B-175585, NOV 8, 1972

B-175585: Nov 8, 1972

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FAILURE OF A BID TO INCLUDE REQUIRED DATA IS NOT FATAL WHERE THE DEFICIENCY CAN BE REMEDIED BY APPLICATION OF RECOGNIZED MATHEMATICAL AND ENGINEERING FORMULAE TO THE DATA INCLUDED IN THE BID DOCUMENTS. 48 COMP. THE DETERMINATION OF WHETHER A BIDDER'S PRODUCT MEETS THE SPECIFICATIONS IS PRIMARILY WITHIN THE JURISDICTION OF THE PROCUREMENT AGENCY. GAO WILL NOT SUBSTITUTE ITS JUDGMENT FOR THAT OF THE CONTRACTING AGENCY IN THE ABSENCE OF CLEAR AND CONVINCING EVIDENCE THAT THE AGENCY DETERMINATION IS IN ERROR OR ARBITRARY. 41 COMP. BIDDER EXPERIENCE REQUIREMENTS ARE MATTERS OF RESPONSIBILITY NOT RESPONSIVENESS. THEREFORE COMPLIANCE WITH SUCH REQUIREMENTS IS FOR DETERMINATION ON THE BASIS OF AVAILABLE EVIDENCE PRIOR TO AWARD AND NOT ON THE BASIS OF WHAT WAS CONTAINED IN THE BID.

B-175585, NOV 8, 1972

BID PROTEST - SPECIFICATIONS REQUIRED DATA - BIDDER EXPERIENCE DECISION DENYING VARIOUS PROTESTS AGAINST AWARD OF A CONTRACT TO ROSENDIN ELECTRIC, INC., UNDER AN IFB ISSUED BY THE AMES RESEARCH CENTER, MOFFETT FIELD, CALIF., FOR CONSTRUCTION OF A D.C. POWER SUPPLY AS PART OF THE INTERACTION HEATING SHUTTLE PANEL TEST FACILITY. FAILURE OF A BID TO INCLUDE REQUIRED DATA IS NOT FATAL WHERE THE DEFICIENCY CAN BE REMEDIED BY APPLICATION OF RECOGNIZED MATHEMATICAL AND ENGINEERING FORMULAE TO THE DATA INCLUDED IN THE BID DOCUMENTS. 48 COMP. GEN. 420 (1968). FURTHERMORE, THE DETERMINATION OF WHETHER A BIDDER'S PRODUCT MEETS THE SPECIFICATIONS IS PRIMARILY WITHIN THE JURISDICTION OF THE PROCUREMENT AGENCY, 39 COMP. GEN. 570 (1960), AND WHEN THAT DETERMINATION INVOLVES HIGHLY TECHNICAL OR SCIENTIFI FACTORS, GAO WILL NOT SUBSTITUTE ITS JUDGMENT FOR THAT OF THE CONTRACTING AGENCY IN THE ABSENCE OF CLEAR AND CONVINCING EVIDENCE THAT THE AGENCY DETERMINATION IS IN ERROR OR ARBITRARY. 41 COMP. GEN. 755 (1962). BIDDER EXPERIENCE REQUIREMENTS ARE MATTERS OF RESPONSIBILITY NOT RESPONSIVENESS, 48 COMP. GEN. 291 (1968), AND THEREFORE COMPLIANCE WITH SUCH REQUIREMENTS IS FOR DETERMINATION ON THE BASIS OF AVAILABLE EVIDENCE PRIOR TO AWARD AND NOT ON THE BASIS OF WHAT WAS CONTAINED IN THE BID. SOME SPECIFICATIONS IN THE SOLICITATION WERE DEMONSTRABLY NOT SUFFICIENTLY CLEAR TO ASSURE THAT FULL AND FREE COMPETITION WOULD BE OBTAINED. HOWEVER, SINCE THE AWARD WAS MADE TO THE LOW BIDDER IN GOOD FAITH AND IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF THE SOLICITATION, AND SINCE FURTHER DELAY IN AWARD OF THIS CONTRACT WOULD NOT BE IN THE GOVERNMENT'S BEST INTERESTS, CANCELLATION OF THE AWARD COULD NOT BE LEGALLY JUSTIFIED. 50 COMP. GEN. 679 (1971).

TO DR. JAMES C. FLETCHER:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO THE REPORT FROM THE DIRECTOR OF PROCUREMENT, RESPONDING TO THE VARIOUS PROTESTS FILED AGAINST AWARD OF A CONTRACT TO ROSENDIN ELECTRIC, INCORPORATED, UNDER INVITATION FOR BIDS NO. 2 18030(HH) ISSUED BY THE AMES RESEARCH CENTER, MOFFETT FIELD, CALIFORNIA.

