B-167579, OCTOBER 16, 1969, 49 COMP. GEN. 257

B-167579: Oct 16, 1969

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PROPRIETY NOTWITHSTANDING THE AIR FORCE SHOULD HAVE ISSUED THE FORMAL AMENDMENT REQUIRED BY PARAGRAPH 2-208 OF THE ARMED SERVICES PROCUREMENT REGULATION FOR THE RACK CHART REFERENCED BUT OMITTED FROM AN INVITATION SOLICITING BIDS AND SEPARATE PRICES ON THE FIRST-YEAR AND MULTI-YEAR REQUIREMENTS FOR MULTIPLEX EQUIPMENT USED IN COMPLICATED COMMUNICATIONS SYSTEMS. EVEN THOUGH INADVERTENTLY A COPY OF THE CHART WAS NOT SENT TO THE LOW BIDDER. THERE IS NO NEED TO CONSIDER THE RESPONSIVENESS OF THE FIRST-PROGRAM YEAR BID. WHERE BECAUSE NO TWO SYSTEMS TO BE PROCURED DURING THE MULTI-YEAR PERIOD WOULD HAVE THE SAME UNIT PRICE. THE AIR FORCE WAS AUTHORIZED TO DEVIATE FROM THE ASPR MULTI YEAR PROCUREMENT POLICY ON THE BASIS THE DEVIATION WOULD RESULT IN A LOWER COST PER UNIT AND FACILITATE STANDARDIZATION OF THE EQUIPMENT.

B-167579, OCTOBER 16, 1969, 49 COMP. GEN. 257

BIDS -- MULTI-YEAR -- AMENDMENT -- PROPRIETY NOTWITHSTANDING THE AIR FORCE SHOULD HAVE ISSUED THE FORMAL AMENDMENT REQUIRED BY PARAGRAPH 2-208 OF THE ARMED SERVICES PROCUREMENT REGULATION FOR THE RACK CHART REFERENCED BUT OMITTED FROM AN INVITATION SOLICITING BIDS AND SEPARATE PRICES ON THE FIRST-YEAR AND MULTI-YEAR REQUIREMENTS FOR MULTIPLEX EQUIPMENT USED IN COMPLICATED COMMUNICATIONS SYSTEMS, AND FAILED TO MAIL A COPY OF THE CHART CALLING FOR ADDITIONAL EQUIPMENT FOR THE MULTI -YEAR PROCUREMENT TO THE LOW BIDDER ON BOTH ASPECTS OF THE PROCUREMENT, THE GOVERNMENT'S BEST INTERESTS REQUIRING THAT AN AWARD BE MADE ON THE BASIS OF ITS MULTI-YEAR REQUIREMENTS, THE NONRESPONSIVE BID MUST BE REJECTED, EVEN THOUGH INADVERTENTLY A COPY OF THE CHART WAS NOT SENT TO THE LOW BIDDER, AND, THEREFORE, THERE IS NO NEED TO CONSIDER THE RESPONSIVENESS OF THE FIRST-PROGRAM YEAR BID, WHICH DID NOT COMPLY WITH THE REQUIREMENT FOR TWO SETS OF PRICES. CONTRACTS -- SPECIFICATIONS -- MULTI-YEAR PROCUREMENTS -- PROCEDURAL DEVIATIONS THE FACT THAT AN INVITATION FOR BIDS ON THE FIRST-YEAR AND MULTI-YEAR REQUIREMENTS FOR MULTIPLEX EQUIPMENT USED IN COMPLICATED COMMUNICATIONS SYSTEMS DID NOT CALL FOR UNIFORM UNIT PRICES FOR EACH YEAR OF THE MULTI YEAR PROGRAM AND DID NOT CONTAIN CRITERIA FOR COMPARISON OF FIRST-YEAR VERSUS MULTI-YEAR REQUIREMENTS DOES NOT VIOLATE PARAGRAPH 1-322 OF THE ARMED SERVICES PROCUREMENT REGULATION (ASPR), WHERE BECAUSE NO TWO SYSTEMS TO BE PROCURED DURING THE MULTI-YEAR PERIOD WOULD HAVE THE SAME UNIT PRICE, THE AIR FORCE WAS AUTHORIZED TO DEVIATE FROM THE ASPR MULTI YEAR PROCUREMENT POLICY ON THE BASIS THE DEVIATION WOULD RESULT IN A LOWER COST PER UNIT AND FACILITATE STANDARDIZATION OF THE EQUIPMENT, AND BECAUSE IT WOULD NOT BE FEASIBLE TO PROVIDE FOR ONE-YEAR VERSUS MULTI-YEAR EVALUATION.

