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AIR TERMINAL SERVS. v. DOT

July 12, 1973

AIR TERMINAL SERVICES, INC., Plaintiff,
v.
The DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION et al., Defendants



The opinion of the court was delivered by: GREEN

 JUNE L. GREEN, District Judge.

 This suit was brought by the "best" bidder among five companies which responded to FAA's RFP for the food and beverage concession at the Washington National Airport. All bids were due and filed by August 16, 1971. The five bidders were:

 
ATS, Inc.
 
Automatic Retailers of America, Inc.
 
Gladieux Food Services, Inc.
 
Host International, Inc.
 
Marriott Corp.

 Thereafter, negotiation sessions were had with each of the five bidders -- one negotiation each day. No bidder requested more time or information. Each company was informed that it had until October 11, 1971 (later modified to October 12, 1971, due to legal holiday), to put in its last and best offer. All five companies responded by that date.

 October 22, 1971, a representative of Marriott Co. telephoned Mr. C. R. Melugin, previously manager of Washington National Airport and at that date, Acting Manager of National Capital Airports (Washington National and Dulles), now Deputy Director of Flight Standards FAA, advising him that it was considering making an offer increasing its minimum guarantee. Marriott Co. was informed that the date of October 12 (to which Marriott had previously responded) was the closing date and no further negotiation would be entertained. (Marriott never submitted a written offer after October 12th). The General Counsel agreed with Mr. Melugin that Marriott's proposed additional offer was too late to be considered. The Evaluation and Negotiation Committee, made up of engineering, audit, legal and financial personnel, convened October 21, 1971. It voted 4 votes for ATS, 1 vote for Automatic Retailers of America, Inc. and 1 vote for Host International, Inc. November 16, 1971, Mr. Melugin transmitted to the Chairman of the Contracts Award Board the report of the Evaluation and Negotiation Committee, together with his recommendation, as head of the procuring activity, that the award be made to ATS.

 November 17, 1971, Mr. Melugin acknowledged receipt of derogatory information from Congressman Steiger concerning Emprise Corp. and its possible connection with ATS, which information he forwarded to FAA's General Counsel.

 December 28, 1971, Mr. Melugin explained to the Chairman of the Contracts Award Board the necessity for the contract to run ten years, since the concessioner was required to invest 2 million dollars in improvements, and cited the 54 Stat. 1030, 1039 permitting same. In addition, he included a detailed statement with regard to the history of the contract action and support for his and the Committee's recommendation.

 January 19, 1972, Marriott, by letter, requested withdrawal of its proposal. Mr. Melugin granted this request.

 January 26, 1972, Mr. James T. Murphy, Director of Air Transportation Security, wrote a memo. to the Administrator of FAA making known to him allegations he had received against Air Terminal Services, Inc. due to its being a subsidiary of Sportservice, which is in turn a subsidiary of Emprise Corp. Mr. Murphy stated inter alia "No derogatory information has been developed concerning ATS". Then he ...


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