B-162817, FEB. 7, 1968

B-162817: Feb 7, 1968

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PROTESTANT WHO CLAIMS THAT IT IS ONLY FIRM WITH EXPERIENCE. KNOW-HOW AND FACILITIES AND THAT GOVERNMENT HAS LARGE INVENTORY OF SONDES OF SUCCESSFUL OFFEROR WHICH ARE AWAITING DISPOSITION AS SCRAP OR EXPENSIVE RETROFITTING IS ADVISED THAT ADMINISTRATIVE REPORT SHOWS THAT SONDES IN INVENTORY WERE PRODUCED TO SPECIFICATION AND THAT REQUIREMENTS HAVE CHANGED BUT THIS DOES NOT MEAN THAT SUCCESSFUL OFFEROR IS INEXPERIENCED AND A NONRESPONSIBLE PRODUCER. ADMINISTRATIVE DETERMINATION THAT OFFEROR IS QUALIFIED TO PERFORM IS PROPER IN ABSENCE OF CLEAR SHOWING TO THE CONTRARY. TO THE BENDIX CORPORATION: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 24. THREE PROPOSALS WERE RECEIVED IN RESPONSE TO THE SOLICITATION.

B-162817, FEB. 7, 1968

BIDDERS - RESPONSIBILITY - PERFORMANCE CAPABILITY DECISION TO BENDIX CORP., HIGHEST OFFEROR, DENYING PROTEST AGAINST AWARD OF NEGOTIATED CONTRACT TO LOW OFFEROR, MONMOUTH ELECTRIC COMPANY FOR RADIOSONDES BY ARMY ELECTRONICS COMMAND. PROTESTANT WHO CLAIMS THAT IT IS ONLY FIRM WITH EXPERIENCE, KNOW-HOW AND FACILITIES AND THAT GOVERNMENT HAS LARGE INVENTORY OF SONDES OF SUCCESSFUL OFFEROR WHICH ARE AWAITING DISPOSITION AS SCRAP OR EXPENSIVE RETROFITTING IS ADVISED THAT ADMINISTRATIVE REPORT SHOWS THAT SONDES IN INVENTORY WERE PRODUCED TO SPECIFICATION AND THAT REQUIREMENTS HAVE CHANGED BUT THIS DOES NOT MEAN THAT SUCCESSFUL OFFEROR IS INEXPERIENCED AND A NONRESPONSIBLE PRODUCER. ADMINISTRATIVE DETERMINATION THAT OFFEROR IS QUALIFIED TO PERFORM IS PROPER IN ABSENCE OF CLEAR SHOWING TO THE CONTRARY. THEREFORE AWARD TO THE LOW RESPONSIVE, RESPONSIBLE OFFEROR APPEARS JUSTIFIED.

TO THE BENDIX CORPORATION:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 24, 1967, PROTESTING AGAINST THE AWARD OF A CONTRACT TO ANY FIRM OTHER THAN YOUR CORPORATION UNDER REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS/RFP) NO. DAAB05-68-R-0425 ISSUED JULY 27, 1967, BY THE UNITED STATES ARMY ELECTRONICS COMMAND, PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA.

THE SUBJECT RFP SOLICITED OFFERS FROM 10 FIRMS FOR THE FURNISHING OF 10,790 RADIOSONDES, AN/AMT-6C. THREE PROPOSALS WERE RECEIVED IN RESPONSE TO THE SOLICITATION. MONMOUTH ELECTRIC CO., INC., SUBMITTED THE LOWEST PROPOSAL AND YOUR CORPORATION SUBMITTED THE HIGHEST PROPOSAL.

