B-171839, SEP 27, 1971

B-171839: Sep 27, 1971

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TO TECHNI DATA LABORATORIES: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED FEBRUARY 1. WAS CONDUCTED UNDER THE TWO-STEP FORMAL ADVERTISING METHOD. THE FIRST STEP WAS INITIATED BY A REQUEST FOR TECHNICAL PROPOSALS TO WHICH FIVE OFFERORS. IT WAS DETERMINED THAT ADDITIONAL INFORMATION WAS REQUIRED AS TO EACH OF THE PROPOSALS BEFORE A FINAL DETERMINATION OF ACCEPTABILITY COULD BE MADE. A REQUEST FOR SUCH INFORMATION WAS FORWARDED TO TECHNI DATA ON AUGUST 7. THE REQUESTED INFORMATION IN THE FORM OF A PROPOSAL AMENDMENT WAS RECEIVED ON AUGUST 24. THERE WAS INCLUDED IN YOUR ORIGINAL TECHNICAL PROPOSAL "SECTION III OPTIONS" PROPOSING OPTIONAL ALTERNATE EQUIPMENT. REFERENCE TO THE OPTIONAL EQUIPMENT WAS INCLUDED IN THE PMR EVALUATION FORWARDED TO TECHNI DATA ON AUGUST 7.

B-171839, SEP 27, 1971

BID PROTEST - TWO STEP PROCUREMENT - OPTION BID DECISION DENYING PROTEST AGAINST REJECTION OF A SECOND STEP BID UNDER AN IFB ISSUED BY THE NAVAL REGIONAL PROCUREMENT OFFICE, LOS ANGELES, FOR AN OPERATIONAL TELEMETRY QUALITY CONTROL SYSTEM. WHILE THE CONTRACTING OFFICER REJECTED PROTESTANT'S LOW OPTION BID BECAUSE OF ITS AMBIGUITY, THE COMP. GEN. FINDS THAT BECAUSE THE OPTION BID INCLUDED AN AMPLIFIER MODEL THAT HAD NOT BEEN APPROVED IN THE FIRST STEP OF THE PROCUREMENT, THE BID COULD NOT BE CONSIDERED FOR AWARD.

TO TECHNI DATA LABORATORIES:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED FEBRUARY 1, 1971, PROTESTING THE REJECTION OF YOUR "OPTION BID A" UNDER INVITATION FOR BIDS (IFB) NO. N00123-71-B-0060, ISSUED BY THE NAVAL REGIONAL PROCUREMENT OFFICE, LOS ANGELES, FOR USE BY THE PACIFIC MISSILE RANGE, POINT MUGU, CALIFORNIA.

THE INSTANT PROCUREMENT FOR AN OPERATIONAL TELEMETRY QUALITY CONTROL SYSTEM TO CONFORM WITH PACIFIC MISSILE RANGE (PMF) SPECIFICATION PMRD RD- EL-622-69 TELEMETRY QUALITY ASSURANCE SYSTEM DATED FEBRUARY 3, 1970, WAS CONDUCTED UNDER THE TWO-STEP FORMAL ADVERTISING METHOD. THE FIRST STEP WAS INITIATED BY A REQUEST FOR TECHNICAL PROPOSALS TO WHICH FIVE OFFERORS, INCLUDING TECHNI DATA, RESPONDED. AFTER TECHNICAL EVALUATION OF THE PROPOSALS, IT WAS DETERMINED THAT ADDITIONAL INFORMATION WAS REQUIRED AS TO EACH OF THE PROPOSALS BEFORE A FINAL DETERMINATION OF ACCEPTABILITY COULD BE MADE. A REQUEST FOR SUCH INFORMATION WAS FORWARDED TO TECHNI DATA ON AUGUST 7, 1970. THE REQUESTED INFORMATION IN THE FORM OF A PROPOSAL AMENDMENT WAS RECEIVED ON AUGUST 24, 1970.

THERE WAS INCLUDED IN YOUR ORIGINAL TECHNICAL PROPOSAL "SECTION III OPTIONS" PROPOSING OPTIONAL ALTERNATE EQUIPMENT. REFERENCE TO THE OPTIONAL EQUIPMENT WAS INCLUDED IN THE PMR EVALUATION FORWARDED TO TECHNI DATA ON AUGUST 7, 1970. IN THE PROPOSAL AMENDMENT, TECHNI DATA WITHDREW SOME OF THE OPTIONS AND PROVIDED THE CLARIFICATION REQUESTED ON OTHER EQUIPMENT. PMR COMPLETED ITS TECHNICAL EVALUATION OF THE PROPOSALS ON SEPTEMBER 14, 1970.

