B-171350, MAR 24, 1971

B-171350: Mar 24, 1971

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THE BID WAS THEREFORE RESPONSIVE. THE AWARD PROPER AND THE PROTEST IS DENIED. DIVISION OF CGS SCIENTIFIC CORPORATION: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED NOVEMBER 19. IF IT IS THEIR STANDARD PRACTICE TO PROVIDE LENGTHIER TRAINING COURSE THAN SPECIFIED ABOVE FOR A MACHINE OF THIS TYPE. LENGTHIER TRAINING COURSES WILL NOT BE A FACTOR IN BID EVALUATION: MAX. OF DAYS TRAINING LOCATION OF TRAINING " BIDS WERE OPENED AS SCHEDULED ON OCTOBER 15. MTS WAS THE LOW BIDDER AT $49. 498 AND YOUR BID WAS THE SECOND LOW BID AT $49. COURSE TUITION IS $275.00. WHICH IS INCLUDED IN THE SYSTEM PRICE. AIR FARE AND LODGING IS NOT INCLUDED.". THE BULLETIN STATES THAT A 5-DAY COURSE IS OFFERED FOR A TUITION OF $275 EXCLUSIVE OF STUDENT'S LODGING AND TRAVEL.

B-171350, MAR 24, 1971

BID PROTEST - BID RESPONSIVENESS DECISION DENYING PROTEST BY SECOND LOW BIDDER, AGAINST AWARD OF A CONTRACT TO MTS SYSTEMS CORPORATION, LOW BIDDER, REQUIRING ONE COMPLETE UNIVERSAL TESTING MACHINE AND DATA INCLUDING A TRAINING COURSE UNDER IFB ISSUED BY THE NAVAL AIR ENGINEERING CENTER, PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA. WHERE THE SOLICITATION REQUIRED A MINIMUM OF 5 DAYS TRAINING AND REQUESTED AN INDICATION OF THE MAXIMUM AMOUNT OF TRAINING NORMALLY FURNISHED AT NO ADDITIONAL COST - "MAX. NO. OF DAYS TRAINING ", SUCCESSFUL BIDDER'S INSERTION OF "1 TO 2 DAYS" MUST BE READ IN THE CONTEXT OF PRECEEDING SENTENCE REQUESTING NUMBER OF DAYS OVER MINIMUM REQUIREMENT OF 5 DAYS. THE BID WAS THEREFORE RESPONSIVE, THE AWARD PROPER AND THE PROTEST IS DENIED.

TO CGS/LAWRENCE, DIVISION OF CGS SCIENTIFIC CORPORATION:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED NOVEMBER 19, 1970, PROTESTING THE AWARD OF CONTRACT TO MTS SYSTEMS CORPORATION (MTS) UNDER INVITATION FOR BIDS N00156-71-B-0072, AS AMENDED, ISSUED BY THE NAVAL AIR ENGINEERING CENTER, PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA.

THE INVITATION, ISSUED AUGUST 25, 1970, REQUIRED ONE COMPLETE UNIVERSAL TESTING MACHINE AND DATA IN ACCORDANCE WITH PERFORMANCE SPECIFICATIONS. SECTION 2.0 OF THE SPECIFICATIONS (PAGE 5 OF THE INVITATION) PROVIDES, IN PART, AS FOLLOWS:

"TRAINING. THE CONTRACTOR SHALL PROVIDE A COMPLETE TRAINING COURSE IN THE MAINTENANCE AND OPERATION OF THE HYDRAULIC, MECHANICAL AND ELECTRONIC SUBSYSTEMS OF THE TESTING MACHINE. THE COURSE SHALL BE FOR AT LEAST FIVE (5) DAYS FOR ONE MAN.

"BIDDERS MUST MEET THE GOVERNMENT'S MINIMUM TRAINING REQUIREMENTS SET FORTH ABOVE. HOWEVER, IF IT IS THEIR STANDARD PRACTICE TO PROVIDE LENGTHIER TRAINING COURSE THAN SPECIFIED ABOVE FOR A MACHINE OF THIS TYPE, THEY SHALL INDICATE IN THE SPACE BELOW THE MAXIMUM AMOUNT OF TRAINING THEY NORMALLY FURNISH AT NO ADDITIONAL COST. LENGTHIER TRAINING COURSES WILL NOT BE A FACTOR IN BID EVALUATION:

MAX. NO. OF DAYS TRAINING

LOCATION OF TRAINING "

BIDS WERE OPENED AS SCHEDULED ON OCTOBER 15, 1970. MTS WAS THE LOW BIDDER AT $49,498 AND YOUR BID WAS THE SECOND LOW BID AT $49,750.

MTS INSERTED "1 TO 2 DAYS" AFTER "MAX. NO. OF DAYS TRAINING" AND "MINNEAPOLIS, MINN." AFTER "LOCATION OF TRAINING." DIRECTLY BENEATH THESE ENTRIES, THE MTS BID ALSO INCLUDED THE FOLLOWING STATEMENT:

"MTS OFFERS A MAINTENANCE AND OPERATION COURSE AS DESCRIBED IN AN ATTACHED BULLETIN. COURSE TUITION IS $275.00, WHICH IS INCLUDED IN THE SYSTEM PRICE. AIR FARE AND LODGING IS NOT INCLUDED."

IN YOUR LETTER OF PROTEST, YOU CONTEND THAT THE AWARD MADE TO MTS ON NOVEMBER 17, 1970, SHOULD BE CANCELLED AND AWARD MADE TO YOUR FIRM ON THE BASIS THAT MTS TOOK EXCEPTION TO THE REQUIREMENT FOR A MINIMUM TRAINING COURSE OF FIVE DAYS.

MTS INCLUDED WITH ITS BID A PUBLISHED BULLETIN DESCRIBING ITS TRAINING COURSE. THE BULLETIN STATES THAT A 5-DAY COURSE IS OFFERED FOR A TUITION OF $275 EXCLUSIVE OF STUDENT'S LODGING AND TRAVEL. THE ADMINISTRATIVE REPORT POINTS OUT THAT WHEN ALL OF THE INFORMATION BEARING ON THE MATTER IS READ TOGETHER, THE ONLY REASONABLE INTERPRETATION IS THAT MTS HAS UNQUALIFIEDLY OFFERED TO MEET THE MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS TO FURNISH A 5-DAY TRAINING COURSE PLUS ONE TO TWO ADDITIONAL DAYS OF TRAINING AT NO INCREASE IN THE BID PRICE. THE MAXIMUM NUMBER OF DAYS TRAINING MUST BE READ IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE PRECEDING SENTENCE IN THE TEXT REQUESTING THE BIDDER TO INDICATE IN THE SPACE BELOW THE MAXIMUM AMOUNT OF TRAINING OFFERED AT NO ADDITIONAL COST IN EXCESS OF THE MINIMUM STIPULATED REQUIREMENT OF FIVE DAYS.

FOR THE FOREGOING REASONS, WE MUST CONCUR IN THE ACTION TAKEN BY THE NAVAL SUPPLY SYSTEMS COMMAND IN AWARDING THE CONTRACT TO MTS AS THE LOW RESPONSIVE AND RESPONSIBLE BIDDER. ACCORDINGLY, YOUR PROTEST IS DENIED.

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