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September 14, 1973

John L. McLUCAS, Acting Secretary of the Air Force, Defendant

Coolahan, District Judge.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: COOLAHAN

COOLAHAN, District Judge:

This is an action for declaratory and injunctive relief with regard to an Air Force procurement contract for the overhaul, repair and rebuilding of jet engines. The plaintiff, a nationally known manufacturer of aircraft, brings this action against the Acting Secretary of the Air Force in his representative capacity as the person ultimately responsible for the enforcement of the laws and regulations applicable to procurement by the United States Air Force. Plaintiff contends that the contract at issue was illegally awarded to a competing bidder, the Southwest Airmotive Company, in violation of specified provisions of the Armed Services Procurement Act of 1947, 10 U.S.C. § 2304 et seq., the Armed Services Procurement Regulations (ASPR) codified in 32 C.F.R. Subchapter A, Parts 1-30, the Service Contract Act of 1965, as amended, 41 U.S.C. § 351 et seq. as well as the regulations promulgated by the Secretary of Labor thereunder and codified in 29 C.F.R. Part 4. Plaintiff alleges federal question and mandamus jurisdiction, 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331, 1361, and also jurisdiction under the Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. § 702, to review the adverse action of an agency by which plaintiff is aggrieved.

 This matter comes to the Court upon an order to show cause why the defendant Secretary should not be preliminarily enjoined from proceeding upon the Air Force contract with Southwest Airmotive Company. At the time of the return date of the order to show cause, neither party proffered testimony. The Court therefore relies upon the briefs, exhibits, and affidavits submitted to date as well as the oral argument given at the hearing on the order to show cause. No interim restraints have been granted by the Court.

 It appears that on or about November 22, 1972 the Department of the Air Force, acting through the Oklahoma City Air Materiel Area (OCAMA) at the Tinker Air Force Base, issued a Letter Request for Proposals (LRFP) No. F34601-73-R-6000. The LRFP solicited bids from interested and qualified offerors for the overhaul and repair of J-57 series engines used in the Air Force's KC-135 worldwide air tanker fleet. The successful bidder was to be awarded a one-year contract to commence in April 1973, with an option open to the Air Force to continue the contract for an additional two years at the fixed contract price and for still another two years after certain price adjustments. Thus, the successful bidder had potentially a contract for overhaul and repair of jet engines spanning five years at a value estimated by plaintiff at approximately $75,000,000. For the past six years prior to the issuance of the LRFP, plaintiff had been the incumbent contractor for the Air Force on the jet engine overhaul and repair contract then being rebid. Plaintiff's prior contract with the Air Force, which includes engine repair and overhaul of aircraft other than the KC-135 air tanker, will conclude in March 1974. Of all those companies solicited by the Air Force, six responded with offers. On or about April 17, 1973 the Air Force awarded contract No. F34601-73-D-1444 to the Southwest Airmotive Company.

 Unquestionably, the solicitation and award of this contract was governed by the Armed Services Procurement Act of 1947, as amended, 10 U.S.C. § 2301 et seq. This statute sets forth the rules applicable to procurement bidding and authorizes the Department of Defense to issue regulations applicable to its various contracting agencies and subentities. These regulations, known collectively as the Armed Services Procurement Regulations (ASPR), are codified in 32 C.F.R. Parts 1-30 and have the full force and binding effect of law.

 Contracts falling within the Armed Services Procurement Act and its attendant regulations may also be subject to the requirements of the Service Contract Act of 1965 if the contract price exceeds $2,500 and the "principal purpose" of the contract is to "furnish services in the United States through the use of service employees." 41 U.S.C. § 351. Saving for later a discussion of the applicability of the Act, a key issue at hand, plaintiff claims numerous substantive violations of the Act. It is conceded by the defendant Acting Secretary of the Air Force that neither the LRFP or the accepted bid of Southwest Airmotive contained various statements required by the Service Contract Act, 41 U.S.C. § 351(a)(1)-(5) relating to wages and fringe benefits to be paid the contractor's employees as well as the safety of working conditions.

