B-172903, JUL 6, 1971

B-172903: Jul 6, 1971

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SINCE THREE ACCEPTABLE PROPOSALS WITH COMPETITIVE PRICES HAVE BEEN RECEIVED AND AS THE RECORD DOES NOT INDICATE THAT THE SOLICITATION WAS MORE RESTRICTIVE THAN NECESSARY. PROTESTANT'S ALLEGATION THAT SPECIFICATIONS WERE DESIGNED SO ONLY BENDIX COULD MEET THEM IS NOT SUPPORTED. INCORPORATED: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED MAY 7. IT IS YOUR CONTENTION THAT THE GOVERNMENT'S PROPOSAL REQUEST IMPLIES A GENERAL INQUIRY BUT THAT THE SPIRIT OF THE ADMINISTRATION OF THE DETAIL SURROUNDING IT IS SUCH THAT NO SOURCE. THE CONTRACTING OFFICER HAS DETERMINED THAT THE ADVANTAGES OF GRANITE ARE OFFSET BY TWO DISADVANTAGES: FIRST. IT IS 25 PERCENT MORE EXPENSIVE THAN STEEL AND. IT IS CONSIDERABLY HEAVIER.

B-172903, JUL 6, 1971

BID PROTEST - COMPETITION - SPECIFICATIONS DECISION DENYING PROTEST AGAINST AWARD OF A CONTRACT TO BENDIX CORPORATION UNDER AN RFP ISSUED BY THE NAVY PURCHASING OFFICE FOR A COORDINATED MEASURING MACHINE. SINCE THREE ACCEPTABLE PROPOSALS WITH COMPETITIVE PRICES HAVE BEEN RECEIVED AND AS THE RECORD DOES NOT INDICATE THAT THE SOLICITATION WAS MORE RESTRICTIVE THAN NECESSARY, PROTESTANT'S ALLEGATION THAT SPECIFICATIONS WERE DESIGNED SO ONLY BENDIX COULD MEET THEM IS NOT SUPPORTED.

TO SHELTON METROLOGY LABORATORY, INCORPORATED:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED MAY 7, 1971, WITH ENCLOSURES, PROTESTING THE SPECIFICATIONS INCLUDED IN REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS NO. N00600-71-R-5393, ISSUED MARCH 5, 1971, BY THE UNITED STATES NAVY PURCHASING OFFICE, WASHINGTON, D.C., FOR THE PROCUREMENT OF A COORDINATE MEASURING MACHINE.

IT IS YOUR CONTENTION THAT THE GOVERNMENT'S PROPOSAL REQUEST IMPLIES A GENERAL INQUIRY BUT THAT THE SPIRIT OF THE ADMINISTRATION OF THE DETAIL SURROUNDING IT IS SUCH THAT NO SOURCE, OTHER THAN THE BENDIX CORPORATION, COULD MEET THE SPECIFICATIONS.

REGARDING YOUR CONTENTIONS WITH RESPECT TO PARAGRAPH 3.3.4, OF THE SPECIFICATIONS, THE CONTRACTING OFFICER HAS DETERMINED THAT THE ADVANTAGES OF GRANITE ARE OFFSET BY TWO DISADVANTAGES: FIRST, IT IS 25 PERCENT MORE EXPENSIVE THAN STEEL AND, SECOND, IT IS CONSIDERABLY HEAVIER. IN REGARD TO PARAGRAPHS 3.3.5 AND 3.4, THE CONTRACTING OFFICER TAKES THE POSITION THAT THE SUBSTITUTION OF AN EXTENDED PROBE FOR AN ELEVATING TABLE IS UNACCEPTABLE IN THAT THE FULLY EXTENDED PROBE WOULD BE SUBJECTED TO LATERAL MOVEMENT OR PLAY THAT IS INHERENT IN ALL MOVING MECHANICAL OBJECTS BECAUSE OF CLEARANCE BETWEEN THE MATING PARTS. AS TO PARAGRAPH 3.11.2C, THE CONTRACTING OFFICER STATES THAT TO IMPART INDENTED PUNCH MARKS BY DRILLING INSTEAD OF BY PERCUSSION ACTION WOULD TAKE LONGER, THE DRILLING MECHANISM WOULD BE MORE EXPENSIVE AND CHIPS WOULD BE CREATED. THE CONTRACTING OFFICER STATES THAT FOREIGN MATTER (CHIPS) IS EXTREMELY OBJECTIONABLE WHEN USING INSPECTION EQUIPMENT BECAUSE OF INACCURACIES RESULTING FROM THE PRESENCE OF DIRT, CHIPS (WORDS ILLEGIBLE).

WITH REFERENCE TO YOUR CONTENTION THAT ONLY THE BENDIX CORPORATION COULD MEET THE SPECIFICATIONS, IT IS REPORTED THAT TWO ACCEPTABLE OFFERS WERE RECEIVED IN RESPONSE TO ANOTHER NEGOTIATION USING THE SAME SPECIFICATIONS; ALSO, THAT, AT PRESENT, THREE OFFERORS HAVE SUBMITTED ACCEPTABLE PROPOSALS WITH COMPETITIVE PRICES.

THE CONTRACTING AGENCIES OF THE GOVERNMENT HAVE THE PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE DRAFTING OF PROPER SPECIFICATIONS WHICH REFLECT THE NEEDS OF THE GOVERNMENT, AND FOR DETERMINING FACTUALLY WHETHER OFFERED ARTICLES MEET THOSE SPECIFICATIONS. SPECIFICATIONS SHOULD BE WRITTEN WITH A VIEW TOWARD OBTAINING THE MAXIMUM AMOUNT OF COMPETITION CONSISTENT WITH THE GOVERNMENT'S NEEDS. HOWEVER, THERE IS NO REQUIREMENT THAT THE GOVERNMENT PURCHASE EQUIPMENT WHICH DOES NOT, IN THE CONSIDERED JUDGMENT OF THE CONTRACTING AGENCY, REASONABLY MEET THE AGENCY'S NEEDS. IT HAS BEEN OUR POSITION THAT, WHERE THE LEGITIMATE NEEDS OF THE GOVERNMENT CAN BE SATISFIED FROM ONLY A SINGLE SOURCE, THE LAW DOES NOT REQUIRE THAT THEY BE COMPROMISED TO OBTAIN COMPETITION.

SINCE IT HAS BEEN REPORTED THAT THREE ACCEPTABLE PROPOSALS WITH COMPETITIVE PRICES WERE RECEIVED, AND THE RECORD DOES NOT OTHERWISE INDICATE THAT THE SPECIFICATIONS USED IN SOLICITING PROPOSALS WERE MORE RESTRICTIVE THAN NECESSARY, WE WOULD NOT BE WARRANTED IN CONCLUDING THAT THE SPECIFICATIONS WERE UNDULY RESTRICTIVE OF COMPETITION. ACCORDINGLY, YOUR PROTEST MUST BE, AND IS, HEREBY DENIED.