B-198825 L/M, JUN 19, 1980

B-198825 L/M: Jun 19, 1980

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GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION: THIS IS IN REPLY TO YOUR LETTER OF MAY 12. WE HAVE ALSO HELD AS REASONABLE TO SUPPORT A TOTAL PACKAGE APPROACH AN AGENCY'S CONCERN THAT FRAGMENTING THE CONTRACT REQUIREMENTS COULD ADVERSELY AFFECT ANOTHER CONTRACTOR'S CONTRACTUAL RESPONSIBILITIES. WE HELD REASONABLE AN AGENCY'S DESIRE TO AVOID THE ADDED BURDEN AND EXPENSE OF ADMINISTERING OVERLAPPING CONTRACTS WHERE THE FUNCTIONS TO BE PERFORMED WERE SO INTERTWINED AS TO MAKE DUPLICATION OF CONTRACTOR EFFORTS INEVITABLE AND TO REQUIRE THE AGENCY TO SUBSIDIZE THE DEVELOPMENT OF SIMILAR CAPABILITIES IN TWO CONTRACTORS INSTEAD OF ONE. SOME OF THE ADVANTAGES NOTED IN YOUR MAY 12 LETTER ARE GREATER DELIVERY COORDINATION.

B-198825 L/M, JUN 19, 1980

OFFICE OF GENERAL COUNSEL

ALLIE B. LATIMER, GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION:

THIS IS IN REPLY TO YOUR LETTER OF MAY 12, 1980, REQUESTING OUR OPINION AS TO THE PROPRIETY OF USING THE "PACKAGE HOME" CONCEPT AS A TECHNIQUE FOR PROCURING, UNDER A SINGLE CONTRACT, COMPLETE HOUSEHOLDS OF FURNITURE AND FURNISHINGS FOR GOVERNMENT PERSONNEL STATIONED ABROAD. A PACKAGE HOME INCLUDES SUCH VARIED ITEMS AS LIVING ROOM, DINING ROOM AND BEDROOM FURNITURE, RUGS, LAMPS, BEDDING, PILLOWS, MIRRORS - IN SHORT, THE EFFECTS OF AN ENTIRE HOUSEHOLD.

THIS OFFICE HAS RECOGNIZED THE PROPRIETY, IN CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES, OF THE "TOTAL PACKAGE" PROCUREMENT APPROACH. FOR EXAMPLE, SEE ERIC P. SCHELLIN, B-189763, OCTOBER 12, 1977, 77-2 CPD 285; CAPITAL RECORDING COMPANY, B-188015, B-188152, JULY 7, 1977, 77-2 CPD 10; BURTON K. MYERS AND COMPANY, B-187960, SEPTEMBER 14, 1977, 77-2 CPD 187; LEO KANNER ASSOCIATES, B-194327, NOVEMBER 5, 1979, 79-2 CPD 318.

IN CAPITAL RECORDING COMPANY, SUPRA, WE UPHELD AN AGENCY'S DETERMINATION THAT THE NEED FOR A SINGLE CONTRACTOR TO MANAGE AND COORDINATE A NATIONAL ADVERTISING CAMPAIGN OUTWEIGHED THE COMPETITIVE BENEFITS OF FRAGMENTING THE PRODUCTION AND DISTRIBUTION REQUIREMENTS AMONG VARIOUS CONTRACTORS. WE HAVE ALSO HELD AS REASONABLE TO SUPPORT A TOTAL PACKAGE APPROACH AN AGENCY'S CONCERN THAT FRAGMENTING THE CONTRACT REQUIREMENTS COULD ADVERSELY AFFECT ANOTHER CONTRACTOR'S CONTRACTUAL RESPONSIBILITIES. NEFF COMMUNICATIONS, INC., B-191988, SEPTEMBER 19, 1978, 78-2 CPD 210.

SIMILARLY, WE HELD REASONABLE AN AGENCY'S DESIRE TO AVOID THE ADDED BURDEN AND EXPENSE OF ADMINISTERING OVERLAPPING CONTRACTS WHERE THE FUNCTIONS TO BE PERFORMED WERE SO INTERTWINED AS TO MAKE DUPLICATION OF CONTRACTOR EFFORTS INEVITABLE AND TO REQUIRE THE AGENCY TO SUBSIDIZE THE DEVELOPMENT OF SIMILAR CAPABILITIES IN TWO CONTRACTORS INSTEAD OF ONE. RONALD CAMPBELL COMPANY, B-196018, MARCH 25, 1980, 80-1 CPD 216; ERIC P. SCHELLIN, SUPRA; LEO KANNER ASSOCIATES, SUPRA.

SOME OF THE ADVANTAGES NOTED IN YOUR MAY 12 LETTER ARE GREATER DELIVERY COORDINATION, MORE EFFICIENT PACKAGING FOR ECONOMICAL SHIPMENT, EXPEDIENCE IN COMPLETELY FURNISHING A HOUSE, AND GSA AVOIDANCE OF THE EXPENSE OF ACCUMULATING AND WAREHOUSING FURNISHINGS UNTIL ENOUGH IS GATHERED TO FURNISH A COMPLETE HOME. YOU STATE THAT MOST AGENCIES LACK THE NECESSARY STORAGE FACILITIES AND PERSONNEL TO PERFORM THIS TYPE OF WAREHOUSING.

ON THE OTHER HAND, AS YOU RECOGNIZE, THE PACKAGE HOME APPROACH HAS THE EFFECT OF REDUCING OR ELIMINATING COMPETITION BY THOSE SMALL FIRMS WHICH ALONE CANNOT FURNISH AN ENTIRE HOUSE. HOWEVER, AS LONG AS A PACKAGE HOME FROM ONE CONTRACTOR REPRESENTS THE GOVERNMENT'S LEGITIMATE MINIMUM NEED, THE LAW DOES NOT REQUIRE THAT SUCH NEED BE COMPROMISED TO OBTAIN COMPETITION. B-172903, JULY 6, 1971; SEE KEWAUNEE SCIENTIFIC EQUIPMENT COMPANY, B-181377, AUGUST 21, 1974, 74-2 CPD 114.

THEREFORE, THE QUESTION IN ANY PROCUREMENT OF THIS NATURE IS WHETHER IT SERVES THE MINIMUM NEEDS OF THE GOVERNMENT. JUDGING WITHOUT THE BENEFIT OF A PROTEST AND WITHOUT ARGUMENTS AGAINST YOUR POSITION, WE FIND NO BASIS TO DISAGREE WITH THE PACKAGE HOME CONCEPT. HOWEVER, IF THE CONCEPT IS CHALLENGED IN A PROTEST, OUR OFFICE WILL, OF COURSE, HAVE TO DECIDE THE PROPRIETY OF THE PROCEDURE ON THE BASIS OF THE RECORD THEN PRESENTED.

WE HOPE THIS INFORMATION SERVES THE PURPOSE OF YOUR INQUIRY.

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