B-165262, FEB. 5, 1969

B-165262: Feb 5, 1969

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LIMITED: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 19. YOU TAKE ISSUE WITH THE STATEMENT IN OUR DECISION THAT A PROPOSAL WAS NOT RECEIVED FROM YOUR COMPANY. IN A SUPPLEMENTAL REPORT THE DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY HAS ADVISED US THAT A REINVESTIGATION OF YOUR COMPLAINT REVEALS THAT A PIECE OF CERTIFIED MAIL WAS RECEIVED FROM YOUR COMPANY AND WAS DELIVERED TO AND RECEIPTED FOR BY NAVY PERSONNEL WHO NORMALLY PROCESS SUCH MAIL. THE NATURE OF SUCH PIECE OF CERTIFIED MAIL IS UNDETERMINABLE SINCE THERE IS NO RECORD OF ITS RECEIPT IN THE APPLICABLE PROCUREMENT FOLDER NOR HAS IT BEEN LOCATED DESPITE AN EXHAUSTIVE SEARCH. NORMAL PROCEDURE IS STATED TO PROVIDE FOR ALL PROPOSALS TO BE HELD UNOPENED UNTIL THE NEXT WORKDAY FOLLOWING THE CLOSING DATE FOR DELIVERY TO THE BUYER FOR EVALUATION AND FILING IN THE PROCUREMENT FILE FOLDER.

B-165262, FEB. 5, 1969

TO TRADERS DISTRIBUTING CO., LIMITED:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 19, 1968, WITH ENCLOSURES, REQUESTING, IN EFFECT, A REVIEW OF OUR DECISION B-165262 DATED NOVEMBER 14, 1968, WHICH DENIED YOUR PROTEST AGAINST THE AWARD OF A CONTRACT TO THE AMERICAN AIR FILTER COMPANY, INC., UNDER NAVY REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS NO. N00104-69-R-3511, ISSUED BY THE NAVY SHIPS PARTS CONTROL CENTER, MECHANICSBURG, PENNSYLVANIA. YOU TAKE ISSUE WITH THE STATEMENT IN OUR DECISION THAT A PROPOSAL WAS NOT RECEIVED FROM YOUR COMPANY.

IN A SUPPLEMENTAL REPORT THE DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY HAS ADVISED US THAT A REINVESTIGATION OF YOUR COMPLAINT REVEALS THAT A PIECE OF CERTIFIED MAIL WAS RECEIVED FROM YOUR COMPANY AND WAS DELIVERED TO AND RECEIPTED FOR BY NAVY PERSONNEL WHO NORMALLY PROCESS SUCH MAIL. HOWEVER, THE NATURE OF SUCH PIECE OF CERTIFIED MAIL IS UNDETERMINABLE SINCE THERE IS NO RECORD OF ITS RECEIPT IN THE APPLICABLE PROCUREMENT FOLDER NOR HAS IT BEEN LOCATED DESPITE AN EXHAUSTIVE SEARCH. NORMAL PROCEDURE IS STATED TO PROVIDE FOR ALL PROPOSALS TO BE HELD UNOPENED UNTIL THE NEXT WORKDAY FOLLOWING THE CLOSING DATE FOR DELIVERY TO THE BUYER FOR EVALUATION AND FILING IN THE PROCUREMENT FILE FOLDER. THE CLOSING DATE IN THIS INSTANCE WAS FRIDAY, AUGUST 30, 1968, AND THE NEXT WORKDAY WAS TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 3, 1968, THE DAY THE FOLDER WAS RELEASED BY THE BUYER FOR PREPARATION OF AN AWARD TO THE AMERICAN AIR FILTER COMPANY, INC. IT IS REPORTED THAT THE ONLY PROPOSAL CONTAINED IN THE PROCUREMENT FOLDER WAS THAT RECEIVED FROM AMERICAN AND, ACCORDING TO THE BUYER'S RECOLLECTION, NO PROPOSAL FROM YOUR COMPANY WAS DELIVERED TO HER NOR WAS AN ENVELOPE OR CORRESPONDENCE OF ANY TYPE FROM YOUR FIRM DELIVERED OR BROUGHT TO HER ATTENTION. IT IS FURTHER REPORTED THAT IF SUCH PROPOSAL HAD BEEN RECEIVED, IT WOULD HAVE BEEN REFERRED TO THE TECHNICAL DIVISION FOR COMMENTS.

WITH RESPECT TO THE STATEMENT CONTAINED IN YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 19 THAT THE BUYER "REFUSED TO DIVULGE THE DOLLAR AMOUNT OF THE AWARD," IT IS THE BUYER'S CONTENTION, BORNE OUT BY A COMPLETED "RECORD OF TELEPHONE CONVERSATION" FORM IN THE CONTRACT FILE, THAT YOUR MR. MORAND WAS TOLD THAT THE BUYER HAD RELEASED THE FOLDER FOR PREPARATION OF AN AWARD TO AMERICAN AND DID NOT RECALL THE AWARD PRICE, THAT THE OFFICE WAS CLOSED BUT THAT SHE WOULD BE GLAD TO CALL YOU THE FOLLOWING DAY, OR THAT MR. MORAND COULD MAKE A FOLLOW-UP CALL AND RECEIVE THE REQUESTED INFORMATION. ACCORDING TO THE RECORD, MR. MORAND TERMINATED THE TELEPHONE CONVERSATION AT THIS POINT QUITE ABRUPTLY.

IT IS BELIEVED TO BE OF SIGNIFICANCE THAT IT HAD BEEN DETERMINED, IN ADVANCE OF SUPPLYING YOUR COMPANY WITH SOLICITATION FORMS, THAT THE PROCUREMENT OF THE FILTER MEDIA HAD TO BE MADE FROM THE AMERICAN AIR FILTER COMPANY, INC. THE REASON FOR THIS DETERMINATION WAS THAT DETAILS OF SUCH MEDIA WERE NOT KNOWN AND ACCEPTANCE OF ANY SUBSTITUTE WOULD REQUIRE TESTING TO SHOW THAT IT WOULD PERFORM EQUALLY OR BETTER THAN THE AMERICAN PRODUCT IN SUBMARINE PROPULSION MOTOR VENTILATION SYSTEMS.

THE GOVERNMENT SHOULD MAKE EVERY EFFORT TO INSURE THAT INTERESTED BIDDERS' PROPOSALS RECEIVE CONSIDERATION AND PERTINENT ADVICE OF THE DISPOSITION OF THEIR PROPOSALS. IT IS REGRETTED THAT THE PROPOSAL YOU SUBMITTED WAS APPARENTLY LOST AND HENCE NOT AVAILABLE FOR CONSIDERATION BY THE DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY. HOWEVER, THE SOLICITATION HAD BEEN LIMITED TO AMERICAN AND, ABSENT RECEIPT OF ANY OTHER PROPOSAL, THERE WAS NOTHING IN THE RECORD TO ALERT THE BUYER THAT A PROPOSAL HAD VOLUNTARILY BEEN SUBMITTED BY YOUR FIRM.

IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES, IT MUST AGAIN BE CONCLUDED THAT THE ADMINISTRATIVE ACTIONS TAKEN WITH RESPECT TO THIS PROCUREMENT ARE NOT SUBJECT TO QUESTION BY OUR OFFICE.