B-164738, NOV. 12, 1968

B-164738: Nov 12, 1968

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RICHTER AND PINNEY: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED SEPTEMBER 27. THE REQUEST FOR QUOTATIONS WAS ISSUED BY HEADQUARTERS. QUOTATIONS WERE REQUESTED. PROSPECTIVE OFFERORS WERE CAUTIONED THAT THE SUPPLIES AND SERVICES WERE HIGHLY CRITICAL AND THAT IT WOULD BE NECESSARY FOR THE PROSPECTIVE CONTRACTOR TO SUFFICIENTLY DEMONSTRATE ITS CAPABILITY TO PERFORM STRICTLY IN ACCORDANCE WITH ALL OF THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE PROPOSED CONTRACT TO JUSTIFY A DETERMINATION OF THE PROSPECTIVE CONTRACTOR'S "RESPONSIBILITY. " AS THAT TERM IS DESCRIBED IN PART 9 OF SECTION 1 OF THE ARMED SERVICES PROCUREMENT REGULATION (ASPR). WERE TO BE CONSIDERED IN THE EVALUATION OF PROPOSALS AS A PART OF THE QUANTITY OF THE BASIC ITEM NO. 2 STANDARD OVERHAUL SERVICES.

B-164738, NOV. 12, 1968

TO MURTHA, CULLINA, RICHTER AND PINNEY:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED SEPTEMBER 27, 1968, SUBMITTED ON BEHALF OF THE KAMAN CORPORATION, BLOOMFIELD, CONNECTICUT, IN CONNECTION WITH THAT COMPANY'S PROTEST AGAINST THE AWARD OF AIR FORCE CONTRACT NO. F09603-68-D-2058, TO THE PARSONS CORPORATION, TRAVERSE CITY, MICHIGAN, PURSUANT TO REQUEST FOR QUOTATIONS NO. F09603 68-Q-0064, DATED DECEMBER 5, 1967, AS AMENDED.

THE REQUEST FOR QUOTATIONS WAS ISSUED BY HEADQUARTERS, WARNER ROBINS AIR MATERIEL AREA, ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, GEORGIA. QUOTATIONS WERE REQUESTED, ON AN INCREMENTAL QUANTITY BASIS, FOR THE FURNISHING OF OVERHAUL SERVICES FOR HELICOPTER CHEEK PLATES, BLADE ASSEMBLIES AND FLAPS UNDER BASIC ITEMS NOS. 1, 2 AND 3. ITEMS NOS. 4 THROUGH 7 CALLED FOR DATA AND SUPPLIES AND ITEM NO. 8 CALLED FOR MINOR OVERHAUL SERVICES NOT ACCOMPLISHED UNDER ITEM NO. 2, AND CERTAIN OTHER SERVICES. THE AWARD TO THE PARSONS CORPORATION COVERED ESTIMATED QUANTITIES OF SERVICES FALLING WITHIN CERTAIN INCREMENTAL QUANTITIES OF SUBITEMS NOS. 1AA, 1AB, 2AA, 2AB, 3AA AND 3AB, AN ESTIMATED AMOUNT OF $1,149.56 FOR DATA AND SUPPLIES CALLED FOR UNDER ITEMS NOS. 4 THROUGH 7, AND AN ESTIMATED AMOUNT OF $37,975.12 FOR MINOR OVERHAUL SERVICES AS REQUIRED UNDER SUBITEM NO. 8AA, COMPUTED AT A QUOTED PRICE OF $9.91 PER HOUR FOR AN ESTIMATED TOTAL NUMBER OF 3,832 DIRECT LABOR HOURS WHICH WOULD BE INVOLVED IN THE MAKING OF MINOR REPAIRS ON APPROXIMATELY 20 PAIRS OF ROTOR BLADES SIMILAR TO THOSE REQUIRED TO BE OVERHAULED IN CONNECTION WITH SUBITEMS NOS. 2AA AND 2AB.

