B-166570, JUN. 16, 1969

B-166570: Jun 16, 1969

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THE ABOVE INVITATION FOR BIDS WAS ISSUED ON JANUARY 31. BECAUSE ONLY ONE SOURCE WAS LISTED AS APPROVED. THE BASIS FOR YOUR PROTEST IS THAT THE SUBSTITUTION OF FIRST ARTICLE TESTING WAS IMPROPER INASMUCH AS FIVE SUPPLIERS WERE LISTED AS QUALIFIED FOR A SIMILAR INDICATOR. THIS IS NOT DISPUTED BY THE NAVY. THIS CONCLUSION IS BUTTRESSED BY THE FACT THAT A SEPARATE LISTING IS BEING ESTABLISHED FOR THE "C" VERSION.

B-166570, JUN. 16, 1969

TO ASTRONAUTICS CORPORATION OF AMERICA:

THIS CONCERNS YOUR LETTERS OF MARCH 28 AND APRIL 18, 1969, AND THAT OF YOUR ATTORNEYS DATED MAY 28, 1969, RESPECTING YOUR PROTEST UNDER INVITATION FOR BIDS NO. N00383-69-B-0854, ISSUED BY THE AVIATION SUPPLY OFFICE, PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA.

THE ABOVE INVITATION FOR BIDS WAS ISSUED ON JANUARY 31, 1969, FOR A QUANTITY OF BEARING-DISTANCE-HEADING INDICATORS IN ACCORDANCE WITH MILITARY SPECIFICATION MIL-I-22075A (WP) DATED OCTOBER 1, 1965, FOR TYPE ID-663C/U INDICATORS. THAT MILITARY SPECIFICATION REQUIRES QUALIFICATION OF PRODUCTS BY OFFERORS. THE LATEST QUALIFIED PRODUCTS LIST, QPL-220759, DATED OCTOBER 22, 1968, LISTED ONLY ONE SUPPLIER, YOUR FIRM, AS HAVING QUALIFIED FOR THE "C" VERSION INDICATOR BEING PROCURED. BECAUSE ONLY ONE SOURCE WAS LISTED AS APPROVED, THE CONTRACTING OFFICER WITH THE CONCURRENCE OF THE TECHNICAL PERSONNEL SUBSTITUTED A REQUIREMENT OF FIRST ARTICLE TESTING IN THE INVITATION FOR BIDS FOR THE QUALIFICATION REQUIREMENT.

ESSENTIALLY, THE BASIS FOR YOUR PROTEST IS THAT THE SUBSTITUTION OF FIRST ARTICLE TESTING WAS IMPROPER INASMUCH AS FIVE SUPPLIERS WERE LISTED AS QUALIFIED FOR A SIMILAR INDICATOR, THE ID-663/U INDICATOR. THIS IS NOT DISPUTED BY THE NAVY. HOWEVER, THE NAVY REQUIREMENTS, AS SET OUT IN THE INVITATION FOR BIDS, CALLED FOR THE "C" VERSION WHICH REQUIRES SEPARATE PRODUCT QUALIFICATION BY OFFERORS. THIS OFFICE HAS CONSISTENTLY HELD THAT THE PROCUREMENT ACTIVITY HAS THE RESPONSIBILITY FOR DETERMINING ITS NEEDS. SEE 17 COMP. GEN. 554. THIS INCLUDES THE TESTING REQUIREMENTS TO ASSURE THAT THE PRODUCT OFFERED DOES IN FACT MEET THOSE NEEDS. 45 COMP. GEN. 365.

IN THE PRESENT INSTANCE, THE CONTRACTING OFFICER DETERMINED THAT THE GOVERNMENT'S NEEDS REQUIRED THE "C" VERSION INDICATOR AND THAT QUALIFICATION FOR THE ID-663/U INDICATOR DID NOT ASSURE A QUALIFIED "C" VERSION. THIS CONCLUSION IS BUTTRESSED BY THE FACT THAT A SEPARATE LISTING IS BEING ESTABLISHED FOR THE "C" VERSION. WE SEE, THEREFORE, NO OBJECTION TO THE SUBSTITUTION OF FIRST ARTICLE TESTING AS PROVIDED IN ARMED SERVICES PROCUREMENT REGULATION 1-1109 (A) (2) TO OBTAIN ADEQUATE COMPETITION.