B-165471, JAN. 24, 1969

B-165471: Jan 24, 1969

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INCORPORATED: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR TELEGRAM AND LETTER DATED OCTOBER 17 AND 22. WAS FURNISHED TO YOU WITH CERTAIN DELETIONS BY LETTER DATED DECEMBER 13. WE HAVE NOT HEARD FROM YOU AND MUST THEREFORE PROCEED ON THE BASIS OF THE RECORD BEFORE US. QUOTATIONS WERE SOLICITED FROM SMALL BUSINESS CONCERNS ONLY FOR THE PURPOSE OF NEGOTIATING A CONTRACT ON A TIME AND MATERIAL BASIS. THE BASIC CATEGORIES OF THE ESTABLISHED CRITERIA FOREVALUATION OF QUOTATIONS WERE: (1) ESTIMATED MANPOWER REQUIREMENTS IN TERMS OF HOURS AND COST. ELEVEN QUOTATIONS WERE RECEIVED BEFORE THE CLOSE OF BUSINESS ON MARCH 26. A COMMITTEE WAS APPOINTED TO REVIEW THE QUOTATIONS SUBMITTED. THE COMMITTEE SELECTED SEVEN EVALUATION FACTORS WHICH WERE THE SAME AS THOSE LISTED ABOVE EXCEPT FOR THE SUBSTITUTION OF "ESTIMATED COST" FOR THE FIRST APPENDIX A FACTOR OF ESTIMATED MANPOWER REQUIREMENTS WHICH LATTER WOULD HAVE REFLECTED A SUBSTANTIAL PART.

B-165471, JAN. 24, 1969

TO AVC, INCORPORATED:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR TELEGRAM AND LETTER DATED OCTOBER 17 AND 22, 1968, RESPECTIVELY, PROTESTING THE AWARD OF CONTRACT NO. DAAE07-69 -D-0012, DATED OCTOBER 11, 1968, TO RAKCO CREATIVE SERVICES, INCORPORATED, ROYAL OAK, MICHIGAN, PURSUANT TO REQUEST FOR QUOTATIONS NO. DAAE07-68-Q- 0663, ISSUED FEBRUARY 26, 1968, BY THE UNITED STATES ARMY TANK-AUTOMOTIVE COMMAND, WARREN, MICHIGAN.

WE REQUESTED AND RECEIVED AN ADMINISTRATIVE REPORT ON THE PROTEST FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY, ACCOMPANIED BY A STATEMENT OF THE CONTRACTING OFFICER. A COPY OF THE CONTRACTING OFFICER'S STATEMENT, SETTING FORTH THE PERTINENT FACTS OF THE CASE AND RECOMMENDING A DENIAL OF THE PROTEST, WAS FURNISHED TO YOU WITH CERTAIN DELETIONS BY LETTER DATED DECEMBER 13, 1968, WITH A REQUEST THAT YOUR WRITTEN COMMENTS ON THE CONTRACTING OFFICER'S STATEMENT BE FURNISHED WITHIN 15 DAYS. WE HAVE NOT HEARD FROM YOU AND MUST THEREFORE PROCEED ON THE BASIS OF THE RECORD BEFORE US.

QUOTATIONS WERE SOLICITED FROM SMALL BUSINESS CONCERNS ONLY FOR THE PURPOSE OF NEGOTIATING A CONTRACT ON A TIME AND MATERIAL BASIS, COVERING THE PREPARATION AND DELIVERY OF AN INDEFINITE QUANTITY OF CERTAIN TECHNICAL PUBLICATION DATA IN DRAFT FORM. THE REQUEST FOR QUOTATIONS INDICATED THAT ALL QUOTATIONS WOULD BE EVALUATED BY THE GOVERNMENT, PRICE AND OTHER FACTORS CONSIDERED, UTILIZING THE CRITERIA OF APPENDIX A OF THE REQUEST FOR QUOTATIONS AS THE BASIS FOR DETERMINING WHICH QUOTATION SHOULD BE ACCEPTED AS BEING IN THE BEST INTEREST OF THE GOVERNMENT. THE BASIC CATEGORIES OF THE ESTABLISHED CRITERIA FOREVALUATION OF QUOTATIONS WERE: (1) ESTIMATED MANPOWER REQUIREMENTS IN TERMS OF HOURS AND COST; (2) ORGANIZATION FOR PERFORMANCE; (3) EQUIPMENT AND FACILITIES; (4) TECHNICAL PERSONNEL; (5) RECORD OF PRESENT AND PAST PERFORMANCE; (6) QUALITY AND PRODUCTION CONTROL; AND (7) TECHNICAL APPROACH.