THE TOTAL ESTIMATED AMOUNT OF THE CONTRACT WITH THE PARSONS CORPORATION INCLUDED A PRICE OF $3,498.23 PER PAIR OF CHEEK PLATE REPLACEMENT OR OVERHAUL UNDER ITEM NO. 1 OF THE CONTRACT, FOR WHICH THE ESTIMATED TOTAL QUANTITY UNDER SUBITEMS NOS. 1AA AND 1AB CONSISTED OF 160 PAIRS. THE TOTAL ESTIMATED AMOUNT OF THE CONTRACT ALSO INCLUDED A PRICE OF $2,041.46 PER PAIR OF ROTOR BLADES TO BE OVERHAULED UNDER ITEM NO. 2, FOR WHICH THE ESTIMATED TOTAL QUANTITY OF THE STANDARD OVERHAUL SERVICES CALLED FOR UNDER THE INCREMENTAL SUBITEMS NOS. 2AA AND 2AB CONSISTED OF 112 PAIRS. THE KAMAN CORPORATION QUOTED THE RESPECTIVE PRICES OF $3,511 AND $1,994 PER PAIR UNDER THE INCREMENTAL SUBITEMS NOS. 1AA, 1AB, 2AA AND 2AB OF THE BASIC ITEMS NOS. 1 AND 2.

UNDER CLAUSE F-32 OF THE AMENDED REQUEST FOR QUOTATIONS, PROSPECTIVE OFFERORS WERE CAUTIONED THAT THE SUPPLIES AND SERVICES WERE HIGHLY CRITICAL AND THAT IT WOULD BE NECESSARY FOR THE PROSPECTIVE CONTRACTOR TO SUFFICIENTLY DEMONSTRATE ITS CAPABILITY TO PERFORM STRICTLY IN ACCORDANCE WITH ALL OF THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE PROPOSED CONTRACT TO JUSTIFY A DETERMINATION OF THE PROSPECTIVE CONTRACTOR'S "RESPONSIBILITY," AS THAT TERM IS DESCRIBED IN PART 9 OF SECTION 1 OF THE ARMED SERVICES PROCUREMENT REGULATION (ASPR). CLAUSE NO. F-32 INDICATED THAT, FOR SUCH PURPOSE, PROSPECTIVE CONTRACTORS WOULD BE REQUIRED TO SUBMIT EVIDENCE TO DEMONSTRATE THEIR CAPABILITY, INCLUDING "EVIDENCE OF AVAILABILITY OF ALL NECESSARY FACILITIES, SPECIAL TOOLS AND TEST EQUIPMENT.'

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

THE KAMAN CORPORATION SUBMITTED A LETTER OF PROTEST DATED JUNE 28, 1968, TO OUR OFFICE, CONTENDING THAT THE PARSONS CORPORATION SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN DETERMINED TO BE A RESPONSIBLE PROSPECTIVE CONTRACTOR BECAUSE IT DID NOT HAVE AVAILABLE CERTAIN TOOLING REQUIRED FOR THE PERFORMANCE OF CHEEK PLATE REPLACEMENT OR OVERHAUL SERVICES AS CALLED FOR UNDER ITEM NO. 1 AND THE INCREMENTAL SUBITEMS NOS. 1AA AND 1AB; AND THAT THE PROPOSALS OF THE KAMAN CORPORATION AND THE PARSONS CORPORATION WERE NOT PROPERLY EVALUATED. IN CONNECTION WITH THE SECOND CONTENTION, IT WAS STATED THAT, IN THE KAMAN CORPORATION'S EXPERIENCE, THE RATIO BETWEEN QUANTITIES OF CHEEK PLATE OVERHAUL AND STANDARD OVERHAUL OF ROTOR BLADES HAS BEEN APPROXIMATELY 1 TO 1, BUT THAT THE AIR FORCE USED A RATIO OF APPROXIMATELY 4 TO 1 WHICH MATERIALLY AFFECTED THE EVALUATION OF THE TWO PROPOSALS INASMUCH AS THE PARSONS CORPORATION'S PRICE PER PAIR UNDER THE BASIC ITEM NO. 1 WAS ONLY $12.77 LESS THAN THE PRICE QUOTED BY THE KAMAN CORPORATION, BUT ITS PRICE PER PAIR UNDER THE BASIC ITEM NO. 2 WAS $47.46 IN EXCESS OF THE PRICE QUOTED BY THE KAMAN CORPORATION.

