B-175661, SEP 19, 1972, 52 COMP GEN 142

B-175661: Sep 19, 1972

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CONTRACT - SPECIFICATIONS - QUALIFIED PRODUCTS - CHANGES - PLANT LOCATION THE LOW BIDDER UNDER AN INVITATION FOR BIDS TO FURNISH INFLATABLE LANDING BOATS - A QUALIFIED END PRODUCT - WHO FAILED TO COMPLY WITH THE CLAUSE PRESCRIBED BY PARAGRAPH 1-1107.2(A) OF THE ARMED SERVICES PROCUREMENT REGULATION AND INCLUDED IN THE INVITATION TO THE EFFECT ANY CHANGE IN THE LOCATION OF A PLANT AT WHICH A PREVIOUSLY APPROVED PRODUCT IS OR WAS MANUFACTURED WOULD REQUIRE PRIOR TO BID OPENING THE REEVALUATION OF THE PLANT'S QUALIFICATION FOR INCLUSION IN THE APPROPRIATE QUALIFIED PRODUCTS LIST (QPL) SUBMITTED A NONRESPONSIVE BID THAT PROPERLY WAS NOT CONSIDERED FOR CONTRACT AWARD AS THE OFFER TO SUPPLY AN END ITEM TO BE PRODUCED AT OTHER THAN THE PLANT SHOWN IN THE QPL AS THE APPROVED PLACE OF PERFORMANCE WAS AN OFFER TO SUPPLY AN UNQUALIFIED PRODUCT.

B-175661, SEP 19, 1972, 52 COMP GEN 142

CONTRACT - SPECIFICATIONS - QUALIFIED PRODUCTS - CHANGES - PLANT LOCATION THE LOW BIDDER UNDER AN INVITATION FOR BIDS TO FURNISH INFLATABLE LANDING BOATS - A QUALIFIED END PRODUCT - WHO FAILED TO COMPLY WITH THE CLAUSE PRESCRIBED BY PARAGRAPH 1-1107.2(A) OF THE ARMED SERVICES PROCUREMENT REGULATION AND INCLUDED IN THE INVITATION TO THE EFFECT ANY CHANGE IN THE LOCATION OF A PLANT AT WHICH A PREVIOUSLY APPROVED PRODUCT IS OR WAS MANUFACTURED WOULD REQUIRE PRIOR TO BID OPENING THE REEVALUATION OF THE PLANT'S QUALIFICATION FOR INCLUSION IN THE APPROPRIATE QUALIFIED PRODUCTS LIST (QPL) SUBMITTED A NONRESPONSIVE BID THAT PROPERLY WAS NOT CONSIDERED FOR CONTRACT AWARD AS THE OFFER TO SUPPLY AN END ITEM TO BE PRODUCED AT OTHER THAN THE PLANT SHOWN IN THE QPL AS THE APPROVED PLACE OF PERFORMANCE WAS AN OFFER TO SUPPLY AN UNQUALIFIED PRODUCT.

TO UNIROYAL, INC., SEPTEMBER 19, 1972:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR TELEFAX RECEIVED APRIL 10, 1972, AND YOUR LETTER DATED APRIL 19, 1972, PROTESTING THE AWARD OF A CONTRACT ON MARCH 27, 1972, TO FIRESTONE COATED FABRICS CO., UNDER INVITATION FOR BIDS (IFB) N00104-72-B-0922, ISSUED FEBRUARY 8, 1972, BY THE NAVY SHIPS PARTS CONTROL CENTER, MECHANICSBURG, PENNSYLVANIA (NSPCC).

THE INVITATION CONTEMPLATED AWARD OF AN INDEFINITE QUANTITY CONTRACT FOR A MINIMUM OF 117 INFLATABLE LANDING BOATS WITH AN OPTION TO PURCHASE ADDITIONAL QUANTITIES, NOT TO EXCEED 267. SINCE THE SUBJECT ITEM WAS A QUALIFIED END PRODUCT, THE PROCUREMENT WAS RESTRICTED TO 27 PROSPECTIVE BIDDERS LISTED ON QUALIFIED PRODUCTS LIST (QPL) NO. MIL-B 17775. FEBRUARY 24, 1972, BY TELEGRAM AND A TELEPHONE CALL YOU REQUESTED NSPCC TO CONDUCT A PLANT SURVEY AT YOUR MISHAWAKA, INDIANA, PLANT TO ACCOMPLISH A TRANSFER OF QPL PRODUCTION FACILITY DESIGNATION FROM PROVIDENCE, RHODE ISLAND, OR TO EXTEND THE BID OPENING DATE OF FEBRUARY 29, 1972, FOR SUCH TIME NECESSARY TO ACCOMPLISH THE REEVALUATION. NSPCC IN A TELEX DATED FEBRUARY 28, 1972, STATED THAT AN EXTENSION OF BID OPENING COULD NOT BE GRANTED AND THAT YOUR REQUEST FOR REEVALUATION DUE TO TRANSFER OF PRODUCTION FACILITY SHOULD BE DIRECTED TO NAVAL SHIP ENGINEERING CENTER (NSEC), NORFOLK, VIRGINIA.

