B-231478.2, Oct 4, 1988, 88-2 CPD 313

B-231478.2: Oct 4, 1988

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F09607-88-BA002 for fire extinguisher systems was unduly restrictive of competition. The Air Force argued that the restriction was justified by its past experience with dry chemical systems which had failed to operate during a fire because the dry chemical agent had caked and could not be expelled from its container. Had failed to demonstrate that the exclusion of the dry chemical system is clearly unreasonable. Pem All argues in its request for reconsideration that dry system extinguishers are only susceptible of caking if they are exposed to temperatures of 130 degree Fahrenheit or above. As would be the case if they were mounted above the stove and not protected by a cabinet. Pem All had already pointed out in its original protest that its own product is placed in a cabinet beside the stove.

B-231478.2, Oct 4, 1988, 88-2 CPD 313

PROCUREMENT - Bid Protests - GAO procedures - GAO decisions - Reconsideration DIGEST: Request for reconsideration that basically only reiterates previously rejected arguments does not warrant reversal or modification of the prior decision.

Pem All Fire Extinguisher Corp.-- Reconsideration:

Pem All Fire Extinguisher Corp. requests reconsideration of our decision in Pem All Fire Extinguisher Corp., B-231478, July 27, 1988, 88-2 CPD Para. 95, in which we denied Pem All's protest alleging that the Air Force's invitation for bids (IFB) No. F09607-88-BA002 for fire extinguisher systems was unduly restrictive of competition.

We deny the request for reconsideration.

Pem All, a manufacturer of a dry chemical fire extinguisher system, had protested that the Air Force's specification for a wet chemical system for use in military housing units unduly restricted competition. The Air Force argued that the restriction was justified by its past experience with dry chemical systems which had failed to operate during a fire because the dry chemical agent had caked and could not be expelled from its container. After this experience, the agency had tested the remaining fire extinguishers of this type and found that none of them operated properly.

We found that the agency had reasonably supported its specification as necessary to meet its minimum needs and that Pem All, while disagreeing with the agency's analysis, had failed to demonstrate that the exclusion of the dry chemical system is clearly unreasonable. In our decision, we noted that the Air Force has a legitimate need for an item that has been proven reliable.

Pem All argues in its request for reconsideration that dry system extinguishers are only susceptible of caking if they are exposed to temperatures of 130 degree Fahrenheit or above, as would be the case if they were mounted above the stove and not protected by a cabinet. The protester insists that its dry chemical system "has not been proven unreliable."

A party requesting that we reconsider a bid protest decision must show that our prior decision contains either errors of fact or of law, or present information not previously considered, that warrant its reversal or modification. 4 C.F.R. Sec. 21.12(a) (1988). Repetition of arguments made during the resolution of the original protest, or mere disagreement with our decision, does not meet this standard. Roy F. Weston, Inc.-- Reconsideration, B-221863.3, Sept. 29, 1986, 86-2 CPD Para. 364.

Pem All had already pointed out in its original protest that its own product is placed in a cabinet beside the stove, where it would not be exposed to heat. We concluded, however, that this did not necessarily mean that the dry system is as reliable as the wet system, nor did it demonstrate that the Air Force's requirement is unreasonable. The reiteration of this argument does not provide any basis for a reversal or modification of our prior decision.

Regarding the argument that Pem All's system has "not been proven unreliable," we recognized in our prior decision the procuring agency's discretion to specify items with superior performance characteristics allowing for as much reliability, effectiveness and safety as possible in performing the function for which they are designed, especially items critical to human survival. We concluded that the Air Force had acted reasonably when it relied on its research and direct experience showing dry chemical systems to be ineffective to date and excluded these systems from consideration. Also, as indicated in our decision, we recognized that Pem All's product might perform differently than the other dry chemical extinguisher which failed and urged the Secretary of the Air Force to continue to evaluate the experience with Pem All's product and to consider allowing Pem All to compete in the future if its product proves satisfactory.

The request for reconsideration is therefore denied.