B-173407, DEC 28, 1971

B-173407: Dec 28, 1971

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PROTESTANT QUESTIONS WHETHER THE SEPARATE PROCUREMENTS SHOULD HAVE BEEN CONSOLIDATED. THE PROTEST IS DENIED SINCE THE PROCUREMENTS WERE GENERATED AT DIFFERENT TIMES AND THERE IS NO BASIS FOR QUESTIONING THE DISCRETIONARY POWER OF THE CONTRACTING OFFICERS. YOU QUESTION WHETHER THESE PROCUREMENTS SHOULD HAVE BEEN CONSOLIDATED WITH REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS NO. WE CONCLUDE THAT THERE IS NO LEGAL BASIS UPON WHICH WE MAY OBJECT TO THE ACTIONS TAKEN BY NASA. INDICATES THAT THE REQUIREMENTS OF EACH ARE SIGNIFICANTLY DIFFERENT. THE REQUIREMENTS WERE GENERATED AT DIFFERENT TIMES TO MEET DIFFERENT PROGRAM OBJECTIVES. THERE IS NO BASIS FOR QUESTIONING THE DISCRETIONARY DECISION TO HAVE FOUR SEPARATE SOLICITATIONS.

B-173407, DEC 28, 1971

BID PROTEST - CONSOLIDATION OF PROCUREMENT - LACK OF BASIS FOR PROTEST DECISION DENYING THE PROTEST OF AUTOMATION ELECTRIC AGAINST THE REJECTION OF ITS PROPOSALS UNDER AN RFP ISSUED BY THE NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION. PROTESTANT QUESTIONS WHETHER THE SEPARATE PROCUREMENTS SHOULD HAVE BEEN CONSOLIDATED, SINCE ALL FOUR INVOLVED THE SAME AREA OF TECHNOLOGY. THE PROTEST IS DENIED SINCE THE PROCUREMENTS WERE GENERATED AT DIFFERENT TIMES AND THERE IS NO BASIS FOR QUESTIONING THE DISCRETIONARY POWER OF THE CONTRACTING OFFICERS. ALSO, NEGOTIATED COST REIMBURSEMENT CONTRACTS NEED NOT BE AWARDED TO THE LOW BIDDER.

TO AUTOMATION ELECTRIC:

WE REFER TO YOUR LETTER OF JULY 26, 1971, AND PRIOR CORRESPONDENCE, PROTESTING AGAINST THE REJECTION OF YOUR PROPOSALS BY THE NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION (NASA) UNDER REQUESTS FOR PROPOSALS NOS. BC721-25-1-141P (RFP NO. 2), BB321-56-1-284P (RFP NO. 3) AND C-476886 (RFP NO. 4). IN ADDITION, YOU QUESTION WHETHER THESE PROCUREMENTS SHOULD HAVE BEEN CONSOLIDATED WITH REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS NO. JC731-47-1-7P (RFP NO. 1).

AFTER CAREFUL CONSIDERATION OF THE FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES SET FORTH IN THE ENCLOSED COPIES OF LETTERS DATED OCTOBER 19 AND DECEMBER 7, 1971, FROM NASA'S DIRECTOR OF PROCUREMENT AND ACTING DIRECTOR OF PROCUREMENT, RESPECTIVELY, TOGETHER WITH THE SUPPORTING DOCUMENTATION, WE CONCLUDE THAT THERE IS NO LEGAL BASIS UPON WHICH WE MAY OBJECT TO THE ACTIONS TAKEN BY NASA. ADMITTEDLY, ALL FOUR PROCUREMENTS INVOLVE RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT IN THE SAME AREA OF TECHNOLOGY - SOLID STATE CIRCUIT BREAKER DEVICES. HOWEVER, THE DIRECTOR'S LETTER OF OCTOBER 19, 1971, INDICATES THAT THE REQUIREMENTS OF EACH ARE SIGNIFICANTLY DIFFERENT. MOREOVER, THE REQUIREMENTS WERE GENERATED AT DIFFERENT TIMES TO MEET DIFFERENT PROGRAM OBJECTIVES. ACCORDINGLY, THERE IS NO BASIS FOR QUESTIONING THE DISCRETIONARY DECISION TO HAVE FOUR SEPARATE SOLICITATIONS.

INSOFAR AS THE PROCUREMENTS PROTESTED ARE CONCERNED, WE HAVE RECOGNIZED THAT CONTRACTING OFFICERS HAVE A WIDE DISCRETION IN EVALUATING TECHNICAL AND PRICE PROPOSALS AND IN DETERMINING WHICH PROPOSAL IS MOST ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT, PRICE AND OTHER FACTORS CONSIDERED. 47 COMP. GEN. 336, 341 (1967). WE NOTE THAT IN ALL THREE INSTANCES YOUR PROPOSALS WERE DETERMINED TO BE SERIOUSLY DEFICIENT FROM A TECHNICAL STANDPOINT. IN THE CASE OF RFP NO. 2, YOUR COST-PLUS-FIXED-FEE PROPOSAL IS SUBSTANTIALLY IN EXCESS OF THAT OFFERED BY THE PROPOSED AWARDEE. SIMILARLY, YOUR FIXED- PRICE PROPOSAL SUBMITTED IN RESPONSE TO RFP NO. 4 WAS NOT THE LOWEST RECEIVED. YOUR PROPOSED COST-PLUS-FIXED-FEE PROPOSAL IN RESPONSE TO RFP NO. 4 WAS, HOWEVER, THE LOWEST RECEIVED. NEVERTHELESS, IN THE CONTEXT OF NEGOTIATED COST-REIMBURSEMENT CONTRACTS, AWARD NEED NOT NECESSARILY BE MADE TO THE OFFEROR PROPOSING THE LOWEST ESTIMATED COSTS. B-170374, MARCH 2, 1971.

ACCORDINGLY, YOUR PROTEST IS DENIED.