B-167833(1), NOV. 25, 1969

B-167833(1): Nov 25, 1969

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PERFORMANCE AND TEST REQUIREMENTS WAS PROPER AND PROTEST IS DENIED SINCE QUESTION WHETHER TECHNICAL PROPOSALS ARE DEFICIENT AND WHETHER DEFICIENT TECHNICAL PROPOSALS ARE REASONABLY SUSCEPTIBLE OF BEING MADE ACCEPTABLE ARE MATTERS REQUIRING JUDGMENT AND EXPERTISE OF TECHNICALLY QUALIFIED PERSONNEL AND GAO WILL NOT QUESTION AGENCY ACTION UNLESS CLEARLY SHOWN TO BE ARBITRARY. INC.: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 2. THE LETTER REQUEST FOR TECHNICAL PROPOSALS (LRTP) WAS ISSUED ON APRIL 22. IT IS STRONGLY URGED THAT THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE TECHNICAL PROPOSALS SET FORTH IN ATTACHMENT NO. 3 HEREOF BE STRICTLY COMPLIED WITH AND COMPLETE IN ALL RESPECTS. OFFERORS ARE ADVISED TO SUBMIT PROPOSALS WHICH ARE FULLY AND CLEARLY ACCEPTABLE WITHOUT ADDITIONAL EXPLANATION OF INFORMATION.

B-167833(1), NOV. 25, 1969

NEGOTIATION--TWO-STEP PROCUREMENT--TECHNICAL PROPOSAL ACCEPTABILITY UNDER LETTER REQUEST FOR TECHNICAL PROPOSALS ISSUED AS FIRST STEP OF TWO- STEP PROCUREMENT FOR DESIGN AND FABRICATION OF TEST SETS, EVALUATION TEAM'S DETERMINATION THAT BIDDER'S FAILURE TO ADEQUATELY DISCUSS SIGNIFICANT DESIGN PROBLEMS ANTICIPATED IN DESIGN AND MANUFACTURE AND TO FULLY EXPLAIN METHODS, TECHNIQUES AND APPROACHES TO SATISFY DESIGN, PERFORMANCE AND TEST REQUIREMENTS WAS PROPER AND PROTEST IS DENIED SINCE QUESTION WHETHER TECHNICAL PROPOSALS ARE DEFICIENT AND WHETHER DEFICIENT TECHNICAL PROPOSALS ARE REASONABLY SUSCEPTIBLE OF BEING MADE ACCEPTABLE ARE MATTERS REQUIRING JUDGMENT AND EXPERTISE OF TECHNICALLY QUALIFIED PERSONNEL AND GAO WILL NOT QUESTION AGENCY ACTION UNLESS CLEARLY SHOWN TO BE ARBITRARY, CAPRICIOUS OR MADE IN BAD FAITH.

TO ARVIN INDUSTRIES, INC.:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 2, 1969, PROTESTING THE REJECTION OF YOUR COMPANY'S TECHNICAL PROPOSAL SUBMITTED UNDER AIR FORCE REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS NO. F33657-69-R-0715, ISSUED BY HEADQUARTERS AERONAUTICAL SYSTEMS DIVISION, WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, OHIO.