WE REQUESTED AND RECEIVED AN ADMINISTRATIVE REPORT ON THE PROTEST FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE, ACCOMPANIED BY THE ADMINISTRATIVE FILE CONCERNING THE PROTEST, WHICH INCLUDED A DETAILED REPORT FROM THE CONTRACTING OFFICER. A COPY OF THE DEPARTMENTAL REPORT WAS FURNISHED TO THE KAMAN CORPORATION IN ACCORDANCE WITH YOUR REQUEST AND, SUBSEQUENTLY, IN CONNECTION WITH A CONTEMPLATED CONFERENCE ON THE CASE, LATER DETERMINED BY YOU AND YOUR CLIENT TO BE UNNECESSARY UNLESS WE BELIEVED THAT A CONFERENCE SHOULD BE ARRANGED FOR FURTHER EXPLANATION OF THE KAMAN CORPORATION'S POSITION, WE FORWARDED TO YOU A COPY OF THE CONTRACTING OFFICER'S DETAILED REPORT AND COPIES OF OTHER PERTINENT MATERIAL IN THE ADMINISTRATIVE FILE WHICH WAS SUBMITTED WITH THE DEPARTMENTAL REPORT.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT THE TOTAL EVALUATED PRICES OF THE PROPOSALS SUBMITTED BY THE KAMAN CORPORATION AND THE PARSONS CORPORATION WERE IN THE RESPECTIVE AMOUNTS OF $864,487.76 AND $857,761.88. THE RECORD ALSO SHOWS THAT THE PARSONS CORPORATION, EITHER BEFORE OR DURING THE PREAWARD SURVEY, SUBMITTED EVIDENCE OF THE AVAILABILITY OF VARIOUS ITEMS OF EQUIPMENT, INCLUDING SPECIAL TOOLS; AND THAT, IN REPORTING FAVORABLY ON THAT COMPANY'S CAPABILITIES, THE PREAWARD SURVEY REPORT STATED THAT "SPECIAL TOOLS AND FIXTURES ARE IN PLANT TO SUPPORT THIS REQUIREMENT.' AFTER CONTRACT AWARD, IT DEVELOPED, AS CONTENDED BY THE KAMAN CORPORATION, THAT THE PARSONS CORPORATION DID NOT HAVE ON HAND CERTAIN SPECIAL TOOLS WHICH WOULD BE REQUIRED FOR THE PERFORMANCE OF CHEEK PLATE OVERHAULS.

THE CONTRACTING OFFICER REPORTED THAT THE KAMAN CORPORATION AND THE PARSONS CORPORATION POSSESSED COMPARABLE GOVERNMENT-OWNED TOOLING EXCEPT THAT THE PARSONS CORPORATION DID NOT HAVE THE TOOLING REQUIRED TO ACCOMPLISH THE REPLACEMENT OF THE CHEEK PLATE, AND THAT THE PARSONS CORPORATION REPRESENTED THAT SUCH TOOLING WOULD BE CONTRACTOR FURNISHED. THE TOOLING INVOLVED REPORTEDLY CONSISTED OF (1) A RELATIVELY SIMPLE LOCATING FIXTURE, (2) A ROUTING FIXTURE WITH TEMPLATES AND (3) A HOLDING FIXTURE. THE GOVERNMENT ENGINEER WHO VISITED THE PLANT OF THE PARSONS CORPORATION AFTER AWARD OF THE CONTRACT REPORTED THAT IT WAS ESTIMATED BY THE ENGINEERING PERSONNEL OF THE PARSONS CORPORATION THAT THOSE ITEMS COULD BE MANUFACTURED BY THE COMPANY IN TIME TO MEET DELIVERY REQUIREMENTS.

