B-167494, SEP 15, 1969

B-167494: Sep 15, 1969

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PROTESTANT WHO ALLEGES THAT FAILURE OF NAVY TO PUBLICIZE REQUEST FOR QUOTATION FOR BASIC ORDERING AGREEMENT IN COMMERCE BUSINESS DAILY AND TO EXTEND OPENING DATE DENIED FIRM OPPORTUNITY TO COMPETE IS ADVISED THAT DEPARTMENT WILL GIVE PROTESTANT AND OTHER INTERESTED COMPANIES TIME TO QUALIFY FOR BASIC ORDERING AGREEMENT BEFORE ACTUAL PROCUREMENTS ARE INITIATED. MR SECRETARY: REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER REPORT DATED AUGUST 15. THE PROPOSED AGREEMENT PROVIDES THAT THE AGGREGATE VALUE OF SUCH ORDERS WILL NOT EXCEED $200. 000.00 AND THAT ALL ORDERS WILL BE ISSUED PRIOR TO JUNE 30. REQUESTS FOR QUOTATIONS WERE MAILED TO ELEVEN COMPANIES LOCATED WITHIN A 50 MILE RADIUS OF HYATTSVILLE. THE RESTRICTION TO A 50 MILE RADIUS WAS CONSIDERED NECESSARY BECAUSE THE POTENTIAL CONTRACTORS WOULD HAVE TO MAINTAIN CLOSE PERSONAL LIAISON ON A DAILY BASIS WITH NAVY SHIP ENGINEERING CENTER PERSONNEL.

B-167494, SEP 15, 1969

BID PROTEST - REQUESTS FOR BASIC ORDERING AGREEMENTS - PREPROCUREMENT SOLICITATION DECISION TO SECRETARY OF THE NAVY CLOSING MATTER OF PROTEST OF QRC, INC., AGAINST PROCEDURE USED IN SOLICITATION FOR STUDY OF NAVY SHIPBOARD HULL, ETC., SPECIFICATIONS FOR NAVAL SHIP SYSTEMS COMMAND. PROTESTANT WHO ALLEGES THAT FAILURE OF NAVY TO PUBLICIZE REQUEST FOR QUOTATION FOR BASIC ORDERING AGREEMENT IN COMMERCE BUSINESS DAILY AND TO EXTEND OPENING DATE DENIED FIRM OPPORTUNITY TO COMPETE IS ADVISED THAT DEPARTMENT WILL GIVE PROTESTANT AND OTHER INTERESTED COMPANIES TIME TO QUALIFY FOR BASIC ORDERING AGREEMENT BEFORE ACTUAL PROCUREMENTS ARE INITIATED.

MR SECRETARY:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER REPORT DATED AUGUST 15, 1969, WITH ENCLOSURES, FROM THE DIRECTOR OF CONTRACTS, NAVAL SHIP SYSTEMS COMMAND, REFERENCE NO. OOJ:DTK:JAW, N00024-69-R-7731, SER 84, CONCERNING THE PROTEST OF QRC, INCORPORATED, (QRC) UNDER REQUEST FOR QUOTATIONS TO ENTER INTO A BASIC ORDERING AGREEMENT (BOA). THE PROPOSED BOA PROVIDES THAT THE GOVERNMENT MAY ISSUE ORDERS TO CONDUCT STUDIES AND ANALYSES OF NAVY SHIPBOARD HULL, ELECTRICAL, OR MACHINERY SYSTEMS, AND EQUIPMENT SPECIFICATIONS, AND TO PROVIDE REVISIONS, PREPARE DRAFTS OF NEW SPECIFICATIONS, REVIEW AND REVISE TECHNICAL MANUALS, AND PREPARE OR REVIEW AND UP-DATE TECHNICAL PUBLICATIONS CONCERNING NAVY SHIPBOARD MACHINERY AND ELECTRICAL SYSTEMS AND COMPONENTS. THE PROPOSED AGREEMENT PROVIDES THAT THE AGGREGATE VALUE OF SUCH ORDERS WILL NOT EXCEED $200,000.00 AND THAT ALL ORDERS WILL BE ISSUED PRIOR TO JUNE 30, 1970.

REQUESTS FOR QUOTATIONS WERE MAILED TO ELEVEN COMPANIES LOCATED WITHIN A 50 MILE RADIUS OF HYATTSVILLE, MARYLAND. THE RESTRICTION TO A 50 MILE RADIUS WAS CONSIDERED NECESSARY BECAUSE THE POTENTIAL CONTRACTORS WOULD HAVE TO MAINTAIN CLOSE PERSONAL LIAISON ON A DAILY BASIS WITH NAVY SHIP ENGINEERING CENTER PERSONNEL. EACH COMPANY WAS REQUESTED TO SUBMIT A TECHNICAL PROPOSAL CONTAINING INFORMATION RANGING FROM A COMPREHENSIVE DISCUSSION ILLUSTRATING ITS UNDERSTANDING OF THE NATURE AND SCOPE OF WORK, PRIOR EXPERIENCE IN PREPARING MANUALS, TO MAN DAY RATES OF PERSONNEL. FIVE PROPOSALS WERE RECEIVED BY CLOSING DATE, JULY 11, 1969. THE REQUEST FOR QUOTATIONS WAS NOT PUBLICIZED BY POSTING IN A PUBLIC PLACE OR BY SYNOPSIS IN THE COMMERCE BUSINESS DAILY.

