B-167339(3), OCT. 9, 1969

B-167339(3): Oct 9, 1969

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EVALUATION REJECTION OF BID AS NONRESPONSIVE TO TECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS OF INVITATION FOR ELECTRO-HYDRAULIC TESTING MACHINE WAS PROPER SINCE BID WAS NOT RESPONSIVE TO SEVERAL REQUIREMENTS OF INVITATION. SOME OF WHICH WERE MINOR DEVIATIONS AND COULD HAVE BEEN WAIVED BUT CUMULATIVE EFFECT OF MINOR DEVIATIONS PLUS THOSE CRITICAL TO PLANNED USE OF MACHINE CREATED NONRESPONSIVE BID. DELIBERATELY TAKEN TO SPECIFICATIONS AND BECAUSE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE IS NOT EQUIPPED TO TECHNICALLY EVALUATE PROPOSALS OR DETERMINE CONFORMANCE TO SPECIFICATIONS. EVALUATION BY TECHNICAL PERSONNEL OF PROCURING AGENCY WILL NOT BE QUESTIONED. CLOSED LOOP UNIVERSAL TESTING MACHINE AND WAS ISSUED ON MAY 15. FOREST SERVICE REVIEW OF THESE DOCUMENTS DOES NOT SIGNIFY ACCEPTANCE OF THE EQUIPMENT OR THAT ANY PART OF THE EQUIPMENT SPECIFICATIONS WILL BE WAIVED.

B-167339(3), OCT. 9, 1969

SPECIFICATIONS--DESCRIPTIVE DATA--EVALUATION REJECTION OF BID AS NONRESPONSIVE TO TECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS OF INVITATION FOR ELECTRO-HYDRAULIC TESTING MACHINE WAS PROPER SINCE BID WAS NOT RESPONSIVE TO SEVERAL REQUIREMENTS OF INVITATION, SOME OF WHICH WERE MINOR DEVIATIONS AND COULD HAVE BEEN WAIVED BUT CUMULATIVE EFFECT OF MINOR DEVIATIONS PLUS THOSE CRITICAL TO PLANNED USE OF MACHINE CREATED NONRESPONSIVE BID. WHILE BIDDER EXPRESSED BLANKET OFFER TO COMPLY WITH SPECIFICATIONS, SUCH OFFER DID NOT OVERCOME CUMULATIVE EFFECT OF DEVIATIONS, DELIBERATELY TAKEN TO SPECIFICATIONS AND BECAUSE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE IS NOT EQUIPPED TO TECHNICALLY EVALUATE PROPOSALS OR DETERMINE CONFORMANCE TO SPECIFICATIONS, ABSENT OVERRIDING EVIDENCE OF ARBITRARY OR CAPRICIOUS ACTION, EVALUATION BY TECHNICAL PERSONNEL OF PROCURING AGENCY WILL NOT BE QUESTIONED.

TO PACIFIC SCIENTIFIC COMPANY:

YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 20, 1969, PROTESTING THE AWARD OF A CONTRACT UNDER DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, FOREST SERVICE, INVITATION FOR BIDS NO. R6-69- 178 HAS BEEN FORWARDED TO THIS OFFICE FOR CONSIDERATION AND DIRECT REPLY.

THE INVITATION REQUESTED BIDS ON ONE AXIAL LOAD, ELECTRO-HYDRAULIC, CLOSED LOOP UNIVERSAL TESTING MACHINE AND WAS ISSUED ON MAY 15, 1969, WITH BID OPENING SET FOR JUNE 9, 1969. SECTION 280 OF THE TECHNICAL SPECIFICATION PROVIDED IN PERTINENT PART: "BROCHURES "THE BIDDER SHALL SUBMIT DESCRIPTIVE LITERATURE, AS DESCRIBED BELOW, FOR ALL COMPONENTS TO BE FURNISHED. FOREST SERVICE REVIEW OF THESE DOCUMENTS DOES NOT SIGNIFY ACCEPTANCE OF THE EQUIPMENT OR THAT ANY PART OF THE EQUIPMENT SPECIFICATIONS WILL BE WAIVED. THE LITERATURE SHALL BE USED TO EVALUATE THE BID AND FAILURE TO SUBMIT THE LITERATURE TO THE BID ISSUING OFFICE BY THE TIME SET FOR BID OPENING SHALL CAUSE REJECTION OF YOUR BID AS BEING NON-RESPONSIVE. LITERATURE SUBMITTED WILL INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING:

