B-167789(2), NOV. 26, 1969

B-167789(2): Nov 26, 1969

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SECRETARY OF NAVY'S ATTENTION IS INVITED TO RECOMMENDATION MADE TO HIS PREDECESSOR IN 45 COMP. BECAUSE THAT AND INSTANT CASE ADEQUATELY ILLUSTRATE DANGERS INVOLVED IN MAKING SET-ASIDE OF PROCUREMENT IN WHICH IT IS KNOWN ONLY FEW SOURCES ARE AVAILABLE MERELY ON ASSUMPTION THAT ALL SUCH SOURCES ARE SMALL BUSINESS CONCERNS. IT IS RECOMMENDED THAT APPROPRIATE ACTION BE TAKEN TO EMPHASIZE IMPORTANCE OF STRICT COMPLIANCE WITH PROCEDURES PRESCRIBED FOR HANDLING SUCH PROTESTS. SECRETARY: ENCLOSED IS A COPY OF OUR DECISION OF TODAY DENYING THE PROTEST BY RAVEN ELECTRONICS. THE PROTEST WAS THE SUBJECT OF A REPORT FROM COUNSEL. WHILE WE HAVE DENIED THE COMPANY'S PROTEST. REFERENCE IS MADE TO THE RECOMMENDATION MADE TO YOUR PREDECESSOR IN 45 COMP.

B-167789(2), NOV. 26, 1969

AWARDS--SMALL BUSINESS CONCERNS--SET-ASIDES--COMPETITION SUFFICIENCY CONCERNING DENIAL OF PROTEST AGAINST AWARD OF CONTRACT TO ANOTHER FIRM, SECRETARY OF NAVY'S ATTENTION IS INVITED TO RECOMMENDATION MADE TO HIS PREDECESSOR IN 45 COMP. GEN. 228 (1965), BECAUSE THAT AND INSTANT CASE ADEQUATELY ILLUSTRATE DANGERS INVOLVED IN MAKING SET-ASIDE OF PROCUREMENT IN WHICH IT IS KNOWN ONLY FEW SOURCES ARE AVAILABLE MERELY ON ASSUMPTION THAT ALL SUCH SOURCES ARE SMALL BUSINESS CONCERNS; REGARDING CONTRACTING OFFICER'S FAILURE TO FORWARD TIMELY PROTEST CONCERNING SMALL BUSINESS STATUS OF CONTRACTOR TO SBA REGIONAL OFFICE AS REQUIRED BY ASPR 1-703 (B) (1) (I), IT IS RECOMMENDED THAT APPROPRIATE ACTION BE TAKEN TO EMPHASIZE IMPORTANCE OF STRICT COMPLIANCE WITH PROCEDURES PRESCRIBED FOR HANDLING SUCH PROTESTS.

TO MR. SECRETARY:

ENCLOSED IS A COPY OF OUR DECISION OF TODAY DENYING THE PROTEST BY RAVEN ELECTRONICS, INC., AGAINST THE AWARD OF A CONTRACT TO DORSETT ELECTRONICS, INC., UNDER REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS N00019-69-R-0188, ISSUED BY THE NAVAL AIR SYSTEMS COMMAND (NAVAIR). THE PROTEST WAS THE SUBJECT OF A REPORT FROM COUNSEL, NAVAIR, REFERENCE AIR-OOC:GPQ/PML, DATED SEPTEMBER 8, 1969.

WHILE WE HAVE DENIED THE COMPANY'S PROTEST, WE WISH TO BRING TO YOUR ATTENTION FOR POSSIBLE CORRECTIVE ACTION THAT PORTION OF OUR DECISION DEALING WITH THE PROPRIETY OF THE DETERMINATION TO MAKE A TOTAL SMALL BUSINESS SET-ASIDE. REFERENCE IS MADE TO THE RECOMMENDATION MADE TO YOUR PREDECESSOR IN 45 COMP. GEN. 228 (1965) IN A SIMILAR CASE. WE BELIEVE THESE TWO CASES ADEQUATELY ILLUSTRATE THE DANGERS INVOLVED IN MAKING A SET -ASIDE OF A PROCUREMENT IN WHICH IT IS KNOWN THAT ONLY A FEW SOURCES ARE AVAILABLE MERELY ON AN ASSUMPTION THAT ALL SUCH SOURCES ARE SMALL BUSINESS CONCERNS.

WE WISH TO POINT OUT ALSO THE CONTRACTING OFFICER'S FAILURE IN THIS CASE TO FORWARD RAVEN'S TIMELY PROTEST CONCERNING THE SMALL BUSINESS STATUS OF DORSETT TO THE SBA REGIONAL OFFICE AS REQUIRED BY ASPR 1-703 (B) (1) (I). WHILE THE CONTRACTING OFFICER TELEPHONICALLY ADVISED SBA OF RAVEN'S PROTEST, THIS ACTION DID NOT RESULT IN A PROPER DETERMINATION BY THE SBA REGIONAL DIRECTOR AS CONTEMPLATED BY ASPR 1 703 (B) (3). APPARENTLY BY REASON OF INADEQUATE INFORMATION FURNISHED BY THE CONTRACTING OFFICER TO SBA, RAVEN WAS ERRONEOUSLY LED TO APPEAL FROM A REGIONAL DIRECTOR'S DETERMINATION MADE IN AN ENTIRELY DIFFERENT PROCUREMENT WITHOUT ANY DETERMINATION HAVING BEEN MADE ON ITS PROTEST. IT IS RECOMMENDED THAT APPROPRIATE ACTION BE TAKEN TO EMPHASIZE THE IMPORTANCE OF STRICT COMPLIANCE WITH THE PROCEDURES PRESCRIBED FOR HANDLING SUCH PROTESTS.

THE FILE FORWARDED WITH THE REPORT OF SEPTEMBER 8 HAS BEEN RETURNED DIRECTLY TO THE OFFICE OF COUNSEL, NAVAIR, AS REQUESTED.