THE IFB WAS FOR SERVICES AND MATERIALS FOR CONSTRUCTION OF A D.C.POWER SUPPLY AS PART OF THE INTERACTION HEATING SHUTTLE PANEL TEST FACILITY. THE SPECIFICATIONS DESCRIBE PERFORMANCE REQUIREMENTS, THE CONTRACTOR BEING RESPONSIBLE FOR THE DETAILED DESIGN. AN EARLIER PROCUREMENT FOR THIS REQUIREMENT (IFB NO. 2-17808(HH)) WAS CANCELLED AFTER BID OPENING ON FEBRUARY 15, 1972, UPON A DETERMINATION BY THE CONTRACTING OFFICER THAT THE SPECIFICATIONS WERE AMBIGUOUS. THIS DETERMINATION HAD BEEN MADE AFTER PROTESTS WERE RECEIVED FROM EACH OF THE SIX PARTICIPATING BIDDERS AGAINST AWARD TO ANY OTHER BIDDER. ACCORDINGLY, THE SPECIFICATIONS WERE REVISED AND THE PROCUREMENT WAS REISSUED ON MARCH 3, 1972.

THE FOLLOWING BIDS WERE RECEIVED AND OPENED ON MARCH 24, 1972:

ROSENDIN ELECTRIC $1,474,000

TRANS-PACIFIC 1,478,490

COCHRAN ELECTRIC 1,559,555

WISMER AND BECKER 1,575,000

AMELCO ELECTRIC 1,819,000

GENERAL ELECTRIC 2,311,100

IT IS REPORTED THAT FIVE OF THE SIX BIDDERS HAD BID ON THE PRIOR SOLICITATION, AND THAT LING ELECTRONICS, ONE OF THE ORIGINAL SIX BIDDERS, THIS TIME ACTED AS SUBCONTRACTOR TO ROSENDIN, THE NEW AND LOW BIDDER FOR THE PROCUREMENT. THEREAFTER, TRANS-PACIFIC, WISMER AND BECKER, AND GENERAL ELECTRIC FILED PROTESTS WITH THIS OFFICE AGAINST AWARD TO ANY OTHER BIDDER. EACH OF THESE FIRMS CONTENDS THAT THE OTHER BIDS DID NOT CONFORM TO THE IFB REQUIREMENTS AND WERE NONRESPONSIVE. NASA, CITING THE RELATIONSHIP OF THE D.C. POWER SUPPLY TO THE SPACE SHUTTLE PROGRAM AND THE NEED TO AVOID UNDUE DELAY IN CONTRACT PERFORMANCE, AWARDED A CONTRACT TO THE LOW BIDDER PURSUANT TO NASA PROCUREMENT REGULATION 2.407-8(B)(3)(II) DURING THE PENDENCY OF THESE PROTESTS.

THE PROTESTING BIDDERS CONTEND THAT THE ROSENDIN BID WAS NON RESPONSIVE BECAUSE IT DID NOT INCLUDE CERTAIN REQUIRED INFORMATION, BECAUSE IT DEVIATED FROM THE SPECIFICATIONS, AND BECAUSE THE PROPOSED EQUIPMENT COULD NOT MEET THE PERFORMANCE REQUIREMENTS OF THE SPECIFICATIONS.

PARAGRAPH 1.4 OF NASA SPECIFICATION 2-18030, DATED MARCH 3, 1972, AND INCLUDED WITH THE IFB, STATES:

"INFORMATION REQUIRED OF THE BIDDERS AND CONTRACTOR

"(A) EACH BIDDER SHALL PROVIDE FIVE COPIES OF THE FOLLOWING AS PART OF HIS BID PACKAGE. THIS INFORMATION WILL BE USED IN DETERMINING TECHNICAL COMPLIANCE WITH THE SPECIFICATION. BIDS SUBMITTED WHICH DO NOT CONTAIN THE INFORMATION REQUIRED BY THIS SECTION WILL BE CONSIDERED NONRESPONSIVE AND THE BIDDER WILL BE ELIMINATED FROM CONSIDERATION OF AWARD.

