DUNS Number: 933370603

1. A-E Contract Number: W9127N04D0009  

2. Construction Contract Number:

3. Type of Evaluation:

a. Phase of Completion: Final 

b. Completion: Engineering Services

c. Terminated For: Convenience

4. Project Number:

5. Delivery Order No.:

6. Name and Address of A-E Contractor:
ACTUATION TEST EQUIPMENT COMPANY
3393 EDDIE RD
WINNEBAGO,, IL 610888736
USA

7a. Project Title and Location: McNary Powerhouse, Kaplan Turbines, Type 1 Optimizer (Index Test Box)

7b. Description of Project: Produce a test box for kaplan turbine gate-blade angle optimization

8. Name, Address and Phone Number of Office Responsible for:

a. Selection of A-E Contractor: CENWP-EC-CR-A, P.O. Box 2946, Ptld, OR 97208
    Phone: 503-808-4817

b. Negotiation/Award of A-E Contract: CENWP-EC-CR-A/CENWP-CT-C, Ptld, OR 97208
    Phone:

c. Administration of A-E Contract: CENWP-CT-C, P.O. Box 2946, Ptld, OR 97208
    Phone: 503-808-4612

d. Administration of Construction Contract:
    Phone:

9. A-E Contract Data:

a. Type of Work: design - build

b. Type of Contract: Firm Fixed Price

c. Project Complexity: Routine

d.(1) Contract or Task Order Initial Fee: $160,000

d.(2) Contract or Task Order Modifications: No. 3   Amount: $36,000

d.(3) Contract or Task Order Total Fee: $196,002

e. Contract or Task Order Award Date: 05/25/2004

f. Negotiated Contract or Task Order Completion Date: 05/31/2009  

g. Actual Contract or Task Order Completion Date: 05/28/2009  

10. Construction Contract Data:

a.(1) Authorized Construction Cost:

a.(2) A-E Estimate for Bid Items Awarded:

a.(3) Award Amount:

b. Data at Time of Construction Completion: Completion Date:

 

Number

Total Cost

b.(1) Construction Modifications

 

 

b.(2) Construction Modifications Arising from Design Deficiencies

 

 

11. A-E Liability: None

12. Overall Rating: Marginal

13. Recommended for Future Contracts? No

14a. Name, Title and Office of Rating Official:
Name: LARRY HAAS
Title: COR
Organization: CENWP-HDC
Telephone Number: 503-808-4279
Fax Number:
Email:
Date: 06/10/2009

15a. Name, Title and Office of Reviewing Official:
Name:
Title:
Organization:
Telephone Number:
Fax Number:
Email:
Date:

 

16. Quality of A-E Services by Discipline

a. Disciplines

Design/Services

Construction

Architectural

 

 

Not Applicable 

Not Applicable 

 

Structural

 

 

Not Applicable 

Not Applicable 

 

Civil

 

 

Not Applicable 

Not Applicable 

 

Mechanical

 

 

Marginal 

Not Applicable 

 

Electrical

 

 

Marginal 

Not Applicable 

 

Fire Protection

 

 

Not Applicable 

Not Applicable 

 

Surveying, Mapping, & Geospatial Information Svcs.

 

 

Not Applicable 

Not Applicable 

 

Cost Estimating

 

 

Marginal 

Not Applicable 

 

Value Engineering

 

 

Not Applicable 

Not Applicable 

 

Environmental Engineering

 

 

Not Applicable 

Not Applicable 

 

Geotechnical Engineering

 

 

Not Applicable 

Not Applicable 

 

Master Planning

 

 

Not Applicable 

Not Applicable 

 

Hydrology

 

 

Not Applicable 

Not Applicable 

 

Chemical Engineering

 

 

Not Applicable 

Not Applicable 

 

Geology

 

 

Not Applicable 

Not Applicable 

 

Chemistry

 

 

Not Applicable 

Not Applicable 

 

Risk Assessment

 

 

Not Applicable 

Not Applicable 

 

Safety/Occupational Health

 

 

Not Applicable 

Not Applicable 

 

Hydrographic Surveying

 

 

Not Applicable 

Not Applicable 

 

 

 

 

Not Applicable 

Not Applicable 

 

 

 

 

Not Applicable 

Not Applicable 

 

 

 

 

Not Applicable 

Not Applicable 

 

 


16b. Discipline, Name and Address of Key Consultants

Name

Address

Discipline

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

17. Design Phase or Engineering Services

Attributes

Ratings

Thoroughness of Site Investigation/Field Analysis

 

Marginal 

 

Quality Control Procedures and Execution

 