 Plaintiff claims that the failure to include the statements mandated by the Service Contract Act is also in clear violation of the Armed Services Procurement Act, 10 U.S.C. § 2305(b), which invalidates an invitation for bids and subsequent award if the invitation does not contain "the necessary descriptive language and attachments." Plaintiff further cites the ASPR, 32 C.F.R. § 1-403, which prohibits the award of a contract unless "all applicable requirements of law" have been met.

 Plaintiff advances a second theory for invalidating the Air Force award to Southwest Airmotive. It alleges that Air Force LRFP No. F34601-73-R-6000 notified all potential bidders that the repair and overhaul services being solicited were vital to national defense and "so critical" that strict compliance with the LRFP's requirements would be demanded. Plaintiff concludes from the reports submitted by an Air Force Post Award Orientation Team that Southwest Airmotive was deficient in eight of nine contract prerequisites even after it had been awarded the contract. Additionally, it is alleged that Southwest was unable to certify as required by the LRFP that it had satisfactorily completed a jet engine overhaul and maintenance contract comparable in complexity and quantity to the J-57 engines covered by the LRFP. Plaintiff therefore asserts that the award to Southwest was illegal and in derogation of the ASPR, 32 C.F.R. §§ 2.301, 2.404-2(a), which require bids to conform in all material respects with the invitation for bids and the rejection of any nonconforming bid. *fn1"

 In essence, plaintiff claims that Southwest Airmotive's deficiencies in technology, physical plant and managerial capacity left it far short of the minimal Air Force LRFP requirements, and that Southwest was awarded the contract only because it had outbid plaintiff by some $9 million.

 On the basis of the legal deficiencies alleged in its complaint, plaintiff seeks a declaration by the Court that the Air Force contract with Southwest Airmotive No. F34601-73-D-1444 be declared illegal. Plaintiff further seeks to enjoin the defendant Acting Secretary, his employees, officers, attorneys and agents preliminarily and permanently from taking any action pursuant to or in furtherance of said contract or from committing or obligating funds of the United States for work by Southwest Airmotive. Before looking to the merits of the two arguments advanced by plaintiff, *fn2" the Court must address itself to two jurisdictional defenses interposed by the defendant Acting Secretary.


 Preliminarily, the Acting Secretary moves to dismiss this complaint and vacate the order to show cause on the ground that plaintiff has no standing to sue. He relies upon a line of cases beginning with Perkins v. Lukens Steel Co., 310 U.S. 113, 60 S. Ct. 869, 84 L. Ed. 1108 (1940). In that case the Supreme Court held that prospective bidders desirous of selling supplies or services to the Government do not have a direct legal interest in the government procurement process and, therefore, have no standing to enforce the responsibility of officials of the executive branch acting pursuant to statutes or regulations or to represent, as in that case, the public interest in the Secretary of Labor's compliance with the Public Contracts Act of 1936. Speaking for the Court, Mr. Justice Black said:


Courts should not, where Congress has not done so, subject purchasing agencies of the Government to the delays necessarily incident to judicial scrutiny at the instance of potential sellers, which would be contrary to traditional governmental practice and would create a new concept of judicial controversies. A like restraint applied to purchasing by private business would be widely condemned as an intolerable business handicap. It is, as both Congress and the courts have always recognized, essential to the even and expeditious functioning of Government that the administration of the purchasing machinery be unhampered.


* * *


Our decision that the complaining companies lack standing to sue does not rest upon a mere formality. We rest it upon reasons deeply rooted in the constitutional divisions of authority in our system of Government and the impropriety of judicial interpretations of law at the instance of those who show no more than a mere possible injury to the public.

