B-161612, JUL. 25, 1967

B-161612: Jul 25, 1967

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SINCE DETERMINATION OF NEEDS OF AGENCY AND THE DRAFTING OF SPECIFICATIONS ARE PRIMARILY MATTERS FOR PROCURING AGENCY AND SINCE ADMINISTRATIVE DETERMINATION IS NOT FOUND TO BE ARBITRARY OR CAPRICIOUS OR WITHOUT SUBSTANTIAL BASIS IT MUST BE ACCEPTED AS CORRECT. LAWRENCE SYSTEMS CORPORATION: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF MAY 23. THE PROCUREMENT WAS FOR A CLOSED LOOP EXPANDED RANGE. FOUR BIDS WERE RECEIVED IN RESPONSE TO THE IFB AS A RESULT OF SIXTEEN SOURCES BEING SOLICITED. YOUR FIRM WAS THE APPARENT LOW BIDDER IN THE AMOUNT OF $57. HAS DETERMINED THAT YOUR BID SHOULD BE REJECTED ON THE BASIS THAT IT IS NONRESPONSIVE IN THAT IT DOES NOT MEET THE IFB SPECIFICATIONS. THIS DETERMINATION WAS BASED ON THE FINDINGS OF AN AD HOC REVIEW COMMITTEE ON BIDS FOR STORES ISSUE 435-7-6343.

B-161612, JUL. 25, 1967

BIDS - DESCRIPTIVE DATA, ETC. - ADEQUACY DECISION TO LOW BIDDER WHO PROTESTS REJECTION OF BID FOR FURNISHING ARMY MATERIAL RESEARCH AGENCY AN ELECTRO-HYDRAULIC TEST SYSTEM ON BASIS THAT EVALUATION OF BID DATA INDICATED THAT BID DID NOT COMPLY WITH SPECIFICATIONS. SINCE DETERMINATION OF NEEDS OF AGENCY AND THE DRAFTING OF SPECIFICATIONS ARE PRIMARILY MATTERS FOR PROCURING AGENCY AND SINCE ADMINISTRATIVE DETERMINATION IS NOT FOUND TO BE ARBITRARY OR CAPRICIOUS OR WITHOUT SUBSTANTIAL BASIS IT MUST BE ACCEPTED AS CORRECT.

TO MR. DAVID D. MYNICK, VICE PRESIDENT, LAWRENCE SYSTEMS CORPORATION:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF MAY 23, 1967, PROTESTING AGAINST AWARD OF A CONTRACT TO ANY OTHER BIDDER UNDER IFB NO. DAAG46-67-B-0046 ISSUED ON MARCH 1, 1967, BY THE U. S. ARMY MATERIALS RESEARCH AGENCY (NOW THE U. S. ARMY MATERIALS AND MECHANICS RESEARCH CENTER), WATERTOWN, MASSACHUSETTS.

THE PROCUREMENT WAS FOR A CLOSED LOOP EXPANDED RANGE, AXIAL LOAD, ELECTRO -HYDRAULIC TEST SYSTEM IN ACCORDANCE WITH SPECIFICATION NO. 435 7-6343. FOUR BIDS WERE RECEIVED IN RESPONSE TO THE IFB AS A RESULT OF SIXTEEN SOURCES BEING SOLICITED. AT OPENING ON MARCH 31, 1967, YOUR FIRM WAS THE APPARENT LOW BIDDER IN THE AMOUNT OF $57,375.

THE CONTRACTING OFFICER, HOWEVER, HAS DETERMINED THAT YOUR BID SHOULD BE REJECTED ON THE BASIS THAT IT IS NONRESPONSIVE IN THAT IT DOES NOT MEET THE IFB SPECIFICATIONS. THIS DETERMINATION WAS BASED ON THE FINDINGS OF AN AD HOC REVIEW COMMITTEE ON BIDS FOR STORES ISSUE 435-7-6343, WHICH WERE REPORTED IN MEMORANDA DATED JUNE 20 AND 27, 1967, FROM THE CHAIRMAN, TECHNICAL EVALUATION COMMITTEE, AS FOLLOWS:

"A. LAWRENCE SYSTEMS CORPORATION

"/1) ALTHOUGH THIS BID (P7 OF IFB) INDICATED THAT IT WILL FURNISH A MATERIALS TEST SYSTEM, -IN ACCORDANCE WITH SPECIFICATION 435-7-6343 ATTACHED HERETO AND MADE A PART HEREOF., - IT WAS FOUND THAT THE SPECIFICATIONS SUBMITTED BY THIS BIDDER IN LSC PROPOSAL NO. 67216 WHEREIN (ITEM 1 P 1) THEY ALSO STATED -NO EXCEPTIONS HAVE BEEN TAKEN TO THE IFB SPECIFICATIONS, - THEY CITE IN SECTION 9 (ACCURACIES AND PERFORMANCE) LOAD CELL BLH T2P1B. TO THE CONTRARY THE COMMITTEE FINDS THAT THIS LOAD CELL IS NON-RESPONSIVE TO THE REQUIREMENTS OF 2.2 OF THE AMRA SPECIFICATIONS. THIS LOAD CELL IS NOT RECOMMENDED BY ITS MANUFACTURER FOR OFF-CENTER LOADING AND DOES NOT HAVE UNLIMITED FATIGUE LIFE.