THEREAFTER, THE SECOND STEP OF THE PROCUREMENT WAS INITIATED ON OCTOBER 1, 1970, WITH THE ISSUANCE OF IFB N00123-71-B-0060 SOLICITING PRICES ON A ONE AND TWO SYSTEM BASIS DESIGNATED "BID A" AND "BID B", RESPECTIVELY. FURTHER, SECTION F OF THE IFB PROVIDED THAT THE TECHNI DATA ITEM BE IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE SPECIFICATIONS "AND TECHNI DATA LABORATORIES TECHNICAL PROPOSAL SPQ 703 DATED 15 JUNE 1970 AND TECHNI DATA LETTER OF AUGUST 24, 1970, ALL INCORPORATED HEREIN BY REFERENCE THERETO."

THE TECHNI DATA PRICE FOR BID "A" WAS $413,463.00. DEFENSE ELECTRONICS SUBMITTED A LOWER PRICE ON BID "A" IN THE AMOUNT OF $397,584.71. TECHNI DATA CONCURRENTLY SUBMITTED AN "OPTION BID A" OF $386,634, WHICH WAS LOWER THAN THE DEFENSE ELECTRONICS BID "A". HOWEVER, THE CONTRACTING OFFICER DECLINED TO ACCEPT THE TECHNI DATA OPTION BID ON THE BASIS THAT IT WAS AMBIGUOUS. THIS WAS BASED UPON THE FACT THAT WHILE TECHNI DATA DID INCLUDE WITH ITS BID A DOCUMENT LABELED "TABLE I PURCHASED PARTS COST," THERE WAS NO REFERENCE TO THE DOCUMENT IN THE BID ITSELF AND ALTHOUGH THE DOCUMENT REFERRED TO OPTION ITEMS, THERE WAS NO DIRECT CORRELATION BETWEEN THE PRICING IN THE DOCUMENT AND THAT OF THE OPTION BID.

IN YOUR PROTEST LETTER YOU STATED THAT THE NAVY'S INITIAL RESPONSE TO THE TECHNI DATA TECHNICAL PROPOSAL INDICATED THAT SOME OF THE OPTIONAL EQUIPMENT WAS CONSIDERED ACCEPTABLE AND THAT FROM THIS YOU CONCLUDED THAT YOU HAD QUALIFIED TWO SYSTEMS: ONE, A HIGH-PRICED SYSTEM INCLUDING ALL THE MAKES AND MODELS DESIRED; THE OTHER, A LOWER-PRICED OPTIONAL SYSTEM. HOWEVER, AMONG THE EQUIPMENT LISTED FOR THE OPTIONAL SYSTEM ON THE "PURCHASED PARTS COST" SHEET WAS A NEFF INSTRUMENTS AMPLIFIER MODEL 70-8- 2625. THAT MODEL WAS NOT LISTED IN THE TECHNICAL PROPOSAL OR AMENDMENT SUBMITTED BY TECHNI DATA IN THE FIRST STEP.

THE REQUEST FOR TECHNICAL PROPOSAL STATED THAT THE TECHNICAL PROPOSAL WAS TO BE SUBMITTED IN A FASHION WHICH WOULD ENABLE ENGINEERING PERSONNEL WITH GENERAL TRAINING TO MAKE A THOROUGH AND COMPLETE EVALUATION AND ARRIVE AT A SOUND DETERMINATION AS TO WHETHER OR NOT THE PRODUCT AND APPROACH PROPOSED WOULD SATISFY THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE GOVERNMENT. THE TECHNICAL PROPOSAL WAS REQUIRED TO BE SPECIFIC, DETAILED AND COMPLETE. FURTHER, THE GENERAL REQUIREMENTS IN THE REQUEST FOR TECHNICAL PROPOSAL INDICATED THAT THE PURPOSE OF THE FIRST STEP TECHNICAL PROPOSAL IS TO DETERMINE WHETHER THE OFFEROR WILL PROVIDE AN ACCEPTABLE UNIT AND THAT IN THE SECOND STEP THE ONLY BIDS THAT WILL BE CONSIDERED FOR CONTRACT AWARDS ARE THOSE BASED UPON TECHNICAL PROPOSALS WHICH HAVE BEEN DETERMINED TO BE ACCEPTABLE IN THE FIRST STEP.

THEREFORE, SINCE THE NEFF INSTRUMENT MODEL 70-8-2625 HAD NOT BEEN APPROVED IN THE FIRST STEP, THE BID ON THE OPTIONAL SYSTEM WAS NOT FOR CONSIDERATION. ACCORDINGLY, ALTHOUGH THE CONTRACTING OFFICER RELIED UPON A DIFFERENT BASIS FOR REJECTING THE OPTION BID, UNDER ALL OF THE CIRCUMSTANCES, WE WILL NOT OBJECT TO THE REJECTION OF YOUR SECOND-STEP BID. THEREFORE, THE PROTEST IS DENIED.