THE LETTER REQUEST FOR TECHNICAL PROPOSALS (LRTP) WAS ISSUED ON APRIL 22, 1969, AS THE FIRST STEP OF A TWO-STEP PROCUREMENT FOR THE DESIGN AND FABRICATION OF EIGHT TEST SETS, TACAN AN/ARM-135, IN ACCORDANCE WITH EXHIBIT ASNMT 68-112, DATED JANUARY 21, 1969, AND 91 PRODUCTION SETS WITH DATA AND SPARE PARTS. THE LRTP CONTAINED THE FOLLOWING PROVISIONS: "7. IT IS STRONGLY URGED THAT THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE TECHNICAL PROPOSALS SET FORTH IN ATTACHMENT NO. 3 HEREOF BE STRICTLY COMPLIED WITH AND COMPLETE IN ALL RESPECTS. DO NOT RELY ON DATA PREVIOUSLY SUBMITTED BEING GIVEN ANY CONSIDERATION. OFFERORS ARE ADVISED TO SUBMIT PROPOSALS WHICH ARE FULLY AND CLEARLY ACCEPTABLE WITHOUT ADDITIONAL EXPLANATION OF INFORMATION, SINCE THE GOVERNMENT MAY MAKE A FINAL DETERMINATION AS TO WHETHER A PROPOSAL IS ACCEPTABLE OR UNACCEPTABLE SOLELY ON THE BASIS OF THE PROPOSAL AS SUBMITTED AND PROCEED WITH THE SECOND STEP WITHOUT REQUESTING FURTHER INFORMATION FROM ANY OFFEROR. HOWEVER, IF THE GOVERNMENT DEEMS IT NECESSARY TO OBTAIN SUFFICIENT ACCEPTABLE PROPOSALS TO ASSURE ADEQUATE PRICE COMPETITION IN THE SECOND STEP OR DEEMS IT OTHERWISE DESIRABLE IN ITS BEST INTEREST, THE GOVERNMENT MAY, IN ITS SOLE DISCRETION, REQUEST ADDITIONAL INFORMATION FROM OFFERORS OF PROPOSALS WHICH THE GOVERNMENT CONSIDERS REASONABLY SUSCEPTIBLE OF BEING MADE ACCEPTABLE BY ADDITIONAL INFORMATION CLARIFYING OR SUPPLEMENTING BUT NOT BASICALLY CHANGING ANY PROPOSALS AS SUBMITTED AND, FOR THIS PURPOSE, THE GOVERNMENT MAY DISCUSS ANY SUCH PROPOSAL WITH THE OFFEROR.

* * * * * * * "11. IT IS NOW ANTICIPATED THAT INVITATION FOR BIDS WILL BE ISSUED ON OR ABOUT 30 JULY 1969 ONLY TO THOSE BIDDERS WHOSE TECHNICAL PROPOSALS ARE ACCEPTABLE ON THAT DATE. NO OTHER FIRMS WILL BE GIVEN AN OPPORTUNITY TO BID. IN THE SECOND STEP OF THE PROCUREMENT, ONLY BIDS BASED UPON TECHNICAL PROPOSALS DETERMINED TO BE ACCEPTABLE, EITHER INITIALLY OR AS A RESULT OF DISCUSSIONS, WILL BE CONSIDERED FOR AWARD, AND EACH BID IN THE SECOND STEP MUST BE BASED ON THE BIDDER'S OWN TECHNICAL PROPOSAL. FIRMS WHOSE TECHNICAL PROPOSALS ARE NOT ACCEPTABLE WILL BE NOTIFIED UPON THE COMPLETION OF THE TECHNICAL EVALUATION OF SUCH PROPOSALS AND THE FINAL DETERMINATION OF UNACCEPTABILITY.'

A PREPROPOSAL BRIEFING WAS HELD ON MAY 2, 1969. GOVERNMENT PERSONNEL EXPLAINED THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE LRTP AT THE BRIEFING AND PROVIDED OFFERORS WITH AN OPPORTUNITY TO POSE QUESTIONS REGARDING THE PROCUREMENT. SEVEN PROPOSALS WERE RECEIVED AND PROMPTLY FORWARDED TO AN ENGINEERING TEAM FOR EVALUATION AND CLASSIFICATION IN COMPLIANCE WITH PARAGRAPH 2- 503.1 (E) OF THE ARMED SERVICES PROCUREMENT REGULATION (ASPR) WHICH STATES:

"/E) * * * THE PROPOSALS AS SUBMITTED, SHALL BE CATEGORIZED AS:

"/I) ACCEPTABLE;