(1) A ONE LINE DIAGRAM SHOWING THE FOLLOWING: TRANSFORMER STEADY STATE NAME PLATE RATING AND WHETHER SELF-COOLED OR FA (5.6(A)), VOLTAGE RATIO AND IMPEDANCE; NUMBER, SIZE, AND INSULATION LEVEL OF CABLES USED IN BOTH AC AND DC POWER DISTRIBUTIONS; CIRCUIT BREAKERS AND THEIR ELECTRICAL RATINGS; DISCONNECT SWITCHES AND THEIR ELECTRICAL RATINGS; THE CONTROLLED RECTIFICATION PACKAGE WITH THE SCR ARRANGEMENT SHOWN FOR A SINGLE MODULE INCLUDING THE NUMBER OF INDIVIDUAL SCR'S USED, FUSES, THE INPUT VOLTAGE, THE VOLTAGE SUPPRESSION NETWORKS, THE FIRING CIRCUIT, AND THE FREE WHEELING DIODES, IF USED; SERIES PARALLEL SWITCHES AND ELECTRICAL RATINGS AND ARRANGEMENT; D C DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM SIZES, RATINGS, AND INSULATION LEVEL; AND LOAD SWITCH WITH NUMBER OF BLADES, ELECTRICAL RATINGS AND INSULATION LEVEL.

(2) PRELIMINARY DC PERFORMANCE CURVES SHOWING, AS A MINIMUM, THE OPEN CIRCUIT VOLTAGE, THE VOLT-AMPERE CAPABILITIES OF THE POWER SUPPLY FOR THE DUTY CYCLE SPECIFIED, AND THE VOLT-AMPERE REGION OVER WHICH THE SPECIFIED DYNAMIC CHARACTERISTICS ARE ACHIEVABLE.

(3) COMPLETE CHARACTERISTIC DATA AND RATINGS OF THE SILICON CONTROLLED- RECTIFIERS AND OTHER SOLID STATE POWER DEVICES PROPOSED IN THE BIDDER'S DESIGN.

(4) A PRELIMINARY DRAWING OF THE LAYOUT OF THE MAJOR PIECES OF EQUIPMENT."

SUBSECTION (B) OF THE PARAGRAPH REQUIRED THE CONTRACTOR TO FURNISH, WITHIN 90 DAYS OF AWARD, DRAWINGS AND DATA SHOWING SUCH THINGS AS PHYSICAL FEATURES AND DIMENSIONS OF EQUIPMENT, PERFORMANCE RATINGS AND CHARACTERISTICS OF THE POWER SUPPLY SYSTEM, LAYOUT OF EQUIPMENT, ENCLOSURES AND GROUNDING CONNECTIONS, AND COOLING REQUIREMENTS.

IT IS CONTENDED THAT THE ROSENDIN BID DID NOT SHOW THE STEADY STATE NAMEPLATE RATING, THE VOLTAGE SUPPRESSION NETWORKS, THE COMPLETE FIRING CIRCUIT, COMPLETE DETAILS OF THE FREEWHEELING DIODES, THE NUMBER OF BLADES ON THE D.C. LOAD SWITCH, AND THE CHARACTERISTICS AND RATINGS OF THE SILICON-CONTROLLED-RECTIFIERS AND OTHER SOLID STATE POWER DEVICES.

NASA CONDUCTED A TECHNICAL EVALUATION OF THESE AND OTHER CONTENTIONS MADE BY THE PROTESTING BIDDERS. IN THE DETAILED EVALUATION REPORT, A COPY OF WHICH WAS FURNISHED TO THE INTERESTED BIDDERS, IT WAS INDICATED THAT ROSENDIN'S BID DID SHOW THE VOLTAGE SUPPRESSION NETWORKS, FIRING CIRCUIT, AND FREE-WHEELING DIODES, THAT THE BID DATA WAS SUFFICIENT TO DETERMINE THE STEADY STATE RATING, AND THAT THE SILICON-CONTROLLED RECTIFIERS WOULD BE LARGE ENOUGH FOR THE INTENDED USE AND TO ALLOW A PROPER SYSTEM PERFORMANCE EVALUATION. THE REPORT ALSO STATES THAT WHILE ROSENDIN DID NOT SHOW THE NUMBER OF BLADES WITH THE LOAD SWITCH, SUCH INFORMATION WOULD HAVE BEEN REDUNDANT SINCE THE ELECTRICAL RATINGS FOR THE SWITCH WERE SHOWN AND THIS WAS SUFFICIENT TO DETERMINE COMPLIANCE WITH PERFORMANCE REQUIREMENTS.

