B-168223, MARCH 10, 1970, 49 COMP. GEN. 550

B-168223: Mar 10, 1970

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REGARDLESS OF WHETHER THE REQUEST IS MADE VIA MAIL OR IN PERSON SHOULD BE REVIEWED. 1970: REFERENCE IS MADE TO A LETTER OF DECEMBER 16. THE REPORT SETS FORTH THE PROCEDURES ESTABLISHED BY UNITED STATES ARMY MISSILE COMMAND IN THE ISSUANCE OF SOLICITATION PACKAGES FOR PROPOSED PROCUREMENTS IN THIS CONNECTION IT IS STATED: IT IS THE U.S. THIS COMMAND UTILIZES AN AUTOMATED BIDDERS SOURCE FILE WHICH IS ROTATED IN ACCORDANCE WITH ASPR 2-205.4(B). 000 ARE PUBLICIZED PROMPTLY IN THE COMMERCE BUSINESS DAILY "SYNOPSIS OF U.S. A COPY OF ALL SOLICITATIONS FOR UNCLASSIFIED PROCUREMENTS IN EXCESS OF $2500.00 ARE POSTED IN THE CONTRACTOR INFORMATION CENTER LOCATED IN BLDG. 4488 AT THE ARMY MISSILE COMMAND.

B-168223, MARCH 10, 1970, 49 COMP. GEN. 550

BIDS -- SOLICITATION PACKAGES -- AVAILABILITY THE PROCEDURE FOR ISSUING SOLICITATION PACKAGES IN THE NUMBER DETERMINED BY THE CONTRACTING OFFICER, WHICH AFTER OBTAINING COMPETITION BY MEANS OF AN AUTOMATED BIDDERS SOURCE FILE, BY PUBLICIZING THE PROCUREMENT IN THE COMMERCE BUSINESS DAILY, AND BY NOTICE IN THE CONTRACTORS INFORMATION CENTER RESULTS IN INSUFFICIENT COPIES TO SATISFY ALL MAIL REQUESTS DOES NOT ACHIEVE THE MAXIMUM COMPETITION SOUGHT AND, THEREFORE, THE FAIRNESS OF THE POLICY OF FILLING REQUESTS ON A FIRST-COME, FIRST-SERVED BASIS, REGARDLESS OF WHETHER THE REQUEST IS MADE VIA MAIL OR IN PERSON SHOULD BE REVIEWED. A FIRM SHOULD BE ABLE TO OBTAIN A COPY OF A SOLICITATION WITHOUT BEING LEFT WITH THE BELIEF IT MUST RESORT TO ENGAGING A LOCAL REPRESENTATIVE TO DO BUSINESS WITH A GOVERNMENT AGENCY.

TO THE SECRETARY OF THE ARMY, MARCH 10, 1970:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO A LETTER OF DECEMBER 16, 1969, FROM THE DEPUTY DIRECTOR FOR PROCUREMENT, DIRECTORATE OF REQUIREMENTS AND PROCUREMENT, HEADQUARTERS, UNITED STATES ARMY MATERIEL COMMAND, FURNISHING A REPORT ON THE PROTEST BY KINGS POINT INDUSTRIES, INCORPORATED, CONCERNING DIFFICULTIES ENCOUNTERED IN ATTEMPTING TO OBTAIN SOLICITATION PACKAGES IN CONNECTION WITH PROCUREMENTS ISSUED BY THE UNITED STATES ARMY MISSILE COMMAND, REDSTONE ARSENAL, ALABAMA.

THE REPORT SETS FORTH THE PROCEDURES ESTABLISHED BY UNITED STATES ARMY MISSILE COMMAND IN THE ISSUANCE OF SOLICITATION PACKAGES FOR PROPOSED PROCUREMENTS IN THIS CONNECTION IT IS STATED:

IT IS THE U.S. ARMY MISSILE COMMAND'S POLICY TO PROMOTE AND OBTAIN COMPETITION TO THE MAXIMUM EXTENT FEASIBLE AND PRACTICABLE. THIS COMMAND UTILIZES AN AUTOMATED BIDDERS SOURCE FILE WHICH IS ROTATED IN ACCORDANCE WITH ASPR 2-205.4(B). NOTICE OF PROPOSED PROCUREMENTS WHICH MAY RESULT IN AN AWARD IN EXCESS OF $10,000 ARE PUBLICIZED PROMPTLY IN THE COMMERCE BUSINESS DAILY "SYNOPSIS OF U.S. GOVERNMENT PROPOSED PROCUREMENT SALES AND CONTRACT AWARDS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH ASPR 1-1003. IN ADDITION TO THE AFOREMENTIONED PROCEDURES, A COPY OF ALL SOLICITATIONS FOR UNCLASSIFIED PROCUREMENTS IN EXCESS OF $2500.00 ARE POSTED IN THE CONTRACTOR INFORMATION CENTER LOCATED IN BLDG. 4488 AT THE ARMY MISSILE COMMAND, PURSUANT TO ASPR 1-1002.4.

