B-220713, B-220714, B-220715, FEB 3, 1986, 86-1 CPD 119

B-220713,B-220714,B-220715: Feb 3, 1986

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CONTRACTS - NEGOTIATION - REQUESTS FOR PROPOSALS - SPECIFICATIONS - MINIMUM NEEDS - NOT OVERSTATED DIGEST: PROTESTS THAT COMPUTER EQUIPMENT OFFERED BY PROTESTER WILL REASONABLY SATISFY THE AGENCY'S NEED EVEN THOUGH IT IS INCOMPATIBLE WITH PORTIONS OF THE AGENCY'S EXISTING SYSTEM ARE DENIED. THE PROTESTER CONTENDS THAT ITS OFFERS WERE LOWER THAN THOSE OF THE AWARDEES BUT WERE IMPROPERLY REJECTED AS NOT TECHNICALLY ACCEPTABLE. THE PROTESTS ARE DENIED. THE AGENCY REJECTED RMTC'S PROPOSALS ON THE BASIS THAT THE PRODUCT IT OFFERED WAS NOT COMPATIBLE WITH FRAMEWORK SOFTWARE ALREADY IN USE BY THE AGENCY. IS COMPATIBLE WITH RECENT VERSIONS OF FRAMEWORK SOFTWARE. ALTHOUGH ITS MICROCOMPUTER IS. IT IS UNNECESSARY AND IN VIOLATION OF THE FRAMEWORK LICENSE AGREEMENT FOR THE ARMY TO RUN EARLIER VERSIONS OF THE SOFTWARE ON NEW HARDWARE.

B-220713, B-220714, B-220715, FEB 3, 1986, 86-1 CPD 119

CONTRACTS - NEGOTIATION - REQUESTS FOR PROPOSALS - SPECIFICATIONS - MINIMUM NEEDS - NOT OVERSTATED DIGEST: PROTESTS THAT COMPUTER EQUIPMENT OFFERED BY PROTESTER WILL REASONABLY SATISFY THE AGENCY'S NEED EVEN THOUGH IT IS INCOMPATIBLE WITH PORTIONS OF THE AGENCY'S EXISTING SYSTEM ARE DENIED, SINCE AGENCY'S ASSERTED NEED FOR COMPLETE SYSTEM INTEGRATION HAS NOT BEEN SHOWN TO BE UNREASONABLE AND SOLICITATIONS SPECIFICALLY REQUIRED COMPATIBILITY.

ROCKY MOUNTAIN TRADING COMPANY:

ROCKY MOUNTAIN TRADING COMPANY (RMTC) PROTESTS THE AWARD OF CONTRACTS TO THREE DIFFERENT FIRMS UNDER REQUESTS FOR PROPOSALS NOS. DAKF19-85-R-0104, DAKF19-85-R-0137, AND DAKF19-85-R-0091, ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY, FORT RILEY, KANSAS, FOR BRAND NAME OR EQUAL AUTOMATIC DATA PROCESSING (ADP) EQUIPMENT. THE PROTESTER CONTENDS THAT ITS OFFERS WERE LOWER THAN THOSE OF THE AWARDEES BUT WERE IMPROPERLY REJECTED AS NOT TECHNICALLY ACCEPTABLE. THE PROTESTS ARE DENIED.

THE SOLICITATIONS REQUIRED HARDWARE COMPATIBLE WITH INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS MACHINES CORPORATION (IBM) PC COMPUTER NETWORK EQUIPMENT AND THE AGENCY'S EXISTING FRAMEWORK SOFTWARE STOCK SUPPLY. THE SOLICITATIONS ALSO CALLED FOR SOFTWARE COMPATIBLE WITH EXISTING COMPUTER EQUIPMENT AS WELL AS WITH THE NEW HARDWARE BEING PROCURED. THE AGENCY REJECTED RMTC'S PROPOSALS ON THE BASIS THAT THE PRODUCT IT OFFERED WAS NOT COMPATIBLE WITH FRAMEWORK SOFTWARE ALREADY IN USE BY THE AGENCY.

THE PROTESTER MAINTAINS THAT ITS MICROCOMPUTER, THE LEADING EDGE MODEL D, IS COMPATIBLE WITH RECENT VERSIONS OF FRAMEWORK SOFTWARE, AND ALTHOUGH ITS MICROCOMPUTER IS, IN FACT, NOT COMPATIBLE WITH EARLIER VERSIONS OF FRAMEWORK, IT IS UNNECESSARY AND IN VIOLATION OF THE FRAMEWORK LICENSE AGREEMENT FOR THE ARMY TO RUN EARLIER VERSIONS OF THE SOFTWARE ON NEW HARDWARE.

