B-161572, FEB. 15, 1968

B-161572: Feb 15, 1968

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PROTESTANT WHO COMPLAINS THAT THERE WAS INSUFFICIENT TIME TO INSPECT MODEL BUT WHO BID ON BASIS OF USING SAME VENDORS AS WERE USED IN GOVERNMENT-FURNISHED MODEL HAS NOT FURNISHED ANY BASIS FOR CANCELLING INVITATION. FRANK AND KAMPELMAN: THIS IS IN REGARD TO YOUR PROTEST IN BEHALF OF ELECTRO-CRAFT CORPORATION AGAINST AWARD OF A CONTRACT UNDER INVITATION FOR BIDS NO. THE INVITATION WAS ISSUED ON MARCH 6. IS NOT AVAILABLE FROM A PRIOR VENDOR. PROSPECTIVE BIDDERS WERE INVITED TO EXAMINE. THE INVITATION PROVIDES THAT UPON AWARD THE GOVERNMENT WILL FURNISH THE CONTRACTOR WITH THE MODEL TEST SET. THERE IS ALSO A DISCLAIMER PROVISION FOR ANY DEVIATIONS IN THE TEST MODEL OR FOR INCONSISTENCES. (2) THE NAMES AND PART NUMBERS OF ALL MAJOR COMPONENT MANUFACTURERS USED IN THE SAMPLE THAT WILL BE REQUIRED ON THE RESULTING CONTRACT.

B-161572, FEB. 15, 1968

BIDS - SAMPLES - INSPECTION DECISION TO ELECTRO-CRAFT CORP. FOURTH LOW BIDDER DENYING PROTEST AGAINST AWARD TO LOW BIDDER FOR PROCUREMENT OF RADIO TRANSMITTING SETS AND PARTS FOR NAVY. PROTESTANT WHO COMPLAINS THAT THERE WAS INSUFFICIENT TIME TO INSPECT MODEL BUT WHO BID ON BASIS OF USING SAME VENDORS AS WERE USED IN GOVERNMENT-FURNISHED MODEL HAS NOT FURNISHED ANY BASIS FOR CANCELLING INVITATION.

TO STRASSER, SPIEGELBERG, FRIED, FRANK AND KAMPELMAN:

THIS IS IN REGARD TO YOUR PROTEST IN BEHALF OF ELECTRO-CRAFT CORPORATION AGAINST AWARD OF A CONTRACT UNDER INVITATION FOR BIDS NO. N00600-67-B-0419 -8, ISSUED BY THE UNITED STATES NAVY PURCHASING OFFICE, WASHINGTON NAVY YARD, WASHINGTON, D.C., FOR A QUANTITY OF AN/URT-7) ( RADIO TRANSMITTING SETS, TYPE I AND III, WITH ASSOCIATED REPAIR PARTS AND DATA. (ITEMS 1 THROUGH 5AD).

THE INVITATION WAS ISSUED ON MARCH 6, 1967, WITH A BID OPENING SCHEDULED FOR APRIL 7, 1967. PAGE 8 OF THE BID SCHEDULE, THE LAST PARAGRAPH, PROVIDES AS FOLLOWS: "ALL COMPONENTS AND PARTS OF THE EQUIPMENT SHALL BE PHYSICALLY, MECHANICALLY AND ELECTRICALLY INTERCHANGEABLE WITH THE COMPONENTS AND PARTS OF THE GOVERNMENT FURNISHED MODEL AND OBTAINED FROM THE SAME VENDORS, WEAR AND OTHER DETERIATION EXCEPTED, UNLESS OTHERWISE APPROVED BY NAVAL ELECTRONIC SYSTEMS COMMAND. IN THE EVENT A PARTICULAR PART OR TUBE ETC., IS NOT AVAILABLE FROM A PRIOR VENDOR, A SUBSTITUTE PART SHALL BE SELECTED AND AUTHORIZED IN ACCORDANCE WITH MIL-E-16400F PROCEDURES.'

PROSPECTIVE BIDDERS WERE INVITED TO EXAMINE, AT SIX DESIGNATED NAVAL INSTALLATIONS IN THE UNITED STATES, A MICROFILM SET OF THE PERTINENT ENGINEERING DRAWINGS AND TECHNICAL MANUAL NAVSHIPS 92832, "RADIO TRANSMITTING SET AN/URT-7C. THE INVITATION PROVIDES THAT UPON AWARD THE GOVERNMENT WILL FURNISH THE CONTRACTOR WITH THE MODEL TEST SET, REFERENCED SPECIFICATIONS, STANDARDS, DRAWINGS AND OTHER PERTINENT DOCUMENTS; HOWEVER, THERE IS ALSO A DISCLAIMER PROVISION FOR ANY DEVIATIONS IN THE TEST MODEL OR FOR INCONSISTENCES, OMISSIONS OR ERRORS IN THE DRAWINGS OR OTHER MATERIAL FURNISHED BY THE GOVERNMENT (PP 17 AND 18 OF THE INVITATION SCHEDULE).