TO THE GENERAL DYNAMICS, OCTOBER 16, 1969:

WE REFER TO YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 5, 1969, WITH ENCLOSURES, AND OTHER CORRESPONDENCE, PROTESTING AWARD TO ANY OTHER FIRM UNDER INVITATION FOR BIDS NO. F34601-69-B-0519, MARCH 14, 1969, ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE, TINKER AIR FORCE BASE, OKLAHOMA.

THE PROCUREMENT CALLS FOR THE FURNISHING OF MULTIPLEX EQUIPMENT, FOR USE IN VARIOUS ARMY, NAVY AND AIR FORCE COMMUNICATION SYSTEMS LOCATED THROUGHOUT THE WORLD. THESE SYSTEMS PROVIDE PERFORMANCE FOR VOICE, HIGH SPEED TELETYPE, OR DIGITAL DATA OVER LINE OR RADIO, AND ARE DESIGNED TO TRANSMIT SEVERAL MESSAGES SIMULTANEOUSLY ON THE SAME CIRCUIT OR CHANNEL. THE EQUIPMENT WAS DEVELOPED BY LENKURT ELECTRIC, INCORPORATED, AND THAT FIRM SO FAR HAS BEEN THE SOLE PRODUCER OF THE EQUIPMENT FOR THE MILITARY. DRAWINGS WERE MADE AVAILABLE BY THE AIR FORCE TO INDUSTRY FOR REVIEW AND COMMENT IN PREPARATION FOR THE CURRENT PROCUREMENT.

THE INVITATION WAS ISSUED MARCH 14, 1969, AS A MULTI-YEAR PROCUREMENT. IN THIS CONNECTION, THE AIR FORCE REPORTS THAT WHILE A SUBSTANTIAL PORTION OF THE ELECTRONIC COMPONENTS THAT COMPOSE EACH SYSTEM IS THE SAME OR SIMILAR, EACH SYSTEM IN THE PROCUREMENT HAS A DIFFERENT CONFIGURATION BASED ON THE SITE AND TYPE OF COMMUNICATION INVOLVED, AS WELL AS THE NUMBER OF CUSTOMERS TO BE SERVED. AS A RESULT, IT WAS ANTICIPATED THAT NO TWO SYSTEMS PROCURED DURING THE MULTI-YEAR PERIOD WOULD HAVE THE SAME UNIT PRICE. ALTHOUGH THE MULTI YEAR METHOD OF PROCUREMENT AS SET FORTH IN ARMED SERVICES PROCUREMENT REGULATION (ASPR) REQUIRES THAT THE UNIT PRICE OF EACH ITEM SHALL BE THE SAME FOR ALL PROGRAM YEARS, THE AIR FORCE REPORTS THAT A DEVIATION FROM THE ASPR MULTI-YEAR POLICY WAS AUTHORIZED FOR THIS PROCUREMENT.

THE INVITATION CALLED FOR THE SUBMISSION OF PRICES FOR THE FIRST PROGRAM YEAR AS WELL AS FOR THE MULTI-YEAR REQUIREMENT. THE INVITATION STATED THAT ALTHOUGH A MULTI-YEAR AWARD WAS CONTEMPLATED, THE GOVERNMENT RESERVED THE RIGHT TO MAKE A SINGLE YEAR AWARD IN THE EVENT ONLY ONE RESPONSIVE BID WAS RECEIVED ON THE MULTI-YEAR REQUIREMENT. THE BIDDERS WERE ADVISED THAT BIDS SUBMITTED SOLELY ON A MULTI-YEAR BASIS WOULD BE CONSIDERED NONRESPONSIVE.

BID OPENING WAS HELD ON JULY 17, 1969, AND 5 BIDS WERE RECEIVED. THE TWO LOW BIDS ON THE MULTI-YEAR REQUIREMENT WERE AS FOLLOWS:

