B-171115, DEC. 23, 1970

B-171115: Dec 23, 1970

Additional Materials:

Contact:

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

 

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

WHERE BASIS OF PROTEST IS FIRST THAT SUCCESSFUL BIDDER WILL NOT BE ABLE TO PERFORM THE CONTRACT AT A PROFIT AND SECOND. THE GAO HAS REPEATEDLY HELD THAT AN AWARD MAY NOT BE PRECLUDED OR DENIED ON THE BASIS THAT AN OFFEROR MAY HAVE SUBMITTED AN UNPROFITABLE PRICE. WHICH IT WAS NOT. IT WOULD NOT NECESSARILY DISQUALIFY VOLT FROM AN AWARD BECAUSE THE CRITICAL FACTOR IS THE ABILITY AND RELIABILITY OF A PROSPECTIVE CONTRACTOR WITH RESPECT TO THE AWARD FOR WHICH IT IS BEING CONSIDERED. THE PROTEST IS DENIED. TO IONICS INTERNATIONAL: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 23. YOU HAVE QUESTIONED THE AWARD TO VOLT INFORMATION SCIENCES BECAUSE YOU DO NOT BELIEVE THAT THE COMPANY CAN PERFORM THE CONTRACT AT THE RATES PROPOSED WITHOUT LOSING MONEY.

B-171115, DEC. 23, 1970

BID PROTEST - UNPROFITABLE BID - POOR PAST PERFORMANCE DENIAL OF PROTEST BY IONICS INTERNATIONAL AGAINST AWARD OF CONTRACT UNDER INVITATION ISSUED BY U.S. ARMY ELECTRONICS COMMAND TO VOLT INFORMATION SERVICES, INC. WHERE BASIS OF PROTEST IS FIRST THAT SUCCESSFUL BIDDER WILL NOT BE ABLE TO PERFORM THE CONTRACT AT A PROFIT AND SECOND, A NEWSPAPER ARTICLE ALLEGING IMPROPRIETY AND POOR PERFORMANCE ON OTHER GOVERNMENT CONTRACTS, THE GAO HAS REPEATEDLY HELD THAT AN AWARD MAY NOT BE PRECLUDED OR DENIED ON THE BASIS THAT AN OFFEROR MAY HAVE SUBMITTED AN UNPROFITABLE PRICE; ALSO, EVEN IF THE INFORMATION IN THE NEWS ARTICLE HAD BEEN BROUGHT TO THE CONTRACTING OFFICER'S ATTENTION, WHICH IT WAS NOT, IT WOULD NOT NECESSARILY DISQUALIFY VOLT FROM AN AWARD BECAUSE THE CRITICAL FACTOR IS THE ABILITY AND RELIABILITY OF A PROSPECTIVE CONTRACTOR WITH RESPECT TO THE AWARD FOR WHICH IT IS BEING CONSIDERED. THEREFORE, THE PROTEST IS DENIED.

TO IONICS INTERNATIONAL:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 23, 1970, PROTESTING THE AWARD OF A CONTRACT TO VOLT INFORMATION SCIENCES, INC., UNDER REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS DAAB09-70-R-0007 ISSUED BY THE WASHINGTON PROCUREMENT DIVISION, UNITED STATES ARMY ELECTRONICS COMMAND.

YOU HAVE QUESTIONED THE AWARD TO VOLT INFORMATION SCIENCES BECAUSE YOU DO NOT BELIEVE THAT THE COMPANY CAN PERFORM THE CONTRACT AT THE RATES PROPOSED WITHOUT LOSING MONEY, AND BECAUSE OF AN ARTICLE APPEARING IN THE WASHINGTON POST ON OCTOBER 22, 1970, ALLEGING THAT THE COMPANY OBTAINED CONTRACTS FROM ANOTHER GOVERNMENT AGENCY BY IMPROPER MEANS AND THAT IT HAS BEEN PERFORMING POORLY ON CONTRACTS OF THAT AGENCY.

NO DETERMINATION WAS MADE WHETHER VOLT INFORMATION SCIENCES WILL BE ABLE TO PERFORM THE CONTRACT AT A PROFIT AT ITS PROPOSED RATES, AND NONE WAS REQUIRED TO SUPPORT THE AWARD. IN THAT CONNECTION, OUR OFFICE HAS HELD REPEATEDLY THAT AN AWARD MAY NOT BE PRECLUDED OR DENIED ON THE BASIS THAT AN OFFEROR MAY HAVE SUBMITTED AN UNPROFITABLE PRICE. B 169977(1), JULY 23, 1970, 50 COMP. GEN. ; AND B-170223, SEPTEMBER 22, 1970, AND DECISIONS CITED THEREIN.

THE SUBJECT CONTRACT WAS AWARDED TO VOLT INFORMATION SCIENCES ON OCTOBER 5, 1970. THE AWARD WAS BASED, IN PART, UPON INFORMATION THE CONTRACTING OFFICER HAD BEFORE HIM THAT VOLT MET THE CRITERIA PRESCRIBED FOR ESTABLISHING THE RESPONSIBILITY OF AN OFFEROR. THE ARTICLE IN THE WASHINGTON POST COMMENTING ADVERSELY ON VOLT'S BUSINESS ETHICS DID NOT APPEAR UNTIL MORE THAN 2 WEEKS AFTER THE AWARD WAS MADE. IF THE INFORMATION IN THAT ARTICLE HAD BEEN BROUGHT TO THE ATTENTION OF THE CONTRACTING OFFICER BEFORE AN AWARD HAD BEEN MADE, SUCH FACT ALONE WOULD NOT HAVE NECESSARILY DISQUALIFIED VOLT FROM AN AWARD. AWARDS TO GOVERNMENT CONTRACTORS ARE REQUIRED BY REGULATION TO BE MADE TO RESPONSIBLE PROSPECTIVE CONTRACTORS. EVIDENCE OF PRIOR CONTRACT INADEQUACIES DOES NOT NECESSARILY PRECLUDE A FINDING OF RESPONSIBILITY AS TO A CURRENT PROCUREMENT. B-167108, OCTOBER 27, 1969. THE CRITICAL FACTOR FOR DETERMINATION IS THE ABILITY AND RELIABILITY OF A PROSPECTIVE CONTRACTOR WITH RESPECT TO THE AWARD FOR WHICH IT IS BEING CONSIDERED. THAT REGARD, THE CONTRACTING OFFICER UTILIZED THE NORMAL AVENUES OF INFORMATION TO DETERMINE THE RESPONSIBILITY OF VOLT AND NO ADVERSE INFORMATION CONCERNING VOLT WAS DISCLOSED PRIOR TO AWARD. WE DO NOT BELIEVE THAT THE NEWSPAPER ARTICLE AFFORDS A BASIS TO DISTURB THE DETERMINATION OF RESPONSIBILITY.

ACCORDINGLY, THE PROTEST IS DENIED.