ELEVEN QUOTATIONS WERE RECEIVED BEFORE THE CLOSE OF BUSINESS ON MARCH 26, 1968, AND A COMMITTEE WAS APPOINTED TO REVIEW THE QUOTATIONS SUBMITTED. THE COMMITTEE SELECTED SEVEN EVALUATION FACTORS WHICH WERE THE SAME AS THOSE LISTED ABOVE EXCEPT FOR THE SUBSTITUTION OF "ESTIMATED COST" FOR THE FIRST APPENDIX A FACTOR OF ESTIMATED MANPOWER REQUIREMENTS WHICH LATTER WOULD HAVE REFLECTED A SUBSTANTIAL PART, BUT NOT ALL, OF THE PROSPECTIVE CONTRACTOR'S TOTAL PRICE ESTIMATE, INCLUDING OVERHEAD COSTS AND A PROFIT OR FEE.

IN ACCORDANCE WITH A RECOGNIZED POINT RATING TECHNIQUE OF EVALUATING QUOTATIONS OR PROPOSALS BEING CONSIDERED UNDER THE GOVERNMENT'S CONTRACT NEGOTIATION PROCEDURES, THE COMMITTEE ASSIGNED A MAXIMUM RELATIVE WEIGHT TO EACH EVALUATION FACTOR AS RELATED TO A TOTAL OF 1,100 RATING POINTS WHICH ANY QUOTATION COULD BE GIVEN ON ALL SEVEN OF THE SELECTED EVALUATION FACTORS. THE ASSIGNED MAXIMUM RELATIVE WEIGHTS INCLUDED 50 POINTS EACH FOR EVALUATION FACTORS 5 AND 7, 100 POINTS EACH FOR EVALUATION FACTORS 1 AND 6, 200 POINTS FOR EVALUATION FACTOR 2 AND 300 POINTS EACH FOR EVALUATION FACTORS 3 AND 4. UNDER SUCH RATING SYSTEM, A PROSPECTIVE CONTRACTOR'S ORGANIZATION, EQUIPMENT AND FACILITIES, AND TECHNICAL PERSONNEL WERE INDICATED TO BE THE MOST IMPORTANT FACTORS TO BE CONSIDERED IN DETERMINING WHICH OFFER SHOULD BE ACCEPTED, AND A PROSPECTIVE CONTRACTOR'S ESTIMATED TOTAL PRICE, INCLUDING A PROFIT OR FEE, WAS INDICATED TO BE ONE OF THE LESS IMPORTANT QUOTATION EVALUATION FACTORS.

SEVEN OF THE 11 QUOTATIONS RECEIVED WERE FOUND TO BE UNACCEPTABLE ON THE BASIS EITHER THAT THE POINT RATINGS FOR SUCH QUOTATIONS WERE TOO LOW OR THAT THE OFFERORS DID NOT MEET THE SIZE STANDARD OF THE REQUEST FOR QUOTATIONS FOR QUALIFICATION AS AN ELIGIBLE SMALL BUSINESS OFFEROR. FURTHER CONSIDERATION WAS GIVEN TO THE FOUR REMAINING QUOTATIONS, INCLUDING THE QUOTATION SUBMITTED BY YOUR COMPANY AND THE QUOTATION SUBMITTED BY RAKCO CREATIVE SERVICES, INCORPORATED. VISITS WERE MADE BY GOVERNMENT REPRESENTATIVES TO THE PLANTS OF THE FOUR OFFERORS WITH A VIEW TOWARD DETERMINING WHETHER ANY CHANGES SHOULD BE MADE IN THE INITIAL POINT RATINGS ON THEIR QUOTATIONS. THE QUOTATION OF RAKCO CREATIVE SERVICES, INCORPORATED, HAD BEEN GIVEN A HIGHER POINT RATING THAN HAD BEEN GIVEN TO EITHER OF THE THREE OTHER QUOTATIONS AND, ALTHOUGH CERTAIN CHANGES IN POINT RATINGS WERE MADE AS THE RESULT OF THE VISITS WHICH WERE MADE TO THE FOUR PLANTS, THE RELATIVE STANDING OF THE QUOTATION SUBMITTED BY RAKCO CREATIVE SERVICES, INCORPORATED, WAS NOT AFFECTED BY THE CHANGES IN THE POINT RATINGS.

