Sole-Source Award of a Contract for Aerial Reconnaissance Cameras to Zeiss Avionics Systems, Inc.

NSIAD-83-58: Published: Sep 22, 1983. Publicly Released: Sep 29, 1983.

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In response to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the events leading to the Navy's decision to award Zeiss Avionics Systems, Inc., a $10 million, multiyear, sole-source contract for 38 aerial reconnaissance cameras to be used in the Marine Corps RF-4B reconnaissance aircraft.

GAO found that the Navy: (1) did not seek the participation of alternative suppliers as provided by statute; and (2) worked exclusively with Zeiss to develop a camera, which resulted in Zeiss' being the only supplier that could have reasonably been expected to respond to a source solicitation. GAO concluded that the Navy did not properly determine the willingness of other potential suppliers to participate and worked exclusively with Zeiss. Further, the Navy's actions were contrary to regulations requiring the use of competition to the maximum extent practical.

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