B-173563, NOV 12, 1971, 51 COMP GEN 293

B-173563: Nov 12, 1971

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CONTRACTS - SPECIFICATIONS - FAILURE TO FURNISH SOMETHING REQUIRED - ADDENDA ACKNOWLEDGMENT - ADDENDA IN BID PACKAGE NOTWITHSTANDING THE FAILURE TO ACKNOWLEDGE THE AMENDMENT PRESUMABLY INCLUDED IN A BID SET TO CORRECT DRAWING NUMBER OMISSIONS IN THE TECHNICAL DATA PACKAGE LIST (TDPL) AND THE ERRONEOUS LISTING OF SOME NUMBERS IN THE MILITARY SPECIFICATION (MILSPEC) TO WHICH THE TELESCOPES BEING SOLICITED WERE TO CONFORM. THE LOW BID WAS RESPONSIVE AS THE ISSUANCE OF THE AMENDMENT WAS UNNECCESSARY WHERE THE ORIGINAL INVITATION. THE OMITTED NUMBERS IN THE TDPL WERE REFERENCED IN THE MILSPEC. A COPY OF WHICH WAS FURNISHED THE CONGRESSIONAL COMMITTEES NAME IN SECTION 232 OF THE LEGISLATIVE REORGANIZATION ACT OF 1970.

B-173563, NOV 12, 1971, 51 COMP GEN 293

CONTRACTS - SPECIFICATIONS - FAILURE TO FURNISH SOMETHING REQUIRED - ADDENDA ACKNOWLEDGMENT - ADDENDA IN BID PACKAGE NOTWITHSTANDING THE FAILURE TO ACKNOWLEDGE THE AMENDMENT PRESUMABLY INCLUDED IN A BID SET TO CORRECT DRAWING NUMBER OMISSIONS IN THE TECHNICAL DATA PACKAGE LIST (TDPL) AND THE ERRONEOUS LISTING OF SOME NUMBERS IN THE MILITARY SPECIFICATION (MILSPEC) TO WHICH THE TELESCOPES BEING SOLICITED WERE TO CONFORM, THE LOW BID WAS RESPONSIVE AS THE ISSUANCE OF THE AMENDMENT WAS UNNECCESSARY WHERE THE ORIGINAL INVITATION, ACCOMPANIED BY APERTURE CARDS OF THE DRAWINGS, SERVED TO BIND PROSPECTIVE CONTRACTORS. THE OMITTED NUMBERS IN THE TDPL WERE REFERENCED IN THE MILSPEC, WHICH CORRECTLY LISTED THE ERRONEOUS NUMBERS IN THE SPECIFICATION REQUIREMENTS PROVISION AND, THEREFORE, THE MILSPEC AND CARDS, STANDING ALONE, REQUIRED BIDDER COMPLIANCE. THE ERRONEOUS AWARD TO OTHER THAN THE LOW BIDDER SHOULD BE TERMINATED FOR THE CONVENIENCE OF THE GOVERNMENT AND A CONTRACT OFFERED TO THE LOW BIDDER. GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE - RECOMMENDATIONS - IMPLEMENTATION A RECOMMENDATION FOR CORRECTIVE PROCUREMENT ACTION IN A DECISION OF THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL, A COPY OF WHICH WAS FURNISHED THE CONGRESSIONAL COMMITTEES NAME IN SECTION 232 OF THE LEGISLATIVE REORGANIZATION ACT OF 1970, REQUIRES, PURSUANT TO SECTION 236, THE CONTRACTING AGENCY INVOLVED TO SUBMIT WRITTEN STATEMENTS OF THE ACTION TAKEN ON THE RECOMMENDATION TO THE HOUSE AND SENATE COMMITTEES ON GOVERNMENT OPERATIONS NOT LATER THAN 60 DAYS AFTER THE DATE OF THE RECOMMENDATION, AND TO THE COMMITTEES ON APPROPRIATIONS IN CONNECTION WITH THE FIRST REQUEST FOR APPROPRIATIONS MADE MORE THAN 60 DAYS AFTER THE DATE OF THE RECOMMENDATION.

