B-170370(1), B-170387(1), DEC. 21, 1970

B-170370(1),B-170387(1): Dec 21, 1970

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Edda Emmanuelli Perez
(202) 512-2853
EmmanuelliPerezE@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

PROTESTANT'S CONTENTION THAT THE PROCUREMENT OF THE PLAQUES WAS FRAGMENTED INTO SEPARATE PURCHASES. SO AS TO KEEP THE PRICE BELOW $2500 IS WITHOUT BASIS IN FACT SINCE NO MOLDS WERE PURCHASED AND. TO GENERAL DISPLAYS: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTERS OF JULY 17 AND AUGUST 25. THE SUBJECT PURCHASE ORDER WAS ISSUED ON JUNE 23. THE QUANTITY WAS REDUCED TO 200 AND THE CONSTRUCTION MATERIAL CHANGED FROM VACUUM-FORMED PLASTIC TO FIBERGLASS. QUOTATIONS WERE SUBMITTED BY SCULPTURAL PROMOTIONS. THE CONTRACTING OFFICER EVALUATED THE QUOTATIONS AND AN AWARD WAS MADE TO SCULPTURAL PROMOTIONS ON JUNE 23. YOU CONTEND THAT THE NEGOTIATION RESULTING IN THE AWARD TO SCULPTURAL PROMOTIONS WAS CONDUCTED IN A MANNER WHICH IS VIOLATIVE OF THE ARMED SERVICES PROCUREMENT REGULATION (ASPR).

B-170370(1), B-170387(1), DEC. 21, 1970

BID PROTEST - NEGOTIATIONS - SMALL PURCHASES DENIAL OF PROTEST OF GENERAL DISPLAYS AGAINST THE AWARD OF A PURCHASE ORDER OF 200 FIBERGLASS PLAQUES DEPICTING THE INSIGNIA OF THE MILITARY TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT & TERMINAL SERVICE TO SCULPTURAL PROMOTIONS. PROTESTANT'S CONTENTION THAT THE PROCUREMENT OF THE PLAQUES WAS FRAGMENTED INTO SEPARATE PURCHASES, ONE FOR PLAQUES AND ONE FOR MOLDS, SO AS TO KEEP THE PRICE BELOW $2500 IS WITHOUT BASIS IN FACT SINCE NO MOLDS WERE PURCHASED AND, THEREFORE, THE AWARD PROPERLY BELONGS UNDER THE "SMALL PURCHASES" PROVISION OF THE ASPR WHICH ALLOWS SUCH A PROCUREMENT TO BE ACCOMPLISHED BY NEGOTIATION.

TO GENERAL DISPLAYS:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTERS OF JULY 17 AND AUGUST 25, 1970, PROTESTING THE AWARD OF PURCHASE ORDER DAH024 70 M0067 TO SCULPTURAL PROMOTIONS, INC. THE SUBJECT PURCHASE ORDER WAS ISSUED ON JUNE 23, 1970, BY THE MILITARY TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT AND TERMINAL SERVICE (MTMTS), FOR THE MANUFACTURE OF 200 FIBERGLASS PLAQUES DEPICTING THE INSIGNIA OF MTMTS.

INITIALLY, THE OFFICE OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS, MTMTS, INDICATED A REQUIREMENT FOR 300 VACUUM-FORMED PLASTIC PLAQUES. HOWEVER, UPON FURTHER EVALUATION BY THE PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICER, THE QUANTITY WAS REDUCED TO 200 AND THE CONSTRUCTION MATERIAL CHANGED FROM VACUUM-FORMED PLASTIC TO FIBERGLASS.

QUOTATIONS WERE SUBMITTED BY SCULPTURAL PROMOTIONS, INC., IN THE AMOUNT OF $2,400 AND BY YOUR FIRM IN THE AMOUNT OF $3,950.

THE CONTRACTING OFFICER EVALUATED THE QUOTATIONS AND AN AWARD WAS MADE TO SCULPTURAL PROMOTIONS ON JUNE 23, 1970, FOR DELIVERY OF APPROXIMATELY 24 PLAQUES ON OR BEFORE JULY 13, 1970, AND THE BALANCE OF 176 PLAQUES FOR DELIVERY AT THE RATE OF 43 WEEKLY UNTIL COMPLETION.

