B-176283(3), FEB 5, 1973

B-176283(3): Feb 5, 1973

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ALTHOUGH THE PROTEST WAS DENIED. GAO BELIEVES THAT ONCE NEGOTIATIONS HAVE BEEN HELD AND BEST AND FINAL OFFERS RECEIVED. NEGOTIATIONS SHOULD NOT BE REOPENED UNLESS IT IS CLEARLY IN THE GOVERNMENT'S BEST INTERESTS TO DO SO. IT IS NOTED THAT THE REGULATION CONCERNING THE CONDUCT OF NEGOTIATIONS. SECRETARY: ENCLOSED ARE COPIES OF OUR LETTERS OF TODAY TO BAIRD-ATOMIC. WE BELIEVE THAT ONCE NEGOTIATIONS HAVE BEEN HELD AND BEST AND FINAL OFFERS RECEIVED. NEGOTIATIONS SHOULD NOT BE REOPENED UNLESS IT IS CLEARLY IN THE BEST INTERESTS OF THE GOVERNMENT TO DO SO.

B-176283(3), FEB 5, 1973

BID PROTEST - REOPENING OF NEGOTIATIONS CONCERNING THE PROTEST OF BAIRD-ATOMIC, INC., AGAINST AWARD OF A CONTRACT TO ANY OTHER FIRM UNDER AN RFP ISSUED BY THE NAVAL AMMUNITION DEPOT, CRANE, IND. ALTHOUGH THE PROTEST WAS DENIED, GAO BELIEVES THAT ONCE NEGOTIATIONS HAVE BEEN HELD AND BEST AND FINAL OFFERS RECEIVED, NEGOTIATIONS SHOULD NOT BE REOPENED UNLESS IT IS CLEARLY IN THE GOVERNMENT'S BEST INTERESTS TO DO SO. IN THIS REGARD, IT IS NOTED THAT THE REGULATION CONCERNING THE CONDUCT OF NEGOTIATIONS, ASPR 3-805.1, DOES NOT INCLUDE ANY CLEAR STATEMENT ON THE MATTER.

TO MR. SECRETARY:

ENCLOSED ARE COPIES OF OUR LETTERS OF TODAY TO BAIRD-ATOMIC, INCORPORATED, AND TO THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY, REGARDING BAIRD ATOMIC'S PROTEST AGAINST AN AWARD MADE ON A NEGOTIATED PROCUREMENT (B 176283).

AS STATED IN OUR LETTERS, WE BELIEVE THAT ONCE NEGOTIATIONS HAVE BEEN HELD AND BEST AND FINAL OFFERS RECEIVED, NEGOTIATIONS SHOULD NOT BE REOPENED UNLESS IT IS CLEARLY IN THE BEST INTERESTS OF THE GOVERNMENT TO DO SO. WE BELIEVE THAT A REOPENING OF NEGOTIATIONS IN THE ABSENCE OF A VALID REASON TENDS TO UNDERMINE THE INTEGRITY OF THE COMPETITIVE NEGOTIATION PROCESS. IF THE INSTANT CASE BE TYPICAL, CONTRACTING OFFICERS MAY NOT BE AWARE OF THE NEED TO AVOID EXCESSIVE ROUNDS OF NEGOTIATIONS. IN THIS REGARD, WE NOTE THE REGULATION GOVERNING THE CONDUCT OF NEGOTIATIONS (ASPR 3-805.1) DOES NOT INCLUDE ANY CLEAR STATEMENT ON THE MATTER.

WE WOULD APPRECIATE RECEIVING YOUR VIEWS ON THE SUBJECT.