Request for Reconsideration

B-199377.2: Jun 2, 1981

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A firm requested reconsideration of a decision in which its protest was denied. The protest in that decision was based on the Army's refusal to permit preproposal inspection of the components inside alarm systems control boxes for which the Army was soliciting proposals for a service contract. The firm alleged that the decision was based on several errors of fact. The firm contended that incidents cited by the Army in its refusal to allow the inspection took place after the Army's refusal, and therefore, the reasons were invalid. However, the firm did not rebut the Army's report in this regard during the initial consideration of the protest. Moreover, GAO believes that it does not matter when these events took place because they were illustrations as to why there would be reluctance to permit the inspection, and the concern expressed over the matter appeared to be fully warranted. Other points made by the firm were fully treated in the initial decision. It was the opinion of GAO that the firm did not present persuasive evidence on which to conclude that the Army's refusal to permit the inspection was unreasonable. Accordingly, the initial decision was affirmed.

B-199377.2, JUN 2, 1981

DIGEST: PREVIOUS DECISION DENYING PROTEST IS AFFIRMED SINCE PROTESTER ALLEGES NO ERRORS OF LAW AND PRESENTS NO PERSUASIVE EVIDENCE OF FACTUAL ERRORS EXCEPT FOR ONE ITEM OF QUESTIONABLE VALIDITY WHICH SHOULD HAVE BEEN PRESENTED DURING DEVELOPMENT OF INITIAL PROTEST SINCE PROTESTER WAS AWARE OF SUCH FACT.

SECURITY ASSISTANCE FORCES & EQUIPMENT INTERNATIONAL INC. - RECONSIDERATION:

SECURITY ASSISTANCE FORCES & EQUIPMENT INTERNATIONAL INC. (SAFE) REQUESTS RECONSIDERATION OF OUR DECISION, SECURITY ASSISTANCE FORCES & EQUIPMENT INTERNATIONAL INC., B-199377, MARCH 17, 1981, 81-1 CPD 200. IN THAT DECISION, WE DENIED SAFE'S PROTEST WHICH WAS BASED ON THE REFUSAL OF THE U. S. ARMY CONTRACTING AGENCY, EUROPE, TO PERMIT PREPROPOSAL INSPECTION OF THE COMPONENTS INSIDE THE CONTROL BOXES OF ALARM SYSTEMS FOR WHICH THE AGENCY WAS SOLICITING PROPOSALS FOR A SERVICE CONTRACT. IN VIEW OF THE FACT THAT ALL NECESSARY DOCUMENTATION WAS AVAILABLE AND SAFE HAD NOT EXPLAINED WHY SUCH INSPECTION IN ADDITION TO THE SITE INSPECTION WAS VITAL TO PROPOSAL PREPARATION, WE HELD THAT SUCH REFUSAL HAD NOT BEEN SHOWN TO BE UNREASONABLE. SAFE NOW ALLEGES THE DECISION WAS BASED ON SEVERAL ERRORS OF FACT. FOR THE REASONS DISCUSSED BELOW, OUR INITIAL DECISION IS AFFIRMED.

IN OUR DECISION, WE REFERRED TO THE AGENCY'S STATEMENT THAT THE BANKING FACILITIES IN WHICH THE ALARM SYSTEMS WERE LOCATED WERE RELUCTANT TO ENDURE INTERRUPTIONS OF SERVICE WHICH WOULD RESULT FROM AN INTERIOR INSPECTION OF THE CONTROL BOXES. IT CITED RECENT EVENTS SUCH AS A "HOSTAGE TAKING CRISIS" AT ONE BANK AND AN "ATTEMPTED BREAK-IN" AT ANOTHER TO SUPPORT THE REASONABLENESS OF ITS REFUSAL. SAFE NOW CONTENDS THESE INCIDENTS TOOK PLACE AFTER THE AGENCY'S REFUSAL TO PERMIT INSPECTION AND THEREFORE COULD NOT HAVE BEEN VALID REASONS FOR THE REFUSAL. SAFE DID NOT, HOWEVER, REBUT THE AGENCY'S REPORT IN THIS REGARD DURING OUR INITIAL CONSIDERATION OF ITS PROTEST. MOREOVER, IN OUR VIEW, IT DOES NOT MATTER WHETHER THESE EVENTS TOOK PLACE BEFORE OR AFTER THE REFUSAL BECAUSE THE INCIDENTS WERE MENTIONED BY THE CONTRACTING OFFICER AS ILLUSTRATIONS AS TO WHY THERE WOULD BE RELUCTANCE TO DISCONNECT THE ALARMS. THE AGENCY'S AND THE BANKS' CONCERN OVER THIS MATTER APPEARS TO HAVE BEEN FULLY WARRANTED.

SAFE AGAIN CONTENDS THE SERVICING DOCUMENTATION IS NOT SUFFICIENT WITHOUT AN INTERIOR INSPECTION FOR PURPOSES OF PROPOSAL PREPARATION. THIS POINT WAS FULLY TREATED BY BOTH SAFE AND THE AGENCY IN CONNECTION WITH THE INITIAL DECISION AND WE REMAIN OF THE OPINION THAT SAFE HAS NOT PRESENTED PERSUASIVE EVIDENCE ON WHICH WE COULD CONCLUDE THAT THE AGENCY'S REFUSAL TO PERMIT INTERIOR INSPECTION, IN ADDITION TO THE ON SITE INSPECTION, WAS UNREASONABLE. WE NOTE THAT IN A PREVIOUS PROTEST WITH RESPECT TO SIMILAR ALARM SYSTEMS, SAFE CHARACTERIZED THE EQUIPMENT AS LOW TECHNOLOGY, WHICH COULD BE MAINTAINED BY ANY GOOD ELECTRONICS TECHNICIAN. SEE SECURITY ASSISTANCE FORCES & EQUIPMENT INTERNATIONAL INC., B-194838, FEBRUARY 6, 1980, 80-1 CPD 95.

FINALLY, SAFE ALLEGES THE ALARM SYSTEMS DO NOT HAVE TO BE DISCONNECTED DURING AN INTERIOR INSPECTION OF THEIR COMPONENTS. TO THE EXTENT THIS ALLEGATION MAY BE VALID AND OF SOME SIGNIFICANCE, IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN RAISED IN SAFE'S REBUTTAL TO THE AGENCY'S REPORT. THIS INFORMATION WAS AVAILABLE TO SAFE AT THE TIME IT RESPONDED TO THE AGENCY'S REPORT AND IT WILL NOT BE CONSIDERED AT THIS TIME. SEE DECISION SCIENCES CORPORATION - REQUEST FOR RECONSIDERATION, B-188454, DECEMBER 21, 1977, 77-2 CPD 485.

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