B-168724, FEB. 18, 1970

B-168724: Feb 18, 1970

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COST AND OTHER FACTORS WILL NOT BE SUBJECT TO OBJECTION WHEN IT APPEARS REASONABLE. INCORPORATED: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED DECEMBER 27. IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE "PROPOSED SCOPE OF WORK" DOCUMENT WHICH WAS ATTACHED TO THE PROPOSAL REQUEST. YOUR PROTEST IS BASED ON THE FACT THAT. WHEREAS YOUR FIRM HAD SUBMITTED A RESPONSIVE PROPOSAL UNDER WHICH THE COST OF THE PROJECT WAS ESTIMATED TO BE $18. 500 WAS INCLUDED IN THE PROPOSAL SUBMITTED BY J. THE EXPRESSED INTENT OF THE PROPOSED STUDY WAS TO DEFINE THE CAUSES OF DAMAGE. INSTANCES WHERE LASHINGS HAVE EITHER BROKEN OR HAVE BEEN IMPROPERLY TENSIONED AND INSTANCES WHERE HEAVY ITEMS IMPROPERLY STOWED WITHIN CONTAINERS HAVE COME ADRIFT UNDER EXTREME ROLLING CONDITIONS.

B-168724, FEB. 18, 1970

BID PROTEST--BIDDER QUALIFICATION DECISION DENYING PROTEST OF PETER J. STATILE ASSOCIATES INC; LOW OFFEROR, AGAINST REJECTION OF PROPOSAL FOR RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT STUDY FOR MARITIME ADMINISTRATION. DETERMINATION THAT LOW OFFEROR DID NOT MEET NECESSARY POINT RATING ASSIGNED FOR QUALITY OF SCIENTIFIC PERSONNEL, METHOD OF APPROACH, COST AND OTHER FACTORS WILL NOT BE SUBJECT TO OBJECTION WHEN IT APPEARS REASONABLE.

TO PETER J. STATILE ASSOCIATES, INCORPORATED:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED DECEMBER 27, 1969, PROTESTING THE AWARD OF A CONTRACT TO J. J. HENRY, INCORPORATED, PURSUANT TO REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS NO. MA15-69-524, ISSUED JUNE 16, 1969, BY THE MARITIME ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE, FOR A STUDY DEALING WITH GUIDELINES FOR DECK STORAGE OF CONTAINERS, IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE "PROPOSED SCOPE OF WORK" DOCUMENT WHICH WAS ATTACHED TO THE PROPOSAL REQUEST.

YOUR PROTEST IS BASED ON THE FACT THAT, WHEREAS YOUR FIRM HAD SUBMITTED A RESPONSIVE PROPOSAL UNDER WHICH THE COST OF THE PROJECT WAS ESTIMATED TO BE $18,811 INCLUDING A PROFIT OR FEE, A TOTAL COST AND FEE ESTIMATE OF $72,500 WAS INCLUDED IN THE PROPOSAL SUBMITTED BY J. J. HENRY, INCORPORATED.

THE EXPRESSED INTENT OF THE PROPOSED STUDY WAS TO DEFINE THE CAUSES OF DAMAGE, DEVISE CORRECTIVE MEASURES AND PROVIDE GUIDELINES FOR SAFE STORAGE OF CARGO CONTAINERS. THE PROPOSED SCOPE OF WORK DOCUMENT SETS FORTH THAT THERE HAD BEEN RISING CONCERN WITHIN THE MARITIME INDUSTRY REGARDING STRUCTURAL DAMAGE, UNDER IMPACT OF WAVES, TO CONTAINERS STOWED ON WEATHER DECKS, INSTANCES WHERE LASHINGS HAVE EITHER BROKEN OR HAVE BEEN IMPROPERLY TENSIONED AND INSTANCES WHERE HEAVY ITEMS IMPROPERLY STOWED WITHIN CONTAINERS HAVE COME ADRIFT UNDER EXTREME ROLLING CONDITIONS. THE DOCUMENT LISTS VARIOUS WORK REQUIREMENTS, INCLUDING INFORMATION GATHERING, ANALYSIS OF DAMAGE, DETERMINATION OF THE FREQUENCY AND NATURE OF CASUALTIES ATTRIBUTABLE TO PACKAGING PRACTICES OF SHIPPERS, SUMMARIZATION OF CASUALTY RECORDS AND DETERMINATION OF CORRECTIVE MEASURES, AND THE PREPARATION OF GUIDELINES AND TEST PLANS.

THE REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS REQUIRED AN OFFEROR TO SUBMIT TIME AND COST ESTIMATES, RESUMES OF ITS KEY PERSONNEL, A DESCRIPTION IN SOME DETAIL OF ITS RELATED EXPERIENCE WHICH WOULD ENABLE THE OFFEROR TO ACCOMPLISH EFFECTIVELY THE PROPOSED STUDY PROGRAM, AND DETAILED INFORMATION AS TO THE OFFEROR'S CONTEMPLATED METHOD OF APPROACH TO THE STUDY.

