B-172366, MAY 28, 1971

B-172366: May 28, 1971

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THIS PROCEDURE IS IN KEEPING WITH THE DESIRED GOAL OF COMPETITION IN ALL ASPECTS OF GOVERNMENT PROCUREMENT. SINCE ANY OTHER OFFEROR WOULD INCUR EXCESSIVE COSTS BECAUSE IT WOULD HAVE TO EITHER PURCHASE CERTAIN EXTERNAL COMPONENTS FROM YOUR COMPANY OR. IT WOULD HAVE TO DESIGN. YOU STATE THAT DELIVERY OF THE ENGINES WOULD BE DELAYED A MINIMUM OF 18 MONTHS IF THEY ARE PROCURED FROM ANOTHER COMPANY. THE CONTRACTING OFFICER HAS ADVISED THAT ENGINEERING PERSONNEL ARE NOW OF THE OPINION THAT THERE ARE SOURCES THAT WOULD BE ABLE TO REVERSE ENGINEER YOUR MODEL 52301 AND SUBMIT OFFERS ON THAT BASIS. WE NOTE THAT PARAGRAPH 1-313 OF THE ARMED SERVICES PROCUREMENT REGULATION (ASPR) PROVIDES FOR THE PROCUREMENT OF REPLACEMENT PARTS ON A COMPETITIVE BASIS WHERE IT IS DETERMINED TO BE FEASIBLE.

B-172366, MAY 28, 1971

BID PROTEST - SOLE SOURCE - COMPETITION DECISION DENYING PROTEST OF STEWART & STEVENSON SERVICES, INC., AGAINST THE REMOVAL OF THE SOLE-SOURCE IMPLICATIONS OF AN RFP ISSUED BY THE ARMY MOBILITY EQUIPMENT COMMAND FOR 60 DIESEL ENGINES. ALTHOUGH THE INITIAL RFP REQUIRED PROTESTANT'S MODEL WITHOUT PROVISIONS FOR "EQUAL" OR "EQUIVALENT" ENGINES, WHEN THE ENGINEERING PERSONNEL DISCOVERED THAT OTHER SOURCES COULD SUBMIT OFFERS, THE CONTRACTING OFFICER MAY PROPERLY AMEND THE RFP TO PERMIT OTHER PROPOSALS ON AN ALTERNATE DIESEL ENGINE SUBJECT TO FIRST ARTICLE TESTING. THIS PROCEDURE IS IN KEEPING WITH THE DESIRED GOAL OF COMPETITION IN ALL ASPECTS OF GOVERNMENT PROCUREMENT.

TO STEWART & STEVENSON SERVICES, INC.:

WE REFER TO YOUR TELEGRAM AND LETTER DATED MARCH 26, 1971, PROTESTING AGAINST THE REMOVAL OF THE SOLE-SOURCE IMPLICATIONS OF REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS (RFP) NO. DAAK01-71-R-3370, ISSUED BY THE UNITED STATES ARMY MOBILITY EQUIPMENT COMMAND, DIRECTORATE OF PROCUREMENT & PRODUCTION, ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI. THE RFP, AS ISSUED, COVERS THE PROCUREMENT OF 60 DIESEL ENGINES, STEWART & STEVENSON PART NO. 52301, WITHOUT PROVISION FOR THE CONSIDERATION OF "EQUAL" OR "EQUIVALENT" ENGINES.

YOU CONTEND THAT THE PROCUREMENT SHOULD NOT BE OPENED TO COMPETITION, SINCE ANY OTHER OFFEROR WOULD INCUR EXCESSIVE COSTS BECAUSE IT WOULD HAVE TO EITHER PURCHASE CERTAIN EXTERNAL COMPONENTS FROM YOUR COMPANY OR, IN THE ALTERNATIVE, IT WOULD HAVE TO DESIGN, DEVELOP, AND QUALIFY AN ENGINE. FURTHER, YOU STATE THAT DELIVERY OF THE ENGINES WOULD BE DELAYED A MINIMUM OF 18 MONTHS IF THEY ARE PROCURED FROM ANOTHER COMPANY.

HOWEVER, THE CONTRACTING OFFICER HAS ADVISED THAT ENGINEERING PERSONNEL ARE NOW OF THE OPINION THAT THERE ARE SOURCES THAT WOULD BE ABLE TO REVERSE ENGINEER YOUR MODEL 52301 AND SUBMIT OFFERS ON THAT BASIS. FURTHER, THE CONTRACTING OFFICER DOES NOT ANTICIPATE ANY EXTENDED DELAY IN THE DELIVERY OF THE EQUIPMENT. THEREFORE, THE CONTRACTING OFFICER PROPOSES TO ISSUE AN AMENDMENT TO THE RFP TO PERMIT OTHER SOURCES TO SUBMIT PROPOSALS ON AN ALTERNATE DIESEL ENGINE, SUBJECT TO FIRST ARTICLE TESTING.

THE IMMEDIATE RFP COVERS A PROCUREMENT OF REPLACEMENT ENGINES FOR GENERATOR SETS. IN THAT REGARD, WE NOTE THAT PARAGRAPH 1-313 OF THE ARMED SERVICES PROCUREMENT REGULATION (ASPR) PROVIDES FOR THE PROCUREMENT OF REPLACEMENT PARTS ON A COMPETITIVE BASIS WHERE IT IS DETERMINED TO BE FEASIBLE. FURTHER ASPR 1-300.1 PROVIDES THAT ALL PROCUREMENTS SHALL BE MADE ON A COMPETITIVE BASIS TO THE MAXIMUM PRACTICABLE EXTENT. ALSO, OUR OFFICE HAS STATED WHAT COMPETITION IN ALL ASPECTS OF GOVERNMENT PROCUREMENT IS THE DESIRED GOAL AND THAT CONSTANT VIGILANCE SHOULD BE EXERCISED IN AN EFFORT TO MAXIMIZE COMPETITION. 50 COMP. GEN. (B-169172, SEPTEMBER 16, 1970).

IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, OUR OFFICE WILL NOT INTERPOSE ANY OBJECTION TO THE PROPOSED AMENDMENT OF THE RFP TO ENCOURAGE COMPETITION FOR THE DESIRED ENGINES. THE PROTEST IS ACCORDINGLY DENIED.