B-174883, MAY 12, 1972

B-174883: May 12, 1972

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CANNOT AGREE THAT THE ADVANCE NOTICE PUBLISHED IN THE COMMERCE BUSINESS DAILY PURSUANT TO ASPR 1-1003.4 WAS SUFFICIENTLY SPECIFIC TO OBVIATE THE NEED FOR FURTHER SYNOPSIZING OF THE PROCUREMENTS INVOLVED. THE NUMBER OF RFQS INVOLVED IN EACH AREA AND THE TIMING AND SCOPE OF WORK OF EACH PROCUREMENT ARE UNKNOWN. IT IS RECOMMENDED THAT PROCUREMENTS REMAINING IN ARO'S SOCIAL RESEARCH PROGRAM BE SYNOPSIZED AND THAT SIMILAR NOTICES IN THE FUTURE IDENTIFY THE PROPOSED PROCUREMENTS WITH SPECIFICITY. QUALIFIED SOURCES ARE SOUGHT TO PROVIDE CONTRACTUAL SUPPORT FOR THIS RESEARCH PROGRAM. RESPONSES WILL BE EVALUATED ON THE BASIS OF INFORMATION SOLICITED BY THIS ANNOUNCEMENT. RFQ'S WILL NOT BE FURNISHED TO ANY ORGANIZATION WHOSE CAPABILITY WAS NOT EVALUATED UNDER THIS ANNOUNCEMENT.

B-174883, MAY 12, 1972

BID PROTEST - PUBLICATION OF ADVANCE NOTICE - DEGREE OF REQUIRED SPECIFICITY CONCERNING THE PROTEST OF DECISION SYSTEMS ASSOCIATES, INC., AGAINST THE PROCUREMENT PROCEDURES EMPLOYED BY THE ARMY RESEARCH OFFICE (ARO) IN CONNECTION WITH PROPOSED RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT PROCUREMENTS. THE COMP. GEN. CANNOT AGREE THAT THE ADVANCE NOTICE PUBLISHED IN THE COMMERCE BUSINESS DAILY PURSUANT TO ASPR 1-1003.4 WAS SUFFICIENTLY SPECIFIC TO OBVIATE THE NEED FOR FURTHER SYNOPSIZING OF THE PROCUREMENTS INVOLVED. UNDER THE TERMS OF THE NOTICE, ARO DECIDES THE QUESTION OF INTEREST IN THE PROCUREMENT. FURTHER, THE NUMBER OF RFQS INVOLVED IN EACH AREA AND THE TIMING AND SCOPE OF WORK OF EACH PROCUREMENT ARE UNKNOWN. ACCORDINGLY, IT IS RECOMMENDED THAT PROCUREMENTS REMAINING IN ARO'S SOCIAL RESEARCH PROGRAM BE SYNOPSIZED AND THAT SIMILAR NOTICES IN THE FUTURE IDENTIFY THE PROPOSED PROCUREMENTS WITH SPECIFICITY.

TO MR. SECRETARY:

BY LETTER, WITH ENCLOSURES, DATED FEBRUARY 2, 1972, AND RECEIVED IN OUR OFFICE ON FEBRUARY 25, 1972, THE ASSISTANT DEPUTY FOR MATERIEL ACQUISITION, OFFICE OF THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY, INSTALLATIONS AND LOGISTICS, FURNISHED US A REPORT ON THE PROTEST OF DECISION SYSTEMS ASSOCIATES, INC. (DSAI), AGAINST THE PROCUREMENT PROCEDURES EMPLOYED BY THE UNITED STATES ARMY RESEARCH OFFICE (ARO) IN CONNECTION WITH PROPOSED RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT PROCUREMENTS.

BY LETTER DATED JANUARY 3, 1972, FRIED, FRANK, HARRIS, SHRIVER & KAMPELMAN, COUNSEL FOR DSAI, QUESTIONED THE PROPRIETY OF THE FOLLOWING ANNOUNCEMENT PUBLISHED IN THE DECEMBER 10, 1971, ISSUE OF THE COMMERCE BUSINESS DAILY.