YOUR PROPOSAL BRIEFLY SETS FORTH THAT YOU WOULD CONTACT CERTAIN NAMED STEAMSHIP COMPANIES AND CONTAINER MANUFACTURERS; THAT, UPON ACCUMULATION OF DATA FROM CONFERENCES, REPORTS FROM EACH STEAMSHIP COMPANY AND CONTAINER MANUFACTURER, SOLUTIONS TO THE ACCUMULATED PROBLEMS WOULD BE FORMULATED WITH CHARTS AND GRAPHS; AND THAT YOUR COST AND FEE ESTIMATE WAS BASED ON A 200-PAGE REPORT WHICH YOU CONSIDERED AT THE TIME TO BE ADEQUATE. DETAILED INFORMATION WAS NOT PROVIDED AS TO YOUR CONTEMPLATED METHOD OF APPROACH TO THE STUDY AND NO RESUMES WERE PROVIDED ON KEY PERSONNEL YOU PROPOSED TO USE ON THE PROJECT. REGARDING YOUR APPROACH TO THE STUDY, IT WAS INDICATED ONLY THAT MR. STATILE, THE PRESIDENT OF YOUR COMPANY, WOULD MEET WITH STEAMSHIP COMPANIES AND CONTAINER MANUFACTURERS, THAT HE WOULD FORMULATE WRITE-UPS OF PROBLEMS AND THAT MR. ORIFINO, WHO WAS REFERRED TO AS A CONSULTANT, WOULD FORMULATE SOLUTIONS TO THE PROBLEMS ENCOUNTERED BY THE COMPANIES, AND DEVELOP GRAPHS.

THE MARITIME ADMINISTRATION HAS REPORTED THAT PROPOSALS IN THIS CASE FALL WITHIN THE CATEGORY OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT STUDIES WHICH IN TURN ARE HIGHLY DEPENDENT UPON THE TECHNICAL APPROACH TO BE USED AND THE BACKGROUND AND INDIVIDUAL QUALIFICATIONS OF THE INVESTIGATORS. IN SUCH CASES, THE ADMINISTRATION'S OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT UTILIZES A FORMAL SYSTEM OF EVALUATION WHEREIN POINTS ARE ASSIGNED TO VARIOUS SECTIONS OF A PROPOSAL AND THE OBJECTIVES TO BE ACCOMPLISHED. QUALITY OF SCIENTIFIC PERSONNEL, METHOD OF APPROACH, COST AND OTHER FACTORS ARE CONSIDERED.

OUT OF A POSSIBLE TOTAL OF 600 ASSIGNED POINTS, YOUR PROPOSAL WAS RATED AT ONLY 85. THE LOW RATING WAS DUE IN PART TO THE MEAGER STATEMENT OF THE TECHNICAL APPROACH THAT YOU EXPECTED TO USE FOR THE PROBLEM. THE ADMINISTRATION ALSO NOTED IN ITS REPORT THAT YOUR PROPOSAL CONTAINED NO BACKGROUND OF COMPANY EXPERIENCE FOR THE STUDY, NOR ANY RESUMES CONCERNING THE PERSONNEL YOU INTENDED TO EMPLOY ON THE PROJECT.

IN A DECISION RENDERED BY OUR OFFICE ON A PREVIOUS PROTEST OF YOUR COMPANY, B-162192, SEPTEMBER 28, 1967, IT WAS POINTED OUT THAT THE PROTEST CONCERNED A NEGOTIATED PROCUREMENT, NOT A FORMALLY ADVERTISED PROCUREMENT, AND THAT, UNDER THE GOVERNMENT'S CONTRACT NEGOTIATION PROCEDURES, A CONTRACTING AGENCY IS AUTHORIZED IN ITS DISCRETION TO RELY UPON FACTORS OTHER THAN PRICE IN MAKING AN AWARD. FURTHERMORE, THE USE OF A POINT RATING SYSTEM IN EVALUATING PERTINENT FACTORS, INCLUDING THE MATTERS OF PRICE, EXPERIENCE, TECHNICAL APPROACH, ETC; IS A RECOGNIZED TECHNIQUE IN THE CONSIDERATION OF CERTAIN TYPES OF PROPOSALS RECEIVED UNDER THE NEGOTIATION PROCEDURES WHERE TWO OR MORE APPARENTLY RESPONSIVE PROPOSALS HAVE BEEN RECEIVED FROM RESPONSIBLE CONCERNS. THE MARITIME ADMINISTRATION APPEARS TO HAVE EXERCISED REASONABLE JUDGMENT IN DETERMINING THAT YOUR PROPOSAL SHOULD NOT BE ACCEPTED AND IT IS CLEAR THAT WE WOULD NOT BE WARRANTED IN TAKING AN EXCEPTION SOLELY BECAUSE YOUR TOTAL COST ESTIMATE, INCLUDING PROFIT OR FEE, WAS LESS THAN UNDER THE CONTRACT AWARDED.