B-151481, JUN. 29, 1964

B-151481: Jun 29, 1964

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

YOU WERE ENTITLED TO BE INCLUDED AMONG THE FIRMS WITH WHOM NEGOTIATIONS FOR THE AWARD OF THE CONTRACT WERE CONDUCTED. PROPOSALS WERE SOLICITED TO COVER THE PHASE-IN PERIOD FROM JULY 1 TO AUGUST 31. DURING WHICH OPERATIONS AND MATERIAL WERE TO BE TRANSFERRED FROM THE PRIOR CONTRACTOR'S PLANT IN WASHINGTON. ADDITIONAL COST PROPOSALS WERE REQUESTED FOR OPTIONS TO EXTEND THE CONTRACT THROUGH FISCAL YEARS 1966 AND 1967. OFFERORS WERE REQUIRED TO FURNISH A DETAILED PLAN OF "PHASE-IN OPERATIONS. THEY WERE ALSO REQUIRED TO SUBMIT A COPY OF INSTRUCTIONS. 000 REFLECTED THE COST WHICH WOULD HAVE BEEN PAID BY THE GOVERNMENT ONLY FOR EACH OPERATIONAL PERIOD. YOUR "PRICE" FOR THE OPERATIONAL PERIODS WAS HIGHER THAN THE PRICE OF EACH OF THE OTHER 7 OFFERORS FOR EACH OPERATIONAL PERIOD.

B-151481, JUN. 29, 1964

TO M. AND M. WAREHOUSE COMPANY, INC:

IN YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 24, 1964, YOU PROTEST THE FAILURE OF OLMSTEAD AIR FORCE BASE, PENNSYLVANIA, TO CONDUCT NEGOTIATIONS WITH YOUR FIRM PURSUANT TO YOUR RESPONSE TO REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS (RFP) NO. 36-600-64-5078 FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT OF AN AIR FORCE PUBLICATION DISTRIBUTION CENTER. YOU CONTEND THAT IN VIEW OF YOUR INITIAL OFFER OF ROUGHLY $1,600,000, AND YOUR BELIEF THAT YOU SUBMITTED THE MOST KNOWLEDGEABLE PROPOSAL, YOU WERE ENTITLED TO BE INCLUDED AMONG THE FIRMS WITH WHOM NEGOTIATIONS FOR THE AWARD OF THE CONTRACT WERE CONDUCTED.

THE RECORD DISCLOSES THAT THE RFP, AS AMENDED, SOLICITED BOTH COST AND TECHNICAL PROPOSALS FOR SERVICES NECESSARY TO ESTABLISH AND OPERATE A DISTRIBUTION CENTER IN A GOVERNMENT FACILITY AT THE NAVAL INDUSTRIAL RESERVE AIRCRAFT PLANT IN BENGIES, MARYLAND. THESE SERVICES INCLUDED THE RECEIVING, STORING AND ISSUING OF AIR FORCE PUBLICATIONS AND FORMS UNDER CONDITIONS AND IN ACCORDANCE WITH CRITERIA SET FORTH IN THE RFP.

PROPOSALS WERE SOLICITED TO COVER THE PHASE-IN PERIOD FROM JULY 1 TO AUGUST 31, 1964, DURING WHICH OPERATIONS AND MATERIAL WERE TO BE TRANSFERRED FROM THE PRIOR CONTRACTOR'S PLANT IN WASHINGTON, D.C., TO THE GOVERNMENT'S SITE AT BENGIES, AND TO COVER THE REMAINDER OF THE FIRST YEAR OPERATIONAL PERIOD FROM SEPTEMBER 1, 1964, TO JUNE 30, 1965. ADDITIONAL COST PROPOSALS WERE REQUESTED FOR OPTIONS TO EXTEND THE CONTRACT THROUGH FISCAL YEARS 1966 AND 1967. IN ADDITION TO OTHER DATA, OFFERORS WERE REQUIRED TO FURNISH A DETAILED PLAN OF "PHASE-IN OPERATIONS," WHICH INCLUDED DETAILS OF THE TRANSFER OF ACCOUNTABILITY AND RESPONSIBILITY FOR CLASSIFIED AND ACCOUNTABLE MATERIAL TO BE MOVED FROM WASHINGTON TO BENGIES. THEY WERE ALSO REQUIRED TO SUBMIT A COPY OF INSTRUCTIONS, POLICIES, OR STANDING OPERATING PROCEDURES WHICH PERSONNEL AT THE FACILITY WOULD USE TO ACCOMPLISH THEIR RESPECTIVE TASKS IN CARRYING OUT THE TERMS OF THE CONTRACT.

THE ABSTRACT OF PROPOSALS INDICATED THAT YOUR "PRICE" OF $1,600,000 REFLECTED THE COST WHICH WOULD HAVE BEEN PAID BY THE GOVERNMENT ONLY FOR EACH OPERATIONAL PERIOD, AND DID NOT INCLUDE THE COST FOR THE PHASE-IN PERIOD. YOUR "PRICE" FOR THE OPERATIONAL PERIODS WAS HIGHER THAN THE PRICE OF EACH OF THE OTHER 7 OFFERORS FOR EACH OPERATIONAL PERIOD, SAVE ONE PRICE FOR ONE PERIOD. MORE IMPORTANT, YOUR ACTUAL COST PROPOSAL, WHICH INCLUDES THE COST FOR THE RELATION TO THE LOW OFFEROR. FOR EXAMPLE, YOUR OFFER OF $2,174,563 FOR THE FIRST YEAR'S SERVICES WAS OVER TWICE AS HIGH AS THE LOW OFFEROR-S. SIMILARLY, YOUR CUMULATIVE OFFER OF $5,479,089 FOR ALL 3 YEARS' SERVICES WAS OVER TWICE AS HIGH AS THE LOW OFFEROR-S.

