B-170377, FEB 19, 1971

B-170377: Feb 19, 1971

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Ralph O. White
(202) 512-8278
WhiteRO@gao.gov

Kenneth E. Patton
(202) 512-8205
PattonK@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

SOLICITATION ON A SOLE-SOURCE BASIS IS JUSTIFIED WHEN MAINTENANCE OF A LARGE NUMBER OF CALIBRATION FACILITIES IN CONNECTION WITH MODERN WEAPONS SYSTEMS REQUIRES EXTREMELY ACCURATE AND CONSISTENT STANDARDS AND WHEN EXPERIENCE HAS SHOWN THAT SUCH CONSISTENCY CAN BE BEST MAINTAINED BY UNITS PROCURED ON A SOLE-SOURCE BASIS. BIDDLE COMPANY: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED NOVEMBER 9. THE RECORD REVEALS THAT THESE UNITS ARE TO BE UTILIZED IN THE CALIBRATION ACTIVITIES OF THE NAVY. NAVY REPORTS THAT THIS PROCUREMENT IS NOT IDENTICAL TO OR A FOLLOW-ON OF THAT NEGOTIATED UNDER RFP N00123-70-R-1127. WHICH WAS THE SUBJECT OF OUR DECISION B-170377. 1970: BUT THAT THIS EQUIPMENT IS SIMILAR IN NATURE.

B-170377, FEB 19, 1971

BID PROTEST - SOLE-SOURCE PROCUREMENT DENIAL OF PROTEST OF JAMES G. BIDDLE COMPANY AGAINST THE AWARD OF A CONTRACT ISSUED BY THE NAVAL REGIONAL PROCUREMENT OFFICE, LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, FOR UNITS TO BE USED IN CALIBRATION ACTIVITIES ON A SOLE SOURCE BASIS. SOLICITATION ON A SOLE-SOURCE BASIS IS JUSTIFIED WHEN MAINTENANCE OF A LARGE NUMBER OF CALIBRATION FACILITIES IN CONNECTION WITH MODERN WEAPONS SYSTEMS REQUIRES EXTREMELY ACCURATE AND CONSISTENT STANDARDS AND WHEN EXPERIENCE HAS SHOWN THAT SUCH CONSISTENCY CAN BE BEST MAINTAINED BY UNITS PROCURED ON A SOLE-SOURCE BASIS.

TO JAMES G. BIDDLE COMPANY:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED NOVEMBER 9, 1970, WITH ENCLOSURE, FORWARDED HERE, CONCERNING REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS (RFP) NO. N00123-71-R- 0630, ISSUED BY THE NAVAL REGIONAL PROCUREMENT OFFICE, LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA.

THE SOLICITATION, ISSUED NOVEMBER 6, 1970, PROVIDED FOR THE PROCUREMENT OF THE FOLLOWING ITEMS:

1. AC RATIO ACCESSORY, ELECTRO-SCIENTIFIC MODEL RA 79, QUANTITY - 1 EA.

2. TRANSPORTABLE RESISTANCE STANDARD, MODEL SR-104, QUANTITY - 8 EA.

3. RESISTANCE COMPARISON SYSTEM, MODEL 123, QUANTITY - 2 EA.

4. PORTABLE IMPEDANCE BRIDGE, MODEL 250DE, QUANTITY - 2 EA.

5. VOLTAGE DIVIDER, MODEL RV 722, QUANTITY - 4 EA.

THE RECORD REVEALS THAT THESE UNITS ARE TO BE UTILIZED IN THE CALIBRATION ACTIVITIES OF THE NAVY. NAVY REPORTS THAT THIS PROCUREMENT IS NOT IDENTICAL TO OR A FOLLOW-ON OF THAT NEGOTIATED UNDER RFP N00123-70-R-1127, WHICH WAS THE SUBJECT OF OUR DECISION B-170377, OCTOBER 22, 1970: BUT THAT THIS EQUIPMENT IS SIMILAR IN NATURE, ALTHOUGH INTENDED FOR DIFFERENT APPLICATIONS. ALSO, NAVY REPORTS THAT WHERE THE FORMER PROCUREMENT WAS COMPETITIVE, THE INSTANT CASE IS A SOLE-SOURCE PURCHASE.

FINALLY, WITH REGARD TO THE PRIOR PROCUREMENT (RFP NO. N00123-70-R 1127) THE RECORD SHOWS THAT THE ORIGINAL REQUIREMENT WAS ISSUED UNDER FORMAL ADVERTISING PROCEDURES. HOWEVER, JULIE RESEARCH LABORATORIES, INCORPORATED, ALLEGED TO THE PURCHASING ACTIVITY THAT THE SPECIFICATIONS CONTAINED IN THE INVITATION FOR BIDS (IFB) WERE RESTRICTIVE. THE CONTRACTING OFFICER STATES THAT AFTER A REVIEW OF THESE ALLEGATIONS, IT WAS CONSIDERED THAT THE SPECIFICATIONS MIGHT BE TOO RESTRICTIVE FOR FORMAL ADVERTISING PROCEDURES. CONSEQUENTLY, THE IFB WAS CANCELED AND, THE PROPER DETERMINATIONS HAVING BEEN MADE, THE PROCUREMENT WAS RESOLICITED UNDER A NEGOTIATED PROCUREMENT TO PERMIT A WIDER AREA FOR REVIEW OF PROPOSALS. IT IS INDICATED THAT THE RESULTANT REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS WAS ISSUED TO 66 SOURCES WITH A FINAL CLOSING DATE OF FEBRUARY 11, 1970; THREE RESPONSES TO THE SOLICITATION WERE RECEIVED. IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, WE FIND NO REASON TO CONCLUDE THAT CANCELLATION OF THE ORIGINAL IFB WAS IN VIOLATION OF PARAGRAPH 2-209 OF THE ARMED SERVICES PROCUREMENT REGULATION (ASPR) OR WAS OTHERWISE ERRONEOUS.