Unsatisfactory 

 

Plans/Specs Accurate and Coordinated

 

Marginal 

 

Plans Clear and Detailed Sufficiently

 

Satisfactory 

 

Management and Adherence to Schedules

 

Unsatisfactory 

 

Meeting Cost Limitations

 

Marginal 

 

Suitability of Design or Study Results

 

Marginal 

 

Solution Environmentally Suitable

 

Not Applicable 

 

Cooperativeness and Responsiveness

 

Unsatisfactory 

 

Quality of Briefing and Presentations

 

Satisfactory 

 

Innovative Approaches/Technologies

 

Satisfactory 

 

Implementation of Sm. Business Subcontracting Plan

 

Not Applicable 

 

 

 

Not Applicable 

 

 

 

Not Applicable 

 

 

 

Not Applicable 

 

18. How Many 100% Final Resubmittals Were Required Because of Poor A-E Performance?

 

19. Construction Phase

Attributes

Ratings

Plans Clear and Detailed Sufficiently

 

Not Applicable 

 

Drawings Reflect True Conditions

 

Not Applicable 

 

Plans/Specs Accurate and Coordinated

 

Not Applicable 

 

Design Constructability

 

Not Applicable 

 

Cooperativeness and Responsiveness

 

Not Applicable 

 

Timeliness and Quality of Processing Submittals

 

Not Applicable 

 

Product & Equipment Selections Readily Available

 

Not Applicable 

 

Timeliness of Answers to Design Questions

 

Not Applicable 

 

Field Consultation and Investigations

 

Not Applicable 

 

Quality of Construction Support Services

 

Not Applicable 

 

 

 

Not Applicable 

 

 

 

Not Applicable 

 

 

 

Not Applicable 

 

 

20. Remarks

Small Business Utilization

Does this contract include a subcontracting plan? No

Is small business subcontracting under this contract included in a comprehensive small business subcontracting plan? N/A

Is small business subcontracting under this contract included in a commercial small business subcontracting plan? N/A

Date of last Individual Subcontracting Report (ISR) / Summary Subcontracting Report (SSR): N/A

Rating Official Remarks: The Contractor's work involved new computer hardware and software development. The complexity of interfacing this new system with existing systems proved more difficult than anticipated when contract specification was prepared. This played a significant part in the project requiring more time and funding than originally planned. Unfortunately, the ability of Contractor to work with Government team deteriorated as the project progressed. Frequent Contractor e-mails, letters and phone conversations were accusatory and largely without basis, and counter-productive to achieving task at hand. The Contractor's documentation of software development and user's manual was found to be poorly organized and of little practical use. Also the issue of ownership of Contractor-developed code remains, as HDC does not feel source code developed under this contract was delivered. However, obtaining revised documentation or source code was not pursued as future usage of Contractor developed system is not planned. Despite all of the above, the end product developed performed base functions largely as intended, based on limited field testing performed. Complete and thorough field testing of product was never performed. Enhancements to simplify installation and improve user interface were never pursued.