"/2) ADDITIONALLY THE NON-AXIALLY MOUNTED STROKE TRANSDUCERS OFFERED IN LSC PROPOSAL 67216 ARE CONSIDERED TO BE NON-RESPONSIVE TO THE REQUIREMENTS OF AMRA SPECIFICATION (PARAGRAPH 2.4) AND MIGHT BE A CAUSE FOR ERROR IN DEFLECTION MEASUREMENTS.

"/3) IN SUMMARY THE COMMITTEE FEELS THAT BECAUSE OF THE ABOVE DEVIATIONS THIS BIDDER IS UNRESPONSIVE AND THAT THESE DEVIATIONS PROVIDE SUFFICIENT JUSTIFICATION FOR REJECTION OF THIS BID.

"1.1 - WITH RESPECT TO THE SYSTEM PER SE THE PROPOSAL DOES NOT CONTAIN EITHER DRAWINGS, SKETCHES OR PHOTOGRAPHS THAT WOULD DEPICT OR DEMONSTRATE THE TOTAL SYSTEM PROPOSED (WITH RESPECT TO DIMENSIONS, ETC.)

"1.3 - THE SPECIFICATION READS, ---- SHALL COMPLETELY DESCRIBE ALL ITEMS OF THE SYSTEM AND SHALL INCLUDE RESPONSE CURVES OF HYDRAULIC AND ELECTRONIC COMPONENTS, - COMMENTS ARE:

"A. THE LOAD FRAME PROPOSED IS ATTACHED IN OUTLINE DRAWING C-67216 1 WHICH IS UNDIMENSIONED AND DOES NOT INDICATE THE STATIC CAPACITY (MINIMUM STATIC LOAD CAPACITY OF 150,000 LB TENSION/COMPARISON REQUIRED PER PARAGRAPH 2.1 OF AMRA SPECIFICATION), NOR IS THIS CAPABILITY CITED ELSEWHERE IN THE PROPOSAL.

"B. THIS PARAGRAPH ALSO REQUIRES -A LISTING OF SIMILAR SYSTEMS, ETC. - THE BRIEF DESCRIPTIONS OF THE THREE SYSTEMS LISTED IN SECTION 10 OF THE PROPOSAL (UNSUPPORTED BY PHOTOGRAPHS, ILLUSTRATIONS OR OTHER MATERIAL WHICH WOULD INDICATE PERFORMANCE CHARACTERISTICS OF THE EQUIPMENT) DO NOT PROVIDE SUFFICIENT DETAIL TO ADEQUATELY ASSESS THESE SYSTEMS FOR SIMILARITY AND PERFORMANCE CHARACTERISTICS.

"C. THIS PARAGRAPH ALSO REQUIRES, -THE PROPOSAL SHALL ALSO STATE THE GUARANTEED ACCURACIES OF THE PROGRAMMING, CONTROL AND READ OUTEQUIPMENT PROPOSED INCLUDING STATIC AND DYNAMIC ACCURACIES WITHIN THE PERFORMANCE RANGE OF THE SYSTEM. THE ACCURACIES SHALL BE LISTED FOR ALL OPERATING MODES (LOAD, FULL STROKE, SHORT STROKE) AND SHALL BE IN PERCENTAGES OF THE SELECTED RANGES IN USE.

"D. THE ACCURACIES CITED IN SECTION 9 OF THE PROPOSAL WITH RESPECT TO THE LVDT AND THE LOAD CELL AND THEIR ASSOCIATED ELECTRONICS DO NOT APPEAR TO DISTINGUISH BETWEEN STATIC AND DYNAMIC ACCURACIES. ADDITIONALLY, SYSTEM ACCURACIES ARE NOT INCLUDED IN THE PROPOSAL.

"PARAGRAPHS 1.5, 1.6 AND 1.7 - THE PROPOSAL IS NON-RESPONSIVE TO THESE REQUIREMENTS.

"2.1 - STATIC LOAD CAPACITY IS NOT INDICATED IN PROPOSAL - SEE COMMENT ON 1.3 ABOVE.

