B-175634, MAY 18, 1972

B-175634: May 18, 1972

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IS CURRENTLY INVESTIGATING A POSSIBLE CONFLICT OF INTEREST. IS NOT CONSIDERED SUFFICIENT TO WARRANT PROHIBITING THAT COMPANY FROM SUBMITTING A PROPOSAL. THE REQUEST IS DENIED. INC.: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 3. THE SUBJECT RFP IS FOR A T-37B AIRBORNE (MECHANICAL) STRAIN SENSOR QUALIFICATION/DATA REDUCTION PROGRAM TO MONITOR T-37B INDIVIDUAL AIRCRAFT FATIGUE DAMAGE. THE PROCUREMENT IS TO BE ACCOMPLISHED IN TWO STEPS: "(1) SOLICITATION. YOU HAVE CONTENDED THAT TI SHOULD BE PRECLUDED FROM PARTICIPATING IN THE PROCUREMENT SINCE THAT FIRM HAS RECEIVED "PRACTICALLY ALL OF THE FLIGHT RECORDING PROGRAMS USING THE OLDER VGH RECORDING AND THE NEWER MULTI- CHANNEL RECORDING.". YOUR LETTER CONTENDS THAT THIS WAS MADE POSSIBLE THROUGH A CONFLICT OF INTEREST INVOLVING A FORMER AIR FORCE OFFICER CURRENTLY EMPLOYED BY TI.

B-175634, MAY 18, 1972

BID PROTEST - ALLEGED CONFLICT OF INTEREST DECISION DENYING A REQUEST OF BAGANOFF ASSOCIATES, INC., THAT TECHNOLOGY, INC. (TI), BE PRECLUDED FROM SUBMITTING A TECHNICAL PROPOSAL UNDER AN RFP ISSUED AT WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB, OHIO. THE FACT THAT TI HAS BEEN AWARDED PRIOR CONTRACTS FOR SIMILAR WORK OR THAT THE U.S. ATTORNEY'S OFFICE IN DAYTON, OHIO, IS CURRENTLY INVESTIGATING A POSSIBLE CONFLICT OF INTEREST, IS NOT CONSIDERED SUFFICIENT TO WARRANT PROHIBITING THAT COMPANY FROM SUBMITTING A PROPOSAL. ACCORDINGLY, THE REQUEST IS DENIED.

TO BAGANOFF ASSOCIATES, INC.:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 3, 1972, WITH ENCLOSURES, REQUESTING THAT TECHNOLOGY, INCORPORATED (TI), BE PRECLUDED FROM SUBMITTING A TECHNICAL PROPOSAL UNDER REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS (RFP) F33657- 72-R-0772, ISSUED MARCH 27, 1972, BY THE DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE, HEADQUARTERS, AERONAUTICAL SYSTEMS DIVISION, WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, OHIO.

THE SUBJECT RFP IS FOR A T-37B AIRBORNE (MECHANICAL) STRAIN SENSOR QUALIFICATION/DATA REDUCTION PROGRAM TO MONITOR T-37B INDIVIDUAL AIRCRAFT FATIGUE DAMAGE. THE PROCUREMENT IS TO BE ACCOMPLISHED IN TWO STEPS:

"(1) SOLICITATION, SUBMISSION AND EVALUATION OF DETAILED TECHNICAL PROPOSALS WITHOUT PRICING TO DETERMINE ACCEPTABILITY OF THE PRODUCTS OFFERED, AND

"(2) ISSUANCE OF A FORMAL INVITATION FOR BIDS ONLY TO THOSE FIRMS HAVING ACCEPTABLE DETAILED TECHNICAL PROPOSALS."

YOU HAVE CONTENDED THAT TI SHOULD BE PRECLUDED FROM PARTICIPATING IN THE PROCUREMENT SINCE THAT FIRM HAS RECEIVED "PRACTICALLY ALL OF THE FLIGHT RECORDING PROGRAMS USING THE OLDER VGH RECORDING AND THE NEWER MULTI- CHANNEL RECORDING." YOUR LETTER CONTENDS THAT THIS WAS MADE POSSIBLE THROUGH A CONFLICT OF INTEREST INVOLVING A FORMER AIR FORCE OFFICER CURRENTLY EMPLOYED BY TI. IT IS FURTHER ALLEGED THAT TI SHOULD BE PRECLUDED FROM PARTICIPATING BECAUSE IT DOES NOT POSSESS "AN AUTOMATIC SCANNER THAT OPERATES SUCCESSFULLY."

THERE IS NO PROVISION IN THE COMPETITIVE BIDDING STATUTES AND REGULATIONS WHICH PROHIBITS A FIRM FROM SUBMITTING AN OFFER PURSUANT TO A SOLICITATION MERELY BECAUSE SUCH FIRM HAS RECEIVED NUMEROUS PRIOR CONTRACTS INVOLVING SIMILAR WORK. TO THE CONTRARY, COMPETITION FROM PRIOR PRODUCERS IS ENCOURAGED AS BEING IN THE BEST INTEREST OF THE GOVERNMENT.

WITH REGARD TO YOUR INFERENCE OF A POSSIBLE CONFLICT OF INTEREST INVOLVING A FORMER AIR FORCE OFFICER, THAT CHARGE IS THE SUBJECT OF PRIOR PROTESTS SUBMITTED BY YOU TO OUR OFFICE, AND IS CURRENTLY BEING INVESTIGATED BY THE U.S. ATTORNEY'S OFFICE IN DAYTON, OHIO. THE FACT THAT SUCH AN INVESTIGATION IS BEING CURRENTLY CONDUCTED, IS CONSIDERED TO BE AN INSUFFICIENT BASIS FOR PROHIBITING TI FROM SUBMITTING A PROPOSAL.

WITH REFERENCE TO YOUR ALLEGATION THAT TI DOES NOT HAVE AN AUTOMATIC SCANNER OPERATING SUCCESSFULLY, HAVING SUCH A SCANNER IN OPERATION DOES NOT APPEAR TO HAVE BEEN SPECIFIED AS A CONDITION FOR A QUALIFIED OFFEROR AND IN THE ABSENCE OF SUCH A REQUIREMENT THE ALLEGED FACTOR WOULD NOT SERVE AS A BASIS FOR PRECLUDING TI FROM SUBMITTING A PROPOSAL IF IT SO CHOOSES.

ACCORDINGLY, YOUR REQUEST IS DENIED.