Allegations of Army Retaliation Against Bristol Electronics, Inc., New Bedford, Massachusetts, as a Result of Earlier Committee Inquiries

PSAD-80-45: Published: Apr 29, 1980. Publicly Released: May 29, 1980.

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The president of a firm alleged that his company was experiencing retaliation by the Army as a direct result of the firm's cooperation with, and testimony before, a congressional committee. The firm's president accused the Army of unfair treatment in several actions related to a contract for radio sets. Pursuant to a request from Congressman Jack Brooks, GAO conducted an extensive investigation into the allegations.

The investigation revealed no documentary evidence supporting the president's allegations, and all indications were that the Army treated the firm fairly. The firm's financial difficulties appeared to be the result of its decision to accept the risk inherent in bidding on a fixed-price contract at an unrealistically low price, expecting to offset losses against future business, much of which did not materialize. While the circumstances suggested a less than adequate judgment on the part of the Army procurement personnel in the award and administration of the contract, the facts did not support the allegation of retaliation. In fact, the Army may have been lenient in applying applicable procurement regulations.

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