UPON RECEIVING THIS INVITATION, MR. A. CHATINSKY, SALES MANAGER, ELECTRO- CRAFT CORPORATION, WROTE TO THE NAVY (LETTER OF MARCH 16, 1967) WITH REFERENCE TO THE PARAGRAPH ON PAGE 8 OF THE INVITATION SCHEDULE REQUESTING (1) THE NAME OF THE MANUFACTURER OF THE MODEL TO BE FURNISHED THE SUCCESSFUL BIDDER AND, (2) THE NAMES AND PART NUMBERS OF ALL MAJOR COMPONENT MANUFACTURERS USED IN THE SAMPLE THAT WILL BE REQUIRED ON THE RESULTING CONTRACT. IN ADDITION, HE CITED AN INCONSISTENCY IN THE INVITATION "WHEREIN YOU SPECIFY CONSTRUCTION AND MATERIAL PER SAMPLE (THAT BIDDER DOES NOT SEE UNTIL AFTER AWARD) AND YET MAKE NO WARRANTY THAT THE MODEL YOU WILL FURNISH EVER MET SPECIFICATIONS.'

THE NAVY DID NOT REPLY TO THIS LETTER, BUT INSTEAD ON APRIL 6, 1967, EXTENDED THE BID OPENING TO APRIL 17, 1967, AND ON APRIL 17, 1967, UNDER AMENDMENT NO. 3, ISSUED THE FOLLOWING INVITATION CHANGES: (1) OPENING DATE WAS EXTENDED TO APRIL 27, 1967 (ADVANCE TELEGRAPHIC NOTICE OF THIS WAS SENT OUT ON APRIL 13); (2) THE QUANTITY OF SETS WAS SOMEWHAT INCREASED; (3) LINE (1), PAGE 17 UNDER "GOVERNMENT FURNISHED PROPERTY" , WAS CHANGED TO SPECIFY THAT AN "AN/URT-7D, SERIAL NO. G-81 BUILT BY RAULAND-BORG CORPORATION" WOULD BE FORWARDED THE CONTRACTOR, AND (4) ON PAGE 31, THERE WAS ADDED THE INFORMATION THAT BIDDERS WOULD BE PERMITTED TO INSPECT A SERIAL NO. G-81 MODEL (RAULAND-BORG) AT THE BOSTON NAVAL SHIPYARD, BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS.

IT APPEARS THAT MR. CHATINSKY WAS GIVEN NOTICE BY NAVY ON APRIL 7, 1967, THAT A MODEL COULD BE INSPECTED AT BOSTON AND THAT THE INVITATION WAS TO BE AMENDED TO THAT EFFECT. THE NAVY MADE AN APPOINTMENT FOR AN ELECTRO- CRAFT REPRESENTATIVE TO SEE THE MODEL AT BOSTON ON APRIL 10, 1967, BUT THIS APPOINTMENT WAS NOT KEPT BY THE FIRM, NOR DID ANY OF THE REPRESENTATIVES VIEW THE MODEL AT ANY LATER DATE PRIOR TO BID OPENING. MR. CHATINSKY EXPLAINS THAT HIS FIRM DID NOT THINK IT WAS PROPER TO VIEW THE MODEL UNTIL THE INVITATION WAS AMENDED TO PERMIT SUCH AN INSPECTION FOR ALL PROSPECTIVE BIDDERS, AND THAT BY THE TIME AMENDMENT NO. 3 WAS ISSUED AND RECEIVED BY ELECTRO CRAFT AT ITS OFFICE IN HOPKINS, MINNESOTA ON APRIL 21, THE COMPANY FELT THERE WAS NOT ENOUGH TIME TO SEND A REPRESENTATIVE TO BOSTON, INSPECT THE MODEL, AND THEN ACT UPON THE INFORMATION OBTAINED FROM THE INSPECTION, IN TIME FOR THE APRIL 27 BID OPENING. HOWEVER, WE NOTE THAT ON MARCH 21, 1967, AT THE THIRD NAVAL DISTRICT IN BROOKLYN, NEW YORK, MR. CHATINSKY DID INSPECT THE MICROFILM SET OF DRAWINGS AND THE MANUAL.