THE CONTRACT WAS AWARDED TO RAKCO CREATIVE SERVICES, INCORPORATED, ON OCTOBER 11, 1968, AND BY LETTER OF THE SAME DATE YOU WERE ADVISED BY THE CONTRACTING OFFICER THAT YOUR QUOTATION INDICATED STRONG POINTS IN EVALUATION CATEGORIES 1, 4, 5, 6 AND 7, AND WEAK POINTS IN EVALUATION CATEGORIES 2 AND 3. WE HAVE NOT BEEN FURNISHED A COMPLETE ANALYSIS OF THE FINAL POINT RATINGS GIVEN TO THE QUOTATIONS SUBMITTED BY YOUR COMPANY AND RAKCO CREATIVE SERVICES, INCORPORATED. HOWEVER, THE FINAL RATING GIVEN TO THE QUOTATION OF RAKCO CREATIVE SERVICES, INCORPORATED, REPORTEDLY WAS 210 POINTS HIGHER THAN THE FINAL RATING GIVEN TO YOUR QUOTATION.

YOUR PROTEST WAS INITIALLY BASED ON FOUR POINTS. FIRST, YOU REFERRED TO THE FACT THAT YOUR ESTIMATED TOTAL CONTRACT PRICE WAS APPROXIMATELY $138,000 LESS THAN THE TOTAL ESTIMATED PRICE OF THE CONTRACT NEGOTIATED WITH RAKCO CREATIVE SERVICES, INCORPORATED. SECOND, YOU CONTENDED, WITH REFERENCE TO QUOTATION EVALUATION CATEGORY 2, THAT THE ARMY TANK- AUTOMOTIVE COMMAND DID NOT EXAMINE ANY OF THE SEVERAL APPLICANTS FOR POSITIONS WITH YOUR COMPANY. THIRD, YOU CONTENDED, WITH REFERENCE TO QUOTATION EVALUATION CATEGORY 3, THAT THE ARMY TANK-AUTOMOTIVE COMMAND FAILED TO NOTIFY YOU DURING A PERIOD OF APPROXIMATELY SIX MONTHS PRIOR TO CONTRACT AWARD WITH RESPECT TO ANY EQUIPMENT REQUIRMENTS WHICH WOULD MAKE YOUR COMPANY UNABLE TO PERFORM ANY CONTRACT OF THE SIZE AWARDED TO RAKCO CREATIVE SERVICES, INCORPORATED. FOURTH, YOU CONTENDED THAT THE ARMY TANK -AUTOMOTIVE COMMAND FAILED TO PROTECT THE PROPRIETARY INFORMATION INCLUDED IN YOUR QUOTATION, AND THAT YOUR PROPOSED LABOR RATES WERE EXPOSED TO THE SCRUTINY OF YOUR COMPETITORS' PERSONNEL. SUBSEQUENTLY, WE WERE ADVISED INFORMALLY OF A FIFTH BASIS FOR YOUR PROTEST WHICH CONCERNED YOUR APPARENT BELIEF THAT RAKCO CREATIVE SERVICES, INCORPORATED, DID NOT MEET THE SIZE STANDARD FOR QUALIFICATION UNDER THE REQUEST FOR QUOTATIONS AS AN ELIGIBLE SMALL BUSINESS OFFEROR.