"/II) REASONABLY SUSCEPTIBLE OF BEING MADE ACCEPTABLE BY ADDITIONAL INFORMATION CLARIFYING OR SUPPLEMENTING, BUT NOT BASICALLY CHANGING THE PROPOSAL AS SUBMITTED; OR

"/III) IN ALL OTHER CASES, UNACCEPTABLE.' ON JULY 28, 1969, THE EVALUATION TEAM CONCLUDED THAT THREE PROPOSALS WERE MARGINALLY ACCEPTABLE AND FOUR PROPOSALS, INCLUDING THAT SUBMITTED BY YOUR COMPANY, WERE UNACCEPTABLE. BY LETTER DATED AUGUST 14, 1969, RECEIVED BY YOUR COMPANY ON AUGUST 16, 1969, THE CONTRACTING OFFICER ADVISED YOUR FIRM THAT ITS PROPOSAL WAS UNACCEPTABLE IN THAT IT HAD FURNISHED INSUFFICIENT DATA AND/OR FAILED TO CONFORM TO THE ESSENTIAL REQUIREMENTS AND SPECIFICATIONS OF THE LRTP IN ACCORDANCE WITH ASPR 2 503.1 (E). THE LETTER LISTED THE VARIOUS AREAS IN WHICH THE PROPOSAL WAS FOUND TO BE UNACCEPTABLE. DEBRIEFING CONFERENCE WAS HELD ON SEPTEMBER 5, 1969, WHEREAT THE HEAD OF THE EVALUATING TEAM EXPLAINED THE REASONS FOR THE REJECTION OF THE PROPOSAL, AND ADVISED THAT REVISION OF THE PROPOSAL WOULD NOT BE ALLOWED. SUBSEQUENTLY, DISCUSSIONS WERE CONDUCTED WITH THE THREE FIRMS WHICH SUBMITTED MARGINALLY ACCEPTABLE PROPOSALS. THE DISCUSSIONS RESULTED IN THE RESUBMISSION OF REVISED PROPOSALS WHICH WERE DETERMINED TO BE ACCEPTABLE BY THE CONTRACTING OFFICER ON SEPTEMBER 12, 1969. WE ARE ADVISED THAT THE INVITATION FOR BIDS, THE SECOND STEP OF THE PROCUREMENT, WILL BE ISSUED TO THE THREE FIRMS DETERMINED TO HAVE SUBMITTED ACCEPTABLE PROPOSALS IN THE NEAR FUTURE.

YOUR COMPANY HAS PROTESTED CLASSIFICATION OF ITS PROPOSAL AS UNACCEPTABLE, SPECIFICALLY REBUTTING ALL OF THE PARTICULAR DEFICIENCIES STATED IN THE AIR FORCE'S LETTER OF AUGUST 14, 1969. IN ADDITION TO THE ALLEGED WRONGFUL CLASSIFICATION EVALUATION, IT HAS PROTESTED THE "EXTENSIVE DELAY" IN NOTIFYING YOUR COMPANY UNDER ASPR 2-503.1 (E). IT IS ALSO CONTENDED THAT AS A MAJOR PRODUCER OF THE AN/ARM-52 (V) TACAN UNDER OTHER MILITARY CONTRACTS, YOUR COMPANY IS BOTH KNOWLEDGEABLE AND COMPETENT TO RESPOND TO THE LRTP.

THE PRINCIPAL CONTENTION DEALS WITH THE FAILURE OF THE EVALUATING TEAM TO RATE YOUR COMPANY'S PROPOSAL IN THE CLASS (II) CATEGORY OF ASPR 2-503.1 (E). IT IS CLAIMED THAT THE DEFICIENCIES POINTED OUT BY THE CONTRACTING OFFICIALS ARE OF THE TYPE WHICH WOULD MERELY CLARIFY OR SUPPLEMENT, BUT NOT CHANGE THE PROPOSAL AS SUBMITTED, SO THAT THE PROPOSAL WAS REASONABLY SUSCEPTIBLE OF BEING MADE ACCEPTABLE WITHOUT MAJOR CLARIFICATION.

