B-170199, OCT. 6, 1970

B-170199: Oct 6, 1970

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SINCE SYSTEM FULFILLS REQUIREMENTS OF THE USING AGENCY ITS PURCHASE HAVING MET THE SOLE-SOURCE SELECTION CRITERIA WAS MANDATORY. TO RELIANCE ELECTRIC COMPANY: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTERS DATED JUNE 30. YOUR PROTEST IS STATED AS FOLLOWS: " *** AN ORDER HAS BEEN RECENTLY PLACED BY EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE. IT IS OUR UNDERSTANDING THAT THIS WAS PLACED ON A SOLE SOURCE BASIS UNDER A G.S.A. WAS RECEIVED BY THE CONTRACTING OFFICER FOR PURCHASE ACTION ON JUNE 3. AS IT HAD BEEN TECHNICALLY DETERMINED THAT THE ELECTRONIC ASSOCIATES SYSTEM SPECIFIED WAS THE ONLY SYSTEM ON THE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION CONTRACT THAT COULD PERFORM ALL THE TECHNICAL FUNCTIONS REQUIRED BY THE AIR FORCE ARMAMENT LABORATORY.

B-170199, OCT. 6, 1970

BID PROTEST - SOLE-SOURCE - FSS CONTRACT DENIAL OF PROTEST AGAINST A CONTRACT FOR A HYBRID COMPUTER SYSTEM WITH ELECTRONIC ASSOCIATES, INC., BY EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE UNDER GSA-FSS CONTRACT. SINCE SYSTEM FULFILLS REQUIREMENTS OF THE USING AGENCY ITS PURCHASE HAVING MET THE SOLE-SOURCE SELECTION CRITERIA WAS MANDATORY.

TO RELIANCE ELECTRIC COMPANY:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTERS DATED JUNE 30, 1970, AND AUGUST 12, 1970, RELATIVE TO YOUR PROTEST AGAINST THE PLACEMENT OF AN ORDER FOR A HYBRID COMPUTER SYSTEM BY THE EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, FLORIDA, WITH ELECTRONIC ASSOCIATES, INCORPORATED.

YOUR PROTEST IS STATED AS FOLLOWS:

" *** AN ORDER HAS BEEN RECENTLY PLACED BY EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, FLORIDA WITH ELECTRONIC ASSOCIATES, INC. FOR A HYBRID COMPUTER SYSTEM AT A PRICE OF APPROXIMATELY $390,000.00. IT IS OUR UNDERSTANDING THAT THIS WAS PLACED ON A SOLE SOURCE BASIS UNDER A G.S.A. CONTRACT.

"APPLIED DYNAMICS DIVISION OF RELIANCE ELECTRIC COMPANY OFFERS EQUIVALENT EQUIPMENT AT A LOWER PRICE. THIS SOLE SOURCE PROCUREMENT FROM THE ONLY SUPPLIER ON THE GSA LIST HAS AVOIDED COMPETITION WHICH COULD SAVE THE GOVERNMENT UP TO 20%. WE HEREBY REQUEST THAT THIS AWARD BE SET ASIDE AND THAT THIS PROCUREMENT BE OPENED UP TO COMPETITION."

PURCHASE REQUEST NO. 666500-0-TIM-9862 COVERING THE REQUIREMENT FOR A HYBRID COMPUTATION SYSTEM AS MANUFACTURED BY ELECTRONIC ASSOCIATES, INCORPORATED, WAS RECEIVED BY THE CONTRACTING OFFICER FOR PURCHASE ACTION ON JUNE 3, 1970. THE PURCHASE REQUEST PACKAGE INCLUDED A REQUEST THAT THE SYSTEM BE OBTAINED FROM ELECTRONIC ASSOCIATES, INCORPORATED, UNDER GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION (GSA) CONTRACT NO. GS-00S-79841, AS IT HAD BEEN TECHNICALLY DETERMINED THAT THE ELECTRONIC ASSOCIATES SYSTEM SPECIFIED WAS THE ONLY SYSTEM ON THE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION CONTRACT THAT COULD PERFORM ALL THE TECHNICAL FUNCTIONS REQUIRED BY THE AIR FORCE ARMAMENT LABORATORY. THE SYSTEM AS REQUESTED INCLUDED THE ELECTRONIC ASSOCIATES 690 ANALOG HYBRID SYSTEM WITH AN INTERFACE SUB-SYSTEM AND A DIGITAL SUB- SYSTEM.