"A. SUFFICIENT TECHNICAL DATA, DRAWINGS, PHOTOGRAPHS, AND DESCRIPTIVE MATERIAL TO DESCRIBE COMPLETELY THE CHARACTERISTICS AND CAPABILITIES OF ALL ITEMS IN THE OFFERED SYSTEM. EACH BIDDER SHALL SUBMIT A PARAGRAPH RESPONSE TO THIS SPECIFICATION, IN THE SAME FORMAT, INDICATING CONFORMANCE OR EXCEPTION AND AN EXPLANATION OF THE PROPOSED SYSTEM'S CAPABILITY.' SIX BIDS WERE RECEIVED AS FOLLOWS:

CGS SCIENTIFIC CORPORATION $36,960

AMETEK TESTING EQUIPMENT SYSTEMS 47,615

MTS SYSTEMS CORPORATION 43,000

TINIUS OLSEN TESTING MACHINE COMPANY 28,355

GILMORE INDUSTRIES, INC. 37,900

PACIFIC SCIENTIFIC COMPANY 28,355

AFTER EVALUATION OF THE BIDS AND ACCOMPANYING DESCRIPTIVE LITERATURE BY THE CONTRACTING OFFICER, ALL UNSUCCESSFUL OFFERORS WERE ADVISED BY LETTERS DATED JUNE 13, 1969, THAT AWARD WAS BEING MADE TO MTS CORPORATION, MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA. YOU WERE ADVISED OF THE BASES FOR REJECTION OF YOUR BID BECAUSE OF NONRESPONSIVENESS IN AN ENCLOSURE TO THAT LETTER. LETTER OF JUNE 20, 1969, YOU PROTESTED TO THE CONTRACTING OFFICER AGAINST AN AWARD TO A HIGHER BIDDER.

THE PROCUREMENT ACTIVITY MADE A DETAILED TECHNICAL EVALUATION OF YOUR DESCRIPTIVE LITERATURE AND BASED UPON SUCH EVALUATION THE CONTRACTING OFFICER DETERMINED THAT YOUR BID AS SUBMITTED WAS NONRESPONSIVE. IN ORDER THAT YOU MAY BE INFORMED OF THE BASES FOR REJECTION, THERE IS QUOTED BELOW EXTRACTS FROM THE CONTRACTING OFFICER'S FINDINGS AND DECISIONS ON YOUR PROTEST AGAINST THE REJECTION OF YOUR BID.

