B-167623, OCT. 27, 1969

B-167623: Oct 27, 1969

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OBJECTS TO PROCUREMENT POLICY WHICH DIRECTED PROPOSALS THEREFORE BE RESTRICTED TO ENGINE MANUFACTURER AND SOURCES APPROVED BY SAME OR WHOSE PROCEDURES WERE PROVEN SUCCESSFUL IN FIELD OPERATION. OF CONSULTING MANUFACTURER FOR RECOMMENDATIONS ON COMPLETE AND ADEQUACY OF NEW REPAIR PROCEDURES WHICH ARE DEVELOPED BY FIRMS OTHER THAN MANUFACTURER OF CRITICAL PARTS APPEARS TO ACCORD WITH ARMED SERVICES PROCUREMENT REGULATION 1-313 (C). TEST RESULTS AND QUALITY ASSURANCE PROCEDURES ARE NOT AVAILABLE WITH RIGHT OF USE FOR PROCUREMENT PURPOSES. INC.: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JULY 28. WHICH WAS ISSUED ON AUGUST 22. SINCE THE DISCS ARE CLASSED AS CRITICAL PARTS AND AFFECT THE SAFETY OF THE AIRCRAFT IN QUESTION.

B-167623, OCT. 27, 1969

NEGOTIATION--STANDARDIZATION AND INTERCHANGEABILITY DETERMINATION EXCLUSION FROM PROCUREMENT OF PROTESTANT WHO ASSERTS PROVEN CAPABILITY IN REPAIR PROCEDURES REQUIRED BY AIR FORCE (AF) TO SERVICE CRITICAL PARTS (JET ENGINE DISCS), AND OBJECTS TO PROCUREMENT POLICY WHICH DIRECTED PROPOSALS THEREFORE BE RESTRICTED TO ENGINE MANUFACTURER AND SOURCES APPROVED BY SAME OR WHOSE PROCEDURES WERE PROVEN SUCCESSFUL IN FIELD OPERATION, CANNOT BE HELD IMPROPER SINCE AF POLICY, FOR REASONS OF FLIGHT SAFETY, OF CONSULTING MANUFACTURER FOR RECOMMENDATIONS ON COMPLETE AND ADEQUACY OF NEW REPAIR PROCEDURES WHICH ARE DEVELOPED BY FIRMS OTHER THAN MANUFACTURER OF CRITICAL PARTS APPEARS TO ACCORD WITH ARMED SERVICES PROCUREMENT REGULATION 1-313 (C), AT LEAST WHILE FULLY ADEQUATE DATA, TEST RESULTS AND QUALITY ASSURANCE PROCEDURES ARE NOT AVAILABLE WITH RIGHT OF USE FOR PROCUREMENT PURPOSES.

TO VEMCO PLATING CO., INC.:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JULY 28, 1969, CONCERNING YOUR PROTEST UNDER REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL (RFP) F41608-70-R-6037, WHICH WAS ISSUED ON AUGUST 22, 1969, BY THE DIRECTORATE OF PROCUREMENT AND PRODUCTION, SAN ANTONIO AIR MATERIEL AREA (SAAMA), KELLY AIR FORCE BASE, TEXAS, TO OBTAIN ALL PLANT, LABOR AND EQUIPMENT NECESSARY FOR THE REPAIR OF AN ESTIMATED QUANTITY OF 6,500 J57, J75 AND T33 JET ENGINE COMPRESSOR ROTOR DISCS. SINCE THE DISCS ARE CLASSED AS CRITICAL PARTS AND AFFECT THE SAFETY OF THE AIRCRAFT IN QUESTION, AIR FORCE PROCUREMENT POLICY DIRECTED THAT PROPOSALS FOR THE WORK BE SOUGHT FROM THE ENGINE MANUFACTURER, PRATT AND WHITNEY AIRCRAFT DIVISION, UNITED AIRCRAFT CORPORATION (P-AND-W), AND SIX OTHER CONCERNS WHOSE REPAIR TECHNIQUES HAD BEEN APPROVED BY P-AND-W OR HAD PROVEN SUCCESSFUL IN FIELD OPERATION.

YOU MAINTAIN THAT YOUR CONCERN HAS DEMONSTRATED ITS ABILITY TO ACCOMPLISH THE MOST DIFFICULT PART OF THIS REPAIR WORK WHICH IS RELATED TO THE "PLATING" OF THESE ITEMS AND SHOULD HAVE BEEN ALLOWED TO SUBMIT A PROPOSAL UNDER THE RFP. TO SUPPORT YOUR CONTENTION YOU HAVE FURNISHED US WITH COPIES OF METALLURGICAL REPORTS PREPARED BY THE OKLAHOMA CITY AIR MATERIEL AREA (OCAMA), TINKER AIR FORCE BASE, INDICATING THAT YOUR NICKEL PLATING PROCESS HAS RECEIVED THE APPROVAL OF THAT FACILITY. YOU ALSO STATED THAT SAMPLES OF YOUR PROCESS WERE SUBMITTED TO SAAMA FOR EXAMINATION AND APPROVAL.