THE DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE STATED, WITH RESPECT TO THE QUANTITIES OF THE BASIC ITEMS NOS. 1 AND 2 WHICH WERE USED IN THE EVALUATION OF THE TWO PROPOSALS THAT THE RATIO BETWEEN SUCH QUANTITIES WAS NO MORE THAN 1.33 TO 1 AND NOT 4 TO 1; AND THAT THE QUANTITIES USED WERE "THE ACTUAL KNOWN PROJECTED QUANTITIES FOR THESE ITEMS AS OF 3 JANUARY 1968;,

IT IS CONTENDED IN YOUR LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 27, 1968, THAT THE AWARD TO THE PARSONS CORPORATION, NOTWITHSTANDING THE FACT THAT IT DID NOT POSSESS THE SPECIAL TOOLING REQUIRED FOR THE PERFORMANCE OF THE CHEEK PLATE OVERHAUL SERVICES, RENDERS MEANINGLESS THE REQUEST FOR QUOTATIONS STANDARD THAT THE AVAILABILITY OF SPECIAL TOOLING IS AN ESSENTIAL CRITERION OF THE PROSPECTIVE CONTRACTOR'S RESPONSIBILITY. ALSO, WITH RESPECT TO THE INDICATION IN THE DEPARTMENTAL REPORT THAT IT WOULD NOT BE DIFFICULT FOR THE PARSONS CORPORATION TO OBTAIN THE NECESSARY TOOLING EQUIPMENT, YOU PROVIDED COST ESTIMATES FOR THE MANUFACTURE OF SUCH EQUIPMENT AND SUGGESTED THAT, SINCE THE COST OF MANUFACTURE IS SUBSTANTIAL, THE TOOLING EQUIPMENT REQUIRED FOR THE CHEEK PLATE REPAIR WORK IS MORE SIGNIFICANT THAN WOULD APPEAR FROM THE INFORMATION FURNISHED IN THE DEPARTMENTAL REPORT.

REGARDLESS OF THE KIND OR QUALITY OF THE REQUIRED SPECIAL TOOLING EQUIPMENT, THE QUESTION OF THE PARSONS CORPORATION'S RESPONSIBILITY WOULD HAVE BEEN FOR DETERMINATION IN REGARD TO SUCH SPECIAL TOOLING ON THE BASIS WHETHER THE TOOLING COULD BE MANUFACTURED BY THE COMPANY OR OTHERWISE OBTAINED WITHIN SUFFICIENT TIME TO MEET DELIVERY REQUIREMENTS. THE CONTRACTING OFFICER HAS DETERMINED, IN EFFECT, THAT THE COMPANY COULD MANUFACTURE THE TOOLING AND THAT IT COULD ALSO COMPLY WITH THE DELIVERY REQUIREMENTS OF THE CONTRACT. ALTHOUGH THOSE DETERMINATIONS WERE MADE AFTER CONTRACT AWARD BECAUSE THE PREAWARD SURVEY REPORT FAILED TO SHOW THAT THE COMPANY DID NOT POSSESS THE TOOLING EQUIPMENT, IT IS APPARENT THAT THE CONTRACTING OFFICER'S SUBSEQUENT FORECAST OR JUDGMENT IN THE MATTER CANNOT BE REGARDED AS HAVING BEEN UNREASONABLE IN THE PARTICULAR CIRCUMSTANCES.

THE WORK INVOLVED IN THE PROPOSED CONTRACT WAS DESCRIBED IN THE AMENDED REQUEST FOR QUOTATIONS AS CRITICAL, AND THE TERM "AVAILABILITY" WAS USED IN THE REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS IN RELATION TO FACILITIES, SPECIAL TOOLS AND TEST EQUIPMENT. THESE FACTS, HOWEVER, WOULD NOT WARRANT A CONCLUSION THAT THE AIR FORCE INTENDED TO PROVIDE A SPECIAL STANDARD FOR DETERMINING A PROSPECTIVE CONTRACTOR'S RESPONSIBILITY WHICH WOULD HAVE HAD THE EFFECT OF PRECLUDING AN AWARD TO A FIRM WHICH COULD QUALIFY AS A RESPONSIBLE PROSEPECTIVE CONTRACTOR UNDER THE MINIMUM AND ADDITIONAL STANDARDS FOR RESPONSIBLE PROSPECTIVE CONTRACTORS AS >ET FORTH IN ASPR 1-903.1 AND 1- 903.2. THOSE PRESCRIBED STANDARDS INCLUDE AN APPARENT ABILITY TO COMPLY WITH THE REQUIRED OR PROPOSED DELIVERY SCHEDULE AND THE POSSESSION OF THE NECESSARY TECHNICAL EQUIPMENT AND FACILITIES, OR THE ABILITY TO OBTAIN THEM. THE TERM "EVIDENCE OF AVAILABILITY" , APPEARING IN CLAUSE F-32 OF THE AMENDED REQUEST FOR QUOTATIONS, PROPERLY MAY BE INTERPRETED AS REFERRING, NOT ONLY TO TECHNICAL EQUIPMENT AND FACILITIES ALREADY IN THE PROSPECTIVE CONTRACTOR'S POSSESSION, BUT TO TECHNICAL EQUIPMENT AND FACILITIES WHICH THE PROSPECTIVE CONTRACTOR HAD THE ABILITY TO OBTAIN WITHIN SUFFICIENT TIME TO COMPLY WITH DELIVERY REQUIREMENTS.