"2. PARAGRAPH 200.3 - WARRANTY. THE INVITATION REQUIRES A WARRANTY WHICH FULLY COVERS THE COSTS OF PARTS AND LABOR FOR ONE YEAR AFTER ACCEPTANCE OF THE EQUIPMENT. IT ALSO CALLED FOR DESCRIPTION AND AVAILABILITY OF AN ESTABLISHED SERVICE PROGRAM FOR WHICH FUTURE MAINTENANCE COULD BE SEPARATELY CONTRACTED. THE COMPONENTS THAT MAKE UP THE COMPLETE SYSTEM ARE ACTUATED, CONTROLLED AND RECORDED BY SOPHISTICATED ELECTRONICS. ANY SUCH SYSTEM IS SUBJECT TO A CERTAIN AMOUNT OF BALANCING OF COMPONENTS AND DEBUGGING WHICH OCCURS IN THE FIRST YEAR OF OPERATIONAL USE. A SIMILAR MACHINE, INSTALLED IN THE MATERIALS LABORATORY FOR THE FOREST SERVICE IN REGION 5 (CALIFORNIA) REQUIRED SIX SERVICE CALLS IN THE FIRST SIX MONTHS OF OPERATION IN ORDER TO GET THE MACHINE FULLY FUNCTIONAL. THE ACTUAL EXTENT OF ANY SUCH WARRANTY WORK MAY VARY GREATLY FROM ONE MACHINE TO ANOTHER, DEPENDING UPON A GREAT NUMBER OF FACTORS WHICH INCLUDES MANUFACTURING CONTROLS AND THE RELATIVE COMPATIBILITY OF THE INDIVIDUAL COMPONENTS UTILIZED IN THE MACHINE. SINCE THE COST OF INITIAL SERVICING AND REPAIRS MAY VARY WIDELY AND MAY SUBJECT THE GOVERNMENT TO SUBSTANTIAL ADDITIONAL EXPENSE, IT IS MY DETERMINATION THAT THIS PROVISION IS ONE WHICH HAS SUBSTANTIAL EFFECT UPON THE REAL COST OF THE BID.'THE BIDDER STATES IN THE SUPPLEMENTAL MATERIAL OF HIS BID (SHEET 2 OF LETTER DATED JUNE 5, 1969 (DESCRIPTIVE LITERATURE UNDER SECTION 280) (, -WE ARE ENCLOSING HEREWITH OUR COMPLETE WARRANTY ON EQUIPMENT OF THIS TYPE AND WE WOULD ALSO WISH TO ADVISE THAT WE CAN CONTRACT WITH YOU UNDER SEPARATE CONTRACT FOR SERVICE UNDER PREVENTATIVE MAINTENANCE AND EMERGENCY MAINTENANCE OF THIS SYSTEM.- "THERE WAS NO ADDITIONAL INFORMATION REGARDING WARRANTY AND SERVICE INCLUDED WITH THE BID. THERE IS NO WAY TO EVALUATE THE EXTENT OF THE BIDDER'S WARRANTY AND SERVICE PROGRAM. THE INTENT TO FULLY COMPLY WITH THE BID REQUIREMENTS CANNOT BE DETERMINED WITHOUT REQUESTING CLARIFICATION FROM THE BIDDER. THIS WOULD HAVE THE EFFECT OF AFFORDING THIS BIDDER A SECOND CHANCE TO MAKE A RESPONSIVE BID. THIS PROVISION IS ONE OF SUBSTANCE, AND FAILURE TO PROVIDE INFORMATION SUFFICIENT TO EVALUATE THIS PROVISION IS DETERMINED TO BE A DEFECT WHICH GOES TO THE SUBSTANCE OF THE BID.

"3. PARAGRAPH 223 - ACCURACY. THE SPECIFICATION REQUIRES THE RAM SPEED ACCURACY TO BE WITHIN PLUS 1.0 PERCENT OF THAT SPECIFIED BY THE CONTROL SETTING.

* * * * * * * "THE BIDDER STATES (SHEET 3 OF LETTER DATED JUNE 5, 1969), -IN REFERENCE TO THE RAM SPEED ACCURACY, THIS WILL BE LESS THAN PLUS 0.002 INCHES PER MINUTE AND NORMALLY WILL BE WITHIN LESS THAN PLUS 3 PERCENT OF THE SET MAXIMUM SPEED.- "THIS INDICATES THE ACCURACY ATTAINED BY THIS COMPONENT OF THE BIDDER'S SYSTEM MAY BE LESS THAN PLUS 3 PERCENT WHILE THE SPECIFICATION CALLS FOR PLUS 1 PERCENT. THE EXACT RANGE OF ACCURACY CANNOT BE DETERMINED FROM THE MATERIAL IN THE BID WITHOUT REQUESTING CLARIFICATION. THIS WOULD NOT BE A PROPER ACTION IN THE BID EVALUATION. ACCORDINGLY, THE BID MUST BE CONSIDERED TO HAVE FAILED TO MEET THIS REQUIREMENT OF THE SPECIFICATIONS. THIS IS A DEFECT WHICH GOES TO THE SUBSTANCE OF THE BID.