FIVE BIDS WERE RECEIVED ON APRIL 27, 1967, AND DECITRON ELECTRONICS CORPORATION WAS THE LOW BIDDER AT $1,600 PER UNIT. ELECTRO-CRAFT WAS FOURTH LOW AT $2,080. IN A LETTER ACCOMPANYING ITS BID, ELECTRO-CRAFT EXPLAINED THAT THERE WAS INSUFFICIENT TIME AFTER AMENDMENT NO. 3 TO ARRANGE TO INSPECT THE MODEL, BUT IN ACCORDANCE WITH ITS UNDERSTANDING OF THE LAST PARAGRAPH ON PAGE 8, IT WAS BIDDING BASED ON FURNISHING CERTAIN TRW ELECTRONIC COMPONENTS (PART NUMBERS 800260, 800262 AND 800628) WHICH ARE REQUIRED TO BE USED IN THE RESULTING CONTRACT.

THE NAVY PROPOSES TO MAKE AWARD TO THE LOW BIDDER, DECITRON.

UNDENIABLY THE OPPORTUNITY OFFERED TO VIEW THE MODEL UNIT WAS RATHER LIMITED. BUT IT IS NAVY'S POSITION THAT THE INFORMATION AVAILABLE TO BIDDERS FROM THE MICROFILM SET AND MANUAL WAS ALL THAT THEY REALLY NEEDED TO KNOW IN ORDER TO BID. THE NAVY REPORTS THAT IT DOES NOT INTEND TO USE THIS MODEL EQUIPMENT VERY MUCH LONGER, AND THUS HAS NO DESIRE TO BUY A REDESIGNED MODEL OR INCREASE THE SPARE PARTS INVENTORY. ITS PURPOSE IN THIS PROCUREMENT IS TO PURCHASE ADDITIONAL SETS OF THE SAME MODEL, COMPONENTS, AND PARTS OF THE SETS ALREADY IN SERVICE. THE DEPARTMENT EXPLAINS THAT THE PARAGRAPH ON PAGE 8 IS INTENDED TO ACCOMPLISH THIS BY REQUIRING THE SAME VENDORS FOR NONSTANDARD COMPONENTS AND PARTS, BUT THAT THIS REQUIREMENT DOES NOT APPLY TO STANDARD PARTS COVERED BY MILITARY SPECIFICATIONS, AS "THE VERY PURPOSE OF MILITARY SPECIFICATIONS IS TO INSURE THE INTERCHANGEABILITY IN ALL RESPECTS OF COMPONENTS OR PARTS MANUFACTURED TO THE SPECIFICATION.'

WE NOTE THAT TECHNICAL MANUAL NAVSHIPS 92832, AS AMENDED, REFERENCES MILITARY SPECIFICATIONS FOR MANY OF THE PARTS AND SOMETIMES MORE THAN ONE MANUFACTURER FOR A SINGLE PART. THUS, PART NO. C637 ON PAGE 8-5, LISTS BOTH RAD (NOW TRW ELECTRONICS COMPONENTS DIVISION) PART NO. 800262, OR RAULAND-BORG DRAWING NO. C-580. THE NAVY INDICATES THAT EITHER PART WOULD BE ACCEPTABLE.

THE LAST PARAGRAPH ON PAGE 8 OF THE INVITATION SCHEDULE DOES CALL FOR THE USE OF EXACTLY THE SAME VENDORS AS WERE USED IN MAKING THE GOVERNMENT- FURNISHED MODEL. WE ARE ADVISED THAT THE NAVY WILL REVISE THE LANGUAGE OF THIS PROVISION. NEVERTHELESS, THE RECORD SHOWS THAT ELECTRO-CRAFT BID ESSENTIALLY ON THE BASIS CONTEMPLATED BY THE NAVY. ELECTRO-CRAFT STATED IN ITS BID THAT IT WOULD FURNISH TRW MANUFACTURED PARTS. WE UNDERSTAND THAT THE LOW BIDDER, DECITRON, BID ON THE BASIS THAT IT WOULD DETERMINE AFTER AN AWARD WHETHER TO OBTAIN NON-STANDARD COMPONENTS FROM PREVIOUSLY APPROVED SOURCES OR FROM ALTERNATE SOURCES, SUBJECT TO NAVY APPROVAL. ALSO, WE NOTE THAT THE ONLY PREVIOUS SUPPLIER BIDDING ON THIS PROCUREMENT WAS RAULAND-BORG, AND THAT FIRM WAS HIGHEST AS TO PRICE ($2,123 PER UNIT).

WE SEE NO INDICATION, THEREFORE, THAT EFFECTIVE COMPETITION WAS PRECLUDED BY THE BIDDING TERMS, OR THAT THE GOVERNMENT WILL NOT RECEIVE A PRODUCT CONFORMING TO THE SPECIFICATION REQUIREMENTS. ON THE FACTS PRESENTED, WE SEE NO NECESSITY FOR CANCELLING THE INVITATION. ACCORDINGLY, YOUR PROTEST AGAINST AN AWARD IS DENIED.