Contractor Remarks: The project evaluation by HDC is in diametrical opposition to HDC's own internal documentation about this project. Please refer to HDC project report by Lee Sheldon that is dated August 2006: 'A REPORT ON THE RESEARCH, DEVELOPMENT AND "PROOF OF CONCEPT" DEMONSTRATION OF A TYPE 1 GENERATION UNIT OPTIMIZATION DEVICE' Plus Appendices A through M for more information. (I obtained a copy of this report through official channels under the Freedom of Information Act.) In disagreement with HDC's position statement, the contractor┐s position and a few of the most egregious acts by HDC personnel are delineated below: 1. All of the software source code developed at Government expense was delivered to HDC by the contractor (ATECo) in accordance with the contract terms. 2. The main body of the Index Test Box source code was written at private expense prior to engaging in this contract with HDC, and is lawfully protected by U.S. Copyright TX-6-006-161. This Copyright was acquired at the start of the contract period to protect the preexisting intellectual property from potential improper ownership claims from the Government - which did occur. 3. The end-product was successfully field tested twice. The first test was at McNary Dam in December 2005, and resulted in USACE personnel reporting on January 25, 2006 to BPA HOT committee, ┐Although limited range testing, results promising.┐ By way of explanation: the range of testing was limited by court-ordered limits on turbine power output and inherent problems with the substandard USACE HDC designed and developed Kaplan turbine blade control equipment. 4. Several ┐bugs┐ in the ITB software program were identified by the first field test. These were corrected, and a second field test was conducted in February 2006 at Ice Harbor Dam to verify the fixes. This second test consisted of a parallel index test on a large Kaplan turbine, with measurements taken concurrently using the USACE test equipment that is typically used for index testing and the ITB, utilizing traditional USACE index testing procedures to collect the data. 5. As a result of this second field test, USACE personnel reported to the BPA HOT committee on March 3, 2006 that ┐Results virtually identical to those obtained using COE data acquisition system,┐ and the ITB was ┐Ready for ┐Unattended, automated┐ data collection. 6. Additionally, in the January 25, 2006 BPA HOT committee meeting, the USACE Technical Lead (Rod Wittinger) and other engineers (Lee Sheldon & Dan Ramirez) on HDC's project team submitted requests to purchase two additional ITBs from ATECo, one with the OPC communication interface, and another without the OPC communication capability for additional ITB testing at Dworshak (N. Fork of Clearwater) and Chief Joseph (Columbia River) hydroelectric plants. 7. This plan was quashed by other HDC personnel in that meeting with more clout who preferred to purchase the ITB technology from another, more favored contractor (ACSI) that had previously provided control system hardware and software for the GDACS control system. Unfortunately, the other contractor did not possess the ITB technology so HDC personnel tried to take it away from ATECo without paying for it. Failing at this, HDC set about acquiring funding to hire ACSI to re-inventing the ITB, which was blocked by DOE IG complaints. Failing again, HDC next initiated the GBO Project to re-invent the ITB technology with in-house personnel and re-hired annuitants. 8. So yes, the contractor has many complaints about the unethical business practices of USACE HDC personnel, which were brought to the attention of the project Technical Lead, the Contracting Officer┐s Representative and the Contracting Officer; all of which resulted in no resolution whatsoever. The contractor believes the problems encountered are systemic and organizational. These complaints are not without basis, as claimed in the Government┐s comment on this contract. Full documentation is available on request. 9. For example, in June 2005, at the end of the 1-year performance period of the 5-year contract, HDC compelled ATECo to renegotiate and sign a modified contract for a needed time extension and to adjust the deliverables to match what transpired on this ┐Time and Material┐ contract. After a month of haggling over deliverables and other terms with the Contracting Officer┐s Representative (COR), the contract was sent "around the signature loop" at HDC for approvals. 10. Before being delivered to ATECo for signature, the contract was delayed for a week after the expiration of the 1-year period, and HDC said no more work or payment would be authorized until the contract was signed. When the contract was sent to ATECo for signature a week late, purported urgency from HDC pressed for a quick turnaround with ATECo┐s signature on it with the statement, ┐No need to read the boiler plate, it┐s the same as before.┐ 11. However, when the boilerplate that accompanied the deliverables pages was read in detail, we found that had been changed by stealth. It was not the verbiage agreed to between the COR and ATECo. 12. Paragraph 3.4.2.9 had been secretly changed, Paragraph 3.4.2.9a was added and Ed Miska┐s name supplanted Jeff Sedgwick and Rod Wittinger as the Project Manger and the Technical lead on the project. All of these changes were made personally by Ed Miska without the knowledge of the COR or ATECo - according to Jason Loeffler, the CID investigator who responded to ATECO┐s DOD IG complaint about this contract tampering and deception by HDC personnel. 13. The original contract text: 3.4.2.9 Delivery of the prototype Type 1 Optimizer source code listing developed under this contract, and a final report specifying objectives achieved, knowledge developed during the project and recommendations. 3.4.2.10 Additional, complete, programmed Index Test Boxes as called out in the Line Items. Was secretly changed by Ed Miska to say: 3.4.2.9 Delivery of the prototype Type 1 Optimizer source code listing developed under this contract, and a final report specifying objectives achieved, knowledge developed during the project and recommendations. Current versions of the source code shall be delivered with any revisions to be implemented at McNary and as requested for test versions sent HDC, to be run on the HDC test bed or other PC┐s. Final delivery of a complete package shall be complete by August 20, 2005. 