B-195391.2,L/M, JUN 10, 1980

B-195391.2,L/M: Jun 10, 1980

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WHICH WAS AWARDED UNDER IFB 0074-AA- 65-0-9-BM. THE CONTRACT IS FOR ON-SITE LABORATORY URINALYSIS (DRUG DETECTION) SERVICES FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA SUPERIOR COURT. OUR RECOMMENDATION WITH RESPECT TO THE RENEWAL OPTION WAS BASED IN LARGE MEASURE ON AN ANALYSIS OF URINE SAMPLES PERFORMED BY THE ARMED FORCES INSTITUTE OF PATHOLOGY (AFIP) AT THE DISTRICT'S REQUEST WHICH INDICATED THAT THE PREAWARD TESTS PERFORMED BY PAL ON SPECIALLY PREPARED URINE SAMPLES WERE INCONCLUSIVE. BOTH OF WHICH INDICATED THAT THE ORIGINAL AFIP TEST RESULTS WERE CALIBRATED ON FREE MORPHINE CONTAINED IN THE SAMPLES AND NOT TOTAL MORPHINE AS DEFINED IN THE SPECIFICATION. THE PAL TEST RESULTS WERE SHOWN TO BE WITHIN NORMAL TOLERANCES.

B-195391.2,L/M, JUN 10, 1980

PRECIS-UNAVAILABLE

MARION S. BARRY, JR., MAYOR OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA:

WE REFER TO OUR MARCH 10, 1980 LETTER TO YOU ENCLOSING OUR DECISION B & W STAT LABORATORY, INC., B-195391, MARCH 10, 1980, 80-1 CPD 184. IN THAT LETTER WE RECOMMENDED THAT THE OPTION TO RENEW THE CONTRACT OF PRECISION ANALYTICAL LABORATORIES, INC. (PAL), WHICH WAS AWARDED UNDER IFB 0074-AA- 65-0-9-BM, NOT BE EXERCISED. THE CONTRACT IS FOR ON-SITE LABORATORY URINALYSIS (DRUG DETECTION) SERVICES FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA SUPERIOR COURT. OUR LETTER ALSO REQUESTED THAT WE BE ADVISED OF THE ACTIONS TAKEN BY THE DISTRICT IN RESPONSE TO OUR RECOMMENDATIONS.

WE RECENTLY RECEIVED A LETTER FROM THE DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF GENERAL SERVICES DATED MAY 20, 1980, REQUESTING THAT WE MODIFY OUR RECOMMENDATION TO PERMIT RENEWAL OF THE PAL CONTRACT BECAUSE OF AN ERROR IN THE ORIGINAL RECORD.

BRIEFLY, OUR RECOMMENDATION WITH RESPECT TO THE RENEWAL OPTION WAS BASED IN LARGE MEASURE ON AN ANALYSIS OF URINE SAMPLES PERFORMED BY THE ARMED FORCES INSTITUTE OF PATHOLOGY (AFIP) AT THE DISTRICT'S REQUEST WHICH INDICATED THAT THE PREAWARD TESTS PERFORMED BY PAL ON SPECIALLY PREPARED URINE SAMPLES WERE INCONCLUSIVE. THE DEPUTY DIRECTOR'S LETTER ENCLOSED A MEMORANDUM FROM DR. KURT BRANDT, ACTING MEDICAL DIRECTOR, ALCOHOL AND DRUG ABUSE SERVICES ADMINISTRATION, AND A LETTER FROM AFIP, BOTH OF WHICH INDICATED THAT THE ORIGINAL AFIP TEST RESULTS WERE CALIBRATED ON FREE MORPHINE CONTAINED IN THE SAMPLES AND NOT TOTAL MORPHINE AS DEFINED IN THE SPECIFICATION. AFTER AFIP RETESTED THE SAMPLES WITH THE CORRECT CALIBRATION, THE PAL TEST RESULTS WERE SHOWN TO BE WITHIN NORMAL TOLERANCES.

INASMUCH AS OUR CONCERN OVER THE RENEWAL OF THE PAL CONTRACT HAS NOW BEEN SUBSTANTIALLY ALLEVIATED AS A RESULT OF THE AFIP RETESTS, THAT PORTION OF OUR RECOMMENDATION CONCERNING THE RENEWAL OPTION IS WITHDRAWN AS REQUESTED.

WE ARE STILL OF THE OPINION, HOWEVER, THAT THE METHODS UTILIZED BY THE DISTRICT TO PREPARE THESE SAMPLES FOR PREAWARD TESTING SHOULD BE REVISED TO AVOID THE CONTINUING CONTROVERSY WHICH SURROUNDS THE AWARD OF THE DISTRICT'S CONTRACTS FOR URINALYSIS SERVICES. WE WISH TO MAKE IT CLEAR THAT WE ARE NOT SUGGESTING THAT THE SAMPLES WERE COLLECTED OR "SPIKED" IN AN INCOMPETENT MANNER OR THAT THERE EXISTS ANY EVIDENCE OF WRONGDOING. NONETHELESS, WE BELIEVE IT IS IN THE DISTRICT'S BEST INTEREST TO DEVISE A METHODOLOGY WHICH WILL EFFECTIVELY ELIMINATE ANY APPEARANCE OF IMPROPRIETY, SUCH AS A PRIOR VERIFICATION OF THE DRUG CONTENT IN THE VARIOUS SAMPLES BEFORE THEY ARE GIVEN TO THE BIDDERS FOR PREAWARD TESTING. PLEASE ADVISE US OF THE ACTIONS TAKEN BY THE DISTRICT IN THIS RESPECT.