B-166233 (2), JUN. 17, 1969

B-166233 (2): Jun 17, 1969

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ENCLOSED IS A COPY OF OUR DECISION OF TODAY TO THAT COMPANY DENYING ITS PROTEST. WE HAVE CONSISTENTLY HELD. WHICH LIMITED NEGOTIATIONS TO TWO PROPOSERS SCORING 85 AND 87 AND EXCLUDED THREE PROPOSERS WHO WERE EVALUATED AT 80. THE FACT THAT ONE OF THE TWO PROPOSERS WAS MORE THAN 50 PERCENT HIGHER IN PRICE THAN THE $25. IN SUCH CIRCUMSTANCES WE BELIEVE THAT THE NEGOTIATION FILE SHOULD BE MORE FULLY DOCUMENTED TO SHOW A CLEAR BASIS FOR DETERMINING THAT OTHER PROPOSALS WERE NOT WITHIN A COMPETITIVE RANGE. WAS INTENDED TO REQUIRE THE SUBMISSION OF SPECIFIC APPROACHES IN THE PROPOSAL SHOULD HAVE SUGGESTED TO THE CONTRACTING OFFICER A QUESTION AS TO THE ADEQUACY OF THE WORK DESCRIPTION. WHICH MIGHT WELL HAVE CALLED FOR FURTHER DISCUSSIONS TO CLARIFY THE INTENT OF THE GOVERNMENT RATHER THAN REJECTION OF THE MAJORITY OF THE PROPOSALS SUBMITTED WITHOUT PROPER UNDERSTANDING.

B-166233 (2), JUN. 17, 1969

TO MR. SECRETARY:

WE REFER TO THE REPORTS FORWARDED WITH LETTER OF APRIL 25, 1969, FROM MR. PAUL E. ATWOOD, ACTING DIRECTOR OF PROCUREMENT AND PRODUCTION, AND LETTER OF MAY 15, 1969, FROM MR. F. X. MCKENNA, ASSISTANT GENERAL COUNSEL, CONCERNING THE PROTEST OF S.F. DURST AND COMPANY UNDER REQUEST FOR QUOTATIONS (RFQ) NO. DAAD05-69-Q-0972, ISSUED BY ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, MARYLAND.

ENCLOSED IS A COPY OF OUR DECISION OF TODAY TO THAT COMPANY DENYING ITS PROTEST. WHILE WE DID NOT DIRECT CANCELLATION OF THE AWARD, WE MUST EXPRESS RESERVATIONS CONCERNING THE PROCEDURES EMPLOYED UNDER THE SUBJECT RFQ. WITH RESPECT TO THE FAILURE OF THE PROCUREMENT DIVISION, ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, TO ADVISE PROSPECTIVE OFFERORS OF THE RELATIVE IMPORTANCE TO BE ATTACHED TO EACH EVALUATION FACTOR, WE HAVE CONSISTENTLY HELD, SINCE OUR DECISION OF FEBRUARY 2, 1965, 44 COMP. GEN. 439, THAT SOUND PROCUREMENT POLICY DICTATES THIS SHOULD BE DONE. SEE 47 COMP. GEN. 52; 47 ID. 336.

OUR REVIEW OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE FILE CREATES SUBSTANTIAL DOUBT AS TO THE JUSTIFICATION FOR THE HIGH CUT-OFF POINT OF 85, WHICH LIMITED NEGOTIATIONS TO TWO PROPOSERS SCORING 85 AND 87 AND EXCLUDED THREE PROPOSERS WHO WERE EVALUATED AT 80, 80 AND 81. IN VIEW OF THE REQUIREMENTS OF 10 U.S.C. 2304 (G), THAT PROPOSALS SHALL BE SOLICITED FROM THE MAXIMUM NUMBER OF QUALIFIED SOURCES, AND THAT DISCUSSIONS BE HELD WITH ALL OFFERORS WITHIN A COMPETITIVE RANGE, THE FACT THAT ONE OF THE TWO PROPOSERS WAS MORE THAN 50 PERCENT HIGHER IN PRICE THAN THE $25,000 CERTIFIED FOR THIS PROCUREMENT, AND VERY SUBSTANTIALLY HIGHER THAN THREE OF SIX OTHERS EVALUATED WITHIN 10 POINTS OF ITS SCORE TENDS TO INDICATE SOME ARBITRARINESS IN THE EVALUATION SYSTEM. IN SUCH CIRCUMSTANCES WE BELIEVE THAT THE NEGOTIATION FILE SHOULD BE MORE FULLY DOCUMENTED TO SHOW A CLEAR BASIS FOR DETERMINING THAT OTHER PROPOSALS WERE NOT WITHIN A COMPETITIVE RANGE.

MOREOVER, THE FACT THAT THE PROPOSALS INDICATED THAT AT LEAST HALF OF THE OFFERORS DID NOT UNDERSTAND THAT THE RFQ, IN PART I OF THE SCOPE OF WORK, WAS INTENDED TO REQUIRE THE SUBMISSION OF SPECIFIC APPROACHES IN THE PROPOSAL SHOULD HAVE SUGGESTED TO THE CONTRACTING OFFICER A QUESTION AS TO THE ADEQUACY OF THE WORK DESCRIPTION, WHICH MIGHT WELL HAVE CALLED FOR FURTHER DISCUSSIONS TO CLARIFY THE INTENT OF THE GOVERNMENT RATHER THAN REJECTION OF THE MAJORITY OF THE PROPOSALS SUBMITTED WITHOUT PROPER UNDERSTANDING.

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