A-13979, MAY 1, 1926, 5 COMP. GEN. 881

A-13979: May 1, 1926

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ACCEPTANCE OF OTHER THAN THE LOWEST BID - SPECIAL EQUIPMENT WHERE LAUNDRY EQUIPMENT REQUIRED FOR SAINT ELIZABETHS HOSPITAL AND WHICH WILL BE OPERATED IN PART BY PATIENTS SUFFERING FROM MENTAL DISEASES NECESSITATES EXTRAORDINARY PROTECTIVE DEVICES AND DIMINUTION OF FIRE HAZARD. SUCH BID IS NOT NECESSARILY REQUIRED TO BE ACCEPTED BUT THE BID SHOULD BE ACCEPTED WHICH IS MOST ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE UNITED STATES. 1926: I HAVE YOUR INDORSEMENT OF APRIL 14. EXTRACTORS AND REQUESTING DECISION WHETHER THE PROPOSED ACCEPTANCES ARE IN ACCORD WITH SECTION 3709. IT APPEARS THAT THE HOSPITAL AUTHORITIES UTILIZE THE SERVICES OF CERTAIN PATIENTS WHOSE WORK IS A MATTER OF THERAPY. IT IS REPRESENTED AS HIGHLY NECESSARY THAT THE EQUIPMENT "BE WHAT IS KNOWN AS FOOL-PROOF MACHINERY.

A-13979, MAY 1, 1926, 5 COMP. GEN. 881

ADVERTISING, ACCEPTANCE OF OTHER THAN THE LOWEST BID - SPECIAL EQUIPMENT WHERE LAUNDRY EQUIPMENT REQUIRED FOR SAINT ELIZABETHS HOSPITAL AND WHICH WILL BE OPERATED IN PART BY PATIENTS SUFFERING FROM MENTAL DISEASES NECESSITATES EXTRAORDINARY PROTECTIVE DEVICES AND DIMINUTION OF FIRE HAZARD, AND THE LOWEST BIDDER DOES NOT OFFER SUCH EQUIPMENT, SUCH BID IS NOT NECESSARILY REQUIRED TO BE ACCEPTED BUT THE BID SHOULD BE ACCEPTED WHICH IS MOST ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE UNITED STATES, THE INITIAL COST, UPKEEP, AND PROTECTIVE DEVICES CONSIDERED.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR, MAY 1, 1926:

I HAVE YOUR INDORSEMENT OF APRIL 14, 1926, FORWARDING CERTAIN PAPERS SUBMITTED TO YOU BY THE SUPERINTENDENT OF SAINT ELIZABETHS HOSPITAL RELATIVE TO ACCEPTANCE OF CERTAIN BIDS FOR LAUNDRY EQUIPMENT CONSISTING OF PRESS MACHINES, TUMBLERS, AND EXTRACTORS AND REQUESTING DECISION WHETHER THE PROPOSED ACCEPTANCES ARE IN ACCORD WITH SECTION 3709, REVISED STATUTES.

IT APPEARS THAT THE HOSPITAL AUTHORITIES UTILIZE THE SERVICES OF CERTAIN PATIENTS WHOSE WORK IS A MATTER OF THERAPY, THE LAUNDRY FORCE CONSISTING OF 34 PAID EMPLOYEES AND ABOUT 140 PATIENTS, AND IT IS REPRESENTED AS HIGHLY NECESSARY THAT THE EQUIPMENT "BE WHAT IS KNOWN AS FOOL-PROOF MACHINERY, WHERE APPLIANCES ARE CONSIDERED.' IN ORDER TO SECURE SUCH MACHINERY, PROPOSALS WERE MAILED TO A NUMBER OF LAUNDRY MACHINERY MANUFACTURING COMPANIES AND BIDS WERE RECEIVED AS FOLLOWS: THE TROY LAUNDRY MACHINERY CO. OFFERED TO DELIVER TWO PRESS MACHINES FOR $1,310 AND ONE TUMBLER FOR $3,583, SUBMITTING NO BID ON THE EXTRACTOR. THE AMERICAN LAUNDRY MACHINERY CO. OFFERED TO DELIVER TWO PRESS MACHINES FOR $1,400, ONE TUMBLER FOR $3,900, AND ONE EXTRACTOR FOR $3,320, LESS AN ALLOWANCE OF $400 FOR THE OLD EXTRACTOR. THE RAYMOND MANUFACTURING CO. OFFERED TO DELIVER TWO PRESS MACHINES FOR $933, ONE TUMBLER FOR $3,037, AND ONE EXTRACTOR FOR $3,033, LESS AN ALLOWANCE OF $700 FOR THE OLD EXTRACTOR. OTHER BIDS WERE RECEIVED.

