B-171718, JUL 8, 1971

B-171718: Jul 8, 1971

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THE BID WAS PROPERLY REJECTED. INC.: REFERENCE IS MADE TO A LETTER DATED JANUARY 19. THE ESSENCE OF THE PROTEST IS THAT YOUR COMPANY WAS THE LOWEST RESPONSIBLE OFFEROR FOR THE AUTOMATIC PIPE WELDING MACHINES INCLUDED IN THE RFP AND THAT IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN AWARDED THE CONTRACT FOR THE EQUIPMENT. AMENDMENT 0003 TO THE RFP WAS ISSUED REQUIRING EACH OFFEROR TO FURNISH DESCRIPTIVE LITERATURE SHOWING THE DETAILS OF THE PRODUCTS IT PROPOSED TO FURNISH. THE CUTOFF DATE FOR THE SUBMISSION OF SUCH DATA WAS OCTOBER 16. YOU WERE AFFORDED A SECOND OPPORTUNITY TO SUBMIT THE INFORMATION. THIS TIME THE CUTOFF DATE FOR THE RECEIPT OF THE INFORMATION WAS ESTABLISHED AS NOVEMBER 20. THE INFORMATION WAS FORWARDED TO TECHNICAL PERSONNEL FOR EVALUATION.

B-171718, JUL 8, 1971

BID PROTEST - NEGOTIATIONS - NONCOMPLIANCE WITH SPECIFICATIONS DECISION DENYING PROTEST BY LOW BIDDER AGAINST AWARD OF A CONTRACT TO LIQUID CABONICS CORPORATION FOR AN AUTOMATIC PIPE WELDING MACHINE UNDER AN RFP ISSUED BY THE NAVY PURCHASING OFFICE. AS PROTESTANT FURNISHED DESCRIPTIVE LITERATURE THAT REPRESENTED A MACHINE THAT DID NOT MEET THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE RFP, THE BID WAS PROPERLY REJECTED.

TO ZETA INTERNATIONAL ENGINEERING, INC.:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO A LETTER DATED JANUARY 19, 1971, FROM THE HONORABLE CHARLES S. GUBSER, MEMBER OF CONGRESS, CONCERNING YOUR PROTEST UNDER REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS (RFP) N00600-70-R-5518, ISSUED ON MAY 6, 1970, BY THE NAVY PURCHASING OFFICE, WASHINGTON, D.C.

THE ESSENCE OF THE PROTEST IS THAT YOUR COMPANY WAS THE LOWEST RESPONSIBLE OFFEROR FOR THE AUTOMATIC PIPE WELDING MACHINES INCLUDED IN THE RFP AND THAT IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN AWARDED THE CONTRACT FOR THE EQUIPMENT.

SUBSEQUENT TO THE OPENING OF OFFERS, AMENDMENT 0003 TO THE RFP WAS ISSUED REQUIRING EACH OFFEROR TO FURNISH DESCRIPTIVE LITERATURE SHOWING THE DETAILS OF THE PRODUCTS IT PROPOSED TO FURNISH. THE CUTOFF DATE FOR THE SUBMISSION OF SUCH DATA WAS OCTOBER 16, 1970. YOU DID NOT FURNISH THE REQUESTED INFORMATION BY THAT DATE. SUBSEQUENTLY, BY LETTER DATED NOVEMBER 10, 1970, YOU WERE AFFORDED A SECOND OPPORTUNITY TO SUBMIT THE INFORMATION. THIS TIME THE CUTOFF DATE FOR THE RECEIPT OF THE INFORMATION WAS ESTABLISHED AS NOVEMBER 20, 1970. BY LETTER OF NOVEMBER 17, 1970, YOU FURNISHED INFORMATION. ON NOVEMBER 24, 1970, THE INFORMATION WAS FORWARDED TO TECHNICAL PERSONNEL FOR EVALUATION. ON DECEMBER 1, 1970, THE TECHNICAL OFFICE ADVISED THE CONTRACTING OFFICE THAT YOUR PROPOSAL WAS UNACCEPTABLE FOR REASONS THAT WERE COMMUNICATED TO YOU IN A LETTER OF DECEMBER 4, 1970. AWARD WAS MADE TO THE LIQUID CARBONICS CORP. ON DECEMBER 18, 1970, IN THE AMOUNT OF $264,000. THE PROPOSAL YOU SUBMITTED WAS IN THE AMOUNT OF $145,000.

AS INDICATED ABOVE, THE DESCRIPTIVE LITERATURE PROVISION REQUIRED OFFERORS TO SUBMIT FOR EVALUATION DATA ON THE EQUIPMENT THEY PROPOSED TO FURNISH TO MEET THE SPECIFICATIONS. IN A LETTER OF DECEMBER 9, 1970, TO THE CONTRACTING OFFICER, YOU ACKNOWLEDGED THAT THE DATA YOU FURNISHED DID NOT COMPLY WITH THE RFP SPECIFICATIONS. YOU STATED, "WE ARE FULLY AWARE THAT THE DRAWINGS REPRESENT A MACHINE THAT IS NOT TO THE REQUIREMENTS SPECIFIED." YOU WENT ON TO STATE, HOWEVER, THAT IT WAS YOUR INTENTION TO PRODUCE A SYSTEM THAT WOULD MEET OR EXCEED THE NAVY'S REQUIREMENTS. HOWEVER, THE FACT REMAINS THAT THE MEANS AFFORDED BY THE CONTRACTING AGENCY FOR YOUR COMPANY TO DEMONSTRATE ITS INTENT TO COMPLY WAS TO BE THE DATA FURNISHED AS A PART OF THE OFFER AND YOU HAVE ADMITTED IN THE DECEMBER 9 LETTER THAT YOU WERE REMISS IN THAT REGARD. IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES, THE REJECTION OF YOUR PROPOSAL DOES NOT APPEAR TO HAVE BEEN IMPROPER.

FURTHER, WE MIGHT OBSERVE THAT WHILE THE PREAWARD SURVEY REPORT ISSUED BY THE DEFENSE CONTRACT ADMINISTRATION SERVICES REGION, SAN FRANCISCO, ON JULY 24, 1970, RECOMMENDED AN AWARD TO YOUR COMPANY, IT SUBSEQUENTLY ADVISED THE CONTRACTING OFFICE ON OCTOBER 27, 1970, THAT YOUR FIRM WAS THEN HAVING FINANCIAL DIFFICULTY AND THAT A NEW SURVEY SHOULD BE MADE BEFORE ANY AWARD TO YOUR COMPANY WAS CONTEMPLATED. SINCE YOUR PROPOSAL WAS FOUND TO BE UNACCEPTABLE FOR TECHNICAL REASONS, NO NEED EXISTED FOR A SUBSEQUENT SURVEY.

MOREOVER, EVEN IF YOUR COMPANY WAS A RESPONSIBLE OFFEROR, THE FACT THAT IT SUBMITTED THE LOWEST OFFER DID NOT AUTOMATICALLY ENTITLE IT TO AN AWARD. IT IS ALSO NECESSARY THAT THE PROPOSAL BE TECHNICALLY ACCEPTABLE. AS INDICATED ABOVE, YOUR PROPOSAL FAILED IN THAT RESPECT.

IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, THE PROTEST IS DENIED.