AS INDICATED IN 43 COMP. GEN. 228, A DECISION WHETHER A PROSPECTIVE CONTRACTOR IS TO BE CONSIDERED RESPONSIBLE TO PERFORM A CONTRACT TO BE AWARDED INVOLVES A FORECAST WHICH MUST OF NECESSITY BE A MATTER OF JUDGMENT AND THE ADMINISTRATIVE DETERMINATION SHOULD BE ACCORDED FINALITY ABSENT A SHOWING OF BAD FAITH OR LACK OF A REASONABLE BASIS THEREFOR. THE CIRCUMSTANCES HERE INVOLVED, IT DOES NOT APPEAR THAT THE DETERMINATIONS OF THE PARSONS CORPORATION'S RESPONSIBILITY MADE BY THE CONTRACTING OFFICER BOTH BEFORE AND AFTER THE AWARD OF THE CONTRACT TO THAT COMPANY SHOULD BE QUESTIONED BY OUR OFFICE.

YOU REFER TO THE STATEMENT IN THE DEPARTMENTAL REPORT THAT THE BASIC ITEM NOS. 1 AND 2 QUANTITIES WERE ACTUAL KNOWN PROJECTED QUANTITIES FOR THOSE ITEMS AS OF JANUARY 3, 1968. WE AGREE THAT IF LATER PROJECTIONS WERE AVAILABLE AS OF THE TIME OF EVALUATION PROVISION SHOULD HAVE BEEN MADE FOR USING THEM. HOWEVER, THERE IS NO INDICATION IN THE RECORD BEFORE US THAT THERE WERE ANY INCREASES OR DECREASES IN THE QUANTITY ESTIMATES AND IT APPEARS THAT, EXCEPT IN THE EVENT OF AN EXTRAORDINARY CHANGE IN THE ESTIMATES REPORTED AS OF JANUARY 3, 1968, THERE COULD NOT HAVE BEEN CREATED A SITUATION UNDER WHICH THE PROPOSAL OF YOUR CLIENT COULD HAVE BEEN CONSIDERED TO HAVE BEEN LOWER THAN THAT OF THE PARSONS CORPORATION.