"4. PARAGRAPH 232 - LOAD CELL. THE SPECIFICATION FOR THE LOAD CELL STATES: -CALIBRATED ACCURACY IS TO BE 0.05 PERCENT OF FULL SCALE OUTPUT ... OVERLOAD LIMIT TO BE 300 PERCENT OF FULL SCALE.-

* * * * * * * "THE BIDDER PROPOSED AN OVERLOAD CAPACITY OF 225 PERCENT, AND AN ACCURACY OF 0.25 (SHEET B-20), EXCEPT THAT THE BIDDER STATES THE LOAD CELL ACCURACY AS 0.05 IN PARAGRAPH 232 OF HIS JUNE 5 LETTER.'THE INDICATED OVERLOAD OF 225 PERCENT IS LESS THAN THE 300 PERCENT OVERLOAD CALLED FOR. THE LOAD CELL IS TO BE RATED FOR 20,000-LB. LOAD CAPACITY (DYNAMIC LOAD). THE 300 PERCENT OVERLOAD WOULD GIVE THE LOAD CELL A CAPACITY BEFORE FAILURE OF 60,000 LBS.A 225 PERCENT OVERLOAD WOULD ALLOW THE CELL TO FAIL WHEN THE OVERLOAD REACHED 46,000 LBS. IT IS MY DETERMINATION THAT THIS IS A DEFECT WHICH GOES TO THE SUBSTANCE OF THE BID.'THE ACCURACY REQUIREMENT PROPOSED BY THE BIDDER CONFLICTS BETWEEN SHEET B-20 AND PAGE 5 OF HIS JUNE 5 LETTER. ACCORDING TO THE ENGINEERING ANALYSIS, THERE IS A CERTAIN INHERENT DEVIATION IN THE LOAD CELL AS LOADING IS APPLIED. THIS WOULD INDICATE THE ACCURACY OF 0.25 PERCENT (SHEET B-20) IS THE BETTER STATEMENT OF ACTUAL ACCURACY. THIS IS A SUBSTANTIAL DEVIATION FROM THE SPECIFICATION. IT IS MY DETERMINATION THAT THIS IS A DEFECT WHICH GOES TO THE SUBSTANCE OF THE BID.

"5. PARAGRAPH 242 - SERVO-CONTROLLER. THE ENGINEER'S REPORT STATES THAT ALTHOUGH THE BIDDER'S INFORMATION IS INSUFFICIENT TO FULLY EVALUATE THE OFFERING, THEIR REVIEW INDICATES SUBSTANTIAL NONCOMPLIANCE WITH THE SPECIFICATION.

* * * * * * * "THE BIDDER STATES ON PAGE 6 OF THE LETTER OF JUNE 5, 1969, -WE WILL SUPPLY OUR CONSOLE IN ACCORDANCE WITH YOUR REQUIREMENTS AND AS OUTLINED BY OUR SPECIFICATION SHEET ENCLOSED.- (SHEET C) "IT MAY BE THAT THE BIDDER INTENDED TO COMPLY WITH THE SPECIFICATION AND PERHAPS COULD SUBMIT ADDITIONAL INFORMATION WHICH WOULD CLARIFY HIS COMPLIANCE. IT WAS NOT POSSIBLE TO DETERMINE FROM THE BID IF THIS COMPONENT DID MEET THE SPECIFICATION, IN FACT THE INDICATION WAS THAT IT DID NOT. SUBSEQUENT INFORMATION CANNOT PROPERLY BE REQUESTED TO DETERMINE THE RESPONSIVENESS OF THIS PART OF THE BID. IT IS MY DETERMINATION THAT THIS IS A DEFECT WHICH GOES TO THE SUBSTANCE OF THE BID.

