B-181127, MAY 16, 1974

B-181127: May 16, 1974

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PROTEST AGAINST REOPENING OF NEGOTIATIONS WHICH WAS RECEIVED BY GAO 6 WORKING DAYS AFTER PROTESTER RECEIVED AMENDMENT REOPENING NEGOTIATIONS FOLLOWING QUESTIONING OF CONTRACTING OFFICER AS TO PROPRIETY OF REOPENING NEGOTIATIONS IS UNTIMELY UNDER SECTION 20.2(A) OF BID PROTEST PROCEDURES AND STANDARDS AND ACCORDINGLY FILE ON PROTEST IS CLOSED. TO FAIRCHILD REPUBLIC COMPANY: REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS (RFP) F04606-74-R-0293 WAS ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE. INITIAL PROPOSALS FOR THE REQUIREMENT WERE DUE ON JANUARY 28. FAIRCHILD QUESTIONED THE CONTRACTING OFFICER ABOUT THE NEED FOR REOPENING NEGOTIATIONS AND EXPRESSED CONCERN THAT ITS FEBRUARY 15 "BEST AND FINAL" OFFER MIGHT HAVE BEEN COMPROMISED.

B-181127, MAY 16, 1974

PROTEST AGAINST REOPENING OF NEGOTIATIONS WHICH WAS RECEIVED BY GAO 6 WORKING DAYS AFTER PROTESTER RECEIVED AMENDMENT REOPENING NEGOTIATIONS FOLLOWING QUESTIONING OF CONTRACTING OFFICER AS TO PROPRIETY OF REOPENING NEGOTIATIONS IS UNTIMELY UNDER SECTION 20.2(A) OF BID PROTEST PROCEDURES AND STANDARDS AND ACCORDINGLY FILE ON PROTEST IS CLOSED.

TO FAIRCHILD REPUBLIC COMPANY:

REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS (RFP) F04606-74-R-0293 WAS ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE, SACRAMENTO AIR MATERIEL AREA, CALIFORNIA, ON DECEMBER 14, 1973, FOR PAINTING AND INSPECTION SERVICES. INITIAL PROPOSALS FOR THE REQUIREMENT WERE DUE ON JANUARY 28, 1974.

FAIRCHILD REPUBLIC COMPANY SUBMITTED AN INITIAL PROPOSAL TO THE AIR FORCE FOR THE REQUIREMENT ON JANUARY 22, 1974. THE AIR FORCE THEN DISCUSSED THE CONTENTS OF FAIRCHILD'S PROPOSAL WITH THE CONCERN. FOLLOWING DISCUSSIONS, FAIRCHILD, PURSUANT TO THE AIR FORCE'S REQUEST, SUBMITTED A "BEST AND FINAL" OFFER FOR THE WORK ON FEBRUARY 15, 1974.

ON APRIL 10, 1974, FAIRCHILD RECEIVED AMENDMENT 0003 TO THE RFP. THE AMENDMENT ADVISED THAT NEGOTIATIONS FOR THE PROCUREMENT HAD BEEN REOPENED AND CALLED FOR ANOTHER "BEST AND FINAL" OFFER BY APRIL 17, 1974. ON APRIL 11, 1974, FAIRCHILD QUESTIONED THE CONTRACTING OFFICER ABOUT THE NEED FOR REOPENING NEGOTIATIONS AND EXPRESSED CONCERN THAT ITS FEBRUARY 15 "BEST AND FINAL" OFFER MIGHT HAVE BEEN COMPROMISED.

ON APRIL 15, 1974, FAIRCHILD RECEIVED AMENDMENT 0004 TO THE RFP. THE AMENDMENT, IN FAIRCHILD'S VIEW, ESSENTIALLY CONFIRMED AMENDMENT 0003 BUT MADE SEVERAL ADDITIONAL CHANGES. AMENDMENT 0004 ALSO CALLED FOR "BEST AND FINAL" OFFERS BY APRIL 17, 1974.

ON APRIL 23, 1974, GAO AND THE AIR FORCE SIMULTANEOUSLY RECEIVED A PROTEST ON THE PROCUREMENT FROM FAIRCHILD. THE PROTEST ASSERTS THAT IT WAS HIGHLY IMPROPER FOR THE AIR FORCE TO REOPEN NEGOTIATIONS AT A POINT IN TIME WHEN, IN FAIRCHILD'S VIEW, THE GOVERNMENT COULD NOT GUARANTEE PROTECTION OF THE COMPANY'S PRIOR OFFER. ASSUMING THAT ITS COMPETITORS WERE AWARE OF ITS PREVIOUS OFFER, FAIRCHILD URGES THAT A COMPETITOR WOULD HAVE BEEN IN AN ADVANTAGEOUS POSITION TO REDUCE ITS PRICE BELOW THE "PREVIOUSLY ESTABLISHED LOW BID" (THOUGHT BY FAIRCHILD TO BE ITS FEBRUARY 15 "BEST AND FINAL" OFFER).

UNDER SECTION 20.2(A) OF THE BID PROTEST PROCEDURES AND STANDARDS -

"*** BID PROTESTS SHALL BE FILED NOT LATER THAN 5 (WORKING) DAYS AFTER THE BASIS FOR PROTEST IS KNOWN OR SHOULD HAVE BEEN KNOWN, WHICHEVER IS EARLIER. IF A PROTEST HAS BEEN FILED INITIALLY WITH THE CONTRACTING AGENCY, ANY SUBSEQUENT PROTEST TO THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE FILED WITHIN 5 (WORKING) DAYS OF NOTIFICATION OF ADVERSE AGENCY ACTION WILL BE CONSIDERED PROVIDED THE INITIAL PROTEST TO THE AGENCY WAS MADE TIMELY.

SINCE FAIRCHILD RECEIVED AMENDMENT 0004 ON APRIL 15, 1974, AND DID NOT FILE A PROTEST IN OUR OFFICE UNTIL 6 WORKING DAYS LATER, APRIL 23, 1974, THE PROTEST IS UNTIMELY.

ACCORDINGLY, WE ARE CLOSING OUR FILE ON THE MATTER TODAY.