IN OUR OPINION THE ASSERTIONS OF TECHNICAL OMISSIONS DO NOT PROVIDE A BASIS FOR UPHOLDING THE PROTESTS. 10 U.S.C. 2305(C) AND NASA PROCUREMENT REGULATION 2.407-1 REQUIRE THAT AWARD OF A CONTRACT BE MADE TO THE LOW RESPONSIBLE BIDDER WHOSE BID CONFORMS TO THE INVITATION. HERE, NASA HAS DETERMINED THAT THE ABSENCE OF CERTAIN INFORMATION FROM THE ROSENDIN BID WAS IMMATERIAL SINCE BY USE OF STANDARD MATHEMATICAL CALCULATIONS THE BID COULD BE EVALUATED FOR CONFORMITY WITH THE PERFORMANCE SPECIFICATIONS OF THE INVITATION WITHOUT THAT INFORMATION. FAILURE OF A BID TO INCLUDE REQUIRED DATA IS NOT FATAL WHERE THE DEFICIENCY CAN BE REMEDIED BY APPLICATION OF RECOGNIZED MATHEMATICAL AND ENGINEERING FORMULAE TO THE DATA INCLUDED IN THE BID DOCUMENTS. 48 COMP. GEN. 420 (1968). FURTHERMORE, THE DETERMINATION OF WHETHER A BIDDER'S PRODUCT MEETS THE SPECIFICATIONS IS PRIMARILY WITHIN THE JURISDICTION OF THE PROCUREMENT AGENCY, 39 COMP. GEN. 570 (1960), AND WHEN THAT DETERMINATION INVOLVES HIGHLY TECHNICAL OR SCIENTIFIC FACTORS, WE WILL NOT SUBSTITUTE OUR JUDGMENT FOR THAT OF THE CONTRACTING AGENCY IN THE ABSENCE OF CLEAR AND CONVINCING EVIDENCE THAT THE AGENCY DETERMINATION IS IN ERROR OR ARBITRARY. 41 COMP. GEN. 755 (1962); 49 ID. 377 (1969). ACCORDINGLY, WE SEE NOTHING IN THIS RECORD TO ENABLE US TO CONCLUDE THAT YOUR AGENCY'S TECHNICAL DETERMINATION WAS ERRONEOUS OR ARBITRARY.

SIMILARLY, WE DO NOT BELIEVE THAT THE PROTESTS CAN BE SUSTAINED ON THE BASIS OF THE ALLEGATION CONCERNING ROSENDIN'S EXPERIENCE. PARAGRAPH 1.6(C) OF THE SPECIFICATIONS PROVIDES THAT THE DESIGN AND PHYSICAL COORDINATION OF THE D. C. CONVERSION SYSTEM MUST BE PERFORMED ONLY BY "CONTRACTOR AND/OR SUBCONTRACTORS WHO HAVE PREVIOUSLY BEEN RESPONSIBLE FOR THE DESIGN AND DEMONSTRATION OF CONTROLLABLE, AC TO DC CONVERSION EQUIPMENT ***." IT IS CONTENDED THAT ROSENDIN CANNOT SATISFY THIS REQUIREMENT AS A CONTRACTOR AND THAT AWARD TO IT WAS IMPROPER BECAUSE ITS BID DOCUMENTS DID NOT SHOW WHO THE SUBCONTRACTORS WOULD BE. HOWEVER, BIDDER EXPERIENCE REQUIREMENTS ARE MATTERS OF RESPONSIBILITY, RATHER THAN RESPONSIVENESS, 48 COMP. GEN. 291 (1968), AND THEREFORE COMPLIANCE WITH SUCH REQUIREMENTS IS FOR DETERMINATION ON THE BASIS OF ALL AVAILABLE EVIDENCE PRIOR TO AWARD AND NOT ON THE BASIS OF WHAT WAS CONTAINED IN THE BID. THE REPORT FURNISHED TO US INDICATES THAT LING ELECTRONICS WAS ROSENDIN'S PROPOSED SUBCONTRACTOR AND THAT LING SATISFIES THE EXPERIENCE REQUIREMENT.