THE CONTRACTING OFFICER'S STATEMENT SETS FORTH THAT THE GOVERNMENT WAS INTERESTED IN FULFILLING A NEED FOR HIGH QUALITY TECHNICAL PERFORMANCE IN THE PREPARATION OF PUBLICATIONS FOR MILITARY VEHICLES AND THAT, WHILE THE ELEMENT OF PRICE WAS ONE OF THE FACTORS TO BE CONSIDERED IN MAKING THE CONTRACT AWARD, IT WAS NOT BELIEVED TO BE ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT FACTORS TO BE CONSIDERED. IT WAS DETERMINED THAT THE CONTRACT SHOULD BE AWARDED TO THE OFFEROR WHOSE TECHNICAL APPROACH, PERSONNEL AND FACILITIES WERE SUCH AS TO BETTER GUARANTEE THE QUALITY OF PERFORMANCE REQUIRED, RATHER THAN ON THE BASIS SOLELY OF PRICES ESTIMATED BY OFFERORS WHO WERE DETERMINED TO BE CAPABLE OF PRODUCING WORK OF AN ACCEPTABLE NATURE BUT NOT NECESSARILY OF THE BEST QUALITY OBTAINABLE. THE GOVERNMENT MADE A PRICE ESTIMATE OF $973,394 PRIOR TO THE SOLICITATION OF QUOTATIONS AND AN ASSIGNMENT OF 100 MAXIMUM POINTS TO THE ELEMENT OF PRICE IN EVALUATION OF QUOTATIONS WAS BASED PRIMARILY ON THE THEORY THAT THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN AN OFFEROR'S TOTAL ESTIMATED PRICE AND THE GOVERNMENT'S COST ESTIMATE WOULD BE AN INDICATOR OF THE OFFEROR'S UNDERSTANDING OF THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE REQUEST FOR QUOTATIONS.

THE GOVERNMENT'S COST ESTIMATE OF $973,394 REPORTEDLY WAS DEVELOPED ON THE BASIS OF AVERAGING THE LABOR RATES OF SEVEN CONTRACTORS PERFORMING SIMILAR TYPE WORK AND COMPARING SUCH AVERAGE RATES WITH FEDERAL CIVIL SERVICE EMPLOYEES' SALARY AND WAGE RATES. THE CONTRACTING OFFICER STATES THAT IT WAS CONSIDERED HIGHLY UNLIKELY THAT A CONTRACTOR COULD SUCCESSFULLY PERFORM THE PROPOSED CONTRACT IF HIS WAGE SCALES WERE SUBSTANTIALLY BELOW CIVIL SERVICE RATES. RAKCO CREATIVE SERVICES, INCORPORATED, SUBMITTED AN ESTIMATED TOTAL PRICE WHICH IS CLOSER TO THE GOVERNMENT'S ESTIMATE OF $973,394 THAN YOUR TOTAL ESTIMATED PRICE OF $845,495. HOWEVER, SINCE YOU WERE ADVISED BY THE CONTRACTING OFFICER THAT QUOTATION EVALUATION FACTOR 1 WAS CONSIDERED TO BE ONE OF THE STRONG POINTS OF THE QUOTATION, IT APPEARS TO HAVE BEEN RECOGNIZED THAT IN THE AREA IN WHICH YOUR PLANT IS LOCATED IT WAS POSSIBLE FOR YOU TO EMPLOY COMPETENT PERSONNEL AT WAGE RATES WHICH WERE SUBSTANTIALLY LESS THAN CIVIL SERVICE RATES FOR THE TYPES OF SERVICES WHICH WOULD BE REQUIRED.

AS STATED BY THE CONTRACTING OFFICER WITH RESPECT TO THE FIRST BASIS OF YOUR PROTEST, THE REQUEST FOR QUOTATIONS PROVIDED A NUMBER OF FACTORS TO BE CONSIDERED IN EVALUATING THE QUOTATIONS RECEIVED AND THE ELEMENT OF PRICE WAS ONLY ONE OF THE FACTORS TO BE CONSIDERED. IN REGARD TO THE SECOND AND THIRD GROUNDS OF PROTEST, THE CONTRACTING OFFICER HAS INDICATED THAT THE QUALIFICATIONS OF YOUR MANAGEMENT PERSONNEL, SUPERVISORY PERSONNEL AND NON-SUPERVISORY PERSONNEL, AND YOUR EXISTING FACILITIES AND EQUIPMENT WERE GIVEN CAREFUL CONSIDERATION IN DETERMINING THE FINAL POINT RATINGS GIVEN TO YOUR QUOTATION UNDER EVALUATION CATEGORIES 2 AND 3.