CONSISTENT WITH THE POLICY OF PROMOTING AND OBTAINING COMPETITION TO THE MAXIMUM EXTENT FEASIBLE AND PRACTICABLE, THIS COMMAND HAS ESTABLISHED FORMAL PROCEDURES FOR DETERMINING THE APPROPRIATE NUMBER OF SOLICITATION PACKAGES AND FILLING OF ADDITIONAL REQUESTS (COPY ATTACHED AS INCL 1).

THE REFERENCED ENCLOSURE 1, DATED MARCH 29, 1968, ENTITLED "DETERMINING APPROPRIATE NUMBER OF SOLICITATION PACKAGES AND FILLING OF ADDITIONAL REQUESTS" PROVIDES:

1. IT IS THE POLICY OF THIS COMMAND TO PROMOTE AND OBTAIN COMPETITION TO THE MAXIMUM EXTENT FEASIBLE AND PRACTICABLE. CONSISTENT WITH THIS POLICY, THE FOLLOWING PROCEDURES APPLY:

A. CONTRACTING OFFICERS ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR DETERMINING AND ORDERING THE TOTAL NUMBER OF SOLICITATION PACKAGES TO BE REPRODUCED FOR SOLICITATION PURPOSES. SUCH DETERMINATIONS ARE CRITICAL IF MEANINGFUL ACCOMPLISHMENTS ARE TO BE REALIZED AS A RESULT OF THE ABOVE STATED POLICY. IN MAKING THESE DETERMINATIONS--WHICH REQUIRES THE EXERCISE OF SOUND JUDGEMENT-- CONTRACTING OFFICERS WILL CONSIDER THE TYPE OF ITEM BEING PROCURED, THE ESTIMATED DOLLAR VALUE, EXTENT OF INITIAL SOLICITATION, COMPETITIVE SPREAD AND INTENSITY OF COMPETITION ON PREVIOUS PROCUREMENTS AND, WITHIN REASON, THE NUMBER OF ANTICIPATED REQUESTS. IN ANY CASE, CONTRACTING OFFICERS MUST ASSURE THAT THEIR DECISIONS SERVE TO BOTH PROMOTE AND OBTAIN COMPETITION. CONSISTENTLY, IN ALL APPLICABLE CASES, THE CONTRACTING OFFICER SHALL USE THE MICOM BILCO LISTING IN FORMULATING HIS INITIAL DISTRIBUTION LIST, AND SUPPLEMENT THIS LIST WITH AT LEAST FIVE SOURCES WHICH WERE COMPETITIVE ON THE PREVIOUS PROCUREMENT. INCLOSURE 1 PROVIDES GUIDANCE TO ASSIST CONTRACTING OFFICERS IN DETERMINING THE APPROPRIATE NUMBER OF SOLICITATION PACKAGES TO BE REPRODUCED; HOWEVER, THIS GUIDANCE IS NOT CAST IN CONCRETE AND CIRCUMSTANCES WILL ARISE WHICH REQUIRE EITHER INCREASES OR DECREASES IN THE NUMBER REQUIRED.

B. AMSMI-IUS WILL REPRODUCE, STORE AND DISTRIBUTE THE INITIAL SOLICITATION IN ACCORDANCE WITH INSTRUCTIONS RECEIVED FROM CONTRACTING OFFICERS. ONCE INITIAL STOCK IS DEPLETED, AND ADDITIONAL REQUESTS ARE RECEIVED, IUS WILL REFER TO THE APPROPRIATE CONTRACTING OFFICER FOR ADVICE AND CONSENT AS TO THE PROPER COURSE OF ACTION.

C. AMSMI-ID WILL REPRODUCE THE INITIAL ORDER FOR TDP'S IN ACCORDANCE WITH P&P REGULATION 715-1, AS AMENDED BY AMSI-I DF DATED 5 MARCH 1968. AMSMI- ID WILL FILL THE REORDER QUANTITY REQUESTED BY AMSMI-IUS WITHIN TWO WORKING DAYS.

THE RECOMMENDED NUMBER OF COPIES OF SOLICITATION PACKAGES IN UNLIMITED PROCUREMENTS OF $2,500 TO $9,999 IS 30 COPIES, 15 TO BE ISSUED ON THE INITIAL SOLICITATION, 4 TO BE HELD FOR RECORD PURPOSES, AND 11 FOR SHELF STOCK TO BE ISSUED UPON REQUEST. IN UNLIMITED PROCUREMENTS OVER $10,000, THE RECOMMENDED NUMBER IS 50 COPIES, 25 TO BE ISSUED ON THE INITIAL SOLICITATION, 5 TO BE HELD FOR RECORD PURPOSES, AND 20 FOR SHELF STOCK TO BE ISSUED UPON REQUEST.