 310 U.S. at 130, 132, 60 S. Ct. at 878, 879. The Perkins doctrine has its genesis in earlier Supreme Court holdings, some of which held that a party to a contract cannot rely upon an official's breach of statutory duty as a basis for voiding a contractual obligation with the Government. American Smelting & Refining Co. v. United States, 259 U.S. 75, 42 S. Ct. 420, 66 L. Ed. 833 (1922); United States v. New York & Porto Rico S.S. Co., 239 U.S. 88, 36 S. Ct. 41, 60 L. Ed. 161 (1915); United States ex rel. Goldberg v. Daniels, 231 U.S. 218, 34 S. Ct. 84, 58 L. Ed. 191 (1913). It has since been followed by numerous lower federal courts in actions instituted by disappointed bidders. Edelman v. Federal Housing Administration, 382 F.2d 594 (2d Cir. 1967); George Epcar Co. v. United States, 377 F.2d 225 (10th Cir.), cert. denied, 389 U.S. 973, 88 S. Ct. 473, 19 L. Ed. 2d 466 (1967); United States v. Gray Line Water Tours, 311 F.2d 779 (4th Cir. 1962); Friend v. Lee, 95 U.S.App.D.C. 224, 221 F.2d 96 (1955); Fulton Iron Co. v. Larson, 84 U.S.App.D.C. 39, 171 F.2d 994 (1948); Gary Aircraft Corp. v. United States, 342 F. Supp. 473 (W.D.Texas 1972); Lind v. Staats, 289 F. Supp. 182 (N.D.Cal.1968); Heyer Products Co. v. United States, 140 F. Supp. 409, 135 Ct.Cl. 63 (1956).

 The court in Gary Aircraft, supra, dismissed an action which had challenged Air Force procurement decisions. The court rejected plaintiff's arguments in favor of standing:


There is still today no evidence of a Congressional desire to depart from this long-standing view that the fundamental Government procurement statutes for general public contracts, 41 U.S.C. § 5 et seq., or for military procurements, 10 U.S.C. § 2301 et seq., were designed not to protect bidders but rather to protect the Government.


. . .


The present case amply demonstrates why injunctive suits of this nature have not been countenanced traditionally, and should not be permitted here. The Perkins rule is neither obsolete nor legalistic, but is firmly rooted in meritorious practical considerations. Whether or not these considerations are still subsumed under the traditional standing doctrine, they should and unless the Supreme Court overrules Perkins, must be respected.

 Id. at 477-787 of 342 F. Supp.

 The court in Gary Aircraft was reluctant to pin the continuing vitality of the Perkins rule on the present law of standing to sue probably because of the expansive views expressed in Data Processing Service v. Camp, 397 U.S. 150, 90 S. Ct. 827, 25 L. Ed. 2d 184 (1970), and Barlow v. Collins, 397 U.S. 159, 90 S. Ct. 832, 25 L. Ed. 2d 192 (1970). Plaintiffs in the first of these companion cases sold data processing services to businesses generally. They challenged a ruling by the defendant Comptroller of the Currency that, as an incident to their banking services, national banks may make data processing services available to other banks and bank customers. The Supreme Court reversed a decision below dismissing the action for lack of standing to sue the Comptroller. First, the Court ruled that because the Comptroller's decision adversely affected plaintiffs' business by increasing competition, plaintiffs possessed such "legal interest" in the administrative decision as to satisfy the "case" or "controversy" test of Article III. The Court distinguished this from the issue of standing, which could be satisfied if "the interest sought to be protected by the complainant is arguably within the zone of interests to be protected or regulated by the statute or constitutional guarantee in question." 397 U.S. at 153, 90 S. Ct. at 830. Noting that the Administrative Procedure Act granted standing broadly to any person "aggrieved by agency action within the meaning of a relevant statute," 5 U.S.C. § 702, the Court emphasized that "[where] statutes are concerned, the trend is toward enlargement of the class of people who may protest administrative action," and that the drive to broaden the standing concept was symptomatic of that trend. 397 U.S. at 154, 90 S. Ct. at 830.

 Similarly, in Barlow v. Collins, supra, an action brought by tenant farmers eligible for payments under the Food and Agricultural Act of 1965, 7 U.S.C. § 1444(d) challenging the validity of a certain amended regulation promulgated by the defendant Secretary of Agriculture, the Supreme Court reversed a lower court decision finding no standing on behalf of plaintiffs. Tenant farmers, said the Court, fell clearly within the zone of interests protected by the Act, to wit, that the Secretary of Agriculture is obliged by the Act to provide adequate safeguards to protect the interests of tenants. 7 U.S.C. § 1444(d)(10). The broadened scope of standing which allows suits against administrative officials by plaintiffs suing to vindicate the public interest was later observed in two environmentalist cases, Sierra Club v. Morton, 405 U.S. 727, 92 S. Ct. 1361, 31 L. Ed. 2d 636 (1972), and Citizens to Preserve Overton Park, Inc. v. Volpe, 401 U.S. 402, 91 S. Ct. 814, 28 L. Ed. 2d 136 (1971).