"A - RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT SOURCES SOUGHT. RESEARCH ON SOCIAL PROBLEMS RELEVANT TO THE ARMY. QUALIFIED SOURCES ARE SOUGHT TO PROVIDE CONTRACTUAL SUPPORT FOR THIS RESEARCH PROGRAM. INTERESTED FIRMS SHOULD SUBMIT INFORMATION DEMONSTRATING CAPABILITY FOR CONDUCTING RESEARCH IN ONE OR MORE OF THE FOLLOWING AREAS: (1) DRUG ABUSE - RESEARCH DESIGNED TO DETERMINE THE IMPLICATIONS OF DRUG ABUSE FOR PERFORMANCE EFFECTIVENESS OF THE SOLDIER IN VARIOUS ASSIGNMENTS, AND TO DEVELOP PROGRAMS FOR COMBATING DRUG ABUSE. (2) CAREER INCENTIVES - RESEARCH DESIGNED WITH THE END OBJECTIVE OF MAKING THE ARMY A HIGHLY ATTRACTIVE AND WORTHWHILE CAREER, AND TO STIMULATE HIGH QUALITY MEN AND WOMEN TO MAKE THE ARMY A CAREER. (3) RACE RELATIONS - RESEARCH DESIGNED TO ASSESS AND ANALYZE ASPECTS OF RACE RELATIONS IN THE ARMY IN ORDER TO IMPROVE RACIAL HARMONY. (4) SOCIAL CHANGE - RESEARCH DESIGNED TO DETERMINE AND ANALYZE THE UNDERLYING CAUSES OF DISSENT AND DISSATISFACTION WITH THE ARMY, AS WELL AS THE BENEFITS AND DISADVANTAGES OF POSSIBLE CHANGES WITHIN THE ARMY AIMED AT REDUCING OR ALLEVIATING THE CAUSES OF DISSENT. (5) SOLDIER COMMUNITY RELATIONS - RESEARCH DESIGNED TO IMPROVE RELATIONS BETWEEN THE SOLDIER AND THE COMMUNITY. SEE NOTES 11 AND 68. INTERESTED ORGANIZATIONS SHOULD SUBMIT COMPLETE DESCRIPTIONS OF CAPABILITIES. RESPONSES WILL BE EVALUATED ON THE BASIS OF INFORMATION SOLICITED BY THIS ANNOUNCEMENT. RFQ'S WILL NOT BE FURNISHED TO ANY ORGANIZATION WHOSE CAPABILITY WAS NOT EVALUATED UNDER THIS ANNOUNCEMENT. THIS IS NOT A REQUEST FOR QUOTATION. CLOSING DATE FOR SUBMISSION OF RESPONSE IS 4 JAN 72. (R342)

U.S. ARMY RESEARCH OFFICE, 3045 COLUMBIA PIKE, ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA 22204"

OF THE ISSUES INITIALLY RAISED BY DSAI'S COUNSEL, THE ONLY QUESTION THAT WE ARE ASKED TO ANSWER IS WHETHER THE SPECIFIC PROCUREMENTS FOR RESEARCH IN THE AREAS IDENTIFIED IN THE ANNOUNCEMENT SHOULD BE SYNOPSIZED IN THE COMMERCE BUSINESS DAILY.

THE ANNOUNCEMENT WAS ISSUED PURSUANT TO PARAGRAPH 1-1003.4 OF THE ARMED SERVICES PROCUREMENT REGULATION (ASPR). PARAGRAPH (A) THEREOF PROVIDES FOR THE PUBLICATION OF ADVANCE NOTICES OF THE GOVERNMENT'S INTEREST IN A SPECIFIC RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT FIELD IN THE COMMERCE BUSINESS DAILY SO THAT POTENTIAL SOURCES WILL HAVE AN ADEQUATE OPPORTUNITY TO SUBMIT INFORMATION FOR EVALUATION OF OTHER RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT CAPABILITIES. IT FURTHER PROVIDES THAT:

" *** EACH SPECIFIC PROCUREMENT OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS SHALL BE PUBLICIZED IN THE COMMERCE BUSINESS DAILY UNLESS ONE OF THE EXCEPTIONS IN 1-1003.1 IS APPLICABLE OR UNLESS AN ADVANCE NOTICE *** , PUBLISHED IN THE COMMERCE BUSINESS DAILY IN ACCORDANCE WITH 1 1003.9(D), HAS BEEN SUFFICIENTLY SPECIFIC TO PERMIT POTENTIAL SOURCES TO REQUEST SOLICITATIONS FOR THE PROSPECTIVE PROCUREMENT."

WE UNDERSTAND THAT IT IS ARO'S POSITION THAT THE ADVANCE NOTICE, QUOTED ABOVE, IS "SUFFICIENTLY SPECIFIC," THEREBY OBVIATING THE NEED FOR FURTHER SYNOPSIZING THE PROCUREMENTS INVOLVED. WE DO NOT AGREE SINCE WE DO NOT BELIEVE THAT IT CAN REASONABLY BE SAID FROM A FAIR READING OF THE NOTICE THAT IT IS SPECIFIC ENOUGH TO PERMIT POTENTIAL SOURCES TO "REQUEST SOLICITATIONS FOR THE PROSPECTIVE PROCUREMENT." THE NOTICE IS SIMPLY A REQUEST FOR CAPABILITY INFORMATION IN A NUMBER OF AREAS AND QUITE PLAINLY STATES THAT ARO, NOT THE POTENTIAL SOURCE, DECIDES THE QUESTION OF INTEREST IN THE PROCUREMENT. MORE IMPORTANTLY, THE NUMBER OF REQUESTS FOR QUOTATIONS INVOLVED IN EACH AREA AND THE CONTEMPLATED TIMING AND SCOPE OF WORK OF EACH PROCUREMENT ARE UNKNOWN. SEE ASPR 1-1003.9, GOVERNING THE PREPARATION OF SYNOPSES OF PROPOSED PROCUREMENTS.

ACCORDINGLY, WE REQUEST THAT APPROPRIATE STEPS BE TAKEN TO INSURE THAT THE SPECIFIC PROCUREMENTS REMAINING IN ARO'S SOCIAL RESEARCH PROGRAM BE SYNOPSIZED IN THE COMMERCE BUSINESS DAILY AND THAT FUTURE ADVANCE NOTICES CONTEMPLATING NO FURTHER PUBLICATION IDENTIFY THE PROPOSED PROCUREMENTS WITH SPECIFICITY. PLEASE ADVISE US OF THE ACTION TAKEN.