A MEMORANDUM DATED APRIL 1, 1968, ADDRESSED TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN, DESCRIBES THE BASIC POLICY AS SET FORTH ABOVE AND STATES THAT CONTRACTOR REPRESENTATIVES ARE EXPECTED TO BE REASONABLE IN THE NUMBER OF REQUESTS FOR SOLICITATION PACKAGES AND INDIVIDUALS REPRESENTING MORE THAN ONE CONTRACTOR WILL NOT BE FURNISHED MORE THAN TWO COPIES OF ANY GIVEN SOLICITATION; AND THAT SUCH REQUESTS WILL BE HONORED ONLY IF THE CONTRACTOR REPRESENTATIVE IS AN AUTHORIZED REPRESENTATIVE OF THE FIRM DESIGNATED TO RECEIVE THE SOLICITATION AND PROOF OF SUCH AUTHORIZATION IS IN WRITING AND ON FILE AT THE COMMAND. THE MEMORANDUM FURTHER PROVIDES THAT REQUESTS FOR SOLICITATION DOCUMENTS WILL BE FILLED ON A FIRST- COME/FIRST-SERVED BASIS REGARDLESS OF WHETHER THE REQUEST IS VIA MAIL OR IN PERSON.

THE MAIN OBJECTION OF KINGS POINT IS THAT THEY HAVE NOT BEEN ABLE TO OBTAIN SOLICITATION PACKAGES UPON MAIL REQUESTS. SINCE THEIR ORIGINAL PROTEST KINGS POINT HAS ADVISED US THAT THEY REQUESTED COPIES OF TWO SOLICITATIONS AND IN BOTH INSTANCES THEY WERE ADVISED THAT THE SUPPLY WAS EXHAUSTED AT THE TIME THE REQUEST WAS RECEIVED. ON SOLICITATION DAAHO1-70 -R-0326, SCHEDULED TO CLOSE JANUARY 27, 1970, KINGS POINT STATES THAT THEY REQUESTED A COPY ON DECEMBER 24, 1969, AND THEY WERE ADVISED BY FORM LETTER DATED JANUARY 13, 1970, THAT THE SUPPLY WAS EXHAUSTED. THE FIRM'S EXPERIENCE WITH SOLICITATION DAAHO1-70-B-0324 WAS SIMILAR.

KINGS POINT STATES THAT THEY WERE ORALLY ADVISED THAT ONE METHOD OF OBTAINING SOLICITATIONS WOULD BE THAT THEY RETAIN A REPRESENTATIVE AT REDSTONE ARSENAL. IT IS REPORTED THAT THIS STATEMENT IS OUT OF CONTEXT IN THAT IT WAS NOT SUGGESTED THAT THE FIRM RETAIN A REPRESENTATIVE. RATHER, THE STATEMENT WAS MADE THAT THE SUPPLY OF SOLICITATION PACKAGES WAS SOMETIMES EXHAUSTED BEFORE KINGS POINT COULD REQUEST A COPY , BECAUSE SOMETIMES EXHAUSTED BEFORE KINGS POINT COULD REQUEST A COPY, BECAUSE SO MANY COMPANIES HAVE RETAINED REPRESENTATIVES AT REDSTONE ARSENAL AND THEY AVAIL THEMSELVES OF THE SOLICITATION PACKAGES AS SOON AS THEY ARE POSTED IN THE CONTRACTOR INFORMATION CENTER.

IF THE POLICY OF FILLING REQUESTS FOR COPIES OF SOLICITATIONS ON A FIRST- COME/FIRST-SERVED BASIS, REGARDLESS OF WHETHER THE REQUEST IS BY MAIL OR IN PERSON, RESULTS IN MAIL REQUESTS BEING TURNED DOWN FREQUENTLY, AS CLAIMED BY KINGS POINT, WE QUESTION THE FAIRNESS OF THE POLICY. UNLESS MAIL REQUESTS ARE NORMALLY FILLED A MAJOR PURPOSE OF PUBLICIZING A PROPOSED PROCUREMENT IN THE COMMERCE BUSINESS DAILY IS NOT ACHIEVED. BELIEVE THAT A FIRM THAT HAS EXPRESSED AN INTEREST IN A PROPOSED PROCUREMENT BY REQUESTING A COPY OF THE SOLICITATION SHOULD ORDINARILY BE ABLE TO OBTAIN ONE. FURTHERMORE, IN OUR OPINION IT WOULD BE MOST UNDESIRABLE TO GIVE BIDDERS CAUSE TO BELIEVE THAT IN ORDER TO DO BUSINESS WITH A PARTICULAR AGENCY IT IS NECESSARY TO ENGAGE A LOCAL REPRESENTATIVE.