THE CONTRACTING OFFICER DOES NOT CONTEND THAT GOVERNMENT REPRESENTATIVES EXAMINED ANY APPLICANTS FOR POSITIONS WITH YOUR COMPANY. HOWEVER, HE STATES THAT THE GOVERNMENT REPRESENTATIVES REVIEWED JOB APPLICATIONS SHOWN TO THEM AND THAT THEY DID NOT CONSIDER THE QUALIFICATIONS OF THE APPLICANTS AS JUSTIFYING A CHANGE IN THE ASSIGNED POINTS TO YOUR QUOTATION FOR EVALUATION CATEGORY 2.

THE CONTRACTING OFFICER DOES NOT REFER TO YOUR CONTENTION THAT YOU WERE NOT ADVISED WITH RESPECT TO ANY EQUIPMENT REQUIREMENTS WITHOUT WHICH YOUR COMPANY WOULD BE UNABLE TO PERFORM THE PROPOSED CONTRACT. HOWEVER, THE CONTRACTING OFFICER INDICATES THAT YOU DID NOT POSSESS CERTAIN NECESSARY PHOTOGRAPHIC EQUIPMENT AND THAT YOUR ILLUSTRATION EQUIPMENT WAS CONSIDERED TO BE INSUFFICIENT FOR THE TYPE AND AMOUNT OF ILLUSTRATIONS ESTIMATED TO BE REQUIRED. THOSE FACTORS, AMONG OTHERS, WERE CONSIDERED IN CONNECTION WITH A DETERMINATION OF THE NUMBER OF RATING POINTS WHICH SHOULD BE ASSIGNED TO YOUR QUOTATION UNDER EVALUATION CATEGORY 3 WITHOUT REFERENCE TO THE QUESTION WHETHER YOU WERE CAPABLE OF PERFORMING THE PROPOSED CONTRACT. YOUR ABILITY TO OBTAIN ANY ADDITIONALLY REQUIRED EQUIPMENT WITHIN A REASONABLE TIME DOES NOT APPEAR TO HAVE BEEN QUESTIONED AND NO FINAL DETERMINATION WITH RESPECT TO THE CAPABILITIES OF YOUR COMPANY WAS REQUIRED SINCE, ON THE BASIS OF THE POINT RATINGS ASSIGNED UNDER THE SEVEN BASIC CATEGORIES OF EVALUATION CRITERIA TO THE FOUR QUOTATIONS CONSIDERED AFTER DISQUALIFICATION OF SEVEN OF THE 11 QUOTATIONS WHICH HAD BEEN RECEIVED, RAKCO CREATIVE SERVICES, INCORPORATED, APPEARED TO BE BETTER QUALIFIED TO PERFORM THE PROPOSED CONTRACT THAN ANY OF THE THREE OTHER COMPANIES WHOSE QUOTATIONS WERE BEING CONSIDERED. IN THESE CIRCUMSTANCES, IT IS OUR OPINION THAT IT WAS NOT NECESSARY TO ADVISE YOU WITH RESPECT TO ANY APPARENT DEFICIENCIES EITHER IN THE QUANTITY OR QUALITY OF YOUR PHOTOGRAPHIC AND ILLUSTRATION EQUIPMENT.

IN REGARD TO THE FOURTH GROUND OF PROTEST, THE CONTRACTING OFFICER DENIES THAT THE GOVERNMENT FAILED TO PROTECT YOUR PROPRIETARY INFORMATION OR THAT YOUR PROPOSED LABOR RATES WERE EXPOSED TO THE SCRUTINY OF YOUR COMPETITORS' PERSONNEL. THE CONTRACTING OFFICER STATES THAT, IF YOU SUBMIT SPECIFIC INFORMATION IN SUPPORT OF THIS GROUND OF PROTEST, A FURTHER INVESTIGATION WILL BE MADE.

CONCERNING THE FIFTH GROUND OF PROTEST, AS STATED IN OUR LETTER TO YOU OF DECEMBER 13, 1968, THE DETROIT REGIONAL OFFICE OF THE SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION HAS DETERMINED THAT RAKCO CREATIVE SERVICES, INCORPORATED,"IS A SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN IN CONNECTION WITH RFQ NO. DAAE07-68-Q-0663.' SUCH DETERMINATION APPEARS TO BE CONTROLLING SINCE OTHER AGENCIES OF THE GOVERNMENT ARE REQUIRED TO ACCEPT AS CONCLUSIVE THE SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION'S DETERMINATION AS TO WHICH ENTERPRISES ARE TO BE DESIGNATED "SMALL-BUSINESS CONCERNS.' SEE 15 U.S.C. 637 (B) (6).