FIRM MULTI-YEAR PRICE

DYNATRONICS DIVISION OF GENERAL DYNAMICS $11,417,416

HONEYWELL, INC. 14,441,531 IT WAS NOTED, HOWEVER, THAT A DIFFERENCE OF $3,657,143 EXISTED BETWEEN THE LINE ITEM PRICES BID BY GENERAL DYNAMICS AND THE NEXT LOW BIDDER FOR ITEM 4 OF FISCAL YEAR 1970, ON PAGE 18 OF THE BID SCHEDULE. (GENERAL DYNAMICS BID $296,162 FOR ITEM 4 AS COMPARED TO THE NEXT LOW BID OF $3,953,305.) THE CONTRACTING OFFICER WAS INFORMED BY GENERAL DYNAMICS THAT IT DISCOVERED ITS LOW BID ON ITEM 4 RESULTED BECAUSE IT HAD FAILED TO INCLUDE THE QUANTITIES OF EQUIPMENT CALLED FOR IN A RACK CHART MAILED OUT BY THE AIR FORCE WITH A LETTER DATED MAY 15, 1969. GENERAL DYNAMICS ADVISED THAT IT HAD NEVER RECEIVED THE MAY 15 LETTER AND ATTACHED RACK CHART.

ITEM 4 IN QUESTION COVERS THE FISCAL YEAR 1970 REQUIREMENTS FOR A MULTIPLEX SYSTEM IN ACCORDANCE WITH PURCHASE REQUEST ARMY-4 DATED JANUARY 15, 1969. PARAGRAPHS 1 AND 2 OF THAT PURCHASE DESCRIPTION (WHICH WAS FURNISHED TO POTENTIAL BIDDERS WITH THE INVITATION) PROVIDE AS FOLLOWS:

1. THIS ENCLOSURE CONSISTS OF:

A. A CHART SHOWING THE NUMBER OF RACKS OF EACH NUMBERED CONFIGURATION REQUIRED FOR EACH STATION, AND THE NUMBER OF INDIVIDUAL COMPONENTS TO BE INSTALLED IN EXISTING RACKS WHERE APPLICABLE.

B. NINETEEN (19) RACK CONFIGURATION DRAWINGS, MOST OF WHICH ARE USED REPEATEDLY THROUGHOUT THE PROGRAM.

2. KEY TO H710 RACK CONFIGURATION DRAWING NUMBERS.

THE CONTRACTING OFFICER CONCLUDED THAT UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES GENERAL DYNAMICS WAS INADVERTENTLY OMITTED WHEN THE SOLICITATION WAS MAILED TO PROSPECTIVE BIDDERS ON MARCH 14, BUT THE CHART WAS SUBSEQUENTLY MAILED WITH A LETTER DATED MAY 15, 1969, TO ALL POTENTIAL SOURCES. IT IS THIS LETTER WHICH GENERAL DYNAMICS ALLEGES WAS NOT RECEIVED.

THE CONTRACTING OFFICE CONCLUDED THAT UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES GENERAL DYNAMICS' LOW BID FOR THE MULTI-YEAR REQUIREMENTS WAS NONRESPONSIVE. FURTHER CONCLUDED THAT GENERAL DYNAMICS WAS NONRESPONSIVE TO THE FIRST YEAR REQUIREMENT AS WELL. IT APPEARS THAT GENERAL DYNAMICS BID ONLY ONE SET OF PRICES APPLICABLE TO FISCAL YEAR 1969 IN THE BID SCHEDULE. BY A LETTER DATED JULY 11, 1969, SENT TO ALL THE POTENTIAL BIDDERS, THE AIR FORCE REQUESTED THAT TWO SETS OF PRICES BE LISTED IN THE BID SCHEDULE FOR FISCAL YEAR 1969, WITH THE FIRST DOLLAR FIGURE TO REPRESENT THE MULTI-YEAR REQUIREMENT AND THE SECOND DOLLAR FIGURE, INDICATED BY AN ASTERISK, TO REPRESENT THE AMOUNT OFFERED ONLY FOR THE FIRST YEAR REQUIREMENT. YOU REPORT THAT THIS LETTER ALSO WAS NOT RECEIVED BY GENERAL DYNAMICS, BUT THAT THE ONE SET OF PRICES IN THE GENERAL DYNAMICS BID FOR FISCAL YEAR 1969 IS INTENDED FOR BOTH THE MULTI-YEAR REQUIREMENT AND THE SINGLE YEAR REQUIREMENT.

THE AIR FORCE PROPOSES TO MAKE AWARD TO HONEYWELL FOR THE MULTI-YEAR REQUIREMENT AS THE LOWEST RESPONSIVE BIDDER. YOU PROTEST SUCH AN AWARD. YOU BELIEVE THAT NO MULTI-YEAR AWARD SHOULD BE MADE UNDER THIS INVITATION. IN YOUR VIEW THE ONLY PROPER AWARD WHICH COULD BE MADE IS TO GENERAL DYNAMICS, AS THE LOW BIDDER FOR THE SINGLE YEAR REQUIREMENT, AT ITS BID PRICE OF $3,115,446.