"6. PARAGRAPH 243 - TRANSDUCER EXCITERS. THE BIDDER DID NOT SUPPLY SUFFICIENT DATA TO CONFIRM HIS COMPLIANCE WITH THE SPECIFICATION. STATED, ON PAGE 6 OF HIS JUNE 5 LETTER, -WE NORMALLY SUPPLY THREE (3) SIGNAL AMPLICATION LEVELS, BUT IF YOU DESIRE FOUR (4) AS REQUESTED IN YOUR SPECIFICATIONS UNDER PARAGRAPH 243, WE WILL SUPPLY FOUR (4) LEVELS IN THE RATIO OF 100 PERCENT TO 10 PERCENT AS REQUESTED.- IN ADDITION, THE BID CALLED FOR THESE TO BE DC CURRENT, WHICH IS ESSENTIAL FOR THEM TO BE COMPATIBLE WITH OTHER COMPONENTS OF THE MACHINE.

* * * * * * * "THE BIDDER INDICATES INTENT TO COMPLY, BUT THIS CANNOT BE CONFIRMED. THIS COULD BE CLARIFIED IF THE BIDDER WERE ALLOWED TO SUBMIT ADDITIONAL INFORMATION, BUT THIS WOULD NOT BE A PROPER ACTION. IT IS MY DETERMINATION THAT THIS IS A DEFECT THAT GOES TO THE SUBSTANCE OF THE BID.

"7. PARAGRAPH 244 - FEED-BACK SELECTOR. THIS COMPONENT IS AN INTEGRAL PART OF THE CONTROL OF THE MACHINE DURING TESTING PROCEDURES. THE REQUIREMENTS SPECIFIED IN THE INVITATION ARE NECESSARY TO OBTAIN THE UTILITY AND VERSATILITY PLANNED IN THE USE OF THIS EQUIPMENT. THESE CONTROLS AFFECT THE ENTIRE OPERATON OF THE MACHINE AND MUST BE CONSIDERED AN ITEM OF SUBSTANCE IN THE BID.'THE BIDDER STATES -WE SUPPLY A PANEL WITH LIGHTED PUSH BUTTONS FOR SELECTION CONTROL PARAMETERS AS REQUIRED.- HOWEVER, THE BIDDER DOES NOT SPECIFICALLY STATE EITHER COMPLIANCE OR EXCEPTION, AND DID NOT SUBMIT DATA TO EVALUATE HIS ACTUAL INTENT. WOULD NOT BE PROPER TO REQUEST ADDITIONAL INFORMATION FOR CLARIFICATION OF THIS ITEM. THIS DEFECT IS ONE THAT GOES TO THE SUBSTANCE OF THE BID.

"8. PARAGRAPH 245 - CONTROL PANEL. THE COMMENTS REGARDING THE FEED BACK SELECTOR, PARAGRAPH 7 ABOVE, APPLY HERE ALSO. THE CONTROL CAPABILITY SPECIFIED IS ESSENTIAL TO THE PLANNED USE OF THE MACHINE AND MUST BE CONSIDERED AN ITEM OF SUBSTANCE IN THE BID.'THE MATERIAL SUBMITTED BY THE BIDDER DID NOT PROVIDE SUFFICIENT INFORMATION TO EVALUATE WHETHER THE PROPOSAL DID OR DID NOT COMPLY WITH THE BID REQUIREMENTS. IT WOULD NOT BE PROPER TO REQUEST ADDITIONAL INFORMATION TO CLARIFY THIS ITEM IN THE BID. THIS DEFECT IS ONE THAT GOES TO THE SUBSTANCE OF THE BID.

"9. PARAGRAPH 248 - RAMP GENERATOR. THE SPECIFICATION CALLS FOR A RAMP WITH ADJUSTABLE TIME TO FULL SCALE OF 0.1 SECONDS TO 3.5 X 105 SECONDS. (APPROXIMATELY 4 DAYS).

* * * * * * * "THE TIME PROPOSED BY THE BIDDER IS 3 SECONDS TO 6 X 103 SECONDS FOR LOAD (APPROXIMATELY 1-1/2 HOURS), AND 18 SECONDS TO 3.6 X 104 SECONDS FOR POSITION (APPROXIMATELY 1 DAY).'THE DECREASED RANGE PROPOSED IN THE BID WOULD NOT PROVIDE THE UTILITY TO THE GOVERNMENT REQUIRED BY THE SPECIFICATIONS OF THE INVITATION. IT IS MY DETERMINATION THAT THIS IS A DEFECT THAT GOES TO THE SUBSTANCE OF THE BID.

