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AGENCY IS NOT REQUIRED TO SEPARATELY PURCHASE ("BREAK-OUT") SERVICES WHERE AGENCY HAS DETERMINED THAT ITS OVERALL NEEDS CAN BE SATISFIED ONLY BY AWARDING TOTAL REQUIREMENT TO ONE CONTRACTOR ("TOTAL PACKAGE" PROCUREMENT). PROTESTER HAS NOT PROVIDED CLEAR EVIDENCE THAT AGENCY'S APPROACH IS UNREASONABLE. 2. AGENCY IS NOT REQUIRED TO CAST PROCUREMENT IN FORM WHICH NEUTRALIZES COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGES SOME CONCERNS ENJOY OVER OTHERS BY VIRTUE OF THEIR OWN PARTICULAR CIRCUMSTANCES. SESI IS CURRENTLY UNDER CONTRACT TO THE ARMY FOR THE MAINTENANCE OF TWO TYPES OF COMMUNICATIONS EQUIPMENT - DACOM 412 HIGH SPEED FACSIMILE EQUIPMENT AND AN ARMY-OWNED TELETYPEWRITER. THESE TWO MAINTENANCE REQUIREMENTS HAVE NOW BEEN CONSOLIDATED INTO THE SUBJECT SOLICITATION.

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B-202496, JUL 1, 1981

DIGEST: 1. AGENCY IS NOT REQUIRED TO SEPARATELY PURCHASE ("BREAK-OUT") SERVICES WHERE AGENCY HAS DETERMINED THAT ITS OVERALL NEEDS CAN BE SATISFIED ONLY BY AWARDING TOTAL REQUIREMENT TO ONE CONTRACTOR ("TOTAL PACKAGE" PROCUREMENT), AND PROTESTER HAS NOT PROVIDED CLEAR EVIDENCE THAT AGENCY'S APPROACH IS UNREASONABLE. 2. AGENCY IS NOT REQUIRED TO CAST PROCUREMENT IN FORM WHICH NEUTRALIZES COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGES SOME CONCERNS ENJOY OVER OTHERS BY VIRTUE OF THEIR OWN PARTICULAR CIRCUMSTANCES.

SECURE ENGINEERING SERVICES, INC.:

SECURE ENGINEERING SERVICES, INC. (SESI) PROTESTS THE PROCUREMENT UNDER REQUEST FOR QUOTATIONS (RFQ) NO. DAE18-81-Q-0011, ISSUED BY THE U. S. ARMY COMMUNICATIONS COMMAND FOR OPERATION OF THE AREA MAINTENANCE AND SUPPLY FACILITY - EUROPE. SESI IS CURRENTLY UNDER CONTRACT TO THE ARMY FOR THE MAINTENANCE OF TWO TYPES OF COMMUNICATIONS EQUIPMENT - DACOM 412 HIGH SPEED FACSIMILE EQUIPMENT AND AN ARMY-OWNED TELETYPEWRITER. HOWEVER, THESE TWO MAINTENANCE REQUIREMENTS HAVE NOW BEEN CONSOLIDATED INTO THE SUBJECT SOLICITATION, WHICH CONTEMPLATES A SINGLE CONTRACT COVERING A BROADER RANGE OF SERVICES.

IT IS SESI'S VIEW, ESSENTIALLY, THAT CONSOLIDATION OF THE ARMY'S REQUIREMENTS INTO THIS SINGLE SOLICITATION IMPROPERLY RESTRICTED COMPETITION SINCE THE REQUIREMENTS ARE SO BROAD IN SCOPE THAT SESI, A SMALL CONTRACTOR, IS EFFECTIVELY PRECLUDED FROM COMPETING FOR THE AWARD AS A PRIME CONTRACTOR. SESI'S PRINCIPAL CONCERN APPEARS TO BE THAT ITS BUSINESS WILL BE SERIOUSLY HARMED IF IT LOSES THE REVENUES UNDER ITS PRESENT MAINTENANCE CONTRACTS. IT ALSO PREDICTS, HOWEVER, THAT THE COST OF MAINTENANCE ON THE DACOM 412 AND TELETYPEWRITER EQUIPMENT IS LIKELY TO INCREASE (DUE TO THE COST OF SECURITY CLEARANCES FOR A NEW CONTRACTOR) WHILE THE QUALITY OF THAT SERVICE MAY NOT CONTINUE WITHOUT "MAJOR DISRUPTION" (SINCE SESI IS CURRENTLY PERFORMING WITH HIGHLY COMPETENT, TRAINED INDIVIDUALS). SESI CONCLUDES THAT A CONTINUATION OF THE PRESENT PROCUREMENT SCHEME WOULD THUS BE BENEFICIAL TO BOTH SESI AND THE GOVERNMENT, AND ASKS THAT THE ARMY BE DIRECTED TO BREAK-OUT THE MAINTENANCE REQUIREMENT FOR THESE TWO COMPONENTS AND PROVIDE FOR THEM BY SEPARATE CONTRACT.

