B-174536(2), APR 11, 1972

B-174536(2): Apr 11, 1972

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WHO WERE ON NOTICE OF SWITLIK'S CONTENTIONS REGARDING RFI'S NONCONFORMANCE. IT IS REQUESTED THAT APPROPRIATE ACTION BE TAKEN TO ASSURE THAT SUCH IMPROPER PROCUREMENT PROCEDURES ARE CORRECTED IN THE FUTURE. SECRETARY: REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTERS DATED DECEMBER 13. ENCLOSED IS A COPY OF OUR DECISION OF TODAY IN THE MATTER. WE BELIEVE THAT THE AWARD WAS IMPROPER AND RESULTED FROM A SERIES OF FAILURES TO FOLLOW PROPER PROCUREMENT PROCEDURES. WE DIRECT YOUR ATTENTION TO THE FACT THAT THE PREAWARD SURVEY TEAM'S REPORT WAS IN ERROR. SINCE THE CONTRACTING OFFICER WAS ON NOTICE. THAT THE DIMENSIONS OF RFI'S RAFT WERE IN ISSUE. WE DO NOT FEEL THAT THE CONTRACTING OFFICER WAS JUSTIFIED IN CONCLUDING FROM THE SURVEY THAT RFI'S LIFE RAFTS CONFORMED WITH THE SPECIFIED DIMENSIONS.

B-174536(2), APR 11, 1972

BID PROTEST - IMPROPER PROCUREMENT PROCEDURES CONCERNING THE BID PROTEST BY SWITLIK PARACHUTE COMPANY UNDER AN IFB ISSUED BY THE NAVAL REGIONAL PROCUREMENT OFFICE, OAKLAND, CALIF. IT APPEARS THAT THE CONTRACTING OFFICER UNJUSTIFIABLY RELIED ON AN ERRONEOUS PRE-AWARD SURVY IN CONCLUDING THAT THE CONTRACTOR'S LIFE RAFTS CONFORMED WITH THE NAVY'S SPECIFICATIONS. FURTHER, THE GOVERNMENT INSPECTORS, WHO WERE ON NOTICE OF SWITLIK'S CONTENTIONS REGARDING RFI'S NONCONFORMANCE, FAILED TO ASSURE THAT THE ITEMS WOULD BE ACCEPTABLE. IT IS REQUESTED THAT APPROPRIATE ACTION BE TAKEN TO ASSURE THAT SUCH IMPROPER PROCUREMENT PROCEDURES ARE CORRECTED IN THE FUTURE.

TO MR. SECRETARY:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTERS DATED DECEMBER 13, 1971, AND MARCH 2, 1972, WITH ENCLOSURES, REFERENCE SUP 0222, FROM THE DEPUTY COMMANDER, PROCUREMENT MANAGEMENT, NAVAL SUPPLY SYSTEMS COMMAND, REPORTING ON THE BID PROTEST BY SWITLIK PARACHUTE COMPANY UNDER IFB N66314-72-B-3063, ISSUED BY NAVAL REGIONAL PROCUREMENT OFFICE, OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA.

ENCLOSED IS A COPY OF OUR DECISION OF TODAY IN THE MATTER. AS INDICATED THEREIN, WE BELIEVE THAT THE AWARD WAS IMPROPER AND RESULTED FROM A SERIES OF FAILURES TO FOLLOW PROPER PROCUREMENT PROCEDURES. IN THIS CONNECTION, WE DIRECT YOUR ATTENTION TO THE FACT THAT THE PREAWARD SURVEY TEAM'S REPORT WAS IN ERROR, AND THAT IT APPARENTLY MISLED THE CONTRACTING OFFICER TO CONCLUDE THAT THE LOW BIDDER'S ITEMS CONFORMED TO THE ADVERTISED SPECIFICATIONS. ADDITIONALLY, SINCE THE CONTRACTING OFFICER WAS ON NOTICE, AS A RESULT OF SWITLIK'S PROTEST, THAT THE DIMENSIONS OF RFI'S RAFT WERE IN ISSUE, AND THE PRE-AWARD SURVEY INDICATED THAT INSPECTION OF RFI'S UNITS HAD NOT BEEN EFFECTED, WE DO NOT FEEL THAT THE CONTRACTING OFFICER WAS JUSTIFIED IN CONCLUDING FROM THE SURVEY THAT RFI'S LIFE RAFTS CONFORMED WITH THE SPECIFIED DIMENSIONS. FINALLY, THE INSPECTION AND ACCEPTANCE PROCEDURES IN THIS CASE FAILED TO PROVIDE THE CONTEMPLATED PROTECTION AND RESULTED IN THE DELIVERY AND RETENTION OF ITEMS WHICH PATENTLY DO NOT MEET THE NAVY'S DIMENSIONAL SPECIFICATIONS. THE LATTER FAILURE IS ESPECIALLY TROUBLESOME IN VIEW OF THE FACT THAT THE GOVERNMENT'S INSPECTORS HAD BEEN ADVISED BY THE CONTRACTING OFFICER OF SWITLIK'S CONTENTIONS REGARDING THE NONCONFORMING DIMENSIONS OF RFI'S RAFT.

IT IS REQUESTED THAT APPROPRIATE ACTION BE TAKEN TO PRECLUDE THE REPETITION OF SUCH ERRORS IN FUTURE PROCUREMENTS.

THE FILE TRANSMITTED WITH THE LETTER OF DECEMBER 13 IS RETURNED.