Skip to Highlights
Highlights

TO GENERAL ELECTRODYNAMICS CORPORATION: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 19. ELEVEN SOURCES WERE SOLICITED AND THE ONLY PROPOSALS RECEIVED WERE FROM THE GENERAL ELECTRIC COMPANY AND YOUR COMPANY. THE CONTRACT WAS AWARDED TO THE GENERAL ELECTRIC COMPANY ON APRIL 16. IT HAS BEEN ALLEGED THAT YOUR COMPANY IS IN THE FINAL PHASE OF A FUNDED DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM FOR THE TUBE REQUISITIONED. THAT YOUR TUBES AND EQUIPMENT ARE CATALOG ITEMS AND REQUIRE NO EVELOPMENT. THAT NO ATTEMPT WAS MADE TO SURVEY YOUR TUBE MANUFACTURING FACILITIES. THAT SUFFICIENT TIME WAS AVAILABLE FOR COMPLIANCE WITH INVITATIONS MADE BY YOU TO THE CONTRACTING OFFICER AND THE PROJECT ENGINEER TO WITNESS TESTS AT YOUR FACILITY.

View Decision

B-151855, SEP. 12, 1963

TO GENERAL ELECTRODYNAMICS CORPORATION:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 19, 1963, PROTESTING THE REJECTION OF YOUR PROPOSAL AND THE AWARD OF CONTRACT NO. AF 33/657/-11652 TO THE GENERAL ELECTRIC COMPANY UNDER REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL NO. 33/657/-63- 5284Q, ISSUED ON NOVEMBER 19, 1962, BY THE AIR FORCE SYSTEMS COMMAND, WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, OHIO.

THE SUBJECT REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL CALLED FOR RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT TO INVESTIGATE THE FEASIBILITY OF A ONE-HALF INCH FULLY ELECTROSTATIC (EE) OR AN ELECTROSTATICALLY FOCUSED AND ELECTROMAGNETICALLY DEFLECTED (EM) VIDICON TUBE CAPABLE OF OPERATING WITH THE PERFORMANCE DEMONSTRATED BY PRESENT ELECTROMAGNETICALLY DEFLECTED AND FOCUSED (MM) VIDICON CELESTIAL GUIDANCE SENSORS, AND TO VERIFY THE FEASIBILITY OF FABRICATING A ONE-HALF INCH EM OR EE VIDICON CAPABLE OF MEETING THESE PERFORMANCE REQUIREMENTS.

ELEVEN SOURCES WERE SOLICITED AND THE ONLY PROPOSALS RECEIVED WERE FROM THE GENERAL ELECTRIC COMPANY AND YOUR COMPANY. THE CONTRACT WAS AWARDED TO THE GENERAL ELECTRIC COMPANY ON APRIL 16, 1963, IN THE AMOUNT OF $99,425, WHICH INCLUDED A FIXED FEE OF $6,800. YOU OFFERED TO SUPPLY THE NECESSARY TUBES AT A FIXED PRICE OF $78,742.

IT HAS BEEN ALLEGED THAT YOUR COMPANY IS IN THE FINAL PHASE OF A FUNDED DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM FOR THE TUBE REQUISITIONED; THAT YOUR TUBES AND EQUIPMENT ARE CATALOG ITEMS AND REQUIRE NO EVELOPMENT; THAT NO ATTEMPT WAS MADE TO SURVEY YOUR TUBE MANUFACTURING FACILITIES; AND THAT SUFFICIENT TIME WAS AVAILABLE FOR COMPLIANCE WITH INVITATIONS MADE BY YOU TO THE CONTRACTING OFFICER AND THE PROJECT ENGINEER TO WITNESS TESTS AT YOUR FACILITY.