TO THE SECRETARY OF THE ARMY, NOVEMBER 12, 1971:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER AMCGC-P DATE OCTOBER 5, 1971, WITH ENCLOSURES, AND PRIOR CORRESPONDENCE, FROM THE DEPUTY GENERAL COUNSEL, HEADQUARTERS, UNITED STATES ARMY MATERIEL COMMAND, REPORTING ON THE PROTESTS OF THOMPSON OPTICAL ENGINEERING COMPANY AND DAVIDSON OPTRONICS, INC., UNDER INVITATION FOR BIDS (IFB) NO. DAA-25-71-B-0506, ISSUED BY FRANKFORD ARSENAL, PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA.

THE SUBJECT INVITATION WAS ISSUED ON MAY 7, 1971, TO 57 FIRMS FOR 59 ARTICLES DESCRIBED AS FOLLOWS:

TELESCOPE M101, P/N 7695945, IN ACCORDANCE WITH DWG. F7695945, REV. F. SPECIFICATIONS MIL-T-46333, REV. A DATED 9/10/70, MIL-I-45208, REV. A DATED 12/16/63 AND ALL DATA LISTED IN TECHNICAL PACKAGE LIST NO. 7695945 DATED 3/12/71 INCORPORATED HEREIN AND MADE A PART HEREOF.

AFTER THE INVITATION WAS ISSUED, A REVIEW OF THE TECHNICAL DATA PACKAGE LIST (TDPL), REFERENCED IN THE INVITATION, BY THE TECHNICAL OPERATIONS OFFICE REVEALED THAT A NUMBER OF RELEVANT DRAWING NUMBERS HAD BEEN OMITTED FROM THE TDPL INCLUDED IN THE IFB PACKAGE AND THAT MILITARY SPECIFICATION (MILSPEC) NO. MIL-T-46333A REFERENCED TWO RELEVANT DRAWINGS BY ERRONEOUS NUMBERS. THEREFORE, AMENDMENT NO. 001 WAS ISSUED ON MAY 12, 1971, TO ADD THE OMITTED DRAWING NUMBERS TO THE TDPL AND TO CORRECT THE ERRONEOUS DRAWING NUMBERS. IN ADDITION, 45 APERTURE CARDS (MICROFILMS OF DRAWINGS) REPRESENTING THE OMITTED DRAWINGS WERE FURNISHED TO THE BIDDERS. IN THIS REGARD, THE INVITATION AS ORIGINALLY ISSUED CONTAINED APERTURE CARDS DEPICTING ALL DRAWINGS REFERENCED IN THE TDPL. WITH RESPECT TO THE ERRONEOUS DRAWING NUMBERS CONTAINED IN MILSPEC MIL-T-46333A, THE AMENDMENT PROVIDED AS FOLLOWS:

ON PAGE NO. 2 OF MILITARY SPECIFICATION NO. MIL-T-46333A, DWG. NO. F7659479 SHOULD READ F7695479 AND DWG. NO. F8614973 SHOULD READ F8214973. ON PAGE NO. 9 DWG. NO. F8614973 SHOULD READ F8214973.

THE AMENDMENT ALSO CONTAINS A NOTICE THAT FAILURE TO ACKNOWLEDGE THE AMENDMENT MAY CAUSE REJECTION OF THE BID.

THE RECORD INDICATES THAT 7 BIDS WERE RECEIVED BY THE JUNE 7, 1971, OPENING DATE. THE CONTRACTING OFFICER DETERMINED THAT THE LOW AND SECOND LOW BIDDERS, THOMPSON OPTICAL ENGINEERING COMPANY AND DAVIDSON OPTRONICS, INC., RESPECTIVELY, WERE NONRESPONSIVE FOR FAILURE TO ACKNOWLEDGE AMENDMENT NO. 001 TO THE INVITATION WHICH AFFECTED PRICE AND QUALITY AND THEREFORE COULD NOT BE WAIVED AS A MINOR INFORMALITY. ACCORDINGLY, ON JUNE 1, 1971, THE CONTRACTING OFFICER AWARDED CONTRACT NO. DAAA25-72-C- 0077 TO OPTIC AS THE LOW RESPONSIVE AND RESPONSIBLE BIDDER.

