B-167003(2), B-167259(2), B-167846(2), JAN 21, 1971

B-167003(2),B-167259(2),B-167846(2): Jan 21, 1971

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THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THIS DECISION WAS EXTENDED AND THEREFORE THERE IS NO OBJECTION TO THE PROCUREMENT OF AIR TANKER SERVICES BY THE BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT UNDER THE CURRENT NEGOTIATION PROCEDURES FOR THE 1971 FIRE SEASON. SECRETARY: REFERENCE IS MADE TO A LETTER DATED JANUARY 6. WE CONCLUDED THAT THE FOREST SERVICE PROCEDURE VIOLATED THE SPIRIT AND INTENT OF THE FEDERAL PROPERTY AND ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES ACT AND FEDERAL PROCUREMENT REGULATIONS SINCE OFFERORS WERE NOT REQUIRED TO SUBMIT A PRICE WITH THEIR PROPOSALS TO BE USED AS A FACTOR IN THE SELECTION OF AIR TANKER CONTRACTORS. WE WILL NOT OBJECT TO THE PROCUREMENT OF AIR TANKER SERVICES BY THE BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT UNDER THE CURRENT NEGOTIATION PROCEDURES FOR THE 1971 FIRE SEASON.

B-167003(2), B-167259(2), B-167846(2), JAN 21, 1971

CONTRACTS - AIR TANKER SERVICE - OPTIONS - EFFECTIVE DATE OF DECISION IN B-167003, B-167259, AND B-167846, AUGUST 19, 1970, 50 COMP. GEN. , THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL HELD THAT THE FOREST SERVICE PROCEDURE WITH RESPECT TO NEGOTIATIONS OF AIR TANKER CONTRACTS VIOLATED THE SPIRIT AND INTENT OF THE FEDERAL PROPERTY AND ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES ACT AND FEDERAL PROCUREMENT REGULATIONS. THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THIS DECISION WAS EXTENDED AND THEREFORE THERE IS NO OBJECTION TO THE PROCUREMENT OF AIR TANKER SERVICES BY THE BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT UNDER THE CURRENT NEGOTIATION PROCEDURES FOR THE 1971 FIRE SEASON. HOWEVER, COMMENCING WITH THE PROCUREMENTS FOR THE 1972 FIRE SEASON, GAO REQUIRES THAT ALL SERVICES IMPLEMENT THE DECISION OF AUGUST 19, 1970, BY REQUIRING THE SUBMISSION OF PROPOSALS WHICH INCLUDE PRICE OR COST ESTIMATES.

TO MR. SECRETARY:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO A LETTER DATED JANUARY 6, 1971, FROM THE DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR REQUESTING THAT OUR OFFICE PROVIDE GUIDANCE WITH RESPECT TO THE NEGOTIATION PROCEDURES FOR THE SELECTION OF AIR TANKER CONTRACTORS PRESENTLY UTILIZED BY THE BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT.

THE LETTER STATES THAT THE BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT "HAS EMPLOYED THE PROCEDURE USED BY THE FOREST SERVICE SINCE 1966." IN OUR DECISION B- 167003, B-167259, B-167846, AUGUST 19, 1970, 50 COMP. GEN. , TO THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE, WE CONCLUDED THAT THE FOREST SERVICE PROCEDURE VIOLATED THE SPIRIT AND INTENT OF THE FEDERAL PROPERTY AND ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES ACT AND FEDERAL PROCUREMENT REGULATIONS SINCE OFFERORS WERE NOT REQUIRED TO SUBMIT A PRICE WITH THEIR PROPOSALS TO BE USED AS A FACTOR IN THE SELECTION OF AIR TANKER CONTRACTORS. ON DECEMBER 9, 1970, THE CHIEF, FOREST SERVICE, AND HIS ASSOCIATES, IN A MEETING WITH REPRESENTATIVES OF THIS OFFICE, AGREED TO IMPLEMENT OUR DECISION OF AUGUST 19, 1970, BY REQUIRING THE SUBMISSION OF PROPOSALS, INCLUDING PRICE OR COST ESTIMATES, COMMENCING WITH THE PROCUREMENT OF AIR TANKER SERVICES FOR THE 1972 FIRE SEASON. THEREFORE, BY LETTER OF DECEMBER 28, 1970, TO THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE, WE SUSPENDED THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF OUR DECISION OF AUGUST 19, 1970, SO FAR AS CONCERNED ITS APPLICATION TO EXISTING FOREST SERVICE CONTRACTS PROVIDING FOR OPTIONS, UNTIL THE TERMINATION OF THE 1971 FIRE SEASON.

SINCE WE RECOGNIZE THE IMPORTANCE OF MAINTAINING UNIFORMITY IN THE GOVERNMENT'S SELECTION OF AIR TANKER CONTRACTORS, WE WILL NOT OBJECT TO THE PROCUREMENT OF AIR TANKER SERVICES BY THE BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT UNDER THE CURRENT NEGOTIATION PROCEDURES FOR THE 1971 FIRE SEASON. HOWEVER, CONSISTENT WITH OUR ADVICE TO THE FOREST SERVICE, COMMENCING WITH THE PROCUREMENT OF AIR TANKER SERVICES FOR THE 1972 FIRE SEASON, WE WILL REQUIRE THAT THE BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT EFFECTIVELY IMPLEMENT OUR DECISION OF AUGUST 19, 1970, BY REQUIRING THE SUBMISSION OF PROPOSALS WHICH INCLUDE PRICE OR COST ESTIMATES. WE WOULD SUGGEST THAT THE MULTI- YEAR CONTRACTING AUTHORITY CONFERRED UPON THE DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR BY THE ENACTMENT OF PUBLIC LAW 91-429 NOT BE USED TO CONSUMMATE AIR TANKER CONTRACTS UNTIL THE PROCUREMENT OF AIR TANKER SERVICES FOR THE 1972 AND SUBSEQUENT FIRE SEASONS.