"2.2 - THIS PARAGRAPH REQUIRES THAT THE LOAD CELL SHALL BE FATIGUE RATED FOR PLUS OVER MINUS 100,000 LB WITH INFINITE LIFE AT CYCLIC LOAD AND THAT THE LOAD CELL WEIGHING PLATEN SHALL BE DESIGNED TO TAKE THE FULL LOAD OF 150,000 LB IN A RADIUS OF ONE INCH OFF CENTER WITHOUT ANY DAMAGE TO THE CELL OR WITHOUT ANY CHANGE IN THE LOAD CELL CALIBRATION. THE OFFER TO FURNISH LOAD CELL BLH T2P1B IS CONSIDERED TO BE A MAJOR DEVIATION SINCE IT DOES NOT MEET THE REQUIREMENTS OF THIS PARAGRAPH AS CITED ABOVE. THIS LOAD CELL IS NOT RECOMMENDED BY THE MANUFACTURER FOR OFF CENTER LOADING AND DOES NOT FULFILL UNLIMITED FATIGUE LIFE REQUIREMENT CITED ABOVE. (28 JUNE VISIT REPORT OF MR. C. CURLL COPY INCLOSED).

"2.3 - THE PROPOSAL DOES NOT MAKE ANY REFERENCE TO THE MAXIMUM RAM VELOCITY REQUIREMENTS SPELLED OUT IN THIS PARAGRAPH (200 INCHES/MIN AT FULL RATED LOAD).

"2.4 - THIS PARAGRAPH REQUIRES THAT -TWO STROKE TRANSDUCERS SHALL BE PROVIDED, COAXIALLY MOUNTED, WITHIN THE ACTUATOR ASSEMBLY. - THE EXTERNAL CYLINDER MOUNTED TRANSDUCERS AS OFFERED IN THE PROPOSAL ARE CONSIDERED TO BE ANOTHER MAJOR DEVIATION FROM THE SPECIFICATION REQUIREMENTS.

"3. CONTROL CONSOLE - THE CONTROL CONSOLE PER SE IS NOT DESCRIBED IN PROPOSAL.

"4. HYDRAULIC POWER SUPPLY - NO DATA ARE PROVIDED ON THE CHARACTERISTICS OF THE HYDRAULIC POWER SUPPLY THEY PROPOSE TO FURNISH (SECTION 5 CITES MODIFIED SERIES 201 HYDRAULIC POWER UNIT HOWEVER NO DATA ON THIS ARE INCLUDED).

"3. IN SUMMARY THE COMMITTEE REITERATES THAT THE LAWRENCE SYSTEMS CORPORATION PROPOSAL IS NON-RESPONSIVE AND WARRANTS REJECTION.'

THE FOREGOING FINDINGS, WITH SPECIFIC REFERENCE TO THE REQUIREMENTS OF PARAGRAPH 2.2 OF THE SPECIFICATIONS, APPEAR TO BE SUPPORTED BY A LETTER DATED JUNE 30, 1967, FROM BLH ELECTRONICS, THE MANUFACTURER OF THE LOAD CELL YOU PROPOSED TO FURNISH, WHICH READS IN PERTINENT PART AS FOLLOWS:

"IN REPLY TO YOUR TELEPHONE REQUEST FOR INFORMATION ON THE BLH TYPET2P1B LOAD CELL, WE CAN STATE THE FOLLOWING:

"A. THE EXPECTED FATIGUE LIFE OF THIS LOAD CELL, WHEN DERATED TO 50 PERCENT OF ITS CAPACITY, IS 10 MILLION CYCLES.

"B. AN OFF-CENTER LOAD OF 1 INCH WILL DERATE THIS EXPECTED FATIGUE LIFE BY APPROXIMATELY 20 PERCENT.

"C. AN OFF-CENTER LOAD OF 1 INCH WILL POSSIBLY INTRODUCE SOME SMALL ERROR IN THE OUTPUT SIGNAL OF THE LOAD CELL. (THE AMOUNT OF ERROR INTRODUCED BY THIS OFF-CENTER LOAD IS NOT KNOWN, TESTING WOULD BE REQUIRED TO DETERMINE WHAT IT IS. ( "

DETERMINATIONS OF THE NEEDS OF THE GOVERNMENT AND THE DRAFTING OF SPECIFICATIONS FOR THE ADVERTISING OF SUCH NEEDS ARE PRIMARILY THE RESPONSIBILITY OF PROCURING AGENCIES. FROM THE FOREGOING WE MUST CONCLUDE THAT THE RECORD INDICATES YOUR BID DATA WAS EVALUATED BY COMPETENT TECHNICAL PERSONNEL OF THE PROCURING ACTIVITY AND WAS REJECTED ON THE BASIS OF THEIR FINDINGS. SINCE IT IS NOT APPARENT FROM THE RECORD THAT THE ADMINISTRATIVE CONCLUSION THAT YOUR BID WAS NONRESPONSIVE IS ARBITRARY OR CAPRICIOUS OR WITHOUT SUBSTANTIAL BASIS,WE MUST ACCEPT IT AS CORRECT. 17 COMP. GEN. 554; 19 ID. 587; 35 ID. 174.

FOR THE REASONS STATED, WE DO NOT PERCEIVE ANY BASIS ON WHICH WE COULD OBJECT TO THE REJECTION OF YOUR BID, AND YOUR PROTEST AGAINST AWARD TO ANY OTHER BIDDER MUST THEREFORE BE DENIED.