WE ARE ADVISED THAT ALL BIDDERS WHO WERE ISSUED IFB'S AFTER THE MAY 12, 1971, AMENDMENT DATE, HOWEVER, INCLUDING THE PROTESTANTS SHOULD HAVE RECEIVED COMPLETE BID SETS CONTAINING: (1) CARDS SHOWING ALL DRAWINGS REFERENCED IN THE SPECIFICATIONS AND TDPL, AS AMENDED, (2) A REVISED TDPL LISTING ALL DRAWING NUMBERS, (3) A COMPLETE IFB, AND (4) AMENDMENT NO. 001. IN THIS REGARD, ALTHOUGH ONLY AMENDED BID SETS WERE FURNISHED AFTER THE ISSUANCE OF AMENDMENT NO. 001, A COPY OF THE AMENDMENT WAS INCORPORATED IN THE BID SETS, WITH ITS REQUIREMENTS FOR ACKNOWLEDGEMENT, IN ORDER TO INDICATE THAT THE AMENDMENT HAD EARLIER BEEN MADE AND IN ORDER FOR THE CONTRACTING OFFICER TO ASCERTAIN WITH CERTAINTY THAT ALL BIDDERS WERE BIDDING TO THE SAME REQUIREMENTS.

THOMPSON AND DAVIDSON AND ONE OTHER FIRM RECEIVING A BID SET AFTER THE MAY 12 ISSUANCE OF THE AMENDMENT CONTEND THAT THEIR BID SETS DID NOT CONTAIN THE AMENDMENT. HOWEVER, BY LETTER OF JULY 23, 1971, THOMPSON ADVISED THAT ITS FIRM AND DAVIDSON OPTRONICS RECEIVED WITH THEIR BID PACKAGES THE CORRECTED TDPL WHICH INCLUDED NEW PAGES 14 AND 14A AS WELL AS ALL THE APERTURE CARDS. THEREFORE, THOMPSON CONTENDS THAT ANY AMENDMENT OR ACKNOWLEDGMENT THEREOF WAS UNNECESSARY AND SUPERFLUOUS.

THE ISSUE FOR OUR CONSIDERATION IS WHETHER, UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES, A BIDDER'S FAILURE TO ACKNOWLEDGE THE AMENDMENT RENDERED ITS BID NONRESPONSIVE. OUR OFFICE HAS CONSISTENTLY HELD THAT A BIDDER'S FAILURE TO ACKNOWLEDGE A MATERIAL AMENDMENT RENDERS ITS BID NONRESPONSIVE. SEE 50 COMP. GEN. 11 (1970); 47 ID. 597 (1968). WE MUST DECIDE WHETHER THE THOMPSON BID IN THE ABSENCE OF AN ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF THE AMENDMENT WOULD BIND THAT BIDDER TO PERFORMANCE IN FULL ACCORDANCE WITH THE TERMS, CONDITIONS, AND SPECIFICATIONS OF THE INVITATION, AS AMENDED. THE CONTRACTING OFFICER CONTENDS THAT THOMPSON WOULD NOT BE SO BOUND IN THE ABSENCE OF ITS ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF THE AMENDMENT.

FOR THE REASONS STATED BELOW, WE CONCLUDE THAT THE FAILURE OF THOMPSON AND DAVIDSON TO ACKNOWLEDGE AMENDMENT NO. 001 DID NOT RENDER THEIR BIDS NONRESPONSIVE. IN REACHING THIS CONCLUSION, WE NEED NOT DETERMINE WHETHER THE PROTESTANTS RECEIVED THE DOCUMENTS MISSING FROM THE ORIGINAL BID PACKAGE, AS THEY CONTEND, BECAUSE IT IS OUR CONCLUSION THAT THE INVITATION FOR BIDS, BEFORE AMENDMENT, SERVED TO BIND PROSPECTIVE CONTRACTORS TO THE SAME SPECIFICATION REQUIREMENTS AS DID THE AMENDED INVITATION. IN THIS REGARD, THOMPSON AND DAVIDSON IN SUBMITTING THEIR BIDS AGREED TO PERFORM IN ACCORDANCE WITH ALL THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS SET FORTH IN THE INVITATION. PAGE 33 OF THE UNAMENDED INVITATION REQUIRES THAT THE TELESCOPES ARE TO BE SUPPLIED IN ACCORDANCE WITH MILSPEC MIL-T-46333A. INDICATED ABOVE, AMENDMENT NO. 001 ADDED CERTAIN DRAWING NUMBERS WHICH WERE DEPICTED ON 45 APERTURE CARDS. HOWEVER, THE DRAWING NUMBERS ADDED TO THE TDPL BY AMENDMENT NO. 001, WITH THE EXCEPTION OF THE ERRONEOUS DRAWING NUMBERS, WERE ALREADY REFERENCED IN SPECIFICATION MIL-T-46333A INCORPORATED IN THE UNAMENDED INVITATION. ALL OF THE DRAWING NUMBERS LATER ADDED TO THE TDPL ARE, THEREFORE, A PART OF THE ORIGINAL INVITATION. THEREFORE, THE DRAWINGS THEMSELVES, AS REPRESENTED BY THE 45 APERTURE CARDS, COULD HAVE BEEN FURNISHED TO BIDDERS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT THE NECESSITY OF AN AMENDMENT AND WITHOUT ANY EFFECT ON THE OBLIGATION OF BIDDERS TO PERFORM IN ACCORDANCE WITH MILSPEC MIL-T-46333A.