THE REPORT OF THE AIR FORCE ON YOUR PROTEST ADVISES THAT IT HAS DETERMINED THAT WHEN A NEW REPAIR PROCEDURE FOR A CRITICAL PART IS DEVELOPED BY A COMMERCIAL FIRM OTHER THAN THE ENGINE MANUFACTURER, AIR FORCE POLICY WILL BE TO CONSULT WITH THE ENGINE MANUFACTURER AS TO ITS RECOMMENDATIONS ON THE COMPLETENESS AND ADEQUACY OF THE REPAIR PROCEDURE INCLUDING THE EXTENT AND NATURE OF QUALIFICATION AND INTERFACE TESTING (TEST CELL AND FLIGHT TESTING) AND THE NATURE AND EXTENT OF QUALITY CONTROL REQUIRED TO ASSURE THE SAFE AND RELIABLE OPERATION OF THE REPAIRED PARTS. THIS POLICY IS TO BE FOLLOWED EVEN THOUGH THE FINAL DECISION ON QUALIFICATION OF SOURCES, WHICH MUST BE BASED ON SOUND ENGINEERING PRINCIPLES AND JUDGMENT, IT TO BE MADE BY THE DEPARTMENT. WE HAVE HELD THAT THIS POLICY APPEARS TO BE IN LINE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF ARMED SERVICES PROCUREMENT REGULATION (ASPR) 1 313 (C), RELATING TO PARTS FOR MILITARY EQUIPMENT, AT LEAST SO LONG AS FULLY ADEQUATE DATA, TEST RESULTS AND QUALITY ASSURANCE PROCEDURES ARE NOT AVAILABLE WITH THE RIGHT OF USE FOR PROCUREMENT PURPOSES. B 165738, APRIL 9, 1969.

THE AIR FORCE HAS ALSO PROMULGATED A POLICY OF NOT SEEKING ADDITIONAL SOURCES OF APPROVED REPAIRS UNLESS THE DEMAND EXCEEDS THE PRODUCTION CAPABILITIES OF EXISTING SOURCES AND SUCH SOURCES CANNOT BE EXPANDED TO MEET DEMANDS WITHIN AVAILABLE LEAD TIME.

THE DEPARTMENT HAS ADVISED US THAT IT DOES NOT CONSIDER THAT YOU HAVE DEVELOPED A COMPLETE REPAIR PROCEDURE FOR THE PARTS IN QUESTION SINCE THE PLATING PROCESS IS BUT ONE OF THE REPAIR FUNCTIONS REQUIRED FOR REFURBISHING THE SUBJECT PARTS AND THAT PLATINGS WITH METALS OTHER THAN NICKEL ARE REQUIRED. IN THIS CONNECTION OCAMA REPORTS THAT IT HAS ONLY APPROVED YOUR PLATING PROCESS AND THAT NO APPROVAL HAS BEEN GRANTED TO YOUR CONCERN FOR THE OTHER REPAIR FUNCTIONS REQUIRED UNDER THE RFP. ADDITIONALLY, THE DEPARTMENT HAS ADVISED US THAT THE METALLURGICAL REPORTS YOU HAVE SUBMITTED ARE CONCERNED ONLY WITH PLATING OF THE J57 DISCS WHEREAS THE SUBJECT RFP ALSO REQUIRES SUCH WORK ON J75 AND T33 ENGINES.

IN VIEW THEREOF AND SINCE WE CANNOT DISPUTE THE CONTENTION THAT THE APPROVAL OF REPAIR SOURCES BY P-AND-W IS NECESSARY TO ASSURE THE SAFE AND RELIABLE OPERATION OF THE REPAIRED DISCS IN THE AIRCRAFT, WE CANNOT MAINTAIN THAT THE DEPARTMENT IMPROPERLY EXCLUDED YOUR COMPANY FROM THE SUBJECT PROCUREMENT. WITH RESPECT TO FUTURE PROCUREMENTS INVOLVING REPAIR OF THE SUBJECT ITEMS THE AIR FORCE RECOMMENDS THAT YOU ACQUAINT P-AND-W WITH THE ADVANTAGES OF YOUR PLATING PROCESS SO THAT YOU MAY BECOME AN APPROVED SUPPLIER OF SUCH PLATING TO THE MANUFACTURER AND OTHER FIRMS IF YOUR PROCESS POSSESSES THE ADVANTAGES WHICH YOU CLAIM.