 These cases have caused a number of circuits to reconsider the vitality of the Perkins doctrine. Very recently this circuit considered the issue of standing in disappointed bidder cases in Merriam v. Kunzig, 476 F.2d 1233 (3d Cir. 1973), and concluded that the Supreme Court would no longer follow Perkins. Plaintiff in the Merriam decision was one of two unsuccessful bidders following a solicitation of bids by the General Services Administration to lease it office space in a new building to be constructed by the bidding winner. After losing the bid, plaintiff filed a protest with the General Accounting Office pursuant to 4 C.F.R. §§ 20.1-20.12 (1972). Plaintiff claimed that the bid award was void under the terms of the Independent Offices Appropriations Act of 1971, 40 U.S.C. §§ 601-615. The court cited the tests set out in Data Processing for justiciability and standing: legal interest in the form of injury in fact sufficient to satisfy the "case" or "controversy" requirement of Article III, and inclusion within a zone of interest protected by the statute or regulation which plaintiff alleges to have been violated.

 The court found ample damages to the unsuccessful bidder owing to costs in preparing and submitting its bid as well as the loss of present and future profits arising out of the unsecured government contract. The protected zone of interest lay in the procurement provisions of the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act of 1949, 41 U.S.C. §§ 251-260. Specifically, the court relied upon Section 253, which provides for "full and free competition" among invited bidders and for the rejection of bids not in the public interest, but not, said the court, for acceptance of bids failing to conform to the invitation for bids. Thus, the statute was construed to protect not only the governmental interest in securing advantageous contracts, but also the interest of those responding to the Government's invitation for bids. Having found the requisite standing for advancing plaintiffs' claim as private litigants, the court held that there was adequate standing to argue as a private attorney general the public interest in administrative compliance with statutory authority or the regulations enacted thereunder.

 In so ruling, the Third Circuit relied upon the leading case of Scanwell Laboratories, Inc. v. Shaffer, 137 U.S.App.D.C. 371, 424 F.2d 859 (1970), in which the court found an implicit overruling of the Perkins case in the passage of the Administrative Procedure Act, which permits a party aggrieved by a federal agency action to sue for redress. Other cases reflecting the growing popularity of disappointed bidder actions in the District of Columbia Circuit include Constructores Civiles de Centroamerica v. Hannah, 148 U.S.App.D.C. 159, 459 F.2d 1183 (1972); Wheelabrator Corp. v. Chafee, 147 U.S.App.D.C. 238, 455 F.2d 1306 (1971); M. Steinthal & Co. v. Seamans, 147 U.S.App.D.C. 221, 455 F.2d 1289 (1971); Continental Business Enterprises, Inc. v. United States, 196 Ct. Cl. 627, 452 F.2d 1016 (Ct.Cl.1971); A.G. Schoonmaker Co. v. Resor, 144 U.S.App.D.C. 250, 445 F.2d 726 (1971); Blackhawk Heating & Plumbing Co. v. Driver, 140 U.S.App.D.C. 31, 433 F.2d 1137 (1970); Ballerina Pen Co. v. Kunzig, 140 U.S.App.D.C. 98, 28 L. Ed. 2d 234, 433 F.2d 1204 (1970), cert. denied, 401 U.S. 950, 91 S. Ct. 1186, 28 L. Ed. 2d 234 (1971); General Electric Co. v. Seamans, 340 F. Supp. 636 (D.D.C.1972); Keco Industries v. Laird, 318 F. Supp. 1361 (D.D.C.1970); Simpson Electric Co. v. Seamans, 317 F. Supp. 684 (D.D.C.1970). The courts of other circuits as well have likewise found standing in favor of aggrieved bidders who have alleged agency violations of statutes or regulations in the procurement of goods or services for the Government. Rudolph F. Matzer & Associates, Inc. v. Warner, 348 F. Supp. 991 (M.D.Fla.1972); Pace Co., Division of Ambac Industries, Inc. v. Department of Army, 344 F. Supp. 787 (W.D.Tenn.1971); City Chemical Corp. v. Shreffler, 333 F. Supp. 46 (S.D.N.Y.1971). See also Lloyd Wood Construction Co. v. Sandoval, 318 F. Supp. 1167 (N.D.Ala.1970), rev'd on other grounds, 446 F.2d 261 (5th Cir. 1971).