THE ARMY RESPONDS THAT WHILE SESI'S PERFORMANCE UNDER ITS CURRENT CONTRACTS HAS BEEN SATISFACTORY, A "TOTAL PACKAGE" PROCUREMENT HAS NOW BEEN ADOPTED WITH A VIEW TOWARD IMPROVING CONTRACT MANAGEMENT AND ADMINISTRATION WHILE POSSIBLY REDUCING THE TOTAL COST OF SERVICING THE SUBJECT COMMUNICATIONS EQUIPMENT. THE ARMY EXPECTS GREATER ADMINISTRATIVE EFFICIENCY TO RESULT SINCE THIS SINGLE CONTRACT APPROACH WILL REDUCE THE NUMBER OF CONTRACTORS AND CONTRACTS TO BE MANAGED. AS FOR POTENTIAL COST SAVINGS, THE CONTRACTING OFFICER ANTICIPATES THAT TOTAL NECESSARY MANPOWER AND THUS, TOTAL CONTRACT COST, WILL BE REDUCED BY TRAINING THE EMPLOYEES OF A SINGLE CONTRACTOR TO SERVICE SEVERAL DIFFERENT MACHINES. THE COST OF GOVERNMENT FURNISHED LOGISTICAL SUPPORT (SERVICES AND FACILITIES NORMALLY PROVIDED FOR INDIVIDUALS PERFORMING CONTRACTS ABROAD), IS ALSO EXPECTED TO BE LOWER WITH REDUCED MANPOWER. AS A FINAL CONSIDERATION, THE CONTRACTING OFFICER HAS FOUND THAT THIS CONSOLIDATION OF RELATED REQUIREMENTS PROMOTES THE ARMY'S GENERAL REGULATORY POLICY FAVORING CENTRALIZATION OF MAINTENANCE FACILITIES.

ON THIS RECORD, WE HAVE NO BASIS FOR OBJECTING TO THE ARMY'S PROCUREMENT APPROACH. AS WE HAVE OFTEN STATED, IT IS GENERALLY FOR THE CONTRACTING AGENCY TO DETERMINE WHETHER TO PROCURE BY MEANS OF A TOTAL PACKAGE APPROACH RATHER THAN BY SEPARATE PROCUREMENTS FOR THE DIVISIBLE PORTIONS OF THE TOTAL REQUIREMENT. IN THE ABSENCE OF CLEAR EVIDENCE THAT SUCH DETERMINATIONS LACK A REASONABLE BASIS, THEY WILL NOT BE DISTURBED BY THIS OFFICE. RONALD CAMPBELL COMPANY, B-196018, MARCH 25, 1980, 80-1 CPD 216; ALLEN AND VICKERS, INC., ET AL., 54 COMP.GEN. 445, 452 (1974), 74-2 CPD 303.

IN OUR OPINION, SESI HAS NOT PROVIDED CLEAR EVIDENCE THAT THE DETERMINATION TO UTILIZE A TOTAL PACKAGE APPROACH LACKS A REASONABLE BASIS. INDEED, SESI HAS NOT ATTEMPTED TO REBUT THE ARMY'S JUSTIFICATION FOR ADOPTING THIS PROCUREMENT METHOD, SHORT OF SPECULATION THAT THE COST AND QUALITY OF PERFORMANCE MIGHT BE LESS FAVORABLE TO THE GOVERNMENT UNDER THE NEW METHOD. MERE SPECULATION DOES NOT SATISFY THE PROTESTER'S BURDEN OF PROOF, HOWEVER. FINALLY, THE PROCUREMENT HERE WAS NOT UNREASONABLE OR OTHERWISE IMPROPER MERELY BECAUSE SESI WAS UNABLE TO COMPETE FOR THE AWARD. THE GOVERNMENT IS NOT REQUIRED TO CAST ITS PROCUREMENTS SO AS TO NEUTRALIZE THE COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGES WHICH SOME CONCERNS ENJOY OVER OTHERS BY VIRTUE OF THEIR OWN PARTICULAR CIRCUMSTANCES. RONALD CAMPBELL COMPANY, SUPRA; AEROSPACE ENGINEERING SERVICES CORPORATION, B-184850, MARCH 9, 1976, 76-1 CPD 164.

THE PROTEST IS DENIED.

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