IT SHOULD BE NOTED THAT THE REJECTION OF YOUR PROPOSAL WITHOUT DISCUSSION WAS IN ACCORDANCE WITH ASPR 2-503.1 (A) (VIII), WHICH PROVIDES THAT REQUESTS FOR TECHNICAL PROPOSALS SHALL CONTAIN, AMONG OTHER THINGS, THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION:

"/VIII) A STATEMENT THAT OFFERORS ARE ADVISED TO SUBMIT PROPOSALS WHICH ARE FULLY AND CLEARLY ACCEPTABLE WITHOUT ADDITIONAL EXPLANATION OR INFORMATION, SINCE THE GOVERNMENT MAY MAKE A FINAL DETERMINATION AS TO WHETHER A PROPOSAL IS ACCEPTABLE OR UNACCEPTABLE SOLELY ON THE BASIS OF THE PROPOSAL AS SUBMITTED AND PROCEED WITH THE SECOND STEP WITHOUT REQUESTING FURTHER INFORMATION FROM ANY OFFEROR; HOWEVER, IF THE GOVERNMENT DEEMS IT NECESSARY TO OBTAIN SUFFICIENT ACCEPTABLE PROPOSALS TO ASSURE ADEQUATE PRICE COMPETITION IN THE SECOND STEP OR DEEMS IT OTHERWISE DESIRABLE IN ITS BEST INTEREST THE GOVERNMENT MAY, IN ITS SOLE DISCRETION, REQUEST ADDITIONAL INFORMATION FROM OFFERORS OF PROPOSALS WHICH THE GOVERNMENT CONSIDERS REASONABLY SUSCEPTIBLE OF BEING MADE ACCEPTABLE BY ADDITIONAL INFORMATION CLARIFYING OR SUPPLEMENTING BUT NOT BASICALLY CHANGING ANY PROPOSAL AS SUBMITTED AND, FOR THIS PURPOSE, THE GOVERNMENT MAY DISCUSS ANY SUCH PROPOSAL WITH THE OFFEROR; " IN ADDITION, ASPR 2- 503.1 (F) PROVIDES:

"/F) UPON FINAL DETERMINATION THAT A TECHNICAL PROPOSAL IS UNACCEPTABLE, THE CONTRACTING OFFICER SHALL PROMPTLY NOTIFY THE SOURCE SUBMITTING THE PROPOSAL OF THAT FACT. THE NOTICE SHALL STATE THAT REVISION OF HIS PROPOSAL WILL NOT BE CONSIDERED, AND SHALL INDICATE, IN GENERAL TERMS, THE BASIS FOR THE DETERMINATION FOR EXAMPLE, THAT REJECTION WAS BASED ON FAILURE TO FURNISH SUFFICIENT INFORMATION OR ON AN UNACCEPTABLE ENGINEERING APPROACH.' SEE, ALSO, PARAGRAPH 7 OF THE LRTP AND B-164302, JULY 11, 1968.

OUR OFFICE HAS HELD ON MANY OCCASIONS THAT QUESTIONS AS TO WHETHER TECHNICAL PROPOSALS ARE DEFICIENT AND WHETHER DEFICIENT TECHNICAL PROPOSALS ARE REASONABLY SUSCEPTIBLE OF BEING MADE ACCEPTABLE ARE BASICALLY MATTERS REQUIRING THE JUDGMENT AND EXPERTISE OF TECHNICALLY QUALIFIED PERSONNEL. THEREFORE, WE ARE REQUIRED TO RELY ON THE JUDGMENT AND EXPERTISE OF THE PROCUREMENT ACTIVITY'S SPECIALISTS AS TO THE ADEQUACY OF A TECHNICAL PROPOSAL, UNLESS IT IS CLEARLY SHOWN THAT THE AGENCY ACTION WAS ARBITRARY, CAPRICIOUS, OR MADE IN BAD FAITH. 40 COMP. GEN. 35, 38 (1960); B-164302, SUPRA; B-164775, AUGUST 27, 1968; B 164752, SEPTEMBER 10, 1968; B-165457, MARCH 18, 1969; B-165771, APRIL 28, 1969. IN B- 165457, SUPRA, WE DISCUSSED IN DETAIL TWO-STEP PROCUREMENT PROCEDURES AND STATED IN PERTINENT PART:

"* * * IN PARAGRAPH 2-501 OF ASPR, TWO-STEP FORMAL ADVERTISING IS DESCRIBED AS A FLEXIBLE PROCEDURE ESPECIALLY USEFUL IN THE PROCUREMENT OF COMPLEX ITEMS REQUIRING TECHNICAL PROPOSALS. CONFORMITY TO THE TECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS IS RESOLVED IN STEP ONE, WHICH INCLUDES THE EVALUATION AND, IF NECESSARY, DISCUSSION OF TECHNICAL PROPOSALS TO DETERMINE THEIR ACCEPTABILITY. SUCH METHOD REQUIRES THAT THE CONTRACTING OFFICER WORK CLOSELY WITH TECHNICAL PERSONNEL AND THAT HE UTILIZE THEIR SPECIALIZED KNOWLEDGE IN DETERMINING THE TECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS OF THE PROCUREMENT, IN DETERMINING THE CRITERIA TO BE USED IN EVALUATING TECHNICAL PROPOSALS, - AND IN MAKING SUCH EVALUATION.' TECHNICAL EVALUATION OF A PROPOSAL IS REQUIRED TO BE BASED UPON THE CRITERIA CONTAINED IN THE LRFUTP, AND THE CITED REGULATION CLEARLY STATES THAT A PROPOSAL WHICH MODIFIES, OR FAILS TO CONFORM TO THE ESSENTIAL REQUIREMENTS OR SPECIFICATIONS OF THE LRFUTP SHALL BE CONSIDERED NONRESPONSIVE AND CATEGORIZED AS UNACCEPTABLE.

"WE VIEW THE ABOVE PROVISIONS AS INVESTING IN THE TECHNICAL AND PROCUREMENT PERSONNEL CHARGED WITH THIS PROCUREMENT CONSIDERABLE LATITUDE IN FRAMING THE REQUIREMENTS TO BE MET BY PROPOSALS AND IN THEIR EVALUATION. RESPONSIBILITY FOR 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 PRECEDENTS, WE WILL NOT QUESTION ITS DETERMINATION. 40 COMP. GEN. 35. WHETHER A PROPOSAL NEEDS CLARIFICATION TO BE DEEMED ACCEPTABLE, WHETHER A PROPOSAL CAN BE MADE ACCEPTABLE BY CLARIFICATION AND REASONABLE EFFORT BY THE GOVERNMENT, HOW MANY OR HOW FEW LETTERS OF CLARIFICATION MAY BE ADDRESSED TO A PROPOSER, ARE ALL MATTERS OF JUDGMENT ON THE PART OF THE PROCUREMENT AGENCY, WHICH WE WILL NOT QUESTION UNLESS THERE IS EVIDENCE OF FRAUD, PREJUDICE, ABUSE OF AUTHORITY, ARBITRARINESS OR CAPRICIOUS ACTION. * * *" WHAT WAS STATED THERE IS EQUALLY APPLICABLE TO YOUR PROTEST. PARTICULARLY PERSUASIVE IN SUPPORT OF THE AIR FORCE'S CONTENTIONS WAS THE REPORTED FAILURE OF YOUR COMPANY TO ADEQUATELY DISCUSS THE SIGNIFICANT DESIGN PROBLEMS ANTICIPATED IN THE DESIGN AND MANUFACTURE OF THE TEST SETS. ALSO, THE RECORD DISCLOSED THAT YOUR COMPANY FAILED TO FULLY EXPLAIN ITS METHODS, TECHNIQUES AND APPROACHES TO SATISFY THE DESIGN, PERFORMANCE, AND TEST REQUIREMENTS AND GENERAL CONCEPTUAL INTENT OF THE EXHIBIT. WE ARE ADVISED THAT:

