 1965, AND OPENED OCTOBER 20, 1965, BUT NO AWARD HAD EVER BEEN MADE. YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 18, 1966, IT IS STATED:

"WE REQUEST, THEREFORE, THAT YOUR OFFICE TAKE INVESTIGATIVE ACTION TO DETERMINE WHY AN AWARD COULD NOT BE MADE IN A SIX MONTH PERIOD TO ONE OF THE BIDDERS UNDER IFB 600-112-66-S, SINCE FIVE OF THE BIDDERS WERE LOWER THAN BURNETT, WITH WHOM THE PRESENT NEGOTIATION IS PROPOSED. WE FURTHER FEEL THAT THE ISSUANCE OF THE REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL TO BURNETT SHOULD BE STOPPED.'

THE DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY, NAVAL SHIP SYSTEMS COMMAND, HAS INFORMED US IN REPLY TO OUR REQUEST FOR A REPORT ON THE MATTER THAT THERE HAS BEEN CONTINUING DESIRE TO MAKE AN AWARD UNDER THIS IFB. EIGHT BIDS WERE RECEIVED. YOUR CORPORATION WAS THE FOURTH LOWEST BIDDER. BECAUSE THE COMMAND HAD SUBSTANTIAL DOUBTS CONCERNING THE CAPABILITY OF THE FOUR LOWEST BIDDERS IT WAS NECESSARY TO SIMULTANEOUSLY CONDUCT PRE AWARD SURVEYS ON ALL FOUR FIRMS. THE LOW BIDDER, DERO RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, HUNTINGTON, NEW YORK, MADE A MISTAKE IN ITS BID AND THE BID COULD NOT BE ACCEPTED. THE SECOND LOW BIDDER, FUTURONICS CORPORATION, PORT WASHINGTON, NEW YORK, WAS DETERMINED BY THE COMMAND NOT TO BE A RESPONSIBLE BIDDER, BASED UPON THE FIRM'S CAPACITY AND CREDIT STATUS. THE MATTER WAS REFERRED TO THE SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION, PURSUANT TO ASPR 1-705.4 (C) AND SECTION 8 (B) (7) OF THE SMALL BUSINESS ACT, 15 U.S.C. 637 (B) (7). THE SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION BY LETTER TO THE COMMAND DATED JUNE 16, 1966, CERTIFIED THAT FUTURONICS CORPORATION IS COMPETENT, AS TO CAPACITY AND CREDIT, TO PERFORM THE PROPOSED PROCUREMENT COVERED BY THE ABOVE-REFERENCED INVITATION FOR BIDS. THE COMMAND, THEREFORE, HAS MADE AN AWARD OF CONTRACT TO FUTURONICS CORPORATION.

WE WOULD LIKE TO POINT OUT THAT THE PROCUREMENT OF 100 AN/PQS-1 SONAR DETECTING SETS FROM BURNETT IS UNRELATED TO THE IFB. ACCORDING TO THE REPORT WHICH WE RECEIVED FROM THE COMMAND:

"* * * THIS REQUIREMENT IS IN ADDITION TO THAT REFLECTED IN THE IFB. EVEN IF IT HAD BEEN POSSIBLE TO MAKE AWARD UNDER THE IFB EARLIER, IT WOULD HAVE BEEN NECESSARY TO CONTRACT WITH BURNETT FOR THIS SUPPLEMENTARY REQUIREMENT. THESE SETS (THOSE PROCURED UNDER THE RFP) ARE URGENTLY REQUIRED FOR SUPPORT OF SOUTHEAST ASIA OPERATIONS, WITH DELIVERIES COMMENCING IN SEPTEMBER 1966. (THE PROCUREMENT WAS NEGOTIATED PURSUANT TO THE AUTHORITY OF 10 U.S.C. 2304 (A) (2).) * * * BURNETT IS THE ONLY FIRM CAPABLE OF MEETING THE URGENT DELIVERY SCHEDULE. * * * BECAUSE OF THE TIME NECESSARY TO RECEIVE APPROVAL OF PREPRODUCTION EQUIPMENT, A PERIOD OF APPROXIMATELY NINETEEN (19) MONTHS FROM THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE CONTRACT * * * WOULD BE REQUIRED (FOLLOWING AWARD OF THE IFB) BEFORE ANOTHER SUPPLIER COULD COMMENCE DELIVERIES. THUS, EVEN IF AWARD UNDER THE IFB COULD HAVE BEEN MADE 60 DAYS AFTER OPENING OF BIDS, THAT IS BY 20 DECEMBER 1965, DELIVERIES OF PRODUCTION EQUIPMENT UNDER THE CONTRACT COULD NOT COMMENCE UNTIL APPROXIMATELY JULY 1967, 10 MONTHS AFTER THE SEPTEMBER 1966 DATE REQUIRED BY THE BURNETT CONTRACT.

"IN SUMMARY THE AWARD OF THE NEGOTIATED CONTRACT TO BURNETT IS A SEPARATE ACTION FROM THE IFB, AND THE CONTRACT WAS NOT AFFECTED BY ANY DELAYS ASSOCIATED WITH THE IFB. * * *.'

WE HAVE NO LEGAL BASIS TO CONCLUDE THAT THE NEGOTIATED PROCUREMENT WITH BURNETT ELECTRONICS WAS NOT WARRANTED. ACCORDINGLY, YOUR PROTEST AGAINST IT IS DENIED.

YOUR INTEREST IN THE CAUSES OF THE DELAY IN AWARD OF THE IFB, WHICH PROMPTED OUR INVESTIGATION INTO THE MATTER, IS APPRECIATED AND WE TRUST THAT THIS LETTER IS A SATISFACTORY ANSWER TO YOUR INQUIRIES.