THE ARMY STATES THAT RMTC'S LEADING EDGE MODEL D ONLY OPERATES ON SOME RECENT VERSIONS OF THE FRAMEWORK SOFTWARE AND IS NOT COMPATIBLE WITH EARLIER VERSIONS OF THAT SOFTWARE WHICH ARE STILL USED BY THE AGENCY. THE AGENCY ALSO DISPUTES THE PROTESTER'S ASSERTION THAT THE ARMY HAS NO NEED TO RUN OLDER VERSIONS OF FRAMEWORK. ACCORDING TO THE ARMY, THE INTERCHANGE OF HARDWARE AND SOFTWARE AMONG ITS ACTIVITIES REQUIRES THE USE OF SOFTWARE APPLICATION PACKAGES WITH HARDWARE OTHER THAN THAT FOR WHICH THEY WERE ORIGINALLY PURCHASED. CONCERNING THE PROTESTER'S CHALLENGES TO THE LEGALITY OF THE ARMY'S USE OF EARLIER VERSIONS OF THE SOFTWARE WITH SUBSEQUENTLY ACQUIRED HARDWARE, THE ARMY STATES THAT ITS FRAMEWORK LICENSE AGREEMENT PERMITS ITS USE ON A "SINGLE OR SUBSEQUENT" MICROCOMPUTER AND THAT ITS USE OF THE EARLIER SOFTWARE PACKAGES FROM ITS STOCK SUPPLY ON NEW, SUBSEQUENTLY ACQUIRED HARDWARE IS NOT IN VIOLATION OF THE LICENSE AGREEMENT.

THE PROTESTER CONTENDS THAT ITS LEADING EDGE MODEL D IS INCOMPATIBLE WITH ONLY THE ORIGINAL VERSION OF FRAMEWORK, AND SINCE ALL OFFERORS ON THE SUBJECT RFP'S ARE "OBLIGED" TO DELIVER THE LATEST VERSIONS OF FRAMEWORK, THE AGENCY WILL HAVE A SUFFICIENT NUMBER OF NEW VERSIONS OF FRAMEWORK FOR USE WITH ITS LEADING EDGE MODEL D MICROCOMPUTER. RMTC EXPRESSES THE VIEW THAT ANY RESULTING INCONVENIENCE TO THE AGENCY WILL BE COMPENSATED BY THE "COST SAVINGS" RESULTING FROM THE AWARDS TO RMTC.

IN ESSENCE, RMTC CONTENDS THAT IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN AWARDED THE SUBJECT CONTRACTS DESPITE THE INCOMPATIBILITY OF ITS MICROCOMPUTER WITH THE ARMY'S EXISTING COMPUTER SOFTWARE, AS REQUIRED BY THE SOLICITATIONS, BECAUSE THE ARMY DOES NOT NEED THE TOTAL SYSTEM INTEGRATION THAT IT HAS REQUIRED.

AS WE HAVE OFTEN STATED, AGENCY OFFICIALS ARE IN THE BEST POSITION TO DETERMINE THE AGENCY'S MINIMUM NEEDS, AND HERE RMTC HAS NOT SHOWN THE ARMY'S ASSERTED NEED FOR TOTAL SYSTEM INTEGRATION-- SPECIFICALLY, FOR THE COMPUTERS TO BE COMPATIBLE WITH ALL VERSIONS OF FRAMEWORK SOFTWARE-- IS UNREASONABLE. RATHER, RMTC PROPOSES THAT THE AGENCY MAKE ACCOMMODATIONS, IN SPITE OF ATTENDING INCONVENIENCES TO ITS OPERATIONS, TO USE RMTC'S NONCONFORMING PRODUCT. THERE IS NO LEGAL BASIS FOR US TO REQUIRE THE AGENCY TO DO SO. SIMPLY PUT, ON THE RECORD PRESENTED, WE DO NOT FIND UNREASONABLE THE AGENCY'S DETERMINATION THAT COMPATIBILITY WITH ALL SOFTWARE USED BY THE AGENCY WAS NECESSARY, AND SINCE THE SOLICITATIONS SPECIFICALLY REQUIRED COMPATIBILITY WITH FRAMEWORK SOFTWARE, THE ARMY PROPERLY REJECTED RMTC'S OFFERS.

THE PROTESTS ARE DENIED.