THE PRICE DIFFERENTIAL PER PAIR OF THE BASIC ITEM NO. 2 SERVICES IS $47.46 AND, IF THE QUANTITY OF THE BASIC ITEM NO. 2 SERVICES WAS INCREASED FROM 112 TO 160 PAIRS OF ROTOR BLADE OVERHAULS, OR BY 48 PAIRS TO MAKE THE QUANTITY RATIO BETWEEN THE ITEM NO. 1 AND THE ITEM NO. 2 SERVICES AMOUNT TO 1 TO 1, THE NET RESULT WOULD HAVE BEEN TO ACCOUNT FOR $2,278.08 OF THE $6,725.88 DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE EVALUATED PROPOSALS OF THE KAMAN CORPORATION AND THE PARSONS CORPORATION. HOWEVER, IT HAS NOT BEEN ESTABLISHED THAT THE RATIO DERIVED FROM THE QUANTITIES USED IN THE EVALUATION OF THE TWO PROPOSALS (APPROXIMATELY 1.43 TO 1 ON THE BASIS OF THE 160 AND 112-PAIR QUANTITY ESTIMATES), DOES NOT REFLECT A REASONABLE PROJECTED QUANTITY OF THE ITEM NO. 2 OVERHAUL SERVICES AS COMPARED WITH A KNOWN ACTUAL PROJECTED QUANTITY OF THE ITEM NO. 1 OVERHAUL SERVICES. YOU SUBMITTED A STATEMENT OF THE KAMAN CORPORATION'S EVALUATION OF THE TWO PROPOSALS WHICH WOULD LEAVE THE EVALUATED TOTAL PRICE OF THE KAMAN CORPORATION AT $864,487.76 BUT WHICH WOULD INCREASE THE TOTAL EVALUATED PRICE OF THE PARSONS CORPORATION FROM $857,761.88 TO $871,236.14. IN THE COMPUTATION OF THE AMOUNT OF $871,236.14, THE EVALUATED PRICE OF THE PARSONS CORPORATION ON THE ITEM NO. 8 REPAIR SERVICES IS INCREASED FROM $37,975.12 TO $47,468.90, BASED UPON AN INCREASE OF 25 PERCENT IN THE NUMBER OF DIRECT LABOR HOURS (3,832) ESTIMATED BY THE GOVERNMENT; AND AN AMOUNT OF $3,980.48 IS ADDED AS TRANSPORTATION COSTS INVOLVED IN CONNECTION WITH AN OVERSHIPMENT OF ROTOR BLADES TO THE KAMAN CORPORATION UNDER A FISCAL YEAR 1968 CONTRACT.

THE CONTRACTING OFFICER'S REPORT ON THE PROTEST OF THE KAMAN CORPORATION INDICATES THAT THE ESTIMATE OF 3,832 DIRECT LABOR HOURS OF ITEM NO. 8 MINOR REPAIR SERVICES WAS MADE PRIMARILY ON THE BASIS OF A STUDY OF WORK REQUESTS SUBMITTED BY THE KAMAN CORPORATION UNDER ITS FISCAL YEAR 1968 CONTRACT. SINCE THAT ESTIMATE WAS USED IN CONJUNCTION WITH AN ESTIMATED NUMBER OF 20 ITEM NO. 8 REPAIR JOBS. 191.6 DIRECT LABOR HOURS APPEAR TO HAVE BEEN ESTIMATED FOR EACH JOB. FOR THE STANDARD OVERHAUL SERVICES UNDER ITEM NO. 2, THE KAMAN CORPORATION'S PROPOSAL CONTAINED ESTIMATES AGGREGATING 169.1 DIRECT LABOR HOURS PER PAIR FOR OVERHAULING ROTOR BLADES. THE PARSONS CORPORATION ESTIMATED 210 DIRECT LABOR HOURS.

YOU CONTEND THAT THE AIR FORCE IGNORED THE ESTIMATE MADE IN THE PROPOSAL OF THE PARSONS CORPORATION AND THAT, SINCE THE ESTIMATE OF THE PARSONS CORPORATION IS APPROXIMATELY 25 PERCENT MORE THAN THE ESTIMATE MADE BY THE KAMAN CORPORATION, THE PROPOSAL PRICE OF THE PARSONS CORPORATION ON ITEM NO. 8 SHOULD HAVE BEEN EVALUATED AT $47,468.90, COMPUTED AT $9.91 PER HOUR FOR A TOTAL OF 4,790 DIRECT LABOR HOURS, OR 125 PERCENT OF 3,832 DIRECT LABOR HOURS WHICH WAS THE ESTIMATE USED IN THE COMPUTATION OF $37,975.12 AS THE PARSONS CORPORATION'S EVALUATED PRICE ON ITEM NO. 8.

