B-175942(2), AUG 24, 1972

B-175942(2): Aug 24, 1972

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ALSO INDICATED THAT THE USE OF THE END ITEMS WOULD BE MONITORED SO AS TO DETERMINE IF THE TRITAN ALLEGATIONS WERE CORRECT AND IF THE SPECIFICATIONS SHOULD BE REVISED IN FUTURE PROCUREMENTS. IS UNABLE TO OBJECT TO AWARD TO PARTEK. YOU PROTEST THE AWARD TO PARTEK AS LOW BIDDER BECAUSE YOU STATE THAT THE PUMPS OFFERED BY PARTEK AS PART OF THE CLEANERS WILL NOT MEET THE INVITATION SPECIFICATIONS WHICH REQUIRE A PUMP CAPABLE OF DELIVERING FRESH OR SALT WATER AT A SPECIFIED VOLUME AND PRESSURE. YOU ALLEGE THE PARTEK PUMP WILL BE INCAPABLE OF HANDLING SALT WATER BECAUSE ITS FLUID BLOCK IS MADE OF FORGED STEEL THAT WILL DETERIORATE RAPIDLY WHEN USED IN SALT WATER. IT WAS ADVISED BY THE LATTER THAT.

B-175942(2), AUG 24, 1972

BID PROTEST - ADEQUACY OF SPECIFICATIONS - MONITORING OF USE DENIAL OF PROTEST BY TRITAN CORPORATION AGAINST THE AWARD OF A CONTRACT TO THE PARTEK CORPORATION OF HOUSTON BY THE NAVAL REGIONAL PROCUREMENT OFFICE, LOS ANGELES, CALIF., FOR THE PROCUREMENT OF HIGH PRESSURE TRAILER- MOUNTED WATER BLAST CLEANERS. SINCE THE ITEMS OFFERED BY PARTEK DID MEET THE MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS OF THE SPECIFICATIONS, THE REQUESTING AGENCY RECOMMENDED AWARD TO PARTEK, BUT ALSO INDICATED THAT THE USE OF THE END ITEMS WOULD BE MONITORED SO AS TO DETERMINE IF THE TRITAN ALLEGATIONS WERE CORRECT AND IF THE SPECIFICATIONS SHOULD BE REVISED IN FUTURE PROCUREMENTS. UNDER THESE CIRCUMSTANCES, THE COMP. GEN. IS UNABLE TO OBJECT TO AWARD TO PARTEK.

TO TRITAN CORPORATION:

WE REFER TO YOUR LETTER OF JULY 10, 1972, AND PRIOR CORRESPONDENCE, PROTESTING AGAINST AWARD OF CONTRACT NO. N00123-72-C-1163 TO THE PARTEK CORPORATION OF HOUSTON BY THE NAVAL REGIONAL PROCUREMENT OFFICE, LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA.

THE CONTRACT COVERS THE PROCUREMENT OF HIGH PRESSURE TRAILER-MOUNTED WATER BLAST CLEANERS. YOU PROTEST THE AWARD TO PARTEK AS LOW BIDDER BECAUSE YOU STATE THAT THE PUMPS OFFERED BY PARTEK AS PART OF THE CLEANERS WILL NOT MEET THE INVITATION SPECIFICATIONS WHICH REQUIRE A PUMP CAPABLE OF DELIVERING FRESH OR SALT WATER AT A SPECIFIED VOLUME AND PRESSURE. YOU ALLEGE THE PARTEK PUMP WILL BE INCAPABLE OF HANDLING SALT WATER BECAUSE ITS FLUID BLOCK IS MADE OF FORGED STEEL THAT WILL DETERIORATE RAPIDLY WHEN USED IN SALT WATER. BECAUSE OF THE EFFECTS OF SALT WATER ON FORGED STEEL, YOU STATE THAT IT WOULD NOT BE IN THE BEST INTERESTS OF THE GOVERNMENT TO ACCEPT ANY PUMP NOT HAVING A FLUID BLOCK MADE OF STAINLESS STEEL. YOU FURTHER QUESTION WHETHER PARTEK MAY BE CONSIDERED A RESPONSIBLE BIDDER, PARTICULARLY IN VIEW OF ITS ALLEGED REPUTATION OF NOT STANDING BEHIND ITS WARRANTIES AND GUARANTEES.

THE PURCHASING ACTIVITY, AFTER BEING ADVISED BY YOU THAT ONLY THE USE OF A STAINLESS STEEL FLUID BLOCK WOULD ENABLE THE PUMP TO MEET THE INVITATION SPECIFICATIONS, REQUESTED ADVICE AS TO THE MERITS OF YOUR CONTENTION FROM THE REQUIRING ACTIVITY, THE NAVAL REGIONAL PROCUREMENT OFFICE IN LOS ANGELES. IT WAS ADVISED BY THE LATTER THAT, WHILE CORROSION MIGHT OCCUR AS ALLEGED, NOTHING IN THE LANGUAGE OF THE SPECIFICATIONS REQUIRED THE USE OF STAINLESS STEEL AND THAT, CONSEQUENTLY, THE ITEMS OFFERED BY PARTEK COULD BE CONSIDERED TO MEET THE MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS OF THE SPECIFICATIONS. THE REQUESTING ACTIVITY INDICATED, HOWEVER, THAT THE USE OF THE END ITEMS WOULD BE MONITORED SO AS TO DETERMINE WHETHER THE TRITAN ALLEGATION WAS CORRECT AND WHETHER IT WOULD BE ADVISABLE TO CHANGE THE SPECIFICATIONS FOR FUTURE PROCUREMENTS. AWARD WAS MADE TO PARTEK ON THE BASIS OF THIS INFORMATION.

WE ARE UNABLE, UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES, TO OBJECT TO THE DECISION TO MAKE AWARD TO PARTEK. IT IS THE POSITION OF OUR OFFICE THAT THE ADMINISTRATIVE AGENCIES HAVE THE PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITY FOR DRAFTING SPECIFICATIONS WHICH REFLECT THE MINIMUM NEEDS OF THE GOVERNMENT, AS WELL AS FOR DETERMINING WHETHER THE PRODUCT OFFERED MEETS THE SPECIFICATIONS. IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES, WE FEEL THAT THE BEST COURSE OF ACTION WOULD BE TO ALLOW THE REQUIRING ACTIVITY TO STUDY THE EFFECT OF SALT WATER ON THE PARTEK PUMPS TO DETERMINE WHETHER A CHANGE IN THE SPECIFICATION WOULD BE WARRANTED IN CONNECTION WITH FUTURE PROCUREMENTS.

CONCERNING YOUR ALLEGATION THAT PARTEK IS A NONRESPONSIBLE BIDDER, WE NOTE THAT A PREAWARD SURVEY WAS MADE TO DETERMINE PARTEK'S TECHNICAL CAPABILITY, FINANCIAL CAPABILITY, PERFORMANCE RECORD, AND THE LIKE. THE SURVEY RESULTED IN A RECOMMENDATION THAT AWARD BE MADE TO PARTEK. THE EVIDENCE OF RECORD DOES NOT INDICATE THAT THE CONTRACTING OFFICER ACTED ARBITRARILY. IN VIEW THEREOF, THE DETERMINATION WILL NOT BE QUESTIONED BY OUR OFFICE. B-174676, JANUARY 20, 1972.

ACCORDINGLY, THE PROTEST IS DENIED.