IT HAS BEEN RECOMMENDED BY THE HOSPITAL'S FOREMAN OF LAUNDRY AND THE HOSPITAL'S ELECTRICAL ENGINEER, AFTER AN EXAMINATION OF SIMILAR EQUIPMENT IN USE, THAT THE LOWEST BID, THAT OF THE RAYMOND MANUFACTURING CO., BE ACCEPTED FOR DELIVERY OF THE EXTRACTOR AT A PRICE OF $3,033, LESS $700 FOR THE OLD EXTRACTOR. THEY ALSO RECOMMEND THAT THE BID OF THE AMERICAN LAUNDRY MACHINERY CO. FOR DELIVERY OF THE TWO PRESS MACHINES AT $700 EACH, OR $1,400, BE ACCEPTED, NOTWITHSTANDING THE LOWER BIDS OF THE RAYMOND CO. AND THE TROY COMPANY. THEY FURTHER RECOMMEND THAT THE BID OF THE AMERICAN LAUNDRY MACHINERY CO. FOR DELIVERY OF A TUMBLER FOR $3,900 BE ACCEPTED INSTEAD OF THE BID OF THE RAYMOND COMPANY FOR DELIVERY OF A TUMBLER FOR $3,037. THERE IS NO QUESTION AS TO ACCEPTANCE OF THE LOWEST BID FOR THE EXTRACTOR AND THE PRESENT SUBMISSION RELATES TO THE PROPOSED ACCEPTANCE OF THE HIGHER BIDS FOR THE PRESS MACHINES AND TUMBLERS.

THE REASONS FOR THE PROPOSAL TO ACCEPT THE HIGHEST BID FOR THE PRESS MACHINES ARE STATED AS FOLLOWS:

THE SPECIFICATIONS CALL FOR A PRESS THAT IS EQUIPPED WITH A "SAFETY SHIELD TO BE PROVIDED AROUND HEAD (IRONING PLATE), AND TO BE SO ELECTRICALLY INTERLOCKED WITH OPERATING BUTTON SO THAT SHOULD HEAD MEET ANY OBSTRUCTION, HOWEVER SLIGHT, IN ITS DOWNWARD COURSE IN MAKING CONTACT WITH BUCK THAT IT (THE HEAD) WILL AUTOMATICALLY STOP ITS DOWNWARD MOTION.' THE ONLY MACHINE EQUIPPED WITH THIS SAFETY SHIELD IS THE ONE OFFERED BY THE AMERICAN LAUNDRY MACHINERY CO. THE MACHINE OFFERED BY THE OTHER COMPANY WILL HAVE TO BE OPERATED BY TWO HANDS. IT IS THE CONTENTION OF THE BIDDER ON THIS MACHINE THAT, IT BEING NECESSARY TO USE BOTH HANDS IN OPERATION, THE OPERATOR CANNOT CATCH HIS HAND IN THE MACHINE. THIS MIGHT BE VERY WELL UNDER MOST CONDITIONS, BUT IT WOULD NOT AFFORD PROTECTION WHERE IT IS MOST NEEDED. IN A HOSPITAL FOR THE INSANE, PROTECTION FOR THE PATIENT WHO MAY WORK IN THE LAUNDRY AND PLACE HIS HAND ON THE MACHINES WHILE IN OPERATION MUST BE CONSIDERED. WE CONSIDER THE DANGER FROM THIS SOURCE TOO GREAT TO BE OVERLOOKED, AND FOR THE REASONS STATED BELIEVE THAT THE ONLY MACHINES THAT SHOULD BE CONSIDERED FOR USE IN THIS HOSPITAL ARE THE ONES OFFERED BY THE AMERICAN LAUNDRY MACHINERY CO.

THE REASONS ASSIGNED FOR RECOMMENDING ACCEPTANCE OF THE HIGHEST BID FOR THE TUMBLER RATHER THAN THE LOWER ONE ARE AS FOLLOWS:

* * * THE TUMBLER PROPOSED BY THE RAYMOND MFG. CO. HAS A MAXIMUM TEMPERATURE OF 125 DEGREES. TEMPERATURES OF THIS MAXIMUM ARE A NEW THING WITH THE HOSPITAL EMPLOYEES, AND ONE OF WHICH WE HAVE NO KNOWLEDGE. IT IS SUGGESTED THAT THIS CLASS OF MACHINE WAS IN USE IN THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE, THE INDIAN SCHOOLS AT PHOENIX, ARIZONA, AND OTHER POINTS, AND THAT THEY WERE GIVING SATISFACTION. THE HOSPITAL INVESTIGATED THE ONE AT THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE, AND FOUND IT WAS A SMALLER MACHINE FOR TOWELS AND SMALL ARTICLES. INQUIRIES MADE ABOUT THE ONE IN USE IN THE INDIAN SCHOOLS AND FROM INFORMATION FURNISHED, IT WAS LEARNED THIS MACHINE WAS GIVING SATISFACTION, BUT WE DO NOT BELIEVE IT WAS IN USE IN AS LARGE A PLANT AS THIS HOSPITAL, AND ON AS HEAVY A CLASS OF MATERIAL AS WOULD BE USED IN THIS INSTITUTION, SUCH AS BLANKETS.