YOU REACH THIS CONCLUSION ON THE THEORY THAT THE QUANTITIES CALLED FOR UNDER THE RACK CHART TO ARMY-4 WERE NEVER EFFECTIVELY INCORPORATED INTO THE INVITATION MULTI-YEAR REQUIREMENT DUE TO THE FAILURE TO ISSUE A FORMAL AMENDMENT TO THE INVITATION TO INCLUDE THE RACK CHART. YOU CITE ASPR 2- 208, WHICH PROVIDES THAT:

(A) IF AFTER ISSUANCE OF AN INVITATION FOR BIDS, *** IT BECOMES NECESSARY TO *** CHANGE *** OR TO CORRECT A DEFECTIVE OR AMBIGUOUS INVITATION, SUCH CHANGES SHALL BE ACCOMPLISHED BY ISSUANCE OF AN AMENDMENT TO THE INVITATION FOR BIDS, USING STANDARD FORM 30 (SEE 16 101). *** THE AMENDMENT SHALL BE SENT TO EVERYONE TO WHOM INVITATIONS HAVE BEEN FURNISHED AND SHALL BE DISPLAYED IN THE BID ROOM.

YOU BELIEVE THAT IT WAS PARTICULARLY IMPORTANT FOR THE AIR FORCE TO OBSERVE THE REQUIREMENTS OF ASPR 2-208 FOR THIS PROCUREMENT. TO BEGIN WITH, YOU STATE THAT THE INVITATION REQUIREMENTS WERE VERY CONFUSING TO BIDDERS. YOU NOTE THAT THE REQUIRED MULTIPLEX EQUIPMENT IS FOR USE IN 32 EXISTING COMMUNICATION SYSTEMS, EACH SYSTEM CONSISTING OF FROM 1 TO 36 SITES, INVOLVING 153 DIFFERENT DRAWERS OF EQUIPMENT USED IN VARYING QUANTITIES AND COMBINATIONS IN EACH SIDE. YOU STATE THAT THE DETAILED REQUIREMENTS WERE CONTAINED ON APPROXIMATELY 9,000 DRAWINGS, 32 DIFFERENT PURCHASE DESCRIPTIONS EACH FROM 8 TO 158 PAGES IN LENGTH, AND IN SOME FIFTEEN (15) DIFFERENT SPECIFICATIONS; BUT THAT NOWHERE WAS THERE A SUMMARY OF THE TOTAL NUMBERS OF EQUIPMENTS REQUIRED TO BE FURNISHED. ADDING TO YOUR CONFUSION, YOU FOUND THAT THE PURCHASE DESCRIPTIONS WERE IN VARYING FORMATS, PRESUMABLY AS A RESULT OF HAVING BEEN PREPARED BY DIFFERENT REQUIRING AGENCIES.

YOU REPORT THAT AFTER ISSUANCE OF THE INVITATION THE AIR FORCE ISSUED A TOTAL OF 8 FORMAL AMENDMENTS, SOME OF WHICH SIGNIFICANTLY CHANGED THE REQUIREMENTS (SOME 108 SCHEDULE PAGES WERE DELETED BY THESE 8 AMENDMENTS AND NEW PAGES SUBSTITUTED). IN ADDITION, YOU REPORT THAT THE AIR FORCE SENT SOME 15 LETTERS AND TELEGRAPHIC MESSAGES AMENDING AND CLARIFYING THE INVITATION TO VARIOUS POTENTIAL BIDDERS, BUT THAT AT LEAST 5 OF THESE INFORMAL LETTERS WERE NOT RECEIVED BY GENERAL DYNAMICS, INCLUDING THE LETTERS OF MAY 15 AND JULY 11, 1969.

YOU FURTHER REPORT THAT ON MAY 27, 1969, GENERAL DYNAMICS WROTE TO THE CONTRACTING OFFICE SEEKING CLARIFICATION OF CERTAIN MATTERS IN THE SPECIFICATION. INCLUDED AS ATTACHMENTS TO THIS LETTER WERE MATRICES WHICH STATED GENERAL DYNAMICS' UNDERSTANDING OF THE TOTAL EQUIPMENT REQUIREMENTS FOR BOTH THE SINGLE YEAR AND MULTI-YEAR REQUIREMENTS. YOU STATE THAT THESE MATRICES, OF COURSE, DID NOT INCLUDE THE QUANTITIES SHOWN ON THE RACK CHART. ON JUNE 13, 1969, THE CONTRACTING OFFICER REPLIED TO THE MAY 27 LETTER. HE RESPONDED TO THE VARIOUS QUESTIONS SUBMITTED, BUT RETURNED THE GENERAL DYNAMICS' MATRICES STATING THAT "SUFFICIENT TIME IS NOT AVAILABLE TO COMPLETELY REVIEW THESE MATRICES AND OFFER VALID ENGINEERING OPINION."

