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PROCUREMENT - Contractor Qualification - Approved sources - Qualification - Standards DIGEST: Whether retesting is required for the purposes of a Qualified Products List (QPL) where the offeror changes location of manufacture in a matter for the determination of the agency responsible for the QPL. The General Accounting Office will not question the agency's judgment unless it is shown not to have a reasonable basis. Bidders were required to offer only lampchangers that were on the Qualified Products List (QPL) that had been tested and approved by the agency. APS and C-R are the only manufacturers whose lampchangers are on the QPL. APS contends that the location of manufacture cited by C-R in its bid is not an approved source and therefore its bid should be rejected.

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B-236545, Nov 7, 1989, 89-2 CPD ***

PROCUREMENT - Contractor Qualification - Approved sources - Qualification - Standards DIGEST: Whether retesting is required for the purposes of a Qualified Products List (QPL) where the offeror changes location of manufacture in a matter for the determination of the agency responsible for the QPL, and the General Accounting Office will not question the agency's judgment unless it is shown not to have a reasonable basis.

Automated Power Systems, Inc.:

Automated Power Systems, Inc. (APS), protests the award of a contract to C-R Control Systems, Inc. (C-R) under invitation for bids (IFB) No. DTCG36 -89-B-00039, issued by the United States Coast Guard (USCG), for lampchangers. Bidders were required to offer only lampchangers that were on the Qualified Products List (QPL) that had been tested and approved by the agency. APS and C-R are the only manufacturers whose lampchangers are on the QPL. APS contends that the location of manufacture cited by C-R in its bid is not an approved source and therefore its bid should be rejected.

We deny the protest.

The protester alleges that the QPL of lampchangers shows a manufacturing facility Electronic Assembly Corp in Neenah, Wisconsin, but that C-R's bid shows Community Workshops Corp (CWC) in Norwich, New York as the place of inspection and manufacturing of the lampchangers under the current procurement. APS contends that a mere site visit by an agency personnel is insufficient, rather the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Sec. 9.201 (FAC 84-39) mandates that where a new place of manufacture is utilized it must have the product tested before it can be admitted on to the QPL.

Whether to require retesting for the purposes of QPL listing is a discretionary matter, see FAR Sec. 9.207(b) (FAC 84-39) and we will not object to the agency's exercise of discretion absent a showing that it lacked a reasonable basis. Automated Power Sys., Inc., B-224203, Feb. 4, 1987, 87-1 CPD Para. 109. FAR Sec. 52.209-1(f) (FAC 84-39) (included in the solicitation) provides that:

Any change in location or ownership of the plant where a previously qualified product or service was manufactured or performed requires reevaluation of the qualification. Similarly, any change in location or ownership of a previously qualified manufacturer or source requires reevaluation of the qualification. The reevaluation must be accomplished before the date of award.

This provision obligates the agency to reevaluate the qualification, but not necessarily retest the product. Whether to conduct retesting as a means of reevaluation, therefore, is only mandatory when no other reasonable means of reevaluation is possible.

Here, the Coast Guard had inspected the CWS in Norwich, New York on October 4, 1988, and approved the facility on October 13. This approval was based on a site inspection, assurances of C-R that its own production and test equipment would be used, and that CWS' quality control engineer was capable of supervising the production and testing of the QPL items. We view this evaluation to be sufficient and the approval to be reasonably based.

Accordingly the protest is denied.

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