B-166627-/2), JUL. 2, 1969

B-166627-/2): Jul 2, 1969

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POSTMASTER GENERAL: ENCLOSED IS A COPY OF OUR DECISION OF TODAY TO AUTOSCOPE. THE PROTEST WAS THE SUBJECT OF REPORTS TO OUR OFFICE DATED MAY 2 AND MAY 15. WE ARE CONCERNED WITH THE POSSIBILITY THAT THE USE OF BID SAMPLE PROCEDURE IN THIS INVITATION MAY HAVE BEEN UNNECESSARY AND CONTRARY TO PROCUREMENT POLICY. STATED THAT BIDDERS SHOULD NOT BE REQUIRED TO FURNISH BID SAMPLES UNLESS THERE ARE CERTAIN CHARACTERISTICS OF THE PRODUCT WHICH CANNOT BE DESCRIBED ADEQUATELY IN THE APPLICABLE SPECIFICATION. WHICH IS NOT A COMPLEX ITEM. INDICATES THAT THE SPECIFICATION MAY ADEQUATELY DESCRIBE THOSE CHARACTERISTICS WHICH ARE REQUIRED IN THE SUBJECT ITEM WITHOUT RESORTING TO THE SAMPLE PROCEDURE. SINCE IT THEREFORE APPEARS THAT THE SAMPLES MAY HAVE BEEN UNNECESSARY FOR BID EVALUATION.

B-166627-/2), JUL. 2, 1969

TO MR. POSTMASTER GENERAL:

ENCLOSED IS A COPY OF OUR DECISION OF TODAY TO AUTOSCOPE, INC., DENYING ITS PROTEST OF THE REJECTION OF THE FIRM'S LOW BID SUBMITTED TO THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT UNDER INVITATION FOR BIDS NO. 1243. THE PROTEST WAS THE SUBJECT OF REPORTS TO OUR OFFICE DATED MAY 2 AND MAY 15, 1969, FROM YOUR DIRECTOR OF THE PROCUREMENT DIVISION.

WHILE OUR DECISION UPHOLDS THE CONTRACTING OFFICER'S REJECTION OF AUTOSCOPE'S LOW BID, WE ARE CONCERNED WITH THE POSSIBILITY THAT THE USE OF BID SAMPLE PROCEDURE IN THIS INVITATION MAY HAVE BEEN UNNECESSARY AND CONTRARY TO PROCUREMENT POLICY. IN THIS CONNECTION, OUR DECISIONS OF B- 161305, B-161308, B-161371, JULY 13, 1967, STATED THAT BIDDERS SHOULD NOT BE REQUIRED TO FURNISH BID SAMPLES UNLESS THERE ARE CERTAIN CHARACTERISTICS OF THE PRODUCT WHICH CANNOT BE DESCRIBED ADEQUATELY IN THE APPLICABLE SPECIFICATION. TO THE SAME EFFECT, SEE THE POLICY SET OUT IN FEDERAL PROCUREMENT REGULATIONS (FPR) 1-2.202-4 (F) (1). OUR REVIEW OF SPECIFICATION POD-P-146 (RE) DATED JUNE 14, 1961, AS AMENDED BY AMENDMENT 1 DATED MARCH 25, 1966, SETTING FORTH A TOTAL OF 11 PAGES OF DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE SHOULDER STRAP PADS, WHICH IS NOT A COMPLEX ITEM, INDICATES THAT THE SPECIFICATION MAY ADEQUATELY DESCRIBE THOSE CHARACTERISTICS WHICH ARE REQUIRED IN THE SUBJECT ITEM WITHOUT RESORTING TO THE SAMPLE PROCEDURE. SINCE IT THEREFORE APPEARS THAT THE SAMPLES MAY HAVE BEEN UNNECESSARY FOR BID EVALUATION, AND SINCE OUR DECISIONS, 17 COMP. GEN. 940, 43 COMP. GEN. 465, TOGETHER WITH THE FPR 1-2.202-4 (A), PROHIBIT THE USE OF SAMPLES FOR THE PURPOSE OF DETERMINING THE BIDDER'S ABILITY TO PRODUCE THE REQUIRED ITEMS, YOU MAY WISH TO GIVE THESE MATTERS FURTHER CONSIDERATION BEFORE PURSUING THE BID SAMPLE PROCEDURE IN THE FUTURE PROCUREMENT OF THESE SHOULDER STRAP PADS.