B-176038(1), SEP 6, 1972

B-176038(1): Sep 6, 1972

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Edda Emmanuelli Perez
(202) 512-2853
EmmanuelliPerezE@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

TO NHA FIELD SERVICES: THIS IS IN REPLY TO YOUR LETTERS DATED MAY 19 AND AUGUST 1. AWARD WAS CONTINGENT UPON ACQUIRING AUTHORIZATION FROM THAILAND OFFICIALS FOR ACCESS IN ORDER TO PERFORM THE SERVICES AT DON MUANG MILITARY AIRPORT. IT IS REPORTED THAT TAAMC IS A QUASI-THAI GOVERNMENT CORPORATION WHICH IS CONTROLLED THROUGH THAI AIRWAYS CO. WHICH IS A WHOLLY-OWNED THAI GOVERNMENT CORPORATION. THE RECORD SHOWS THAT AT THE TIME YOUR FIRM REQUESTED A COPY OF THE SOLICITATION FROM THE CONTRACTING OFFICER YOU WERE ADVISED OF THE STRICT REQUIREMENT IN THE RFP FOR OBTAINING ACCESS TO THE BASES AND THE CONTRACTING OFFICER EXPRESSED DOUBT THAT ANY ONE OTHER THAN A THAI COMPANY COULD OBTAIN SUCH ACCESS.

B-176038(1), SEP 6, 1972

BID PROTEST - NONRESPONSIVE BID - ACCESS REQUIREMENTS DENIAL OF PROTEST BY NHA FIELD SERVICES AGAINST AWARD OF A CONTRACT UNDER AN RFP ISSUED BY THE THAILAND PROCUREMENT CENTER, BANGKOK, THAILAND, FOR VARIOUS MAINTENANCE SERVICES AT DON MUANG AIRPORT AND U TAPAO ROYAL THAI NAVY AIRFIELD, THAILAND. SINCE IT APPEARS THAT PROTESTANT COULD NOT OBTAIN THE NECESSARY ACCESS TO AT LEAST ONE OF THE REQUIRED BASES, AND THE SOLICITATION PLACED THE ENTIRE RESPONSIBILITY FOR OBTAINING SUCH ACCESS ON THE BIDDER, GAO CANNOT DISAGREE WITH THE DENIAL OF CONTRACT AWARD. SEE LETTER OF TODAY TO THE SECRETARY OF THE AIR FORCE.

TO NHA FIELD SERVICES:

THIS IS IN REPLY TO YOUR LETTERS DATED MAY 19 AND AUGUST 1, 1972, PROTESTING THE AWARD OF A CONTRACT UNDER RFP F62272-72-R-0069, ISSUED BY THE THAILAND PROCUREMENT CENTER, UNITED STATES AIR FORCE MILITARY PURCHASING AGENCY, BANGKOK, THAILAND.

THE SOLICITATION CONTEMPLATED AWARD OF A CONTRACT FOR TRANSIT MAINTENANCE SERVICES FOR MILITARY AIRLIFT COMMAND, MILITARY AND COMMERCIAL AIRCRAFT AND BASE TRANSIENT AIRCRAFT MAINTENANCE AT DON MUANG AIRPORT AND U-TAPAO ROYAL THAI NAVY AIRFIELD, THAILAND. THE RECORD SHOWS THAT THE CONTRACTING OFFICER EXPECTED TO SOLICIT A PROPOSAL ONLY FROM THAI AIRWAYS AIRCRAFT MAINTENANCE CO., LTD. (TAAMC) SINCE, HISTORICALLY, NO OTHER FIRM HAD OFFERED A PROPOSAL WHERE, AS HERE, AWARD WAS CONTINGENT UPON ACQUIRING AUTHORIZATION FROM THAILAND OFFICIALS FOR ACCESS IN ORDER TO PERFORM THE SERVICES AT DON MUANG MILITARY AIRPORT. IT IS REPORTED THAT TAAMC IS A QUASI-THAI GOVERNMENT CORPORATION WHICH IS CONTROLLED THROUGH THAI AIRWAYS CO., LTD. (TAC), WHICH IS A WHOLLY-OWNED THAI GOVERNMENT CORPORATION. TAC OWNS 70 PERCENT OF TAAMC. THE AIR FORCE REPORTS THAT PERFORMANCE OF THE WORK REQUIRED ON THE MILITARY SIDE OF DON MUANG AIRPORT HAS BEEN RESTRICTED TO TAAMC AND NO OTHER POTENTIAL OFFEROR HAS BEEN ABLE TO ACQUIRE AUTHORIZATION TO PERFORM THESE SERVICES.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT AT THE TIME YOUR FIRM REQUESTED A COPY OF THE SOLICITATION FROM THE CONTRACTING OFFICER YOU WERE ADVISED OF THE STRICT REQUIREMENT IN THE RFP FOR OBTAINING ACCESS TO THE BASES AND THE CONTRACTING OFFICER EXPRESSED DOUBT THAT ANY ONE OTHER THAN A THAI COMPANY COULD OBTAIN SUCH ACCESS. NEVERTHELESS, YOU SUBMITTED A PROPOSAL AND YOUR LETTER OF MAY 19 FURTHER STATES THAT YOU SUBMITTED A SIGNED STATEMENT FROM THE APPROPRIATE BASE COMMANDERS AUTHORIZING YOUR PERSONNEL AND VEHICLES PASSES FOR THE PURPOSE OF PERFORMING THE PROPOSED CONTRACT WORK.