 The bidding in the present action was followed pursuant to the Armed Services Procurement Act of 1947, 10 U.S.C. §§ 2301-2314. There exists a great similarity between 10 U.S.C. § 2305 and 41 U.S.C. § 253, the section upon which the Third Circuit relied heavily in determining that a losing bidder fell within a statutory zone of interest in the Merriam decision. Like Section 253, Section 2305 sets forth the manner in which bids are to be invited and accepted or rejected. Like Section 253, Section 2305 implicitly requires the rejection of nonconforming bids. Given the Merriam rationale as well as the number of cases which have specifically permitted challenges to armed forces procurement, e.g., Wheelabrator Corp. v. Chafee, supra ; M. Steinthal & Co. v. Seamans, supra ; A.G. Schoonmaker Co. v. Resor, supra ; Rudolph F. Matzer & Assoc., Inc. v. Warner, supra ; Pace Co., Division of Ambac Industries, Inc. v. Department of Army, supra ; General Electric Co. v. Seamans, supra ; and City Chemical Corp. v. Shreffler, supra, the Court is constrained to find that the interest sought to be protected and vindicated by the plaintiff is arguably within the zone of interests protected and regulated by the provisions of the Armed Services Procurement Act of 1947, 10 U.S.C. §§ 2301-2314. The Court therefore holds that plaintiff has standing to advance his allegations of bidding impropriety both as a private litigant and as a private attorney general in vindication of the public interest in compliance by the procuring agency with the appropriate statutes and regulations thereunder.


 Distinct from the issue of standing is the question whether this Court has the judicial power to review the actions of the defendant Acting Secretary which culminated in the awarding of this contract to Southwest Airmotive. The Court will set forth those actions in moderate detail and will rely upon the affidavits of the procurement officers submitted in this regard.

 Air Force Contract No. F34601-73-D-1444 for the overhaul, repair and/or modification of J-57 series jet engines *fn3" was the product of a model or uniform contract format for jet engine overhaul and repair drafted by officers of the Air Force Logistic Command (AFLC) in 1970. It was developed as part of an overall program for the improvement of contracting procedures so as to achieve greater uniformity in the contract format used in the procurement activities of the AFLC. The drafting officers relied upon their past experience in procurement administration and have updated the model contract with revisions to accommodate changes in statutes, executive orders, regulations as well as changes in procurement policy. Chapter 14 of the Air Force Logistic Command Regulations 70-4 directs that procurement officers utilize the model contract in all buying activities for engine overhaul and modification. For reasons to be explored later, the model contract does not contain the requirements of the Service Contract Act of 1965, 41 U.S.C. § 351 et seq. as amended.

 For a number of years prior to the solicitation of offers for Contract No. 34601-73-D-1444, Curtiss-Wright had performed the overhaul and repair work on the Air Force's J-57 series jet engines. However, in a period just prior to October 1972 the Air Force determined that the competitive environment had matured to the point where it was no longer deemed necessary to fulfill the overhaul and repair requirements by way of sole source procurements as historically done. It was believed that sufficient qualified contractors could be solicited through a modified competitive bidding scheme to achieve substantial cost saving without sacrificing technical efficiency.

 Owing to the importance of the J-57 engine and the size of the Air Force fleets utilizing that engine, it was determined that the Air Force would employ a method of procurement known as Source Selection, which is used for complex and major procurements where a long-term contract is anticipated and where maximum emphasis is to be placed on the technical capacity of the potential contractor. Source Selection procedures and considerations are outlined and governed by Air Force Regulations (AFR) 70-15, Air Force Manual (AFM) 70-10 and AFLCR 70-4.