THE AIR FORCE REPORTS THAT THE PRIMARY REASON FOR NOT CONDUCTING NEGOTIATIONS WITH YOUR FIRM WAS THE UNUSUALLY HIGH PRICE IT PROPOSED. SECTION 2304 (9) OF TITLE 10, U.S.C. PROVIDES THAT NEGOTIATIONS "SHALL BE CONDUCTED WITH ALL RESPONSIBLE OFFERORS WHO SUBMIT PROPOSALS WITHIN A COMPETITIVE RANGE, PRICE AND OTHER FACTORS CONSIDERED, . . .' UNDER THIS PROVISION THE DETERMINATION AS TO WHICH OFFERORS ARE WITHIN A COMPETITIVE RANGE IS PRIMARILY WITHIN THE DISCRETION OF THE CONTRACTING OFFICER, AND UNLESS ABUSE OF SUCH AUTHORITY CAN BE SHOWN BY CLEAR AND CONVINCING EVIDENCE WE WILL NOT UNDERTAKE TO DISTURB HIS ACTION. B 151976, DATED OCTOBER 15, 1963. IN VIEW OF THE ABSENCE OF ANY SUCH EVIDENCE IN THE RECORD, AND THE HUGE PRICE DISPARITY BETWEEN YOUR PROPOSAL AND THAT OF THE LOW OFFEROR-S, WE CANNOT CONCLUDE THAT THE CONTRACTING OFFICER ERRED IN DECIDING NOT TO CONSIDER YOUR FIRM'S PROPOSED PRICE SUFFICIENTLY COMPETITIVE TO WARRANT ITS INCLUSION IN THE NEGOTIATIONS FOR AWARD OF THE CONTRACT. SEE 38 COMP. GEN. 754.

THE AIR FORCE FURTHER REPORTS THAT, IN ADDITION TO YOUR UNUSUALLY HIGH PRICE, YOUR PROPOSAL WAS NOT WITHIN AN ACCEPTABLE RANGE OF TECHNICAL SUFFICIENCY. IT STATES THAT, AMONG OTHER DEFICIENCIES, YOU DID NOT FURNISH EITHER ITS OPERATING PROCEDURES FOR PERSONNEL, OR SUFFICIENT DETAIL IN YOUR PLAN FOR TRANSFERRING ACCOUNTABILITY AND RESPONSIBILITY FOR CLASSIFIED MATERIAL DURING THE PHASE-IN OPERATIONS, BOTH OF WHICH DATA WERE REQUIRED BY THE IFB.

IN RESPECT TO THE FIRST DEFICIENCY, IT IS NOTED THAT WITHOUT SUCH OPERATING PROCEDURES THE PROCURING ACTIVITY COULD NOT ADEQUATELY EVALUATE THE UNDERSTANDING BY KEY PERSONNEL, WHICH APPARENTLY WERE ONLY 2 IN NUMBER, OF THE PROPOSED OPERATION OF THE FACILITY. IN REGARD TO THE REQUIREMENT FOR A DETAILED PLAN FOR SHOWING WHICH PERSONNEL WOULD BE RESPONSIBLE FOR TRANSFERRING MATERIAL OF A CLASSIFIED NATURE AND HOW IT WOULD BE SUCCESSIVELY ACCOUNTED FOR, YOUR "DESCRIPTION OF OPERATION" IN YOUR TECHNICAL PROPOSAL STATES MERELY THAT THE RECEIVING SUPERVISOR WOULD NOTIFY THE SUPERVISOR OF THE WAGE AND CLASSIFIED AREA THAT SECURITY ITEMS HAD ARRIVED, WHO WOULD IN TURN KEEP SUCH ITEMS "UNDER HIS SURVEILLANCE" UNTIL THEY WERE LOGGED IN THE CAGE AND CLASSIFIED AREA. WE ARE ADVISED INFORMALLY THAT THE PART OF YOUR PROPOSAL CONSISTING OF LAYOUTS, PLANS AND DIAGRAMS, AND INCLUDING YOUR "FLOW CHARTS," ALSO CONTAINS NO INFORMATION DIRECTLY RELEVANT TO THE TRANSFER OF ACCOUNTABILITY AND RESPONSIBILITY FOR CLASSIFIED MATERIAL.

FROM THE FOREGOING, IT ADEQUATELY APPEARS THAT THE AIR FORCE WAS UNDER NO LEGAL OBLIGATION TO CONDUCT NEGOTIATIONS WITH YOUR FIRM AND THAT ITS FAILURE TO DO SO WAS FOR SUBSTANTIAL REASONS. YOUR PROTEST MUST THEREFORE BE DENIED.

Oct 29, 2020

Oct 28, 2020

Oct 27, 2020

  • Silver Investments, Inc.
    We dismiss the protest as untimely because it was filed more than 10 days after the protester knew, or should have known, the basis for its protest.
    B-419028

Looking for more? Browse all our products here