THIS TUMBLER DOES NOT MEET THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE SPECIFICATIONS RESPECTING TEMPERATURE AND HANDLING OR DISPOSING OF LINT, AND COOLING OF LOAD. THESE ITEMS WERE INSERTED IN THE SPECIFICATIONS TO INSURE THE SECURING OF A MACHINE THAT WOULD MEET THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE LAUNDRY FROM THE STANDPOINT OF EFFICIENCY, AND WITH A MINIMUM FIRE HAZARD. UNLESS PROPER ARRANGEMENTS ARE MADE TO DISPOSE OF THE LINT, THIS WILL ACCUMULATE AND CAUSE TROUBLE AND BECOME A FIRE HAZARD. EVEN IF A TUMBLER WAS INSTALLED FOR TRIAL AND IT WOULD DO THE WORK, IF THE LOW TEMPERATURE REQUIRED A LONGER TIME TO DO THE WORK AND INCREASED THE FIRE HAZARD, IT WOULD NOT CONSERVE THE BEST INTERESTS OF THIS HOSPITAL TO PURCHASE SUCH A MACHINE. IN ORDER TO GET OUT THE QUANTITY OF WORK NECESSARY, THE HOSPITAL MIGHT HAVE TO PURCHASE TWO OF THESE LOW TEMPERATURE MACHINES. THIS WOULD NOT ONLY TAKE UP MORE SPACE, REQUIRE ADDITIONAL OPERATORS, BUT BE A MUCH GREATER EXPENSE THAN ONE HIGH TEMPERATURE MACHINE. IN VIEW OF ALL THE CIRCUMSTANCES, IT WOULD SEEM THAT THE BEST INTERESTS OF THE HOSPITAL WOULD BE CONSERVED BY AWARDING THE DRYING TUMBLER TO THE ONLY BIDDERS ON THE SPECIFICATIONS, THE AMERICAN LAUNDRY MACHINERY CO.

THE MATTER OF ADVERTISING FOR, AND ACCEPTANCE OF, BIDS WAS CAREFULLY CONSIDERED BY THIS OFFICE IN DECISION DATED MARCH 30, 1926, A-13103, 5 COMP. GEN. 776, AND IT WAS THERE HELD THAT THE PURPOSE OF THE REQUIREMENT WAS AT LEAST THREEFOLD, NAMELY: "/1) TO SECURE PUBLIC SUPPLIES AT THE LOWEST PRICES OBTAINABLE; (2) TO INSURE EQUAL OPPORTUNITY FOR ALL WISHING TO DO BUSINESS WITH THE UNITED STATES; AND (3) TO PREVENT FAVORITISM.' HAS BEEN HELD, ALSO, THAT SPECIFICATIONS SHOULD BE DRAWN, NOT TO COVER THE MECHANICAL CONSTRUCTION OF ANY PARTICULAR MAKE OF EQUIPMENT, BUT TO SHOW THE GOVERNMENT'S NEEDS IN THE MATTER OF SERVICE REQUIREMENTS; AND THAT THE BID MOST ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT MUST BE ACCEPTED. SEE DECISION OF MARCH 26, 1926, A-13506, 5 COMP. GEN. 771.

THE UTILIZATION OF SERVICES OF PATIENTS AT THE HOSPITAL SUFFERING FROM MENTAL DISEASES PRESENTS A CONDITION PROPER FOR CONSIDERATION IN DETERMINING WHETHER ACCEPTANCE OF OTHER THAN THE LOWEST BID WILL BE MOST ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT. THE BID MOST ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE UNITED STATES SHOULD BE ACCEPTED, INITIAL COST, UPKEEP, AND PROTECTIVE DEVICES FOR THE OPERATIVES CONSIDERED, AND THE ADMINISTRATIVE DETERMINATION IN THE MATTER SHOULD BE EVIDENCED BY A CERTIFICATE SUPPORTED BY A STATEMENT OF THE FACTS AND CONSIDERATIONS ON WHICH SUCH DETERMINATION IS BASED.