IT IS REPORTED THAT DURING DISCUSSION AND COORDINATION OF THE PROCUREMENT PACKAGE, THE REQUESTING ACTIVITY ADVISED THE CONTRACTING OFFICER THAT THEIR SOLE-SOURCE JUSTIFICATION WAS BASED ON A TECHNICAL EVALUATION OF ALL KNOWN HYBRID COMPUTATION EQUIPMENT. SUCH EVALUATION WAS CONDUCTED BY A TEAM OF FIVE ENGINEERS WHO DETERMINED THAT THE ELECTRONIC ASSOCIATES SYSTEM WAS THE ONLY ONE THAT MET THE LABORATORY'S MINIMUM ESSENTIAL TECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS. A REPORT CONCERNING THE SOLE SOURCE SELECTION CRITERIA IS, IN PART, AS FOLLOWS:

"2. THE FINAL SELECTION OF A SOURCE FOR PURCHASING A TECHNICALLY ACCEPTABLE COMPUTER WAS ACCOMPLISHED BY CONSIDERING THE INPUTS FROM FIVE HIGHLY COMPETENT, INTELLIGENT AND EXPERIENCED ENGINEERS. EQUIPMENT AVAILABLE FROM ALL KNOWN HYBRID COMPUTER MANUFACTURERS WAS COMPARED AND EVALUATED AGAINST THE TECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS OF THIS LABORATORY. THESE SOURCES INCLUDED ELECTRONICS ASSOCIATES, INCORPORATED; APPLIED DYNAMICS, INCORPORATED; ASTRODATE, INCORPORATED; AND HYBRID SYSTEMS, INCORPORATED.

"3. MAJOR EVALUATION CRITERIA INCLUDED SYSTEM REFERENCE VOLTAGE OF 10 VOLTS, COMPONENT SHIELDING, AND INTERCONNECTING CABLES, SOFTWARE AVAILABILITY, TOTAL SYSTEM INTEGRITY, SYSTEM RELIABILITY, SYSTEM EXPANDABILITY, AND SYSTEM AVAILABILITY.

"4. SINCE APPLIED DYNAMICS HAS SUBMITTED THE PROTEST, THE FOLLOWING DISCUSSION WILL BE RESTRICTED TO A COMPARISON OF THEIR EQUIPMENT VERSUS THE SELECTED SOURCE.

"A. 10 VOLT REFERENCE REQUIREMENT. BOTH SOURCES BUILD EITHER A 10 VOLT OR 100 VOLT SYSTEM. A 10 VOLT SYSTEM BEST MEETS THE COMPATIBILITY REQUIREMENTS OF EXISTING LABORATORY EQUIPMENT AND THE MISSILE COMPONENTS TO BE TESTED. TO THE BEST OF OUR KNOWLEDGE AND AT THE TIME OF THE SELECTION, APPLIED DYNAMICS HAD BUILT ONLY TWO TEN VOLT SYSTEMS FOR THEIR INTERNAL EVALUATION. EAI ON THE OTHER HAND HAD SOLD AT LEAST 100 10 VOLT SYSTEMS TO INDUSTRY AND GOVERNMENT AGENCIES.

"B. COMPONENT SHIELDING AND INTERCONNECTING CABLES. EXPERIENCE ON THE EXISTING EQUIPMENT HAS SHOWN THAT ELECTROMAGNETIC INTERFERENCE HAS CAUSED SIGNIFICANT PROBLEMS AND MUCH EFFORT HAS BEEN EXPENDED IN SHIELDING AND GROUNDING THE VARIOUS COMPONENTS. APPLIED DYNAMICS SHIELDS THE COMPUTING COMPONENTS ONLY WHILE EAI SHIELDS COMPONENTS AS WELL AS ALL INTERCONNECTING CABLES AND PATCHCARDS. SINCE THE EMI ENVIRONMENT OF THE LABORATORY RANGES FROM 60HZ TO 35X10 9HZ, IT IS IMPERATIVE THAT EXPOSED AND INTERCONNECTING CABLES BE SHIELDED.

"C. SOFTWARE AVAILABILITY. EAI FURNISHES ALL EXISTING AND FUTURE SOFTWARE AT NO ADDITIONAL COST. APPLIED DYNAMICS FURNISHES SOME SOFTWARE AT NO COST, HOWEVER, TO OBTAIN ALL THE REQUIRED SOFTWARE AN ADDITIONAL COST WOULD BE INCURRED OF APPROXIMATELY $20,000.00.

"D. TOTAL SYSTEM INTEGRITY. EAI DESIGNS AND FABRICATES ALL COMPUTATION AND INTERFACE EQUIPMENT. APPLIED DYNAMICS DESIGNS AND FABRICATES ANALOG AND INTERFACE EQUIPMENT, BUT UTILIZES DIGITAL COMPUTERS OF OTHER MANUFACTURERS.

"E. SYSTEM RELIABILITY. A SYSTEM RELIABILITY OF 90 PERCENT WAS SELECTED AS A MINIMUM REQUIREMENT. THIS FIGURE WAS BASED ON THE TIME ALLOCATED FOR A FIRST ITEM DEVELOPMENT SCHEDULE. IN REFERENCE TO (A) ABOVE, EAI HAD DEMONSTRATED AT LEAST 90 PERCENT RELIABILITY WHILE APPLIED DYNAMICS HAD NO FIELD OR CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE TO BASE RELIABILITY FIGURES ON.