WHILE THE INVITATION SCHEDULE REQUIRED THAT THE SUBJECT TELESCOPE BE CONSTRUCTED IN ACCORDANCE WITH "ALL DATA" IN THE REFERENCED TDPL, AND WHILE THE INVITATION SPECIFIED ON PAGE 35 THAT "ALL DRAWINGS AND SPECIFICATIONS" LISTED IN THE TDPL WOULD APPLY, WE CANNOT CONCLUDE THAT THE OMISSION OF CERTAIN DRAWING NUMBERS FROM THE TDPL OR THE FAILURE TO INCLUDE CERTAIN APERTURE CARDS IN THE BID PACKAGE COULD BE SAID TO ELIMINATE THE REQUIREMENT OF COMPLIANCE WITH THOSE DRAWINGS CLEARLY STIPULATED IN THE MILSPEC. THIS IS NOT A CASE OF AMBIGUITY, AS CONTENDED BY THE CONTRACTING OFFICER, INASMUCH AS THERE IS NO CONFLICT BETWEEN THE DRAWINGS REFERENCED IN THE MILSPEC AND THOSE CALLED OUT IN THE TDPL AND DEPICTED IN THE APERTURE CARD DRAWINGS IN THE UNAMENDED INVITATION. RATHER, TO THE EXTENT THAT THOSE DOCUMENTS REFERENCE THE SAME DRAWING NUMBERS, THEY DUPLICATE ONE ANOTHER, WHILE WITH RESPECT TO THE DRAWING NUMBERS NOT INCLUDED IN THE UNAMENDED TDPL AND APERTURE CARDS, THE MILSPEC, STANDING ALONE, REQUIRES BIDDER COMPLIANCE.

CONCERNING THE TWO DRAWING NUMBERS ERRONEOUSLY IDENTIFIED IN MILSPEC MIL- T-46333A AND CORRECTED BY AMENDMENT NO. 001, A READING OF THE MILSPEC, AS UNAMENDED, REVEALS THAT WHILE DRAWING NO. F7695479 IS MISIDENTIFIED IN PARAGRAPH 2 OF THE MILSPEC ENTITLED "APPLICABLE DOCUMENTS," THE CORRECT DRAWING NUMBER APPEARS IN PARAGRAPHS 4.6.2.1, 4.6.2.3, AND 4.6.2.11 OF THE MILSPEC WHICH DEAL WITH THE ACTUAL REQUIREMENTS OF THE SPECIFICATION. SINCE THE MILSPEC ITSELF REQUIRES ALL BIDDERS TO PERFORM THE WORK IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CORRECT DRAWING NUMBER, F7695479, THE ERRONEOUS NUMBER LISTED IN PARAGRAPH 2 IS IMMATERIAL AND A BIDDER'S FAILURE TO ACKNOWLEDGE THE AMENDMENT WOULD NOT AFFECT ITS OBLIGATION TO PERFORM IN ACCORDANCE WITH DRAWING NUMBER F7695479.

