B-167573, SEP 11, 1969

B-167573: Sep 11, 1969

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SINCE RECORD SUPPORTS CONCLUSION THAT PROTESTANT'S PROPOSAL WAS EVALUATED ON THE SAME BASIS AS OTHERS AND THAT ANOTHER PROPOSAL WAS ACCEPTED UNDER PROCEDURES WHERE PRICE WAS NOT A CONTROLLING FACTOR. OFFERORS WERE REQUESTED TO INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION IN THEIR PROPOSALS: PERSONNEL TO BE ASSIGNED. NATURE AND SEQUENCE OF SPECIFIC WORK PROPOSED AND THE DIRECT EXPERIENCE AND QUALIFICATIONS OF THE CONTRACTOR'S PERSONNEL IN PIPELINE CORROSION WERE EXAMPLES OF FACTORS THAT WOULD BE CONSIDERED IN AWARDING A CONTRACT. WAS CONSIDERED TECHNICALLY ACCEPTABLE AND SINCE THE ESTIMATED COST PROPOSED BY THE COMPANY WAS WITHIN THE DEPARTMENT'S COST ESTIMATE AN AWARD WAS MADE TO THE CONCERN ON JUNE 30.

B-167573, SEP 11, 1969

BID PROTEST - NEGOTIATED - EVALUATION DECISION TO TELESIS INC. DENYING PROTEST AGAINST NEGOTIATED AWARD FOR COST-PLUS-FIXED-FEE CONTRACT FOR PIPELINE STUDY FOR DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION. SINCE RECORD SUPPORTS CONCLUSION THAT PROTESTANT'S PROPOSAL WAS EVALUATED ON THE SAME BASIS AS OTHERS AND THAT ANOTHER PROPOSAL WAS ACCEPTED UNDER PROCEDURES WHERE PRICE WAS NOT A CONTROLLING FACTOR, PROTEST MUST BE DENIED.

TO TELESIS INCORPORATED:

ON JULY 22, 1969, YOU PROTESTED AGAINST THE AWARD OF A CONTRACT TO MECHANICS RESEARCH, INC., UNDER REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS (RFP) NO. DOT-OS A9- 108, ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION (DOT) TO OBTAIN A STUDY OF FERROUS PIPELINE CORROSION PROCESSES, AND THEIR METHODS OF CONTROL. OFFERORS WERE REQUESTED TO INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION IN THEIR PROPOSALS: PERSONNEL TO BE ASSIGNED, SCHEDULED MAN HOURS, TECHNICAL APPROACH, METHODOLOGIES AND TECHNIQUES TO BE USED. THE RFP FURTHER STATED THAT THE OVERALL APPROACH, METHODOLOGIES, PERSONNEL (INCLUDING CONSULTANTS), NATURE AND SEQUENCE OF SPECIFIC WORK PROPOSED AND THE DIRECT EXPERIENCE AND QUALIFICATIONS OF THE CONTRACTOR'S PERSONNEL IN PIPELINE CORROSION WERE EXAMPLES OF FACTORS THAT WOULD BE CONSIDERED IN AWARDING A CONTRACT.

OF THE 18 PROPOSALS RECEIVED, ON A COST-PLUS-FIXED FEE BASIS, ONLY THE OFFER SUBMITTED BY MECHANICS RESEARCH, INC., WAS CONSIDERED TECHNICALLY ACCEPTABLE AND SINCE THE ESTIMATED COST PROPOSED BY THE COMPANY WAS WITHIN THE DEPARTMENT'S COST ESTIMATE AN AWARD WAS MADE TO THE CONCERN ON JUNE 30, 1969. YOU MAINTAIN THAT YOUR TECHNICAL PERSONNEL ARE HIGHLY QUALIFIED IN THIS SPECIALIZED FIELD AND AS THE PRICE OF YOUR PROPOSAL WAS $60,000 LESS THAN THAT OF THE SUCESSFUL OFFEROR, AN AWARD SHOULD HAVE BEEN MADE TO YOUR CONCERN.