"F. SYSTEM EXPANDABILITY. THE EAI SYSTEM WILL ACCEPT UP TO 6 CONSOLES (APPROXIMATELY 950 AMPLIFIERS) IN ITS PRESENT CONFIGURATION. THE APPLIED DYNAMICS SYSTEM WILL ACCEPT ONLY 2 CONSOLES (APPROXIMATELY 500 AMPLIFIERS) WITHOUT MODIFICATION. AN EXPANSION CAPABILITY OF 600 AMPLIFIERS WAS ESTABLISHED AS THE MINIMUM ACCEPTABLE FIGURE.

"G. SYSTEM AVAILABILITY. THE NATURE OF THE DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM WHICH THIS EQUIPMENT SUPPORTS DEMANDS THAT THE SIMULATIONS BE COMPLETED WITHIN A VERY TIGHT SCHEDULE (6 MONTHS). *** "

ARMED SERVICES PROCUREMENT REGULATION (ASPR) 5-101(A) STATES, IN PART, AS FOLLOWS:

"5-101 FEDERAL SUPPLY SCHEDULE CONTRACTS.

(A) GENERAL. THE FEDERAL SUPPLY SERVICE, GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION, ESTABLISHES CONTRACTS FOR COMMON USE CLASSES OF SUPPLIES AND SERVICES. THESE CONTRACTS ARE SUMMARIZED IN FEDERAL SUPPLY SCHEDULES WHICH LIST THE CONTRACTORS AND THE SUPPLIES OR SERVICES THAT MAY BE PURCHASED FROM THEM. MILITARY PURCHASING OFFICES SHALL ORDER THEIR REQUIREMENTS FOR SUPPLIES OR SERVICES COVERED BY THESE CONTRACTS AS SET FORTH IN 5-102 AND 5-103. *** ." ASPR 5-102.1 PROVIDES:

"5-102 MANDATORY FEDERAL SUPPLY SCHEDULES

"5-102.1 GENERAL. FEDERAL SUPPLY SCHEDULES UNDER WHICH PROCUREMENT IS MANDATORY ON THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE ARE LISTED IN 5-102.3. THE PERTINENT CONTRACTS PROVIDES THAT FOR A DEFINITE PERIOD THE CONTRACTOR IS OBLIGATED TO DELIVER ALL SUPPLIES OR SERVICES THAT MAY BE ORDERED THEREUNDER BY GOVERNMENT AGENCIES, SUBJECT TO THE STATED MINIMUM AND MAXIMUM ORDER LIMITATIONS." ASPR 5-102.3 PROVIDES, IN PERTINENT PART, AS FOLLOWS:

"5-102.3 APPLICABILITY OF LISTED FEDERAL SUPPLY SCHEDULES. SUPPLIES AND SERVICE COVERED BY THE FEDERAL SUPPLY SCHEDULES LISTED HEREIN ARE MANDATORY IN WHOLE OR IN PART UPON SOME ELEMENT OF THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE. SOME OF THE FEDERAL SUPPLY SCHEDULES LISTED INCLUDE CLASSES UNRELATED TO THE FEDERAL SUPPLY GROUP WHICH IDENTIFIES THE SCHEDULE. AID IN LOCATING AN ITEM IN THE MANDATORY SCHEDULES, THE CLASSES INCLUDED IN EACH SCHEDULE HAVE BEEN LISTED. THE REMARKS COLUMN STATES EXCEPTIONS TO THE MANDATORY PROVISIONS OF THE SCHEDULE WHEN APPLICABLE. (BUT SEE PART 2 OF THIS SECTION FOR MANDATORY USE OF GSA TERM CONTRACTS FOR MAINTENANCE, REPAIR, REHABILITATION AND RECLAMATION OF PERSONAL PROPERTY.) THE SCHEDULES SHOULD BE CHECKED FOR COMPLETE DETAILS CONCERNING THE EXCEPTIONS.

"(A) MANDATORY NATIONALLY.

FSC GROUP CLASS TITLE OF SCHEDULE REMARKS

* * * * * "74 DATA PROCESSING EQUIPMENT

NO EXCEPTIONS

PART VI, SECTIONS A THROUGH F

7440 AUTOMATIC DATA PROCESSING EQUIPMENT"

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT IT WAS DETERMINED THAT THE LABORATORY'S REQUIREMENT MET ALL THE CONDITIONS PRECEDENT TO USE OF THE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION CONTRACT AS PROVIDED IN THE FEDERAL SUPPLY SCHEDULE, GROUP 74, PART VI, CITED ABOVE. THE ELECTRONIC ASSOCIATES HYBRID COMPUTER SYSTEM IS ONE OF THE COMPUTERS SCHEDULED AND SINCE IT FULFILLED THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE USING AGENCY, ITS PURCHASE WAS MANDATORY.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT THE PROCUREMENT OFFICE MADE THE PURCHASE IN ACCORDANCE WITH APPLICABLE REGULATIONS. WE FIND NOTHING IMPROPER OR ILLEGAL IN THE PROCUREMENT.

ACCORDINGLY, YOUR PROTEST MUST BE DENIED.