IN YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 24, YOU STATE THAT THE GOVERNMENT NOW HAS IN INVENTORY APPROXIMATELY 40,000 MONMOUTH ELECTRIC COMPANY RADIO DROPSONDES TYPE AMT-13 THAT ARE AWAITING DISPOSITION BY EITHER SCRAPPING OR EXPENSIVE RETROFITTING. YOU SUGGEST, THEREFORE, THAT THIS PROVIDES CLEAR EVIDENCE THAT IT WOULD NOT BE IN THE INTEREST OF THE GOVERNMENT TO AWARD A CONTRACT TO MONMOUTH OR ANY OTHER INEXPERIENCED COMPANY FOR THE AMT-6 TYPE RADIOSONDES. YOU ALSO STATE THAT THE ONLY PROVEN RADIOSONDE MANUFACTURER, THE VIZ CORPORATION, DECLINED TO BID ON THIS DROPSONDE EQUIREMENT; THAT BENDIX AND GENERAL INSTRUMENT CORPORATION ARE THE ONLY MANUFACTURERS WHICH HAVE EVER PRODUCED THE AMT-6 DROPSONDE; AND THAT GENERAL INSTRUMENT DISCONTINUED MANUFACTURE SOME YEARS AGO. YOU CONTEND, THEREFORE, THAT YOUR COMPANY IS THE ONLY ONE WHICH HAS THE NECESSARY EXPERIENCE, KNOW-HOW AND FACILITIES TO PRODUCE THE AMT-6 AND, CONSEQUENTLY, THE CONTRACT SHOULD BE AWARDED TO YOU.

REGARDING THE DROPSONDES CURRENTLY FROZEN IN THE AIR FORCE INVENTORY, THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE REPORTS THAT THE SONDES WERE PRODUCED ACCORDING TO SPECIFICATION; HOWEVER, OVER A PERIOD OF TIME THE OPERATIONAL REQUIREMENTS HAVE CHANGED. HENCE, THERE APPEARS TO BE NO BASIS TO CONCLUDE, AS YOU IMPLY, THAT MONMOUTH IS AN INEXPERIENCED, NONRESPONSIBLE PRODUCER OF RADIOSONDES. ON THE CONTRARY, THE FACT THAT MONMOUTH MET THE SPECIFICATIONS IN PRODUCING THE AMT-13 TYPE OF SONDES INDICATES THAT IT COULD PRODUCE THE AMT-6 TYPE TO MEET THE SPECIFICATIONS. IN THAT CONNECTION, IT IS REPORTED THAT A SURVEY CONDUCTED BY A GOVERNMENT PREAWARD SURVEY TEAM SHOWED THAT MONMOUTH HAS THE TECHNICAL PERSONNEL AND PRODUCTION CAPABILITIES FOR PERFORMING THE CONTRACT IF AWARDED TO IT. WE HAVE HELD CONSISTENTLY THAT THE QUESTION OF THE QUALIFICATIONS OF A PROPOSED CONTRACTOR IS PRIMARILY THE FUNCTION OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICERS CONCERNED AND, IN THE ABSENCE OF ANY SHOWING OF BAD FAITH OR LACK OF REASONABLE BASIS FOR THE DETERMINATION, WE ARE NOT REQUIRED TO OBJECT TO THE DETERMINATION MADE BY THE ADMINISTRATIVE AGENCY. 43 COMP. GEN. 228. THE ADMINISTRATIVE DETERMINATION THAT MONMOUTH IS QUALIFIED TO PERFORM THE CONTRACT, THEREFORE, MUST BE REGARDED AS PROPER IN THE ABSENCE OF A CLEAR SHOWING TO THE CONTRARY.

REGARDING YOUR STATEMENT THAT YOUR FIRM IS THE ONLY EXPERIENCED PRODUCER OF AMT-6 RADIOSONDES SINCE THE GENERAL INSTRUMENT CORPORATION HAS DISCONTINUED THE MANUFACTURING OF SUCH ITEMS, WE HAVE BEEN ADVISED THAT THE SECOND LOW BIDDER ON THE INSTANT PROCUREMENT, ADVANCE INSTRUMENT CORPORATION, HAS ACQUIRED EXPERIENCED PERSONNEL FROM GENERAL INSTRUMENT CORPORATION AND THAT GENERAL INSTRUMENT IS WILLING TO SELL TO ADVANCE INSTRUMENT THE TOOLING IT USED IN PRODUCING TYPE AMT 6 RADIOSONDES.

FOR THE FOREGOING REASONS, IT APPEARS THAT THERE IS NO PROPER OR LEGAL BASIS ON WHICH WE WOULD BE JUSTIFIED IN OBJECTING TO AN AWARD OF THE CONTRACT TO MONMOUTH, THE LOW, RESPONSIVE, RESPONSIBLE OFFEROR.