B-167309(2), NOV. 3, 1969

B-167309(2): Nov 3, 1969

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IT IS SUGGESTED CONSIDERATION BE GIVEN TO ASSURING PROPER REQUIREMENTS FOR DESCRIPTIVE LITERATURE IN FUTURE PROCUREMENTS. LEGITIMACY OF SUCH REQUIREMENT IS QUESTIONED. SECRETARY: ENCLOSED IS A COPY OF OUR DECISION OF TODAY ON THE REJECTION OF A BID OF LASER DIODE LABORATORIES. THIS MATTER WAS THE SUBJECT OF A REPORT DATED JULY 22. ALTHOUGH WE HAVE DENIED THE PROTEST. WE WISH TO POINT OUT THE DEFICIENCIES WE HAVE OBSERVED WITH RESPECT TO THE INVITATION'S REQUIREMENT FOR DESCRIPTIVE LITERATURE. THE DESCRIPTIVE LITERATURE IS REQUIRED TO ESTABLISH. OPERATION.''B) FAILURE OF THE DESCRIPTIVE LITERATURE TO SHOW THAT THE PRODUCT OFFERED CONFORMS TO THE SPECIFICATIONS AND OTHER REQUIREMENTS OF THIS INVITATION FOR BIDS WILL REQUIRE REJECTION OF THE BID.

B-167309(2), NOV. 3, 1969

SPECIFICATIONS--DESCRIPTIVE DATA--PERFORMANCE CHARACTERISTICS CONCERNING DEFICIENCIES OBSERVED IN FOREST SERVICE INVITATION FOR BIDS WITH RESPECT TO INVITATION'S REQUIREMENT THAT DESCRIPTIVE LITERATURE BE SUBMITTED ESTABLISHING "PERFORMANCE CHARACTERISTICS" AND "OPERATION" OF PRODUCTS TO BE FURNISHED, IT IS SUGGESTED CONSIDERATION BE GIVEN TO ASSURING PROPER REQUIREMENTS FOR DESCRIPTIVE LITERATURE IN FUTURE PROCUREMENTS, AS GAO HAS CONSISTENTLY TAKEN POSITION THAT SUCH GENERAL DESCRIPTION DOES NOT PROVIDE SUFFICIENT DETAIL AS TO WHAT INFORMATION AGENCY NEEDS, AND, THEREFORE, DOES NOT PROVIDE FOR COMMON EVALUATION OF BIDS; MOREOVER, IT SEEMS THAT REQUIREMENTS FOR DESCRIPTIVE LITERATURE OF PERFORMANCE CHARACTERISTICS, ABSENT FURTHER CLARIFICATION, COULD BE MET MERELY BY "PARROTING BACK" GOVERNMENT'S PERFORMANCE SPECIFICATIONS, AND IN THESE CIRCUMSTANCES, LEGITIMACY OF SUCH REQUIREMENT IS QUESTIONED. SEE 46 COMP. GEN. 315.

TO MR. SECRETARY:

ENCLOSED IS A COPY OF OUR DECISION OF TODAY ON THE REJECTION OF A BID OF LASER DIODE LABORATORIES, INCORPORATED, AS NONRESPONSIVE TO FOREST SERVICE IFB NO. 21-1969-4, DATED MAY 21, 1969. THIS MATTER WAS THE SUBJECT OF A REPORT DATED JULY 22, 1969, FROM THE DIRECTOR, OFFICE OF PLANT AND OPERATIONS.

ALTHOUGH WE HAVE DENIED THE PROTEST, WE WISH TO POINT OUT THE DEFICIENCIES WE HAVE OBSERVED WITH RESPECT TO THE INVITATION'S REQUIREMENT FOR DESCRIPTIVE LITERATURE. THE APPLICABLE CLAUSE IN THE INVITATION PROVIDED AS FOLLOWS: "REQUIREMENT FOR DESCRIPTIVE LITERATURE: (A) DESCRIPTIVE LITERATURE AS SPECIFIED IN THIS INVITATION FOR BIDS MUST BE FURNISHED AS A PART OF THE BID AND MUST BE RECEIVED BEFORE THE TIME SET FOR OPENING BIDS. THE LITERATURE FURNISHED MUST BE IDENTIFIED TO SHOW THE ITEM IN THE BID TO WHICH IT PERTAINS. THE DESCRIPTIVE LITERATURE IS REQUIRED TO ESTABLISH, FOR THE PURPOSES OF BID EVALUATION AND AWARD, DETAILS OF THE PRODUCTS THE BIDDER PROPOSES TO FURNISH AS TO MODEL, PERFORMANCE CHARACTERISTICS, AND OPERATION.''B) FAILURE OF THE DESCRIPTIVE LITERATURE TO SHOW THAT THE PRODUCT OFFERED CONFORMS TO THE SPECIFICATIONS AND OTHER REQUIREMENTS OF THIS INVITATION FOR BIDS WILL REQUIRE REJECTION OF THE BID. FAILURE TO FURNISH THE DESCRIPTIVE LITERATURE BY THE TIME SPECIFIED IN THE INVITATION FOR BIDS WILL REQUIRE REJECTION OF THE BID, EXCEPT THAT IF THE MATERIAL IS TRANSMITTED BY MAIL AND IS RECEIVED LATE, IT MAY BE CONSIDERED UNDER THE PROVISIONS FOR CONSIDERING LATE BIDS, AS SET FORTH ELSEWHERE IN THIS INVITATION FOR BIDS.

THE ABOVE CLAUSE REQUIRES BIDDERS TO SUBMIT DESCRIPTIVE LITERATURE AS SPECIFIED IN THE INVITATION, BUT WE NOTE THAT DESCRIPTIVE LITERATURE AS SUCH IS NOT ELSEWHERE SPECIFIED. WHILE THE RECITAL IN THE ABOVE QUOTED CLAUSE OF SUCH GENERAL SUBJECTS AS "PERFORMANCE CHARACTERISTICS" AND ,OPERATION" COINCIDE WITH THOSE WHICH ARE SET OUT IN THE FOOTNOTE TO FEDERAL PROCUREMENT REGULATION 1-2.202-5 (D) AS SUBJECTS THAT MIGHT REQUIRE DESCRIPTION, OUR OFFICE HAS CONSISTENTLY TAKEN THE POSITION THAT SUCH A GENERAL DESCRIPTION DOES NOT PROVIDE SUFFICIENT DETAIL AS TO WHAT INFORMATION THE AGENCY NEEDS, AND THEREFORE, DOES NOT PROVIDE FOR A COMMON EVALUATION OF BIDS. 46 COMP. GEN. 315. MOREOVER, WITH RESPECT TO THE REQUIREMENT FOR DESCRIPTIVE LITERATURE OF PERFORMANCE CHARACTERISTICS, IT WOULD SEEM THAT, IN THE ABSENCE OF FURTHER CLARIFICATION, SUCH REQUIREMENT COULD BE MET MERELY BY "PARROTING BACK" THE GOVERNMENT'S PERFORMANCE SPECIFICATIONS. IN THESE CIRCUMSTANCES WE QUESTION THE LEGITIMACY OF SUCH A REQUIREMENT. 46 COMP. GEN. 315; B 150622, JUNE 6, 1963.

WE THEREFORE SUGGEST CONSIDERATION BE GIVEN TO SUCH STEPS AS MAY BE NECESSARY TO ASSURE PROPER REQUIREMENTS FOR DESCRIPTIVE LITERATURE IN FUTURE PROCUREMENTS.