IN A TELEPHONE CONVERSATION OF DECEMBER 27, 1968, YOU INDICATED THAT YOU DID NOT INTEND TO FURNISH A DETAILED STATEMENT WITH RESPECT TO THE VARIOUS MATTERS DISCUSSED IN THE CONTRACTING OFFICER'S REPORT ON YOUR PROTEST. YOU ALSO INDICATED THAT YOU CONSIDERED THE FOUR QUOTATIONS REMAINING FOR CONSIDERATION IN THIS CASE PRIOR TO THE AWARD TO RAKCO CREATIVE SERVICES, INCORPORATED, AS HAVING BEEN PROPERLY FOR EVALUATION STRICTLY ON THE BASIS OF ESTIMATED TOTAL PRICES AND A DETERMINATION IN THE CASE OF THE LOW OFFEROR WHETHER IT WAS CAPABLE OF PERFORMING SATISFACTORILY. YOU WERE INFORMED THAT ONE OF THE FOUR OFFERORS HAD SUBMITTED A TOTAL PRICING ESTIMATE WHICH WAS LOWER THAN THE ESTIMATE SUBMITTED BY YOUR COMPANY BUT IT WAS RECOGNIZED THAT, IF YOUR ARGUMENT IN THE MATTER WAS VALID, THE AWARD SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN MADE TO RAKCO CREATIVE SERVICES, INCORPORATED, IF EITHER YOUR COMPANY OR THE OTHER OFFEROR WAS FULLY CAPABLE OF PERFORMING THE PROPOSED CONTRACT WORK IN A SATISFACTORY MANNER. YOU CONTENDED THAT YOUR COMPANY HAD MORE EXPERIENCE THAN THE SUCCESSFUL OFFEROR IN PERFORMING SERVICES OF THE TYPES REQUIRED BY THE ARMY TANK- AUTOMOTIVE COMMAND, AND YOU STATED THAT YOU WOULD PROVIDE CERTAIN INFORMATION WITH RESPECT TO YOUR PERFORMANCE UNDER AN AIR FORCE CONTRACT FOR THE PREPARATION OF TECHNICAL PUBLICATIONS, INCLUDING EVIDENCE THAT THE DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE CONSIDERED YOUR PERFORMANCE TO BE ENTIRELY SATISFACTORY.

IN A NEGOTIATED PROCUREMENT, THE RULES OF FORMALLY ADVERTISED,COMPETITIVE BIDDING, SUCH AS THE REQUIREMENT FOR AWARD TO THE LOWEST RESPONSIVE, RESPONSIBLE BIDDER, ARE NOT APPLICABLE AND A CONTRACTING OFFICER MAY TAKE INTO CONSIDERATION ALL FACTORS DEEMED ESSENTIAL TO THE PROCUREMENT. THE ELEMENT OF ULTIMATE COST TO THE GOVERNMENT SHOULD, OF COURSE, BE CONSIDERED IN THE EVALUATION OF QUOTATIONS OR PROPOSALS UNDER THE GOVERNMENT'S CONTRACT NEGOTIATION PROCEDURES BUT THERE IS NO REQUIREMENT THAT THE ELEMENT OF ULTIMATE COST BE CONSIDERED AS THE MOST IMPORTANT FACTOR IN MAKING SUCH EVALUATIONS. IN THE CASE OF A CONTRACT TO BE AWARDED OTHER THAN ON A FIXED-PRICE BASIS, THERE IS NO GUARANTEE OR ASSURANCE THAT THE ULTIMATE COST TO THE GOVERNMENT WILL NOT EXCEED AN OFFEROR'S TOTAL ESTIMATED COST OR PRICE. THUS, ASIDE FROM THE FACT THAT THE GOVERNMENT WAS PRIMARILY INTERESTED IN THIS CASE IN OBTAINING SERVICES OF THE BEST QUALITY OBTAINABLE AT A REASONABLE PRICE OR COST, IT DOES NOT NECESSARILY FOLLOW THAT, BECAUSE YOUR QUOTED HOURLY RATES, INCLUDING OVERHEAD AND PROFIT, ON AN ESTIMATED QUANTITY OF WORK, WERE LOWER THAN THOSE QUOTED BY RAKCO CREATIVE SERVICES, INCORPORATED, THE CONTRACT SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN AWARDED TO THAT COMPANY. IN THAT CONNECTION, THE ARMY TANK- AUTOMOTIVE COMMAND MIGHT REASONABLY HAVE CONSIDERED THAT THE ULTIMATE ACTUAL COST TO THE GOVERNMENT UNDER A CONTRACT AWARDED TO YOUR COMPANY OR ANY OTHER ,LOWER" OFFEROR COULD BE HIGHER THAN IF AN AWARD WAS MADE TO RAKCO CREATIVE SERVICES, INCORPORATED, SINCE THAT COMPANY, BY REASON OF ITS APPARENTLY SUPERIOR QUALIFICATIONS AS DETERMINED UNDER THE ESTABLISHD QUOTATION EVALUATION CRITERIA, MIGHT BE ABLE TO PERFORM ANY REQUIRED SERVICES WITHIN LESS TIME THAN THE SAME SERVICES COULD BE PERFORMED BY YOUR COMPANY OR BY THE OTHER COMPANY WHOSE QUOTED HOURLY LABOR RATES AND TOTAL ESTIMATED PRICE WERE ALSO LOWER THAN THOSE SET FORTH IN THE QUOTATION SUBMITTED BY RAKCO CREATIVE SERVICES, INCOPORATED.