"THE CONTRACTOR'S RESPONSE TO PARAGRAPH 2.A. (1) REQUIREMENT IS CONSIDERED INADEQUATE FOR THE FOLLOWING REASONS:

"/1) EACH DISCUSSION OF THE ANTICIPATED DESIGN PROBLEMS IS MOST BRIEF. BASICALLY IT CONSISTS OF A STATEMENT OF A SELECTED APPROACH TO SOLVING THE PROBLEM AND DOES NOT PROVIDE AN EXPLANATION OF HOW THE PROBLEM WILL BE SOLVED. IN ESSENCE ARVIN HAS FAILED TO SUBSTANTIATE OR SUPPORT THE PROPOSED APPROACH. DATA SUCH AS BLOCK DIAGRAMS, SKETCHES OR FOR THAT MATTER ANY INFORMATION TO EXPLAIN AND SUPPORT THE APPROACH SHOULD BE INCLUDED. SUCH INFORMATION IS FUNDAMENTAL TO ANY PROPOSAL, CONSEQUENTLY IT IS CALLED FOR IN PARAGRAPH 1C OF ATTACHMENT 3 (INSTRUCTIONS FOR PREPARATION OF TECHNICAL PROPOSALS) TO THE RFP.

"/2) IN THREE OF THE PARAGRAPHS THE CONTRACTOR GIVES NO EXPLANATION WHY HE FEELS THERE ARE ANTICIPATED DESIGN PROBLEMS. FOR ALL FOUR PARAGRAPHS HE FAILED TO PROVIDE THE REQUIRED EXPLANATION OF THESE PROBLEMS CONSIDERING SUCH FACTORS AS RELIABILITY, ACCURACY, PACKAGING AND COST.

"/3) IN PARAGRAPH 1.1.1.1 THE CONTRACTOR'S DISCUSSION ON POWER HANDLING CAPABILITY IS POORLY STATED. IT STATES, -THE INPUT POWER HANDLING CAPABILITY OF TACAN SIMULATORS HAVE BEEN LIMITED BY THE FACT THAT IT IS POSSIBLE FOR THE AIRBORNE TACAN SYSTEM TO EMIT 708 VOLT PEAK PULSES ----. THIS STATEMENT IMPLIES THAT THE POWER HANDLING CAPABILITY OF THE TEST SET IS LIMITED BY THE POWER OUTPUT OF THE TACAN SYSTEM. THIS IMPLICATION IS IN ERROR IN THAT THE TACAN SYSTEM IN NO WAY CAN LIMIT THE POWER HANDLING CAPABILITY OF THE TEST SET.' ALSO, THE ACTIVITY STATES THAT YOUR COMPANY DID NOT DISCUSS OR ONLY PARTIALLY DISCUSSED THE CURRENT STATE-OF-THE-ART OF FREQUENCY STANDARDS, AS OLLOWS:

"THE CONTRACTOR'S RESPONSE TO PARAGRAPH 2.A. (4) REQUIREMENT IS CONSIDERED INADEQUATE FOR THE FOLLOWING REASONS:

"/1) IN PARAGRAPH 1.4.1, THE CONTRACTOR DID NOT DISCUSS THE STATE OF-THE- ART OF FREQUENCY STANDARDS AS REQUIRED. THE CONTRACTOR MERELY LISTS THREE APPROACHES AND THEN STATES WHICH ONE WILL BE USED WITHOUT ADEQUATELY DESCRIBING WHY HE PICKED THIS APPROACH OR DESCRIBING THE CIRCUITRY THAT WOULD BE USED IN THE APPROACH SELECTED. HE ALSO FAILED TO MAKE THE REQUIRED COMPARISON OF AT LEAST TWO APPROACHES IN REGARDS TO RELIABILITY, ACCURACY, RISK, COST, MAINTAINABILITY, WEIGHT, SIZE AND OTHER APPROPRIATE FACTORS.