YOU INSIST THAT IF THE AIR FORCE HAD EITHER REPLIED TO GENERAL DYNAMICS' UNDERSTANDING OF THE REQUIREMENTS AS EXPRESSED IN ITS LETTER OF MAY 27, OR ISSUED A FORMAL AMENDMENT TO THE INVITATION TO INCLUDE THE RACK CHART AND POSTED THIS AMENDMENT IN THE BID ROOM, AS REQUIRED BY ASPR 2-208, GENERAL DYNAMICS WOULD HAVE BEEN MADE AWARE OF THE ACTUAL QUANTITIES REQUIRED, AND WOULD HAVE BID ACCORDINGLY. IN LIGHT OF THESE CIRCUMSTANCES, YOU QUESTION THE PROPRIETY OF A MULTI-YEAR AWARD.

THE AIR FORCE IS OF THE OPINION THAT THE RACK CHART WAS CLEARLY REFERENCED IN THE INVITATION BY PARAGRAPH LA OF PURCHASE DESCRIPTION ARMY- 4, QUOTED ABOVE. IT BELIEVES THAT A PRUDENT BIDDER WOULD HAVE DETECTED THE OMISSION OF THE CHART IN PREPARING HIS BID. THUS, THE DEPARTMENT CONCLUDES THAT GENERAL DYNAMICS WAS NOT A PRUDENT BIDDER IN THIS CASE, AND SHOULD SUFFER THE CONSEQUENCES.

YOU DISPUTE THAT THE CHART WAS CLEARLY REFERENCED, STATING AS FOLLOWS:

THE PURCHASE DESCRIPTION RECEIVED BY US DID CONTAIN A CHART ON PAGES 31 THROUGH 34 MEETING THE DESCRIPTION OF SUBPARAGRAPH (A) ABOVE, AS WELL AS RACK CONFIGURATION DRAWINGS, PAGES 2 THROUGH 30. NOWHERE WAS THERE ANY INDICATION TO A REASONABLE AND PRUDENT CONTRACTOR THAT A SECOND SET OF CHARTS ALSO FORMED A PART OF THE PURCHASE DESCRIPTION. IF, AS THE GOVERNMENT NOW INSISTS, THE CHART INTENDED TO BE INCORPORATED IN THE PURCHASE DESCRIPTION BY PARAGRAPH 1(A) THEREOF WAS THE CHART TRANSMITTED TO SOME OF THE BIDDERS BY LETTER OF 15 MAY 1969, WHAT IS THE LEGAL EFFECT OF THE CHART ORIGINALLY SENT TO THE BIDDERS?

WE NOTE THAT THE CHART ON PAGES 31 THROUGH 34, WHICH WAS ORIGINALLY SENT TO BIDDERS, IS THE "H-710 RACK CONFIGURATION DRAWING NUMBERS" CHART REFERENCED IN PARAGRAPH 2 OF ARMY-4, QUOTED ABOVE. WE UNDERSTAND THAT THIS H-710 CHART SERVED AS A SUMMARY OF STANDARD CONFIGURATIONS FOR USE IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE OTHER INFORMATION CONTAINED IN PARAGRAPH 2 OF PURCHASE DESCRIPTION ARMY-4. IN ANY CASE, WE FIND NO INFORMATION ON THE H -710 CHART TO INDICATE THE REQUIRED NUMBER OF RACKS OF EACH NUMBERED CONFIGURATION. IT SEEMS TO US THAT IN THE ABSENCE OF THE OMITTED RACK CHART THERE ARE NO SPECIFIED QUANTITIES OF RACK CONFIGURATIONS ON WHICH TO BID. IN THIS REGARD, WE UNDERSTAND THAT HONEYWELL WAS ABLE TO DETECT THAT THE RACK CHART REFERENCED IN PARAGRAPH 1A WAS OMITTED FROM THE ORIGINAL BID PACKAGE PRIOR TO MAY 15.