THERE IS A CONFLICT BETWEEN THE FIRST TWO OF THESE ALLEGATIONS, AND THE RECORD SHOWS THAT NO REQUISITION FOR A TUBE OF CURRENT DESIGN WAS ESTABLISHED BY THE PURCHASE REQUEST. RATHER, IT WAS CONTEMPLATED THAT A RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM WOULD BE NECESSARY TO DEVELOP A VIDICON TUBE WITH THE CHARACTERISTICS GIVEN IN THE TECHNICAL EXHIBIT. HOWEVER, THE AIR FORCE HAS INDICATED THAT, IF IT HAD BEEN DEMONSTRATED THAT SUCH A TUBE WAS IN EXISTENCE, THE RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN FURTHER PURSUED.

IT IS REPORTED THAT YOU OFFERED TO FURNISH 10 TUBES AND THE REQUESTED TEST EQUIPMENT IN FULFILLMENT OF THE WORK STATEMENT REQUIREMENTS. PRIOR TO SUBMITTING YOUR PROPOSAL, YOU MAINTAINED THAT YOUR TUBE WOULD MEET THE SPECIFICATIONS GIVEN IN THE WORK STATEMENT AND INDICATED THAT THE TUBE OFFERED WAS NOT AVAILABLE BUT WOULD BE DEVELOPED IN TWO WEEKS. THE PROJECT ENGINEER VERBALLY REQUESTED YOU TO SUBMIT A TEST REPORT ON THIS NEW TUBE WITNESSED BY AN AIR FORCE PLANT REPRESENTATIVE. THIS WAS NEVER DONE AND THE TECHNICAL EVALUATION OF THE TWO PROPOSALS WAS DELAYED SIX WEEKS WHILE WAITING FOR THESE TEST RESULTS. APPARENTLY THE TUBE OFFERED IN YOUR PROPOSAL WAS STILL IN THE DEVELOPMENT STAGE DURING THE MONTH OF JUNE, 1963, WHEN YOU PROTESTED THE AWARD ACTION.

IT IS FURTHER REPORTED THAT IT IS NOT THE PRACTICE OF THE AIR FORCE SYSTEMS COMMAND TO SURVEY A CONTRACTOR'S FACILITIES DURING THE TECHNICAL EVALUATION OF HIS PROPOSAL. THE PROPOSAL AND ITS CONTENTS MUST SPEAK FOR THEMSELVES. HOWEVER, THE PROJECT ENGINEER EXERTED CONSIDERABLE EFFORTS TO VALIDATE YOUR CLAIM. IN ADDITION TO REQUESTING A TEST REPORT ON THE PROPOSED TUBES, YOU WERE ENCOURAGED TO FURNISH YOUR BEST TUBES TO A DISINTERESTED CONCERN HAVING FACILITIES FOR TESTING ONE-HALF INCH VIDICON TUBES. THE TEST REPORT OF THAT FIRM INDICATED THAT THE PROPOSED TUBE DID NOT MEET AIR FORCE REQUIREMENTS. SINCE THERE WAS A COMPLETE ABSENCE OF RELIABLE DATA TO SUBSTANTIATE YOUR CLAIM OF HAVING ALREADY DEVELOPED A SATISFACTORY TUBE, YOUR PROPOSAL WAS RATED BY THE PROJECT ENGINEER TO BE TECHNICALLY UNACCEPTABLE. THEREFORE, IT WAS DETERMINED NECESSARY TO MAKE A CONTRACT AWARD FOR RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT WORK AS HAD BEEN CONTEMPLATED IN THE NOVEMBER 19, 1962, REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS.

THE DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE HAS STATED, AND WE AGREE, THAT THE RESPONSIBILITY FOR TECHNICAL EVALUATION OF PROPOSALS RECEIVED BY THAT DEPARTMENT RESTS WITH THE AIR FORCE TECHNICAL PERSONNEL AND THEIR DETERMINATIONS MUST GOVERN IN THE ABSENCE OF CLEAR EVIDENCE OF IMPROPRIETY OR ERROR. IN OUR REVIEW OF THIS PROCUREMENT IT DOES NOT APPEAR THAT THE DECISION TO REJECT YOUR PROPOSAL AND TO MAKE THE CONTRACT AWARD TO THE GENERAL ELECTRIC COMPANY WAS ARBITRARY IN ANY RESPECT.

GAO Contacts