IT IS ALSO CONTENDED THAT ROSENDIN'S BID WAS BOTH AMBIGUOUS AND NONRESPONSIVE TO THE SPECIFICATION REQUIREMENTS. PARAGRAPH 1.1(B) OF THE SPECIFICATION REQUIRED THAT THE MODULES HAVE AN OUTPUT OF 2700 AMPERES UNDER SPECIFIED CONDITIONS. WHILE A TECHNICAL DATA PAGE IN THE FORM OF A GRAPH PREPARED BY LING ELECTRONICS INDICATED A MAXIMUM RATING OF 2700 AMPERES, ROSENDIN'S OWN ONE-LINE DIAGRAM SHOWED A 2450 AMPERE RATING. AFTER BID OPENING, ROSENDIN INFORMED THE CONTRACTING OFFICER THAT THE RATINGS SHOWN ON THE ONE-LINE DIAGRAM WERE THE RESULT OF A DRAFTING ERROR AND THAT THE LING DOCUMENT CONTAINED THE CORRECT RATING. THE CONTRACTING OFFICER TOOK THE POSITION THAT THE "2700 AMPERE NUMBER WAS OBVIOUSLY CORRECT BECAUSE THE 2450 AMPERE VALUE WAS NOT SHOWN ANYWHERE IN THE IFB ***(AND) ALL OTHER EQUIPMENT OFFERED WAS SIZED TO HANDLE 2700 AMPERES PER MODULE."

ALTHOUGH THIS MAY BE A PRACTICAL EXPLANATION, THERE IS A QUESTION WHETHER ROSENDIN COULD HAVE BEEN LEGALLY REQUIRED TO PROVIDE A POWER MODULE WITH A 2700 AMP RATING UPON ACCEPTANCE OF ITS BID AS ORIGINALLY SUBMITTED. NOTE THAT THE FURNISHING OF EQUIPMENT CAPABLE OF HANDLING 2700 AMPERES IS NOT NECESSARILY INCONSISTENT WITH HANDLING A 2450 AMPERE OUTPUT. WE NOTE FURTHER THAT THE CLAIMED DRAFTING ERROR ON THE ONE-LINE DIAGRAM WAS NOT LIMITED TO THE INDICATED AMPERE RATING, BUT ENCOMPASSES THE VOLTAGE AND POWER RATINGS AS WELL, SINCE THE 2750 VOLT, 2450 AMP, 6700 KW RATINGS SHOWN ARE CONSISTENT WITH EACH OTHER. IT APPEARS TO US THAT THERE WAS NO WAY THE CONTRACTING OFFICER COULD DEFINITELY ASCERTAIN, FROM THE BID PACKAGE ALONE, WHAT WOULD BE FURNISHED BY ACCEPTANCE OF ROSENDIN'S BID.

FINALLY, IT IS CLAIMED THAT ROSENDIN'S PROPSED TRANSFORMER IS NOT IN CONFORMANCE WITH THE SPECIFICATIONS. PARAGRAPH 5.6 OF THE SPECIFICATIONS STATED THAT "POWER TRANSFORMERS, IF USED*** SHALL BE RATED TO MEET THE DESIGN REQUIREMENTS OF SECTION 4 OF THIS SPECIFICATION (AND) *** SHALL BE OA/FA RATED ***." ROSENDIN'S ONE LINE DIAGRAM INDICATED AN OA/FA/FA TRIPLE RATED TRANSFORMER. THE PROTESTING BIDDERS ASSERT THAT THE SPECIFICATIONS REQUIRED A DUAL RATED OA/FA TRANSFORMER, THAT THE TERMINOLOGY "OA/FA RATED" IS STANDARD IN THE INDUSTRY FOR A DUAL RATED TRANSFORMER ONLY, AND THAT THEREFORE THE SPECIFICATIONS DID NOT PERMIT THE USE OF AN OA/FA/FA TRIPLE RATED TRANSFORMER. IT IS ALLEGED THAT BID PRICES COULD HAVE BEEN SUBSTANTIALLY REDUCED IF ALL BIDDERS HAD BID ON A TRIPLE RATED TRANSFORMER. ON THE OTHER HAND, WE HAVE BEEN INFORMALLY ADVISED THAT YOUR TECHNICAL PERSONNEL TAKE THE POSITION THAT A TRIPLE RATED TRANSFORMER IS NOT INCONSISTENT WITH THE SPECIFICATION IN THAT THE THIRD RATING IS MERELY ADDITIONAL INFORMATION, AND THAT THERE IS NO CONSISTENT VIEWPOINT IN THE INDUSTRY WITH REGARD TO THE MEANING OF "OA/FA RATED." WHILE WE CANNOT SAY THAT ROSENDIN'S BID, BASED ON A TRIPLE RATED TRANSFORMER, WAS NONRESPONSIVE IN VIEW OF THE OPINION OF YOUR TECHNICAL PERSONNEL, IT DOES APPEAR THAT MOST OF THE BIDDERS INTERPRETED THE SPECIFICATION AS REQUIRING A DUAL RATED TRANSFORMER.