YOU CONTEND THAT THE NEGOTIATION RESULTING IN THE AWARD TO SCULPTURAL PROMOTIONS WAS CONDUCTED IN A MANNER WHICH IS VIOLATIVE OF THE ARMED SERVICES PROCUREMENT REGULATION (ASPR). YOU ALLEGE THAT THE CHANGE IN THE MATERIAL SPECIFICATION IS UNFAIR AND NOT PRODUCTIVE OF THE BEST POSSIBLE PLAQUES. YOU FURTHER ASSERT THAT THE FACT THAT SCULPTURAL PROMOTIONS WAS ALLOWED TO RETAIN THE MOLD FOR THE PLAQUES FROM A PAST PROCUREMENT IS CONTRARY TO THE PROVISIONS OF THE ARMED SERVICES PROCUREMENT REGULATION. YOU FINALLY CONTEND THAT AN ARRANGEMENT WAS WORKED OUT BETWEEN SCULPTURAL PROMOTIONS AND THE CONTRACTING OFFICER TO KEEP THE PRICE BELOW $2,500 BY SEPARATE PURCHASE OF PLAQUES AND MOLDS IN ORDER TO KEEP THE PROCUREMENT WITHIN THE AUTHORITY OF THE PURCHASING BRANCH, MTMTS, AND TO AVOID THE USE OF FORMAL ADVERTISEMENT.

IN REGARD TO YOUR CONTENTION THAT SCULPTURAL PROMOTIONS OBTAINED THE PLAQUE MOLD IN AN IRREGULAR MANNER, IT IS REPORTED BY THE CONTRACTING OFFICER THAT SCULPTURAL PROMOTIONS CAME INTO POSSESSION OF THE MOLD DUE TO THE FACT THAT IT WAS THE INITIAL DESIGNER AND MANUFACTURER OF THE PLAQUES, AND THAT AT THE TIME OF AN EARLIER PROCUREMENT OF PLAQUES, THE MOLD REMAINED THE PROPERTY OF SCULPTURAL PROMOTIONS SINCE NO REPROCUREMENT WAS ANTICIPATED. IN ANY EVENT, WE ARE INFORMED THAT IT IS CUSTOMARY FOR THE MOLD TO REMAIN THE PROPERTY OF THE CONTRACTOR UNLESS IT IS PURCHASED AS A SEPARATE LINE ITEM. WE ARE UNABLE TO FIND ANY BASIS TO OBJECT TO THIS PRACTICE.

CONCERNING YOUR CONTENTION THAT THE PROCUREMENT OF THE PLAQUES WAS FRAGMENTED INTO SEPARATE PURCHASES, ONE FOR PLAQUES AND THE OTHER FOR MOLDS, IT APPEARS FROM THE RECORD THAT ONLY PLAQUES WERE PURCHASED AT A TOTAL PRICE OF $2,400 AND THAT NO MOLDS WERE PURCHASED BY THE PROCUREMENT ACTIVITY. HENCE, YOUR CONTENTION IS WITHOUT BASIS IN FACT.

IN REGARD TO YOUR CONTENTIONS THAT THE PROCEDURES UTILIZED IN THIS PROCUREMENT ARE CONTRARY TO THOSE PRESCRIBED IN THE ASPR IN THAT SPECIFICATION CHANGE WAS IMPROPER AND THAT THE ENTIRE PROCESS UTILIZED IN THE INSTANT PROCUREMENT WAS IMPROPER, ASPR 3-600 THROUGH 3-604, WHICH PRESCRIBES MANDATORY PROCEDURES INVOLVING "SMALL PURCHASES," PROVIDES THAT WHEN THE AGGREGATE AMOUNT INVOLVED IN ANY ONE TRANSACTION DOES NOT EXCEED $2,500, SUCH PROCUREMENT SHALL BE ACCOMPLISHED BY NEGOTIATION. THE OBJECTIVE OF THE SIMPLIFIED PURCHASE METHODS PRESCRIBED THEREIN IS TO REDUCE THE ADMINISTRATIVE COSTS IN ACCOMPLISHING SMALL PURCHASES AND TO ELIMINATE THE COSTLY AND TIME CONSUMING PROCESSES INCIDENT TO NORMAL NEGOTIATED PROCUREMENT. SEE B 154813, AUGUST 27, 1964.

IN VIEW OF THE REGULATIONS CONTAINED IN ASPR 3-600 THROUGH 3-604, AND SINCE THE CONTRACT HERE INVOLVED WAS AWARDED AT A PRICE OF LESS THAN $2,500 UNDER THE "SMALL PURCHASES" PROCEDURES WHEREUNDER THE CONTRACTING OFFICER IS GRANTED GREAT DISCRETION IN MAKING AN AWARD, THERE IS NO BASIS FOR US TO OBJECT TO THE PROCEDURES FOLLOWED IN THIS PROCUREMENT.

ACCORDINGLY, YOUR PROTEST IS DENIED.