"/2) IN PARAGRAPH 1.4.1.2 THE CONTRACTOR FAILED COMPLETELY TO DISCUSS THE STATE-OF-THE-ART OF GENERATION OF TACAN SIGNALS AS REQUIRED. HE ONLY STATES HE WILL USE DIGITAL LOGIC TECHNIQUES WHICH HE CONSIDERS PREFERABLE TO ANALOG PULSE SHAPING AND PROCESSING TECHNIQUES. HE DOES NOT STATE HOW THE BASIC DIGITAL SIGNALS WILL BE GENERATED NOR DOES HE PROVIDE ANY CIRCUIT ANALYSIS AS TO HOW THE GENERATION, PROCESSING, AND CONTROL OF THE SIGNALS REQUIRED OF A TACAN TEST SET WILL BE ACCOMPLISHED. HE ALSO FAILED TO MAKE THE REQUIRED COMPARISON OF AT LEAST TWO APPROACHES IN REGARDS TO RELIABILITY, ACCURACY, RISK, COST, MAINTAINABILITY, WEIGHT, SIZE AND OTHER APPROPRIATE FACTORS. "/3) IN PARAGRAPH 1.4.1.3 THE CONTRACTOR DID NOT DISCUSS THE CURRENT STATE-OF-THE-ART OF POWER OUTPUT CIRCUITS AND DID NOT PROVIDE THE REQUIRED COMPARISON OF AT LEAST TWO APPROACHES IN REGARDS TO RELIABILITY, ACCURACY, RISK, COST, MAINTAINABILITY, WEIGHT, SIZE AND OTHER APPROPRIATE FACTORS. THE CONTRACTOR IS VERY VAGUE IN DISCUSSING THE TRANSISTOR POWER OUTPUT CIRCUIT APPROACH SELECTED. HE PROVIDES NO ASSURANCE THAT THIS APPROACH CAN DELIVER THE OUTPUT POWER REQUIRED BY THE TACAN TEST SET.'

WITH RESPECT TO THE CONTENTION THAT YOUR COMPANY WAS NOT PROMPTLY NOTIFIED OF THE "UNACCEPTABLE" DECISION ON THE PROPOSAL, THE RECORD DISCLOSES THAT IT WAS NOTIFIED OF THE DECISION 19 DAYS AFTER THE EVALUATION WAS COMPLETED AND SUBSTANTIALLY IN ADVANCE OF THE DATE THE SECOND STEP WILL BE ISSUED. IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES, IT DOES NOT APPEAR THAT THERE WAS ANY PREJUDICIAL DELAY TO YOUR COMPANY.

WE DO NOT DOUBT THAT YOUR COMPANY CAN BE CHARACTERIZED AS BOTH A KNOWLEDGEABLE AND COMPETENT FIRM, HOWEVER, A PROPOSAL MUST BE JUDGED AND RATED WITH RELATION TO THE PARTICULAR PROCUREMENT AT HAND. EACH PROCUREMENT CONSTITUTES A SEPARATE AND DISTINCT ACTION, INVOLVING VARYING FACTS, CIRCUMSTANCES, AND REQUIREMENTS TO BE DEALT WITH ACCORDINGLY BY THE APPROPRIATE CONTRACTING OFFICIALS. YOUR COMPANY'S ABILITY TO QUALIFY AND OBTAIN A CONTRACT FOR THE SAME OR SIMILAR ITEMS AS THOSE INSTANTLY PROCURED IS NOT PRIMA FACIE EVIDENCE OF ITS RESPONSIVENESS UNDER THE SUBJECT PROCUREMENT. SEE B-165771, SUPRA. ..END :