BE THAT AS IT MAY, WE AGREE WITH YOU THAT THE OMITTED RACK CHART SHOULD HAVE BEEN FURNISHED TO POTENTIAL BIDDERS BY FORMAL AMENDMENT TO THE INVITATION RATHER THAN BY THE FORMAT USED. ENCLOSED IS A COPY OF OUR LETTER OF TODAY TO THE SECRETARY OF THE AIR FORCE ON THIS SUBJECT. HOWEVER, THE FACT REMAINS THAT THE CHART WAS MAILED TO POTENTIAL BIDDERS, AND ALL THE OTHER FOUR BIDDERS DID BID ON THE BASIS OF THE RACK CHART QUANTITIES. IT MAY BE THAT GENERAL DYNAMICS WOULD HAVE DISCOVERED BEFORE BID OPENING THAT THE RACK CHART WAS MISSING FROM THE BID PACKAGE IF ASPR 2 -208 HAD BEEN FOLLOWED. BUT IN OUR OPINION THIS IS NOT A SUFFICIENT REASON FOR CANCELING THE MULTI-YEAR PART OF THE INVITATION. THE INTERESTS OF THE GOVERNMENT MUST BE OUR PRIMARY CONSIDERATION. THUS WE HAVE HELD THAT A BID WHICH IS NONRESPONSIVE ONLY BECAUSE THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE INADVERTENTLY NEGLECTED TO SEND A COPY OF THE AMENDMENT TO THE BIDDER, MUST NEVERTHELESS BE REJECTED. 40 COMP. GEN. 126 (1960). WE BELIEVE THE SAME REASONING APPLIES TO THE PRESENT CASE.

WE ALSO FIND THAT, DESPITE CERTAIN AMBIGUITIES WHICH YOU HAVE CITED IN THE COMPLETE PURCHASE DESCRIPTION ARMY-4, THE OTHER BIDDERS WERE ABLE TO DETERMINE THE QUANTITIES OF EQUIPMENT REQUIRED BASED ON THE RACK CHART LISTINGS.

YOU HAVE FURTHER ALLEGED THAT THE MULTI-YEAR PROVISIONS OF THE INVITATION FOR BIDS ARE IN VIOLATION OF ASPR 1-322 AND, FOR THAT REASON, THE MULTI- YEAR PORTION OF THE INVITATION SHOULD BE CANCELED. YOU POINT OUT THAT THE INVITATION DOES NOT CALL FOR UNIFORM UNIT PRICES FOR EACH YEAR OF THE MULTI-YEAR PROGRAM AND DOES NOT CONTAIN CRITERIA FOR COMPARISON OF FIRST- YEAR VERSUS MULTI-YEAR REQUIREMENTS.

AS PREVIOUSLY INDICATED, THE AIR FORCE RECOGNIZED THAT THIS MULTI-YEAR PROCUREMENT WOULD DEVIATE FROM THE ASPR MULTI-YEAR PROCUREMENT POLICY, BUT CONSIDERED THAT THESE DEVIATIONS HAD, IN EFFECT, BEEN AUTHORIZED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE. WE HAVE REVIEWED THE RECORD IN THIS RESPECT, AND FIND THAT MULTI-YEAR PROCUREMENT OF MULTIPLEXER EQUIPMENT WAS APPROVED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE ON THE BASIS THAT SUCH METHOD OF PROCUREMENT SHOULD RESULT IN A LOWER COST PER UNIT AND WOULD FACILITATE STANDARDIZATION OF THE EQUIPMENT WITHIN THE DEFENSE COMMUNICATIONS SYSTEM. ALSO AS PREVIOUSLY INDICATED, THIS APPROVAL NECESSARILY INCLUDED AUTHORIZATION TO DEVIATE FROM THE ASPR MULTI-YEAR PROCUREMENT POLICY BECAUSE OF THE NATURE OF THE REQUIREMENT TO BE SOLICITED. IT SIMPLY WAS NOT FEASIBLE TO PROVIDE FOR 1-YEAR VERSUS MULTI-YEAR EVALUATION IN THIS CASE. UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES, WE BELIEVE A MULTI-YEAR AWARD AS CONTEMPLATED WOULD BE PROPER. IN VIEW OF OUR CONCLUSIONS, THERE IS NO NEED TO DISCUSS YOUR CONTENTIONS REGARDING THE RESPONSIVENESS OF THE GENERAL DYNAMICS' BID ON THE FIRST YEAR REQUIREMENT. YOUR PROTEST AGAINST THE PROPOSED AWARD TO HONEYWELL IS DENIED.