REGARDLESS OF WHATEVER OPINION THE DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE MIGHT HAVE EXPRESSED IN REGARD TO YOUR PERFORMANCE UNDER AN AIR FORCE CONTRACT, IT WAS FOR THE ARMY TANK-AUTOMOTIVE COMMAND TO DETERMINE IN THIS CASE THE BASIS UPON WHICH THE PROPOSED CONTRACT WAS TO BE NEGOTIATED, AND THE RECORD BEFORE US FAILS TO DISCLOSE ANY INDICATION TO THE EFFECT THAT THE QUOTATIONS OF YOUR COMPANY AND THOSE OF THE THREE OTHER COMPANIES WHOSE QUOTATIONS REMAINED FOR CONSIDERATION AFTER THE DISQUALIFICATION OF SEVEN OTHER QUOTATIONS WERE NOT PROPERLY EVALUATED.

SO FAR AS CONCERNS THE CONTENTION THAT YOUR COMPANY HAD MORE EXPERIENCE THAN THE SUCCESSFUL OFFEROR IN PERFORMING SERVICES OF THE TYPES DESCRIBED IN THE REQUEST FOR QUOTATIONS, A COMPARISON OF THE PAST EXPERIENCE OF YOUR COMPANY WITH THAT OF RAKCO CREATIVE SERVICES, INCORPORATED, AS SET FORTH IN REPORTS OF SURVEY PREPARED BY THE DALLAS AND DETROIT REGIONAL OFFICES OF DEFENSE CONTRACT ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES, DOES NOT CLEARLY INDICATE WHICH FIRM HAD THE MOST EXPERIENCE IN THE PREPARATION OF TECHNICAL PUBLICATION DATA. ALTHOUGH YOUR COMPANY REPORTEDLY PERFORMED THREE GOVERNMENT CONTRACTS FOR THE PREPARATION OF TECHNICAL MANUALS AND IT HAD RECEIVED FOUR ADDITIONAL GOVERNMENT CONTRACTS FOR SIMILAR WORK, RAKCO CREATIVE SERVICES, INCORPORATED, WAS REPORTED AS HAVING COMPLETED ONE GOVERNMENT CONTRACT FOR THE PREPARATION OF TECHNICAL DATA, AND AS HAVING BEEN ENGAGED IN THE PREPARATION OF TECHNICAL DATA PUBLICATIONS FOR CERTAIN PRIVATE ORGANIZATIONS NOT HERE SPECIFIED BECAUSE OF RESTRICTIONS ON THE DISCLOSURE OF ANY SUCH INFORMATION.

IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, WE FIND NO PROPER BASIS FOR TAKING EXCEPTION TO THE AWARD AS MADE TO RAKCO CREATIVE SERVICES, INCORPORATED. YOUR PROTEST TO OUR OFFICE IN THE MATTER IS THEREFORE DENIED.