THREE BIDS WERE RECEIVED AND OPENED ON THE SCHEDULED OPENING DATE, FEBRUARY 29, 1972, AS FOLLOWS:

UNIT PRICE

IF FIRST

ARTICLE TEST

OFFEROR U/PRICE EST. AMT. WAIVED

UNIROYAL, INC. $994.00 $116,2980.0 $994.00

FIRESTONE COATED FABR. CO. 1,099.00 128,583.00 1,097.00

RUBBER FABRICATORS, INC. 1,318.09 154,216.53 1,000.00

INCLUDED IN THE IFB AT PAGE 5 WAS CLAUSE B-3 "NOTICE - QUALIFIED END PRODUCTS (1969 DEC.)(ASPR 1-1107.2(A))" PROVIDING IN PERTINENT PART:

AWARDS FOR ANY END ITEMS WHICH ARE REQUIRED TO BE QUALIFIED PRODUCTS WILL BE MADE ONLY WHEN SUCH ITEMS HAVE BEEN TESTED AND ARE QUALIFIED FOR INCLUSION IN A QUALIFIED PRODUCTS LIST IDENTIFIED BELOW ***, AT THE TIME SET FOR OPENING OF BIDS, OR THE TIME OF AWARD IN THE CASE OF NEGOTIATED CONTRACTS. OFFERORS SHOULD CONTACT THE OFFICE DESIGNATED BELOW TO ARRANGE TO HAVE THE PRODUCTS WHICH THEY INTEND TO OFFER TESTED FOR QUALIFICATION.

ANY CHANGE IN LOCATION OR OWNERSHIP OF THE PLANT AT WHICH A PREVIOUSLY APPROVED PRODUCT IS, OR WAS, MANUFACTURED REQUIRES RE EVALUATION OF THE QUALIFICATION. SUCH RE-EVALUATION MUST BE ACCOMPLISHED PRIOR TO THE BID OPENING DATE IN THE CASE OF ADVERTISED PROCUREMENTS AND PRIOR TO THE DATE OF AWARD IN THE CASE OF NEGOTIATED PROCUREMENTS. FAILURE OF OFFERORS TO ARRANGE FOR SUCH RE-EVALUATION SHALL PRECLUDE CONSIDERATION OF THEIR OFFERS. QUALIFIED PRODUCTS LIST FOR THIS PROCUREMENT IS MIL-B-17775 BOAT, LANDING, INFLATABLE CO2 7 PERSON CAPACITY.

MANUFACTURERS ARE URGED TO COMMUNICATE WITH, AND ARRANGE TO HAVE THE PRODUCTS THAT THEY PROPOSE TO OFFER TESTED FOR QUALIFICATION BY THE NAVAL SHIP ENGINEERING CENTER, WASHINGTON, D.C.

THE UNIROYAL BID SPECIFIED THE PLACE OF PERFORMANCE AS MISHAWAKA, INDIANA, WHEREAS QPL NO. MIL-B-17775 SPECIFIED PROVIDENCE, RHODE ISLAND, AS THE APPROVED PLACE OF PERFORMANCE.

THE DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY REPORTS THAT IN RESPONSE TO YOUR LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 1, 1971, INFORMING NSEC, HYATTSVILLE, MARYLAND, OF YOUR INTENT TO RELOCATE YOUR PLANT, NSEC (HYATTSVILLE) BY A LETTER DATED OCTOBER 4, 1971, ADVISED YOU THAT UPON COMPLETION OF THE MOVE TO MISHAWAKA, INDIANA, THAT CENTER SHOULD BE NOTIFIED SO THAT A FACILITY SURVEY COULD BE CONDUCTED AT THE NEW LOCATION. IN ADDITION, IT IS REPORTED THAT AS OF MARCH 6, 1972, NSEC (HYATTSVILLE) HAD NOT BEEN NOTIFIED AS REQUESTED AND A FACILITY SURVEY AT THE NEW PLANT HAD NOT BEEN CONDUCTED. ACCORDINGLY, QPL APPROVAL HAD NOT BEEN TRANSFERRED TO THE MISHAWAKA PLANT FOR PRODUCTION OF MIL-B-17775 INFLATABLE LANDING BOATS AT THE TIME OF BID OPENING ON FEBRUARY 29. THE CONTRACTING OFFICER DETERMINED UNIROYAL'S BID TO BE NONRESPONSIVE IN FAILING TO COMPLY WITH CLAUSE B-3 OF THE INVITATION.