THE AIR FORCE CONSIDERED THAT THE BEST MEANS OF ARRIVING AT A REASONABLE ESTIMATE OF THE DIRECT LABOR HOURS UNDER ITEM 8 WAS TO ANALYZE THE WORK REQUESTS OF THE KAMAN CORPORATION SUBMITTED IN CONNECTION WITH ITS MOST RECENT GOVERNMENT CONTRACT FOR HELICOPTER REPAIR SERVICES. ON SUCH BASIS, IT EVIDENTLY WAS CONSIDERED THAT THE KAMAN CORPORATION'S ESTIMATE WAS TOO LOW AND, PRESUMABLY, IT WAS ALSO BELIEVED THAT THE PARSONS CORPORATION'S ESTIMATE WAS TOO HIGH. THE GOVERNMENT'S ESTIMATE OF 191.6 DIRECT LABOR HOURS PER OVERHAUL JOB APPROXIMATES AN AVERAGE BETWEEN THE TWO PROPOSAL ESTIMATES AND THERE APPEARS TO BE NO PROPER BASIS FOR CONSIDERING THAT THE GOVERNMENT'S ESTIMATE DOES NOT REPRESENT A REASONABLY ACCURATE ESTIMATE OF THE NUMBER OF DIRECT LABOR HOURS WHICH WOULD BE EXPENDED BY EITHER OFFEROR IN PERFORMING THE ITEM NO. 8 OVERHAUL SERVICES. IN ANY EVENT SINCE ONLY THE LABOR RATE AND NOT THE ESTIMATED NUMBER OF HOURS IS BINDING ON THE CONTRACTOR, WE THINK THE CONTRACTING OFFICER WAS CORRECT IN APPLYING TO THE RATE AN AVERAGE TIME PER JOB BASED ON ACTUAL EXPERIENCE RATHER THAN ACCEPTING THE OFFEROR'S ESTIMATE.

THE CONTRACTING OFFICER REPORTED, IN EFFECT, THAT THE ELEMENT OF POSSIBLE FREIGHT COSTS WAS CONSIDERED IN THE EVALUATION OF THE TWO PROPOSALS AND HIS REPORT INDICATES THAT IT WAS VIRTUALLY IMPOSSIBLE TO PREDETERMINE WITH ANY REASONABLE DEGREE OF ACCURACY THE PRECISE AMOUNTS OF GOVERNMENT- FURNISHED PROPERTY TO BE SHIPPED TO THE SUCCESSFUL OFFEROR. IT WAS ASSUMED THAT THE KAMAN CORPORATION WOULD HAVE HAD VERY LITTLE, IF ANY, DIRECT MATERIALS ON HAND AT THE COMPLETION OF ITS FISCAL YEAR 1968 CONTRACT TO TRANSFER TO A NEW CONTRACTOR. IN VIEW OF THE CONTRACTING OFFICER'S STATEMENTS IN THE MATTER, WE DOUBT THAT THE OVERSHIPMENT OF ROTOR BLADES TO THE KAMAN CORPORATION, WHICH HAS NOW BEEN REFERRED TO, REASONABLY SHOULD BE REGARDED AS A MATERIAL FACTOR IN A REVIEW OF THE EVALUATIONS MADE ON THE TOW PROPOSALS.

EVEN IF WE CONSIDERED THAT THE CONTRACTING OFFICER SHOULD HAVE KNOWN AT THE TIME OF AWARDING THE CONTRACT TO THE PARSONS CORPORATION THAT A FREIGHT COST OF APPROXIMATELY $3,980.48 WOULD BE INCURRED AS THE RESULT OF AN OVERSHIPMENT OF ROTOR BLADES TO THE KAMAN CORPORATION, THE ADDITION OF THAT SUM TO THE EVALUATED PROPOSAL PRICE OF THE PARSONS CORPORATION WOULD NOT HAVE CHANGED THE RELATIVE STANDINGS OF THE OFFERORS. IN ADDITION, SINCE PARSONS CORPORATION WAS ALREADY LOW, THE CONTRACTING OFFICER DID NOT INCLUDE IN HIS EVALUATION A FACTOR TO REFLECT THAT PARSONS WOULD BE USING LESS GOVERNMENT-FURNISHED TOOLING THAN KAMAN CORPORATION. CONSIDERATION OF THIS FACTOR WOULD, OF COURSE, HAVE RESULTED IN IMPROVING PARSONS CORPORATION'S RELATIVE POSITION IN THE EVALUATION OF PROPOSALS.

ACCORDINGLY, THE PROTEST OF THE KAMAN CORPORATION TO OUR OFFICE IN THE MATTER MUST BE, AND IS, HEREBY DENIED.