WITH REGARD TO THE AMENDMENT'S CORRECTION OF DRAWING NO. F8614973 - REPORTEDLY A NONEXISTENT DRAWING - TO READ F8214973, WE NOTE THAT MILSPEC NO. MIL-T-46333A REFERENCED THE INCORRECT DRAWING NUMBER IN TWO PLACES. ON PAGE 2 OF THE MILSPEC, THE INCORRECT NUMBER IS LISTED DIRECTLY ACROSS FROM THE DESCRIPTION "ADAPTER VIBRATION" AND ON PAGE 9 OF THE MILSPEC, THE INCORRECT NUMBER IS AGAIN SET OUT IN THE SPECIFICATION SECTION ENTITLED "VIBRATION." THAT SECTION IS SET OUT BELOW:

4.6.2.1.2 VIBRATION - THIS TEST SHALL BE PERFORMED USING A TESTING DEVICE, THE ACCURACY OF WHICH SHALL BE EQUAL TO OR EXCEED THE ACCURACY DEPICTED ON FIXTURE F7560085 AND ADAPTER F8614973 *** .

WITH RESPECT TO SPECIFICATION ERRORS AND OMISSIONS, PAGE 14 OF THE INVITATION PROVIDES IN PERTINENT PART AS FOLLOWS:

SECTION C-6 ERRORS AND OMISSIONS

THE PROSPECTIVE BIDDER/OFFEROR AND/OR CONTRACTOR WILL NOT BE PERMITTED TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF ANY ERRORS OR OMISSIONS IN THESE SPECIFICATIONS. SHOULD SUCH ERRORS OR OMISSIONS BE DISCOVERED, FULL INSTRUCTIONS WILL ALWAYS BE GIVEN FOR CLARIFICATION BY THE CONTRACTING OFFICER OR HIS DULY AUTHORIZED REPRESENTATIVE *** .

ALL FIRMS SUBMITTING BIDS WERE BOUND TO PERFORM IN FULL ACCORDANCE WITH MILSPEC NO. MIL-T-46333A. THE FACT NO DRAWING NO. F8614973 EXISTED WOULD NOT SERVE, IN OUR OPINION, TO RELIEVE A BIDDER FROM THE RESPONSIBILITY OF PERFORMING THE TEST UNDER PARAGRAPH 4.6.2.1.2 IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROPER DRAWING NUMBER IN VIEW OF THE LANGUAGE CONTAINED IN SECTION C-6 ABOVE. IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, ANY BIDDER RESPONDING TO THE INVITATION AS UNAMENDED WOULD BE OBLIGATED TO PERFORM THE WORK IN ACCORDANCE WITH DRAWING NO. F8214973 IN EVENT OF AWARD REGARDLESS OF WHETHER THE AMENDMENT HAD BEEN ACKNOWLEDGED.

ACCORDINGLY, WE CONCLUDE THAT THE BIDS OF THOMPSON AND DAVIDSON SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN REJECTED FOR FAILURE TO ACKNOWLEDGE THE AMENDMENT. WHILE AWARD WAS MADE TO THE THIRD LOW BIDDER, OPTIC ELECTRONIC CORPORATION, ON JULY 1, 1971, FRANKFORD ARSENAL ORDERED THE CONTRACTOR TO STOP WORK AS OF AUGUST 9, 1971.

ASSUMING THAT THOMPSON OPTICAL IS THE LOW RESPONSIVE, RESPONSIBLE BIDDER, THE QUESTION ARISES WHETHER A CONTRACT AWARDED ERRONEOUSLY BUT IN GOOD FAITH TO OTHER THAN THE LOW RESPONSIVE, RESPONSIBLE BIDDER SHOULD BE CANCELED.

WHEN IT WAS DETERMINED THAT THE PROTEST MIGHT REQUIRE ACTION BY OUR OFFICE WHICH WOULD ADVERSELY AFFECT OPTIC'S INTERESTS, IN ACCORDANCE WITH OUR BID PROTEST PROCEDURES (4 CFR 20.2), WE FURNISHED OPTIC WITH A COPY OF THE PROTEST AND PROVIDED OPTIC WITH AN OPPORTUNITY TO PRESENT ITS VIEWS.