  In initiating the Source Selection procedure, several preliminary matters were necessary. Pursuant to AFR 70-15 the delegate defendant Acting Secretary appointed Major General W. Y. Smith, Commander, Oklahoma City Air Material Area (OCAMA), to serve as the Source Selection authority (SSA) for this project. The function of the SSA is to appoint the Source Selection Advisory Council (SSAC) and Source Selection Evaluation Board (SSEB) Chairmen, select SSAC personnel, generally oversee the Source Selection project, and, most important, make the contract award. The function of the SSAC is to establish specific evaluation criteria, determine their relative importance by assigning a weight to each factor considered and to appoint SSEB personnel and direct their work. Upon receipt of the SSEB findings, the SSAC prepares a proposal analysis for the SSA to enable him to make a proper judgment in awarding the contract. General Smith appointed Colonel J. A. Muehlenweg, Director of Procurement and Production, OCAMA, to serve as the SSAC Chairman.

 The primary function of the SSEB is the evaluation of proposals as initially received and the negotiation of contract details with each company within a competitive range permitted by the contract specifications set out by the LRFP. Colonel Jack R. Lindeman, Program Manager, Worldwide Airborne Command Post Systems, Directorate of Materiel Management, OCAMA, was appointed to serve as the Chairman of the SSEB. To assist the SSEB Chairman in evaluating the proposals to be solicited a co-chairman was appointed for each of six technical areas in which the offerors would be evaluated.

 Once these preliminary matters had been accomplished, the project moved to the solicitation stage, to be followed by proposal evaluation and the adjustment of contract details. The latter process is known as the contract definitization phase and is administered by the Contract Definitization Group (CDG). The original contract specifications were, of course, set out in LRFP F34601-73-R-6000, which was mailed to eight, preselected contractors on November 22, 1972. These included both Southwest Airmotive and Curtiss-Wright. Subsequently, six other contractors requested and were given the LRFP.

 LRFP F34601-73-R-6000 is a voluminous, comprehensive document running approximately 250 pages. It sets out in technical detail the exact Air Force requirements and specifications, the criteria for evaluating offers, and the documentation needed from the offeror to establish his competence. Minor amendments of the LRFP were in fact made on three occasions, none of which concern us since those changes were essentially administrative and did not modify the evaluation criteria or their respective weight.

 The LRFP lists eight evaluation factors in Section D to which all offerors must respond with appropriate information. The fifth factor is entitled "GENERAL INFORMATION AND SELECTION CRITERIA" and includes six general areas of technical competence. Listed as they appear in the LRFP in order of importance they are: (1) Management Capabilities; (2) Facilities and Equipment; (3) Production Plan; (4) Quality Control; (5) Experience; and (6) Safety. Attachments to the LRFP broke down these general areas into "items," "factors," and "sub-factors." Items were to be given a raw, numerical score by the SSEB, while factors and sub-factors were to be given only a subjective rating of check, plus or minus. Once compiled, the scores were ultimately weighted by the SSAC to indicate a final numerical score. It should be noted that price is the sixth of eight general evaluation factors listed in Section D and is mentioned elsewhere in the LRFP as a consideration in making the award.

 Following the issuance and distribution of the LRFP, six contractors submitted timely proposals on or before January 26, 1973. Among them were Curtiss-Wright and Southwest Airmotive. Once received, the information in the proposals was sent to an appropriate evaluation committee; there was a single cost-price panel as well as a panel for each of the general areas of technical competence cited heretofore. *fn4" Applying the pre-established standards and procedures each SSEB panel evaluated the particular area for which it was responsible. Scores were assigned and deficiencies noted in Deficiency Report forms. After those deficiencies had been collated by area co-chairmen at the conclusion of the SSEB evaluation, the contractor was advised of any such deficiencies. In turn, the contractor responded to the deficiency notice and was re-evaluated. Both Curtiss-Wright and Southwest Airmotive underwent this procedure. Where a contractor's response was still inadequate, the remaining discrepancies were adjusted by face-to-face negotiations, which were conducted with each offeror in February and March 1973. The results of these conferences were similarly evaluated by the SSEB.