"10. PARAGRAPH 249 - X-Y PLOTTER. THE SPECIFICATION REQUIRES A SEPARATE INPUT PANEL BE PROVIDED IN CONNECTION WITH THE PLOTTER. THIS ENABLES LOAD AND POSITION MEASURING DEVICES TO BE PERMANENTLY WIRED INTO THE COMPONENTS. THE BIDDER PROPOSES ACHIEVING THIS SAME VERSATILITY BY PROVIDING FOR THE OPERATOR TO MANUALLY PLUG INTO THE SELECTION JACKS IN THE RECORDER. THE BIDDER'S PROPOSAL DOES ACHIEVE THE SAME RESULT AS A PERMANENTLY WIRED SELECTION PANEL, BUT THIS IS A DEVIATION THAT IS NOT DESIRABLE. THE MANUAL PLUG-IN OPERATION INCREASES THE RISK OF HUMAN ERROR, AND IS NOT AS RELIABLE AS A PERMANENTLY WIRED PANEL. THIS IS DETERMINED TO BE A MINOR DEFECT, AND DOES NOT GO TO THE SUBSTANCE OF THE BID.

"11. PARAGRAPH 280 - BROCHURES. THE INVITATION REQUIRED THAT CERTAIN INFORMATION BE SUPPLIED WITH THE BID. THIS INFORMATION IS NECESSARY FOR PROPER EVALUATION OF ANY PROPOSED MACHINE TO DETERMINE THAT IT DOES COMPLY WITH THE SPECIFICATIONS. EACH BID SUBMITTED MUST BE EVALUATED FOR RESPONSIVENESS UPON THE INFORMATION SUBMITTED. THIS GOES TO THE SUBSTANCE OF THE BID.'THE DATA REQUIRED IN SUBPARAGRAPH A, B, E, F, G, AND H, WAS NOT SUPPLIED, OR WAS NOT SUPPLIED IN SUFFICIENT DETAIL TO USE IN THE BID EVALUATION.