IN A REPORT, DATED AUGUST 21, 1969, THE DEPARTMENT HAS ADVISED US AS FOLLOWS CONCERNING THE EVALUATION OF PROPOSALS:

"ALL TECHNICAL PROPOSALS WERE EVALUATED BY THE OFFICE OF PIPELINE SAFETY IN ACCORDANCE WITH PREVIOUSLY ESTABLISHED CRITERIA. THE TECHNICAL PROPOSAL OF TELESIS INCORPORATED WAS NOT CONSIDERED TECHNICALLY ACCEPTABLE IN THAT IT LACKED A COMPREHENSIVE PRESENTATION OF THE TECHNICAL APPROACH, THE SUBJECT AREAS TO BE ADDRESSED AND DETAILS OF THE NATURE AND SEQUENCE OF THE WORK TO BE PERFORMED. IN THIS REGARD, IT DID NOT DISPLAY AN UNDERSTANDING OF SUCH FUNDAMENTAL CONSIDERATIONS AS THE VARIOUS TYPES OF CORROSION AND CONTROL METHODS THAT WOULD BE NECESSARY FOR ADEQUATE PERFORMANCE. THE TECHNICAL MANPOWER EFFORT THAT TELESIS PROPOSED TO FURNISH ALSO WAS NOT CONSIDERED COMPATIBLE WITH THE DEPARTMENT'S ASSESSMENT OF THE MAGNITUDE OF THE EFFORT INVOLVED. WHILE CERTAIN OF THE PRINCIPALS OF THE CONTRACTOR HAVE EXCELLENT PERSONAL QUALIFICATIONS, THE OVERALL TECHNICAL EVALUATION OF THE PROPOSAL DISCLOSED THAT THERE WAS NOT THE COMPLETE UNDERSTANDING OF THE DEPARTMENTHS OBJECTIVES IN THIS AREA THAT WE DEEMED NECESSARY TO INSURE A SUCCESSFUL UNDERTAKING."

ON THE BASIS OF THIS EVALUATION YOUR PROPOSAL WAS CONSIDERED TO BE UNACCEPTABLE AND COULD NOT BE CONSIDERED FOR AWARD.

YOUR PROTEST INDICATES A DIRECT CONFLICT OF OPINION BETWEEN THE DEPARTMENT'S TECHNICAL PERSONNEL AND THOSE OF YOUR COMPANY. IN SUCH A SITUATION THIS OFFICE HAS STATED THAT THE DETERMINATION OF THE ACCEPTABILITY OF TECHNICAL PROPOSALS IS VESTED IN THE PROCUREMENT AGENCY, WHICH IS BEST QUALIFIED TO EVALUATE THEM, AND IN ACCORDANCE WITH WELL ESTABLISHED PRECEDENT WE WILL NOT QUESTION ITS DETERMINATION. 40 COMP. GEN. 35. IT IS NOT OUR FUNCTION TO TECHNICALLY EVALUATE PROPOSALS. COMP. GEN. 554. IT DOES APPEAR THAT YOUR PROPOSAL WAS EVALUATED ON THE SAME BASIS AS OTHERS RECEIVED AND THAT ANOTHER PROPOSAL WAS DULY SELECTED FOR AWARD UNDER THIS PROCEDURE. INASMUCH AS THE PROCUREMENT WAS NEGOTIATED UNDER AN AUTHORIZED EXCEPTION TO THE FORMAL ADVERTISING PROCEDURE, PRICE WAS NOT A CONTROLLING FACTOR, PARTICULARLY SINCE THE CONTRACT WAS TO BE MADE ON A COST-PLUS-FIXED-FEE BASIS AND THE AMOUNTS STATED IN THE PROPOSALS WERE MERELY ESTIMATES OF COST.

WITH RESPECT TO YOUR COMPLAINT THAT YOU WERE NOT ADVISED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF THE BASIS ON WHICH YOUR PROPOSAL WAS DETERMINED TO BE UNACCEPTABLE, THE APPLICABLE REGULATION PROVIDES FOR SUCH INFORMATION TO BE FURNISHED ONLY ON THE REQUEST OF THE OFFEROR. SEE FEDERAL PROCUREMENT REGULATIONS 1-3.103(B). SINCE IT DOES NOT APPEAR FROM THE RECORD THAT YOU FORMALLY REQUESTED SUCH INFORMATION FROM THE DEPARTMENT, WE CANNOT CONSIDER THAT COGNIZANT DEPARTMENT PERSONNEL ACTED IMPROPERLY IN THE MATTER.

FOR THE REASONS SET FORTH ABOVE YOUR PROTEST MUST BE DENIED.