B-171090, NOV. 10, 1970

B-171090: Nov 10, 1970

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A FIRM THAT DID NOT LEARN OF A PROPOSED TWO-STEP PROCUREMENT UNTIL THE SECOND-STEP BECAUSE OF THE WAY IT WAS SYNOPSIZED ALTHOUGH THE PROCURING AGENCY REQUESTED SOME 30 FIRMS TO SUBMIT INITIAL PROPOSALS MAY NOT BE GRANTED A DELAY SINCE THERE IS NO EVIDENCE TO SHOW THAT THE PROTESTANT OR ANY OTHER POTENTIAL BIDDER WAS DELIBERATELY PRECLUDED FROM COMPETING. WILLIAM DUERKSEN: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED OCTOBER 16. THE FIRST STEP REQUEST FOR TECHNICAL PROPOSALS AND THE SECOND STEP IFB WERE SYNOPSIZED IN THE COMMERCE BUSINESS DAILY "SYNOPSIS OF U.S. BECAUSE THE SYNOPSES APPEARED UNDER THE CLASSIFICATION "MAINTENANCE AND REPAIR SHOP EQUIPMENT" YOUR CLIENT WAS UNAWARE OF THE PROCUREMENT UNTIL IT NOTICED THE SYNOPSIS OF THE SECOND STEP.

B-171090, NOV. 10, 1970

BID PROTEST - NOTICE OF TWO-STEP PROCUREMENT DENIAL OF REQUEST FOR 30 DAY DELAY IN OPENING OF BIDS UNDER SECOND STEP PROCUREMENT FOR DESIGN AND ASSEMBLY OF AIRCRAFT NOISE SUPPRESSOR SYSTEM FOR WRIGHT PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE TO AFFORD PROTESTANT OPPORTUNITY TO COMPETE. A FIRM THAT DID NOT LEARN OF A PROPOSED TWO-STEP PROCUREMENT UNTIL THE SECOND-STEP BECAUSE OF THE WAY IT WAS SYNOPSIZED ALTHOUGH THE PROCURING AGENCY REQUESTED SOME 30 FIRMS TO SUBMIT INITIAL PROPOSALS MAY NOT BE GRANTED A DELAY SINCE THERE IS NO EVIDENCE TO SHOW THAT THE PROTESTANT OR ANY OTHER POTENTIAL BIDDER WAS DELIBERATELY PRECLUDED FROM COMPETING.

TO MR. WILLIAM DUERKSEN:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED OCTOBER 16, 1970, ON BEHALF OF E. C. DEYOUNG, INC., AND TO THAT FIRM'S LETTER OF OCTOBER 27, 1970, REQUESTING A 30-DAY DELAY IN THE OPENING OF BIDS UNDER INVITATION FOR BIDS (IFB) NO. F33657-70-B-0842, ISSUED BY WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, OHIO.

THE ABOVE-REFERENCED SOLICITATION CONSTITUTES THE SECOND STEP OF A TWO- STEP FORMALLY ADVERTISED PROCUREMENT FOR THE DESIGN, FABRICATION AND ASSEMBLY OF AN AIRCRAFT NOISE SUPPRESSOR SYSTEM. THE FIRST STEP REQUEST FOR TECHNICAL PROPOSALS AND THE SECOND STEP IFB WERE SYNOPSIZED IN THE COMMERCE BUSINESS DAILY "SYNOPSIS OF U.S. GOVERNMENT PROPOSED PROCUREMENT, SALES AND CONTRACT AWARDS" ON JUNE 3 AND OCTOBER 9, 1970, RESPECTIVELY. HOWEVER, BECAUSE THE SYNOPSES APPEARED UNDER THE CLASSIFICATION "MAINTENANCE AND REPAIR SHOP EQUIPMENT" YOUR CLIENT WAS UNAWARE OF THE PROCUREMENT UNTIL IT NOTICED THE SYNOPSIS OF THE SECOND STEP. THEREFORE, YOU REQUEST A DELAY OF THE OPENING OF BIDS TO PERMIT E. C. DEYOUNG, INC., TO SUBMIT A TECHNICAL PROPOSAL AND TO COMPETE IN THE SECOND STEP OF THIS PROCUREMENT.

AS YOU HAVE BEEN ADVISED BY LETTER DATED OCTOBER 27, 1970, FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE, THE FIRST STEP REQUEST FOR TECHNICAL PROPOSALS WAS INITIALLY DISTRIBUTED TO 30 FIRMS. FIFTEEN ADDITIONAL CONCERNS, AT THEIR REQUEST, WERE ALSO FURNISHED COPIES OF THE SOLICITATION. INVITATIONS FOR BIDS WERE MAILED ON OCTOBER 6, 1970, TO THE FOUR FIRMS WHICH HAD SUBMITTED ACCEPTABLE TECHNICAL PROPOSALS, AND BID OPENING WAS HELD ON NOVEMBER 3, 1970.

ALTHOUGH IT IS REGRETTABLE THAT YOUR CLIENT WAS NOT AWARE OF THE PROCUREMENT IN SUFFICIENT TIME TO PREPARE AND SUBMIT A TECHNICAL PROPOSAL, THERE IS NO EVIDENCE TO SHOW THAT E. C. DEYOUNG, INC., OR ANY OTHER POTENTIAL BIDDER WAS DELIBERATELY PRECLUDED FROM COMPETING FOR THE SUBJECT PROCUREMENT. SUFFICIENT SOURCES WERE SOLICITED, WE BELIEVE, TO SATISFY THE STATUTORY REQUIREMENTS OF FULL AND FREE COMPETITION. SEE 34 COMP. GEN. 684 (1955); B-156310, JUNE 10, 1965. IN VIEW THEREOF, AND SINCE IT IS THE POSITION OF THE AIR FORCE THAT PERMITTING YOU TO COMPETE AT THIS POINT WOULD UNDULY DELAY THE PROCUREMENT, WE SEE NO VALID BASIS ON WHICH TO QUESTION THE REFUSAL OF THE AIR FORCE TO POSTPONE BID OPENING, OR ON WHICH TO OBJECT TO AN AWARD BASED UPON THE BIDS ALREADY RECEIVED.