B-171613, APR 2, 1971

B-171613: Apr 2, 1971

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THE DETERMINATION AS TO WHETHER AN ITEM CONFORMS TO THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE SPECIFICATIONS IS A MATTER WITHIN THE DISCRETION OF THE AGENCY INVOLVED. THE PROTEST IS THEREFORE DENIED. TO NJE CORPORATION: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED DECEMBER 23. NJE'S CORRESPONDING BIDS WERE $2. YOU CONTEND THAT THIS PROVISION REQUIRES AN OFFEROR TO SHOW A "STANDARD STOCK MODEL" THAT HE WILL MODIFY FOR THE PROCUREMENT. IS IN STOCK. VARADYNE SYSTEMS REPORTS THAT IT WAS FORMERLY KNOWN AS POWER SYSTEMS. HAVE BEEN IN PRODUCTION SINCE 1965 WITH ONLY NORMAL ENGINEERING IMPROVEMENTS SINCE THEIR INTRODUCTION. IT APPEARS THAT THE VARADYNE UNIT IS A STANDARD STOCK ITEM WITH ONLY MINOR MODIFICATIONS. THE EQUIPMENT IN WHICH THEY ARE USED.

B-171613, APR 2, 1971

BID PROTEST - SPECIFICATION REQUIREMENTS DECISION DENYING PROTEST AGAINST AWARD OF CONTRACT TO VARADYNE INC., FOR A QUANTITY OF FREQUENCY CONVERTERS UNDER AN IFB ISSUED BY THE NATIONAL OCEANIC AND ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE. BECAUSE VARADYNE, UNDER THE NAME POWER SYSTEMS, INC., HAS PRODUCED THE REQUIRED ITEMS SINCE 1965 WITH NORMAL ENGINEERING IMPROVEMENTS, IT APPEARS THAT THE COMPANY CAN OFFER A STANDARD STOCK ITEM WITH ONLY MINOR MODIFICATIONS AS REQUIRED IN THE SOLICITATION. FURTHER, THE DETERMINATION AS TO WHETHER AN ITEM CONFORMS TO THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE SPECIFICATIONS IS A MATTER WITHIN THE DISCRETION OF THE AGENCY INVOLVED. THE PROTEST IS THEREFORE DENIED.

TO NJE CORPORATION:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED DECEMBER 23, 1970, PROTESTING AGAINST THE AWARD OF A CONTRACT UNDER INVITATION FOR BIDS (IFB) NO. N 19- 54-71, ISSUED BY THE NATIONAL OCEANIC AND ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE.

THE SOLICITATION, ISSUED OCTOBER 30, 1970, CALLED FOR A QUANTITY OF FREQUENCY CONVERTERS AND D.C. SUPPLY AS SPECIFIED. VARADYNE SYSTEMS, A DIVISION OF VARADYNE INCORPORATED, SUBMITTED THE LOW BID OF $2,480 PER UNIT FOR A QUANTITY 1-5 EA. AND $2,280 PER UNIT FOR A QUANTITY OF 6-10 EA; NJE'S CORRESPONDING BIDS WERE $2,695 AND $2,570.

PARAGRAPH 3.1 OF THE SPECIFICATIONS PROVIDES AS FOLLOWS:

"THE SOLID STATE FREQUENCY CONVERTER AND D.C. SUPPLY OFFERED UNDER THIS SPECIFICATION MUST BE A STANDARD STOCK MODEL REQUIRING ONLY MINOR MODIFICATIONS TO COMPLY WITH THE SPECIFICATION REQUIREMENTS. REPLACEMENT PARTS SHALL BE AVAILABLE FOR A PERIOD OF NOT LESS THAN 5 YEARS FROM THE DATE OF DELIVERY." YOU CONTEND THAT THIS PROVISION REQUIRES AN OFFEROR TO SHOW A "STANDARD STOCK MODEL" THAT HE WILL MODIFY FOR THE PROCUREMENT. YOU STATE THAT AN OFFEROR CANNOT SHOW ONLY A CATALOG MODEL OF THE ITEMS, BUT THAT THE MODEL HAS BEEN DESIGNED, IS IN STOCK, AND CAN BE MODIFIED TO MEET THE SPECIFICATION.

VARADYNE SYSTEMS REPORTS THAT IT WAS FORMERLY KNOWN AS POWER SYSTEMS, INCORPORATED, OF VENICE, CALIFORNIA, AND HAS BEEN IN THE BUSINESS OF MANUFACTURING POWER CONVERTERS AND D.C. POWER SUPPLIES SINCE 1964; AND THAT ITS PROPOSED UNITS, AS SEPARATE AC AND DC SUPPLIES, HAVE BEEN IN PRODUCTION SINCE 1965 WITH ONLY NORMAL ENGINEERING IMPROVEMENTS SINCE THEIR INTRODUCTION. ACCORDINGLY, IT APPEARS THAT THE VARADYNE UNIT IS A STANDARD STOCK ITEM WITH ONLY MINOR MODIFICATIONS.

YOU ALSO REQUEST AN INTERPRETATION OF PARAGRAPH 3.3.2 INTERCHANGEABILITY, OF THE SPECIFICATIONS WHICH PROVIDE:

"CORRESPONDING ASSEMBLIES, COMPONENTS AND PARTS, BOTH ELECTRICAL AND MECHANICAL, AND THE EQUIPMENT IN WHICH THEY ARE USED, SHALL BE SUCH THAT THEY ARE PHYSICALLY, MECHANICALLY, AND ELECTRICALLY INTERCHANGEABLE IN AND BETWEEN ALL UNITS, WITHOUT MODIFICATION OF THIS ASSEMBLY OR PART OF THE EQUIPMENT AND WITHOUT CAUSING THE EQUIPMENT TO DEVIATE FROM SPECIFICATION REQUIREMENTS. IT IS FURTHER REQUIRED THAT ALL CORRESPONDING ELECTRICAL AND ELECTRONIC PARTS SHALL BE INTERCHANGEABLE AS TO VALUE, PHYSICAL SIZE AND SHAPE, GEOMETRICAL LOCATION OF PINS, MOUNTING HOLES, ETC." YOU ALLEGE THAT NJE HAS MODIFIED A STANDARD STOCK MODEL IN THE PAST TO MEET THE ABOVE SPECIFICATION AND STATE THAT AN OFFEROR WOULD HAVE TO EITHER TAKE EXCEPTION TO THIS SPECIFICATION REQUIREMENT OR BUILD AN EXACT COPY OF PREVIOUSLY SUPPLIED NJE UNITS.

THE DETERMINATION AS TO WHETHER A PRODUCT CONFORMS TO THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE SPECIFICATIONS IS A MATTER WITHIN THE DISCRETION OF THE AGENCY INVOLVED. WE FIND NO REQUIREMENT IN THE SPECIFICATION OF INTERCHANGEABILITY WITH UNITS SUPPLIED BY OTHER CONTRACTORS IN THE PAST. WE BELIEVE IT IS REASONABLE TO INTERPRET THE INTERCHANGEABILITY REQUIREMENT TO APPLY TO UNITS FURNISHED UNDER THAT PARTICULAR PROCUREMENT AND NOT TO ITEMS MANUFACTURED BY OTHER COMPANIES AND FURNISHED UNDER PRIOR PROCUREMENTS.

ACCORDINGLY, FOR THE REASONS STATED, YOUR PROTEST IS DENIED.