3.4.2.9a With every delivery or software modification, the Contractor shall deliver software source code. 3.4.2.10 Additional, complete, programmed Index Test Boxes as called out in the Line Items. 14. These changes were shown to my lawyer and my Congressman, who acquired advice and a legal opinion from the House of Representatives┐ Legal Counsel. My lawyer said the deceptive changes would compel me to give the software source code to HDC without compensation, and my Congressman and the House┐s lawyer advised that the original contract text already had the needed provisions for time and funding extensions, and opined that the only reason HDC wanted the modified contract was in order to get my signature on a document that would compel me to give over the source code for the software upon delivery of the test item at McNary Dam without compensation, and that ATECo should litigate. Formal complaints were lodged with DOD IG, USACE IG and DOE IG about this and other problems encountered by the contractor on this project. 15. The Index Test Box technology described in U.S. Patent# 4,794,544 works as intended, has been under continuous development for over 10 years by the contractor, and was demonstrated and proven to work successfully by USACE┐s own ┐Proof of Concept┐ testing in December 2005 at McNary Dam & again in February 2006 at Ice Harbor Dam. 16. HDC only bought one unit of the ITB, not the software source code or design information to reproduce it and make their own replicas of it. However, this design information was offered by ATECo for $750,000, but HDC personnel desired to claim credit for inventing and developing this technology, so they didn┐t want to purchase it and acknowledge where the technology came from. 17. Despite this fact, in a job posting on the Internet dated 01/04/07, USACE HDC claimed to have developed the ITB technology in-house instead of purchasing it from ATECo. Subsequent FOIA requests to learn when/how/who was credited with this learned that HDC had only purchased index-testing technology from ATECo. 18. In the September 2006 BPA HOT committee meeting, HDC personnel reported a "successful "Proof of Concept" field test, and then falsely presented the data graphs that were produced by ATECo with the ITB in the two successful field tests cited above to the BPA HOT committee, with the untrue claim these data graphs were the work-product of HDC's personnel. This was done in order to acquire funding for a new in-house project to replicate the ITB. HDC personnel then changed the project name to ┐Gate-Blade Optimizer┐ (GBO) to hide the deception. 19. The October 3, 2008 HOT Meeting minutes report that the ┐LabView based┐ GBO has been abandoned. This project to replicate the ITB technology with the newly contrived GBO squandered over $1.5 million of taxpayer funds, but was unsuccessful in creating a working substitute for the original patented and successfully "Proof of Concept" tested & demonstrated ITB device that was purchased from the contractor. 20. This situation and these actions were brought to the attention of DOE IG and BPA HOT committee and management. At the time of this writing, it has been over 8 months since BPA has held a HOT committee meeting, when in past years meetings occurred every 1-2 months. We cannot know their minds, but it would seem that BPA somewhat agreed with the contractor's claims that HDC is not providing the best "bang for the buck" of the Taxpayer's funds and has stopped underwriting HDC's unethical business practices. 21. Indeed, this is not a new problem - the ITB was first introduced to BPA and USACE HDC in 1987 when BPA purchased the first production unit of the newly patented ITB produced by Woodward Governor. BPA purchased one ITB and demonstrated it at PGE-PHP-2 powerhouse near Portland Oregon. USACE HDC saw it there, and apparently liked it because HDC engineers designed and built their own "automated index test device" which was reported to BPA by HDC engineers on March 27, 1990. No further information is available on this device, so like the 2007 GBO project, it was not successful. "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." - George Santayana But on to new potential business: 22. The Index Test Box does work, is still for sale, and is undergoing further development to reach new markets. 23. If USACE HDC has not yet acquired or developed the capability for automatic, unattended data collection for index testing turbines as of yet, perhaps the Government would like to try again to purchase this technology from the original inventor and current purveyor. 24. ITB technology is currently being purchased and utilized in two projects by a private sector power company in Canada in order to optimize operating efficiency of both vertical and horizontal bulb-type Kaplan turbines. 25. Conclusion: The ITB purchased from ATECo on this contract was successful, but procurement favoritism and deceptive practices on the part of Government employees at USACE HDC continually attempted to purloin this technology without paying for it. These acts destroyed what could have been a successful project that would have resulted in the automated index testing and 3-D cam optimization of all 113 Kaplan hydroelectric turbines on the Snake and Columbia rivers. 26. ATECo┐s ITB worked as intended in 1985 at USACE┐s Clarence Cannon powerplant in Missouri, again at PGE PHP-2 powerplant in Portland Oregon in 1987, again at McNary powerplant in 2005 and again at Ice Harbor powerplant in 2006. 27. ATECo┐s ITB works, and is still available to HDC, but the Government must pay for this technology in order to acquire it. The Government's statement that ATECo's complaints are without basis is false. Complete documentation of all allegations has been collected, saved, cataloged and is available for inspection on request. For more information, please see the ITB website at www.actuationtestequipment.com, or call (815.335.1143).

CONCURRENCE: I do not concur with this evaluation.
Contractor Name: DOUGLAS ALBRIGHT
Title: PRESIDENT
Telephone Number: 815-335-1143
Fax Number: 815-335-1143
Email: DudleyDevices@aol.com
Date: 06/12/2009