 A nine-volume summary report of all evaluations was prepared by the SSEB and presented to the SSAC on March 23, 1973. The SSAC directed an on-site review shortly thereafter to determine whether each offeror had been able to resolve reported weaknesses so as to bring his proposal into compliance with the specific requirements of the LRFP. The SSAC then analyzed the SSEB Report and prepared a Proposal Analysis Report of some 150 pages, which was submitted to the SSA on April 9. The SSCA Report reflected the weighing of scores prepared by the SSEB, which, to preserve the integrity of the scoring system, had not been advised of the actual weights involved.

 After reviewing the SSAC Report and an oral briefing, General Smith, the SAA, determined that three offerors, including Curtiss-Wright and Southwest Airmotive, had the technical capacity to perform the required overhauling and repair services. Considering the technical evaluations before him and the fact that the Southwest Airmotive proposal was substantially less costly, he awarded the contract to Southwest Airmotive. His decision was subsequently approved by the Commander, Air Force Logistics Command after review by the Commander's staff. On April 17, 1973 Southwest Airmotive was formally awarded the contract. The next day all unsuccessful offerors were notified of the selection. It may be finally noted that the entire Source Selection process for Contract No. F34601-73-D-1444 required some 14,000 man-hours of Air Force Personnel.

 It is the contention of Curtiss-Wright that the statistical data cited in the SSAC Report as well as the information reaped from the Post-Award Conference Record (prepared by the Post-Award Orientation Team) conclusively demonstrates that the proposal of Southwest Airmotive was non-responsive to and non-compliant with the LRFP and should have been rejected. Section D-8 of the LRFP does in fact refer to the "very critical" nature of the services to be rendered, which, if improperly performed, "may endanger human life." Besides listing six specific areas of technical competence in Section D-5 the LRFP in Section D-8 makes it "mandatory" that:


(1) The facility proposed for contract performance must have prior to award of a contract:


(i) A full time facility manager with experience and training to qualify him for managing a complex program;


(ii) A property administrator experienced in the administration of Government property under Defense Maintenance Contracts;


(iii) Qualified contract (administrators);


(iv) A production manager experienced in engine scheduling and maintenance work;


(v) A Quality control manager experienced in implementing Quality Assurance and Inspection Procedures and Standards;


(vi) A safety manager experienced with Government safety standards applicable to jet engine maintenance contracts.


(2) The offeror, as a company, corporation or other entity, has satisfactorily performed work on engine maintenance programs within the last five years (FY 1968 through FY 1972) where:


(i) The engine programs satisfactorily performed were major overhaul and maintenance;


(ii) The engine programs satisfactorily completed provided for a quantity comparable to that covered by this solicitation;


(iii) The engines applicable to the (programs) satisfactorily completed were of a jet engine class comparable to the J-57.


(3) The offeror, as a company, has available for performance of proposed procurement, the facilities and equipment prerequisite to the requirements of J-57 engine overhaul.

 Following the award of Contract No. F34601-73-D-1444 to Southwest Airmotive an Air Force Post-Award Orientation Team visited its facilities. Plaintiff contends that the Post-Award Conference Report filed by the Orientation Team conclusively demonstrates that specific requirements of the LRFP, whose satisfaction was mandatory before the award, were unsatisfied even after the award to Southwest Airmotive. It is alleged that Southwest Airmotive did not have an adequate quality plan nor an adequate quality manual, that it lacked the required inspection stations or work centers, that the inspection worksheets were completely inadequate because they were "commercial engine oriented" and hence of little value to the overhaul of the J-57 series jet engine, that experienced quality and inspection personnel were yet to be hired, that safety equipment and procedures were inadequate, and, most important, that Southwest did not have either the facilities or equipment necessary to perform the overhaul work contemplated by the LRFP. Plaintiff further contends in this respect that the Air Force unlawfully minimized the emphasis upon technical capacity in favor of price considerations. Plaintiff relies upon its superior weighted area scores given it by the SSAC in its Proposal Analysis Report. These scores reflect the "weights" given respective ratings by the SSEB of each offeror for each of the six areas of technical capacity of Section D-5 cited heretofore by the Court. The following is a summary of the scoring between Southwest Airmotive and Curtiss-Wright: Southwest Curtiss- Area Airmotive Wright Management 149 173.5 Facilities 122 207.5 Production 73 131 Quality 97 93 Experience 60 87 Safety 30 40.5 Total 531 732.5


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