Inappropriate Action by Contracting Officer

B-176053(2): Nov 13, 1972

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IT WAS INAPPROPRIATE FOR THE CONTRACTING OFFICER (1) TO HAVE SOUGHT CLARIFICATION OF THE TEKTRONIX BID AND (2) TO HAVE PROVIDED FOR STANDARD PRODUCTION EQUIPMENT WITHOUT PROVIDING GUIDEPOSTS AS TO HOW "STANDARD" OR AT WHAT POINT IN "PRODUCTION" THE EQUIPMENT MUST BE. DUNN: ENCLOSED IS A COPY OF OUR DECISION OF TODAY TO TEKTRONIX. THE PROTEST WAS THE SUBJECT OF REPORTS DATED JUNE 22. WE WISH TO DRAW YOUR ATTENTION TO THE FACT THAT IN OUR OPINION IT WAS INAPPROPRIATE FOR THE CONTRACTING OFFICER (1) TO HAVE SOUGHT CLARIFICATION OF THE TEKTRONIX BID AND (2) TO HAVE PROVIDED FOR STANDARD PRODUCTION EQUIPMENT WITHOUT PROVIDING GUIDEPOSTS AS TO HOW "STANDARD" OR AT WHAT POINT IN "PRODUCTION" THE EQUIPMENT MUST BE.

B-176053(2), NOV 13, 1972

BID PROTEST - NONRESPONSIVE BID - STANDARD PRODUCTION ITEM - AMBIGUITY IN BID CONCERNING DECISION OF TODAY TO TEKTRONIX, INC., DENYING THE PROTEST AGAINST THE AWARD OF A CONTRACT TO THE HEWLETT-PACKARD COMPANY UNDER AN IFB ISSUED BY THE DEFENSE NUCLEAR AGENCY, KIRTLAND AFB, N. M. ALTHOUGH THE PROTEST HAS BEEN DENIED, IT WAS INAPPROPRIATE FOR THE CONTRACTING OFFICER (1) TO HAVE SOUGHT CLARIFICATION OF THE TEKTRONIX BID AND (2) TO HAVE PROVIDED FOR STANDARD PRODUCTION EQUIPMENT WITHOUT PROVIDING GUIDEPOSTS AS TO HOW "STANDARD" OR AT WHAT POINT IN "PRODUCTION" THE EQUIPMENT MUST BE. APPROPRIATE STEPS SHOULD BE TAKEN TO PRECLUDE A RECURRENCE OF THIS SITUATION IN THE FUTURE.

TO LT. GENERAL CARROLL H. DUNN:

ENCLOSED IS A COPY OF OUR DECISION OF TODAY TO TEKTRONIX, INC., BEAVERTON, OREGON, DENYING THE PROTEST AGAINST THE AWARD OF A CONTRACT TO THE HEWLETT-PACKARD COMPANY UNDER INVITATION FOR BIDS NO. DNA002-72 B- 0011, ISSUED BY THE DEFENSE NUCLEAR AGENCY, FIELD COMMAND, KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE, NEW MEXICO. THE PROTEST WAS THE SUBJECT OF REPORTS DATED JUNE 22, AND OCTOBER 13, 1972, FROM THE CONTRACTING OFFICER.

ALTHOUGH THE PROTEST HAS BEEN DENIED, WE WISH TO DRAW YOUR ATTENTION TO THE FACT THAT IN OUR OPINION IT WAS INAPPROPRIATE FOR THE CONTRACTING OFFICER (1) TO HAVE SOUGHT CLARIFICATION OF THE TEKTRONIX BID AND (2) TO HAVE PROVIDED FOR STANDARD PRODUCTION EQUIPMENT WITHOUT PROVIDING GUIDEPOSTS AS TO HOW "STANDARD" OR AT WHAT POINT IN "PRODUCTION" THE EQUIPMENT MUST BE.

WE TRUST THAT APPROPRIATE STEPS WILL BE TAKEN TO PRECLUDE A RECURRENCE OF THIS SITUATION IN THE FUTURE.

THE CATALOGS FURNISHED WITH THE OCTOBER 13 LETTER ARE RETURNED HEREWITH.