"12. SUMMARY OF DETERMINATION OF RESPONSIVENESS OF BID SUBMITTED BY PACIFIC SCIENTIFIC (TINIUS OLSEN TESTING MACHINE COMPANY). THE BID SUBMITTED WAS NOT RESPONSIVE TO A NUMBER OF REQUIREMENTS IN THE BID, AS OUTLINED ABOVE. A FEW OF THESE WERE MINOR DEVIATIONS, AS INDICATED, AND COULD HAVE INDIVIDUALLY BEEN WAIVED. HOWEVER, THE CUMULATIVE EFFECT OF MINOR DEVIATIONS PLUS THOSE WHICH ARE CRITICAL TO THE PLANNED USE OF THE MACHINE CREATE A NONRESPONSIVE BID. LACK OF COMPLIANCE WITH THE SPECIFICATIONS MIGHT HAVE BEEN OVERCOME HAD THE BIDDER BEEN REQUESTED TO SUBMIT ADDITIONAL INFORMATION TO CLARIFY HIS BID. THIS WOULD HAVE HAD THE EFFECT OF ALLOWING THE BIDDER A SECOND CHANCE TO MAKE HIS BID RESPONSIVE WHEN HE HAD ALREADY MATERIALLY FAILED TO RESPOND TO REQUIREMENTS THAT WENT TO THE VERY SUBSTANCE OF THE BID. THEREFORE, IN CONSIDERATION OF THESE FACTORS AS OUTLINED IN PARAGRAPHS (2) THROUGH (11) ABOVE, IT IS MY DETERMINATION THAT THE BID, AS SUBMITTED, WAS NOT RESPONSIVE. THIS BID IS PROPERLY REJECTED.' YOU HAVE SET FORTH VARIOUS MATTERS IN YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 20, 1969, TO THE CONTRACTING OFFICER REQUESTING THAT THE AWARD BE RESCINDED, TO THE EFFECT THAT YOU COMPLIED WITH THE SPECIFICATION; THAT YOU HAVE NOT HAD AN OPPORTUNITY TO DISCUSS INSTANCES OF NONCOMPLIANCE; AND THAT YOU DO NOT FEEL THESE INSTANCES WERE SUBSTANTIAL. YOU HAVE ALSO INDICATED THT YOU SHOULD RECEIVE CONSIDERATION FOR THE FACT THAT THE TINIUS OLSEN TESTING MACHINE COMPANY HAS BEEN A LEADER IN THE FIELD SINCE 1889 AND YOU HAVE INDICATED THAT YOU ATTEMPTED TO DEVELOP YOUR BID TO PROVIDE THE BEST POSSIBLE MACHINE WITHIN THE FUNDING ALLOWED. IN RESPONSE TO YOUR COMMENTS, THE CONTRACTING OFFICE HAS REPORTED THAT YOU WERE ADVISED IN SUMMARY FORM OF THE AREAS WHEREIN YOUR BID DID NOT MEET THE SPECIFICATION AND THAT AT THE TIME OF YOUR JUNE 20, 1969, LETTER, YOU HAD NOT PREVIOUSLY REQUESTED AN OPPORTUNITY TO DISCUSS YOUR BID. IT IS REPORTED THAT TWO REPRESENTATIVES OF YOUR FIRM WERE GIVEN AN OPPORTUNITY TO PRESENT YOUR VIEWS ON JULY 9, 1969. IT WAS NECESSARY, HOWEVER, TO DETERMINE THE RESPONSIVENESS OF YOUR BID SOLELY ON THE EVALUATION OF THE DOCUMENTS SUBMITTED AT THE TIME OF BID OPENING AS PART OF YOUR BID AND NOT ON THE BASIS OF AFTER-THE-FACT REPRESENTATIONS. REGARDING TINIUS OLSEN'S STANDING IN THE INDUSTRY, THE RESPONSIVENESS OF YOUR BID WAS AFFECTED ONLY BY THE FACT THAT THE BIDDER IS A REGULAR MANUFACTURER OF THIS TYPE OF EQUIPMENT.

AS OUTLINED ABOVE, YOUR BID WAS DETERMINED TO BE NONRESPONSIVE TO THE TECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS OF THE INVITATION. WHILE YOU HAVE, IN EFFECT, EXPRESSED A BLANKET OFFER TO COMPLY WITH THE SPECIFICATION, SUCH AN OFFER OF COMPLIANCE DID NOT OVERCOME THE CUMULATIVE EFFECT OF DEVIATIONS DELIBERATELY TAKEN TO THE SPECIFICATION. 41 COMP. GEN. 192; 43 ID. 77; 47 ID. 496, 499.

IT IS NOT OUR FUNCTION TO TECHNICALLY EVALUATE BIDS AND PROPOSALS, OR TO MAKE AN INDEPENDENT DETERMINATION AS TO WHETHER YOUR BID WAS IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE SPECIFICATION. SEE, GENERALLY, 17 COMP. GEN. 554; 19 ID. 587; 40 ID. 35. INDEED, WE ARE NOT EQUIPPED TO DO SO. IT DOES APPEAR THAT YOUR BID WAS EVALUATED BY TECHNICAL PERSONNEL OF THE PROCUREMENT AGENCY AND, IN THE ABSENCE OF OVERRIDING EVIDENCE TO THE CONTRARY, WE WILL NOT QUESTION SUCH EVALUATION. 36 COMP. GEN. 809. SEE SECTION 1-2.404-2 (B) (5) OF THE FEDERAL PROCUREMENT REGULATIONS; 30 COMP. GEN. 179 AND 36 ID. 705; 42 ID. 96.

THEREFORE, AND SINCE THERE IS NO OVERRIDING EVIDENCE THAT THE ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION TAKEN WAS ARBITRARY OR CAPRICIOUS, WE WILL NOT SUBSTITUTE OUR JUDGMENT FOR THAT OF THE CONTRACTING AGENCY. 36 COMP. GEN. 809; 42 ID. 96 SUPRA. ..END :