YOU PROTEST AGAINST THE SOLICITATION BEING ISSUED ON A SOLE-SOURCE BASIS, WITHOUT PROVIDING YOUR FIRM AN OPPORTUNITY TO SUBMIT A BID.

THE CONTRACTING OFFICER'S STATEMENT INCLUDED IN THE ADMINISTRATIVE REPORT STATES IN THIS REGARD AS FOLLOWS:

"3. THE REASON FOR THE SOLE-SOURCE PURCHASE OF THESE ITEMS ARISES OUT OF THE PECULIAR PROBLEMS OF MAINTAINING A LARGE NUMBER OF CALIBRATION FACILITIES, AND ENSURING THAT SUCH FACILITIES GIVE CONSISTENT RESULTS.

"4. ***THE INCREASING COMPLEXITY AND SOPHISTICATION OF MODERN WEAPONS SYSTEMS MAKES IT IMPERATIVE THAT THE NAVY ESTABLISH AND MAINTAIN A NETWORK OF EXTREMELY ACCURATE AND CONSISTENT PRIMARY AND SECONDARY CALIBRATION FACILITIES. EXPERIENCE HAS SHOWN THAT SUCH CONSISTENCY AS IS REQUIRED TO ENSURE THAT THE SYSTEM BE OPERATIONALLY SATISFACTORY CAN ONLY BE ASSURED BY PROCURING IDENTICAL EQUIPMENTS FOR EACH OF THE CALIBRATION LABORATORIES WITHIN THE SYSTEM. CONSEQUENTLY, ONCE THE REQUIRED UNIT IS ESTABLISHED, BY COMPETITION IF POSSIBLE, FOR USE IN THE SYSTEM FOR A SPECIFIC TYPE OF CALIBRATION, THAT UNIT IS OF NECESSITY PROCURED ON A SOLE-SOURCE BASIS FOR ALL OTHER LABORATORIES THAT HAVE NEED OF THE SAME TYPE OF CALIBRATION CAPABILITY."

THE CONTRACTING OFFICER'S STATEMENT INDICATES, HOWEVER, THAT THERE IS A LACK OF DOCUMENTED JUSTIFICATION FOR PROCURING ITEMS 3 AND 4 OF THE REQUIREMENTS (SET FORTH ABOVE) ON A SOLE-SOURCE BASIS; CONSEQUENTLY, THE REQUIREMENT FOR THESE ITEMS HAS BEEN CANCELED WITH THE INTENTION TO REPROCURE THEM "AT A LATER DATE UPON RECEIPT OF ADEQUATE DOCUMENTATION." IT IS REPORTED THAT AWARD OF A CONTRACT ON ITEMS 1, 2 AND 5 IS BEING WITHHELD PENDING RECEIPT OF OUR DECISION.

PRIOR TO ISSUING THE SOLICITATION, THE CONTRACTING OFFICER, ON OCTOBER 19, 1970, ISSUED A DETERMINATION AND FINDINGS (D&F), PROVIDING FOR THE NEGOTIATION OF THE PROCUREMENT UNDER THE AUTHORITY OF 10 U.S.C. 2304(A)(10), AS IMPLEMENTED BY ASPR 3-210.2(I). THE STATUTORY PROVISION AUTHORIZES PROCUREMENTS WITHOUT FORMAL ADVERTISING WHEN IT IS IMPRACTICABLE TO OBTAIN COMPETITION. THE ASPR PROVISION AUTHORIZES THE USE OF THE STATUTORY AUTHORITY WHEN SUPPLIES CAN BE OBTAINED ONLY FROM A SOLE SOURCE. ASPR 3-102(C) REQUIRES PRIOR REVIEW AT A LEVEL HIGHER THAN THE CONTRACTING OFFICER WHEN A NONCOMPETITIVE PROCUREMENT IS CONTEMPLATED. THE HIGHER LEVEL APPROVAL WAS OBTAINED IN THIS CASE.

UPON A CAREFUL EXAMINATION OF THE RECORD WE FIND NO LEGAL OBJECTION EITHER TO THE DETERMINATION TO AWARD THE CONTRACT ON A SOLE-SOURCE BASIS TO THE CONTRACTOR ON THE PRIOR PROCUREMENT OR TO THE PROCEDURE FOLLOWED IN ARRIVING AT AND IMPLEMENTING SUCH DETERMINATION.

FOR THE REASONS STATED, YOUR PROTEST MUST BE DENIED.

Jan 14, 2021

Jan 13, 2021

Looking for more? Browse all our products here