YOU CONTEND THAT A SURVEY OF YOUR MISHAWAKA PLANT TOOK PLACE PRIOR TO BID OPENING AND ON FEBRUARY 28, 1972, FAVORABLE FINDINGS WERE TRANSMITTED TO NSPCC. YOU CONTEND THAT ALL OF THE NECESSARY STEPS FOR QUALIFICATION WERE ACCOMPLISHED PRIOR TO THE OPENING DATE EXCEPT FOR THE FORMALITY OF OFFICIAL NOTIFICATION OF APPROVAL WHICH WAS SUBSEQUENTLY OBTAINED ON APRIL 11, 1972. ACCORDINGLY, YOU BELIEVE THAT THE CONTRACT SHOULD HAVE BEEN AWARDED TO UNIROYAL.

IN REGARDS TO YOUR CONTENTIONS THAT A PLANT SURVEY TOOK PLACE BEFORE BID OPENING AND THAT FAVORABLE FINDINGS WERE FORWARDED TO NSPCC ON FEBRUARY 28, 1972, BY THE DEFENSE CONTRACT ADMINISTRATION SERVICES OFFICE (DCASO) AT SOUTH BEND, INDIANA, THE DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY ADVISES THAT THE MESSAGE OF FEBRUARY 28 WAS AS FOLLOWS:

RECOGNIZING UNIROYAL MISHAWAKA DOES NOT APPEAR ON QPL FOR SUBJECT ITEM, THEY ARE CURRENTLY MANUFACTURING MORE COMPLEX ITEMS UTILIZING LIKE MATERIAL AND INCORPORATING IDENTICAL MANUFACTURING TECHNIQUES. THEREFORE THIS OFFICE HAS EVERY CONFIDENCE IN THEIR ABILITY TO PRODUCE A QUALITY LANDING CRAFT IF AWARDED THE CONTRACT.

WHILE THE DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY REPORTS THAT THE DCASO RECORDS DO NOT EXPLAIN WHY THE MESSAGE WAS SENT TO NSPCC, IT IS STATED THAT THIS MESSAGE WAS NOT SENT AS A RESULT OF A FORMAL REQUEST FOR A FACILITY SURVEY, NOR WAS A SURVEY MADE OF THE MISHAWAKA PLANT PRIOR TO BID OPENING. IN THIS CONNECTION WE NOTE THAT YOU HAVE NEITHER ALLEGED NOR OFFERED ANY EVIDENCE SHOWING THAT YOU NOTIFIED NSEC UPON COMPLETION OF THE MOVE TO MISHAWAKA (AS REQUESTED IN ITS LETTER OF OCTOBER 4, 1971) OR THAT YOU ASKED THAT CENTER FOR A FACILITY SURVEY OF THE MISHAWAKA PLANT BEFORE THE OPENING OF BIDS.

ACCORDINGLY, OUR OFFICE IS OF THE VIEW THAT UNIROYAL HAS FAILED TO MEET THAT PORTION OF CLAUSE B-3 OF THE IFB, PROVIDING THAT ANY CHANGE IN THE LOCATION OF A PLANT, AT WHICH A PREVIOUSLY APPROVED PRODUCT WAS MANUFACTURED, REQUIRES THE OFFEROR TO ARRANGE FOR (AND THE ACCOMPLISHMENT OF) A REEVALUATION OF THE QUALIFICATION PRIOR TO BID OPENING. OUR OFFICE HAS CONSISTENTLY HELD THAT AN OFFER TO SUPPLY AN END PRODUCT TO BE PRODUCED AT A PLANT OTHER THAN THE ONE QUALIFIED IS AN OFFER TO SUPPLY AN UNQUALIFIED PRODUCT AND IS NONRESPONSIVE IN A MATERIAL RESPECT. SEE B- 171558, FEBRUARY 11, 1971; B-167304, AUGUST 27, 1969.

IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, YOUR PROTEST IS DENIED.