OPTIC ELECTRONICS SUBMITTED ITS COMMENTS TO OUR OFFICE BY LETTER DATED AUGUST 16, 1971. WE HAVE CONSIDERED THE ARGUMENTS ADVANCED BY OPTIC IN SUPPORT OF ITS CONTENTION THAT FAILURE TO ACKNOWLEDGE THE AMENDMENT RENDERED THOMPSON'S BID NONRESPONSIVE BUT WE DO NOT AGREE FOR REASONS DISCUSSED ABOVE. OPTIC STATES THAT ITS FIRM HAD BEEN AWARDED THE CONTRACT ABOUT 45 DAYS PRIOR TO ITS AUGUST 16 LETTER AND THAT BECAUSE OF THE COMPLEXITY OF THE SYSTEM AND THE SHORT DELIVERY CYCLE, IT HAS EXPENDED SUBSTANTIAL START-UP COSTS TO ASSURE MEETING THE TIGHT DELIVERY SCHEDULE. IN A LETTER DATED AUGUST 30, 1971, FROM THE OFFICE OF COUNSEL AT FRANKFORD ARSENAL, IT IS STATED THAT OPTIC ESTIMATES POTENTIAL CANCELLATION COSTS AS $18,784, EXCLUDING OUTSTANDING PURCHASE ORDERS AS TO WHICH IT ESTIMATES $500 CANCELLATION CHARGES. IN THIS REGARD, WE NOTE THAT THE THOMPSON OPTICAL BID WAS EVALUATED AS BEING SOME $15,300 LOWER THAN THE OPTIC BID. FURTHER, THE DELIVERY SCHEDULE PROVIDES IN PERTINENT PART AS FOLLOWS:

SECTION H-1 - DELIVERY SCHEDULE

DELIVERIES SHALL BE MADE AS FOLLOWS:* (NO. OF MONTHS AFTER DATE OF AWARD)

LINE ITEM OR SUBLINE ITEM QUANTITY DEL. DATE

0001 3 EACH 11 1/2 MONTHS

15 EACH 12 MONTHS

15 EACH 13 MONTHS

15 EACH 14 MONTHS

11 EACH 15 MONTHS

SINCE A STOP WORK ORDER WAS ISSUED TO THE CONTRACTOR ABOUT A MONTH AFTER AWARD AND DELIVERIES ARE NOT SCHEDULED TO COMMENCE UNTIL 11 1/2 MONTHS AFTER AWARD, WE FORSEE NO SERIOUS IMPACT ON DELIVERY REQUIREMENTS IN THE EVENT OF CONTRACT TERMINATION.

IN VIEW OF THE ABOVE, WE RECOMMEND THAT THE CONTRACT AWARDED TO OPTIC BE TERMINATED FOR THE CONVENIENCE OF THE GOVERNMENT SINCE THE RECORD ESTABLISHES THAT AWARD WAS MADE TO OTHER THAN THE LOW RESPONSIVE BIDDER. SEE 51 COMP. GEN. 62 (1971). WE FURTHER RECOMMEND THAT AWARD OF THE PROCUREMENT BE MADE TO THOMPSON OPTICAL ENGINEERING COMPANY IF ITS LOW BID IS STILL AVAILABLE FOR ACCEPTANCE AND IT IS OTHERWISE DETERMINED TO BE RESPONSIBLE.

AS THIS DECISION CONTAINS A RECOMMENDATION FOR CORRECTIVE ACTION TO BE TAKEN, IT IS BEING TRANSMITTED BY LETTERS OF TODAY TO THE CONGRESSIONAL COMMITTEES NAMED IN SECTION 232 OF THE LEGISLATIVE REORGANIZATION ACT OR 1970, PUBLIC LAW 91-510, 31 U.S.C. 1172. IN VIEW THEREOF, YOUR ATTENTION IS DIRECTED TO SECTION 236 OF THE ACT, 31 U.S.C. 1176, WHICH REQUIRES THAT YOU SUBMIT WRITTEN STATEMENTS OF THE ACTION TAKEN WITH RESPECT TO THE RECOMMENDATION. THE STATEMENTS ARE TO BE SENT TO THE HOUSE AND SENATE COMMITTEES ON GOVERNMENT OPERATIONS NOT LATER THAN 60 DAYS AFTER THE DATE OF THIS LETTER AND TO THE COMMITTEES ON APPROPRIATIONS IN CONNECTION WITH THE FIRST REQUEST FOR APPROPRIATIONS MADE BY YOUR AGENCY MORE THAN 60 DAYS AFTER THE DATE OF THIS LETTER. WE WOULD APPRECIATE ADVICE OF WHATEVER ACTION IS TAKEN ON OUR RECOMMENDATION.