THE AIR FORCE REPORTS THAT YOUR MARKETING MANAGER, MR. JACK HEENAN, ADVISED THE CONTRACTING OFFICER AS LATE AS JUNE 27, 1972, THAT HE DID NOT HAVE A WRITTEN DOCUMENT CONFIRMING BASE ACCESS, HOWEVER, HE STATED THAT HE HAD BEEN TOLD BY THAILAND AUTHORITIES THAT HE WOULD RECEIVE WRITTEN PROOF OF BASE ACCESS FOR HIS PERSONNEL AND VEHICLES AT SUCH TIME AS HE WAS AWARDED A CONTRACT. SUBSEQUENTLY, THE CONTRACTING OFFICER MET WITH THE DEPUTY COMMANDER IN CHIEF OF THE ROYAL THAILAND AIR FORCE WHO ADVISED THAT HE AND THE CHIEF WERE THE ONLY PERSONS WHO COULD GRANT NHA ACCESS TO DON MUANG. IT IS REPORTED THAT THE DEPUTY THEN PROCEEDED TO WRITE THE WORD "VOID" ACROSS THE NHA REQUEST FOR ACCESS PERMISSION DATED MARCH 15, 1972.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT YOU WERE ADVISED BY LETTER OF MAY 15, 1972, THAT DUE TO THE POLITICAL SITUATION IN THAILAND AND THE MILITARY SITUATION IN SOUTH EAST ASIA A CONTRACT WOULD BE NEGOTIATED WITH TAAMC. WHILE IT IS NOT CLEAR FROM THIS LETTER IT APPEARS THAT THE OBTAINING OF ACCESS AUTHORIZATION TO THE BASES WAS CONSIDERED TO BE A POLITICAL MATTER.

SINCE IT APPEARS THAT YOUR FIRM COULD NOT OBTAIN THE NECESSARY ACCESS TO AT LEAST ONE OF THE REQUIRED BASES, AND THE SOLICITATION PLACED THE ENTIRE RESPONSIBILITY FOR OBTAINING SUCH ACCESS ON THE BIDDER, WE CANNOT DISAGREE WITH THE DENIAL OF CONTRACT AWARD TO YOUR FIRM. HOWEVER, WE HAVE RECOMMENDED TO THE SECRETARY OF THE AIR FORCE BY LETTER OF TODAY, COPY ENCLOSED, THAT IN FUTURE PROCUREMENTS A DETERMINATION BE MADE REGARDING THE FEASIBILITY OF SOLICITING OFFERS FOR PARTIAL AWARDS SO AS TO PERMIT COMPETITION IF ACCESS TO ANY ONE OF THE BASES CAN BE OBTAINED.

WHILE YOU ALSO CONTEND IN YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 1 THAT COLLUSION EXISTS "BETWEEN THE POLITICAL AND PROCUREMENT PEOPLE IN THAILAND AND VIOLATES WHAT THE NORMAL PRUDENT MAN WOULD EXPECT AS TO REQUIREMENTS FOR COMPETITIVE COMMERCIAL PROCUREMENTS," YOU HAVE SUBMITTED NO PROOF OF BAD FAITH OR OF ANY FRAUDULENT OR ILLEGAL ACTION IN THIS CONNECTION ON THE PART OF THE UNITED STATES PROCUREMENT PERSONNEL.

ACCORDINGLY, YOUR PROTEST MUST BE DENIED.