IT APPEARS TO US THAT THIS PROCUREMENT INVOLVED A VERY TECHNICAL SPECIFICATION THAT WAS NOT, AND PERHAPS REASONABLY COULD NOT, BE, STATED WITH SUFFICIENT CLARITY TO INSURE THE SAME UNDERSTANDING AMONG ALL INTERESTED BIDDERS. THE IFB CONTAINED SPECIFICATIONS THAT WERE VERY DETAILED IN SOME AREAS BUT SET FORTH VERY BROAD, PERFORMANCE-TYPE REQUIREMENTS IN OTHER AREAS. FOR EXAMPLE, PARAGRAPH 5.6 OF THE SPECIFICATION ALLOWED THE USE OF A POWER TRANSFORMER, BUT DID NOT REQUIRE IT. THE SPECIFICATION FURTHER REQUIRED THAT THE TRANSFORMER "SHALL BE *** COMPLETE WITH *** GROUNDING RESISTOR." IT WAS POINTED OUT BY ONE OF THE PROTESTING PARTIES THAT ROSENDIN FAILED TO SHOW SUCH A RESISTOR IN ITS BID DATA. YOUR AGENCY TOOK THE POSITION, HOWEVER, THAT THIS TYPE OF INFORMATION WAS ONLY REQUIRED TO BE FURNISHED 90 DAYS AFTER AWARD IN ACCORDANCE WITH PARAGRAPH 1.4(B) OF THE SPECIFICATION.

UNDER THESE CIRCUMSTANCES, IT APPEARS THAT THE SPECIFICATION WAS NOT SUFFICIENTLY CLEAR TO ASSURE THAT FULL AND FREE COMPETITION WOULD BE OBTAINED UNDER THE METHOD OF PROCUREMENT USED IN THIS CASE. WE THINK CONSIDERATION SHOULD HAVE BEEN GIVEN TO THE USE OF A MORE FLEXIBLE PROCUREMENT METHOD, SUCH AS TWO-STEP ADVERTISING.

ALTHOUGH WE HAVE NOTED CERTAIN DEFICIENCIES IN THE PROCUREMENT, WE RECOGNIZE THAT THE AWARD WAS MADE TO THE LOW BIDDER IN GOOD FAITH AND IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF THE SOLICITATION. WE DO NOT BELIEVE THAT CANCELLATION OF THE AWARD COULD BE LEGALLY JUSTIFIED UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES. SEE 50 COMP. GEN. 679, 685 (1971) AND CASES CITED THEREIN. IN ADDITION, IN EXPLAINING WHY IT WAS NECESSARY TO PROCEED WITH THE AWARD ACTION DESPITE THE PENDING PROTESTS, YOUR AGENCY STATED THAT: "THE INTERACTION HEATING SHUTTLE PANEL TEST FACILITY, OF WHICH THE D.C. POWER SUPPLY IS PART, IS ESSENTIAL TO DEVELOPMENT OF A THERMAL PROTECTION SYSTEM FOR THE SPACE SHUTTLE ORBITER. THE FACILITY MUST BE CONSTRUCTED EARLY IN THE SPACE SHUTTLE PROGRAM, BECAUSE THE SHUTTLE ORBITER CANNOT BE PROPERLY DESIGNED UNTIL COMPLETION OF VERIFICATION TESTING OF THE THERMAL PROTECTION SYSTEM, WHICH IN TURN CANNOT BE ACCOMPLISHED UNTIL AFTER THE FACILITY'S COMPLETION. CONSTRUCTION OF THE D.C. POWER SUPPLY IS ALREADY BEHIND SCHEDULE, AND IT HAS BEEN DETERMINED, PURSUANT TO NASA PR 2.407- 8(B)(3)(II), THAT CONTRACT PERFORMANCE WILL BE UNDULY DELAYED BY FAILURE TO MAKE AWARD PROMPTLY. ACCORDINGLY, WE ARE PROCEEDING WITH AWARD OF THE CONTRACT TO ROSENDIN ELECTRIC, INC." ACCORDINGLY, IT WOULD CLEARLY NOT BE IN THE BEST INTERESTS OF THE GOVERNMENT TO DELAY THIS PROGRAM FURTHER BY DISTURBING THE AWARD. HOWEVER, WE URGE THAT ADEQUATE STEPS BE TAKEN TO PREVENT A RECURRENCE OF THE DEFICIENCIES THAT WERE PRESENT IN THIS PROCUREMENT.

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