B-174590, FEB 8, 1972

B-174590: Feb 8, 1972

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THE CONTRACTING OFFICER'S DECISION WAS WELL WITHIN HIS DISCRETIONARY AUTHORITY. MCDERMOTT CORPORATION: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 18. THE PRIMARY BASIS OF YOUR PROTEST IS THAT YOUR PROPOSAL DATED OCTOBER 5. WAS TECHNICALLY ACCEPTABLE ACCORDING TO THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE RFP. THE CONTRACT SHOULD HAVE BEEN AWARDED TO YOUR FIRM. YOUR OFFER WAS SUBMITTED FOR TECHNICAL EVALUATION AND BY EVALUATION REPORTS DATED OCTOBER 15 AND DECEMBER 17. THE CONTRACTING OFFICER WAS ADVISED THAT YOUR PROPOSAL WAS TECHNICALLY DEFICIENT AND SHOULD BE REJECTED. THE DRAWINGS SUPPLIED BY MCDERMOTT WERE NOT BASED UPON THE LATEST VERSION OF NORTH AMERICAN PART NO. 60AAB153C. (2) THE PROPOSED SIZE OF THE DIAMETER PLATE WAS NOT BIG ENOUGH TO HOLD THE MINIMUM SIZE WARNING LIGHT.

B-174590, FEB 8, 1972

BID PROTEST - BIDDER RESPONSIBILITY DECISION DENYING THE PROTEST OF JULIAN A. MCDERMOTT CORPORATION AGAINST AWARD OF A CONTRACT TO NORTH AMERICAN SIGNAL COMPANY UNDER AN RFP FOR A PROCUREMENT OF BAR ASSEMBLY WARNING LIGHTS ISSUED BY THE DEFENSE CONSTRUCTION SUPPLY CENTER, DEFENSE SUPPLY AGENCY, COLUMBUS, OHIO. IN VIEW OF THE TECHNICAL DEFICIENCIES OF PROTESTANT'S BID, THE URGENT NEED FOR THE ITEMS, AND THE PROXIMITY IN UNIT COST OF THE NEXT LOW OFFER, THE CONTRACTING OFFICER'S DECISION WAS WELL WITHIN HIS DISCRETIONARY AUTHORITY.

TO JULIAN A. MCDERMOTT CORPORATION:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 18, 1971, WITH ENCLOSURE, PROTESTING AGAINST AWARD OF CONTRACT TO ANOTHER COMPANY UNDER REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL (RFP) NO. DSA-700-72-R-0832 ISSUED BY THE DEFENSE CONSTRUCTION SUPPLY CENTER, DEFENSE SUPPLY AGENCY, COLUMBUS, OHIO, ON SEPTEMBER 17, 1971.

THE RFP CALLED FOR 512 BAR ASSEMBLY WARNING LIGHTS MANUFACTURED OR SUPPLIED UNDER NORTH AMERICAN SIGNAL COMPANY PART NO. 60AAB153C.

PARAGRAPH C25 OF SECTION C OF THE RFP STATED:

"PRODUCTS OFFERED:

"(A) PRODUCTS OFFERED MUST EITHER BE IDENTICAL OR FUNCTIONALLY, PHYSICALLY, MECHANICALLY, AND ELECTRICALLY INTERCHANGEABLE WITH THE PRODUCTS CITED IN EACH PROCUREMENT IDENTIFICATION DESCRIPTION OF THIS SOLICITATION."

THE PRIMARY BASIS OF YOUR PROTEST IS THAT YOUR PROPOSAL DATED OCTOBER 5, 1971, CONTAINING A GUARANTEE OF INTERCHANGEABILITY, DETAILED DRAWINGS AND A PROVISION WHEREBY ANY NECESSARY CHANGES IN YOUR "PRELIMINARY" DRAWINGS WOULD BE MADE AT NO EXTRA COST TO THE GOVERNMENT, WAS TECHNICALLY ACCEPTABLE ACCORDING TO THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE RFP, AND SINCE YOUR OFFER CONTAINED THE LOWEST PRICE, THE CONTRACT SHOULD HAVE BEEN AWARDED TO YOUR FIRM.

YOUR OFFER WAS SUBMITTED FOR TECHNICAL EVALUATION AND BY EVALUATION REPORTS DATED OCTOBER 15 AND DECEMBER 17, 1971, THE CONTRACTING OFFICER WAS ADVISED THAT YOUR PROPOSAL WAS TECHNICALLY DEFICIENT AND SHOULD BE REJECTED, PRIMARILY FOR THE FOLLOWING REASONS:

(1) BASED UPON INFORMATION AVAILABLE TO THE GOVERNMENT, THE DRAWINGS SUPPLIED BY MCDERMOTT WERE NOT BASED UPON THE LATEST VERSION OF NORTH AMERICAN PART NO. 60AAB153C;

(2) THE PROPOSED SIZE OF THE DIAMETER PLATE WAS NOT BIG ENOUGH TO HOLD THE MINIMUM SIZE WARNING LIGHT;

(3) THE SQUARE SHAPE AT THE ENDS OF THE ALUMINUM BAR (DRAWING 71-10 2) WOULD REQUIRE SHAPING BY HAND AND WOULD RESULT IN A REQUEST FOR WAIVER, AND

(4) THE TYPE OF MATERIAL PROPOSED TO BE USED IN SEVERAL COMPONENTS WAS NOT ACCEPTABLE DUE TO THE LIKELIHOOD OF RUST AND CORROSION. THERE WERE SEVERAL OTHER TECHNICAL DEFICIENCIES STATED IN THE REPORT.

IN THE ADMINISTRATIVE REPORT SUBMITTED TO THIS OFFICE, THE CONTRACTING OFFICER STATES:

"INFORMATION FROM THE ITEM MANAGER INDICATED THAT THE ITEMS WERE URGENTLY NEEDED. THIS WAS A NEW ITEM OF SUPPLY THAT WAS ASSIGNED TO DCSC ON 1 AUGUST 1971. NO STOCK WAS ON HAND AND INFORMATION INDICATED THAT THERE WOULD BE A HIGH INITIAL DEMAND FOR THIS ITEM. AS A RESULT, IT WAS CLASSIFIED AS A 'HIGH HIT' ITEM."

AT THE TIME OF CONTRACT AWARD THERE WERE UNFILLED ORDERS ON HAND AS WELL AS INFORMATION INDICATING A FORTHCOMING ORDER FOR 1,000 UNITS.

THE CONTRACTING OFFICER STATES THAT HE DID NOT ATTEMPT TO CORRECT THE TECHNICAL DEFICIENCIES IN YOUR "PRELIMINARY" DRAWINGS AND DESIGN THROUGH NEGOTIATIONS BECAUSE OF THE URGENT NEED FOR THE ITEM AND THE EXPECTATION THAT ANY SUCH FURTHER NEGOTIATIONS WOULD BE TIME CONSUMING AND NOT FRUITFUL, ESPECIALLY IN VIEW OF THE FACT THAT THE NEXT LOW OFFER (NORTH AMERICAN SIGNAL COMPANY) WAS ONLY 26 CENTS HIGHER IN PRICE PER UNIT.

UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES, WE DO NOT FIND THAT THE CONTRACTING OFFICER ABUSED HIS DISCRETIONARY AUTHORITY IN MAKING THIS AWARD.

CONSEQUENTLY, YOUR PROTEST MUST BE DENIED.