THE BASIS OF THE QRC PROTEST IS THAT THE NAVY SHIP SYSTEMS COMMAND DID NOT COMPLY WITH PERTINENT ARMED SERVICES PROCUREMENT REGULATIONS REGARDING PUBLICITY FOR PROCUREMENTS. THIS FAILURE, COUPLED WITH A REFUSAL TO EXTEND THE OPENING DATE, DENIED QRC THE OPPORTUNITY TO SUBMIT A PROPOSAL.

THE ADMINISTRATIVE REPORT STATES, IN CONCLUSION, THAT:

" *** WE WISH TO NOTE THAT THE METHOD USED TO PROCURE THE SERVICES COVERED BY THE PROPOSED AGREEMENT HAS BEEN UNDER CONTINUOUS REVIEW IN AN EFFORT TO ACHIEVE THE MOST ADVANTAGEOUS AND ECONOMICAL PROCEDURE POSSIBLE. A BASIC REASON FOR THIS IS THAT UNDER THE PROPOSED AGREEMENT A NUMBER OF RELATED REQUIREMENTS HAVE BEEN COMBINED FOR THE FIRST TIME IN AN ATTEMPT TO SUBSTANTIALLY SHORTEN THE ADMINISTRATIVE TIME NORMALLY REQUIRED TO PROCURE THESE SERVICES. ALSO, IT WAS CONSIDERED DESIRABLE TO ESTABLISH KNOWN SOURCES QUALIFIED TO HANDLE THE RANGE OF TASKS CONTEMPLATED. THE INTEREST EXPRESSED AS A RESULT OF THE SOLICITATION, IN WHICH FIVE PROPOSALS WERE RECEIVED, INDICATES HOW SUCCESSFUL THIS EFFORT HAS BEEN. HOWEVER, SINCE IT HAS BEEN THE INTENTION OF THE COMMAND TO PERIODICALLY SOLICIT PROPOSALS TO ENTER INTO AGREEMENTS OF THIS NATURE WHEN IT IS DETERMINED THAT ADDITIONAL COMPANIES ARE INTERESTED A DECISION HAS BEEN MADE NOT ONLY TO ENTER INTO BASIC ORDERING AGREEMENTS WITH QUALIFIED SOURCES WHO HAVE ALREADY SUBMITTED PROPOSALS BUT TO PUBLISH A SYNOPSIS IN THE COMMERCE BUSINESS DAILY INDICATING THAT PROPOSALS TO ENTER INTO A BASIC ORDERING AGREEMENT WILL BE ACCEPTED FOR A SPECIFIED PERIOD OF TIME FROM COMPANIES WHICH HAVE NOT PREVIOUSLY SUBMITTED PROPOSALS. THIS, OF COURSE, WILL GIVE QRC AN OPPORTUNITY TO SUBMIT A PROPOSAL AND, IF THEY ARE QUALIFIED, TO ENTER INTO A BASIC ORDERING AGREEMENT. THE APPROPRIATE ACTION IS NOW BEING TAKEN TO IMPLEMENT THIS DECISION."

IT IS OUR UNDERSTANDING OF THE QUOTED PORTION OF THE REPORT, AND ADVICE INFORMALLY RECEIVED, THAT STEPS HAVE ALREADY BEEN INITIATED TO BROADEN THE NUMBER OF COMPANIES WITH WHOM BASIC ORDERING AGREEMENTS WILL BE MADE, TO INCLUDE COMPANIES WHICH WERE UNABLE, FOR ONE REASON OR ANOTHER, TO BE INCLUDED IN THE FIRST FIVE COMPANIES, AND THAT THIS PROCEDURE WAS NOT, INTENDED TO, AND WILL NOT, AVOID PERTINENT REGULATIONS WHEN AN ACTUAL PROCUREMENT IS TO BE MADE. WE ALSO ARE ASSURED THAT QRC AND OTHER INTERESTED COMPANIES WILL HAVE AMPLE TIME TO QUALIFY FOR A BASIC ORDERING AGREEMENT BEFORE ACTUAL PROCUREMENTS ARE INITIATED.

WE HAVE ADVISED QRC OF THE ABOVE. BY FURNISHING THEM WITH A COPY OF THIS LETTER. WE BELIEVE THIS INFORMATION WILL DISPOSE OF THEIR PROTEST.