A-19044, JULY 9, 1927, 7 COMP. GEN. 23

A-19044: Jul 9, 1927

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ALL MAKES AND GRADES ARE FOR CONSIDERATION IN DETERMINING WHICH WILL BEST MEET THE NEEDS OF THE SERVICE. THE MAKE OR MODEL OF AN AUTOMOBILE SUCH AS "STOCK MODEL" IS NOT THE CONTROLLING ELEMENT AS TO THE ACCEPTANCE OR REJECTION OF A BID. IF AN AUTOMOBILE OFFERED TO THE GOVERNMENT AT A LOWER PRICE CONFORMS TO THE ESSENTIAL REQUIREMENTS OF THE SPECIFICATIONS AND WILL SATISFACTORILY MEET THE NEEDS OF THE SERVICE THE FACT THAT IT IS NOT A STOCK MODEL OR THAT IT HAS A BELT-DRIVEN PUMP INSTEAD OF A CENTRIFUGAL PUMP IN CONNECTION WITH THE COOLING SYSTEM AS SPECIFIED AND OTHER MINOR MECHANICAL DIFFERENCES. IS NOT SUFFICIENT JUSTIFICATION FOR THE REJECTION OF THE LOWER BID AND ACCEPTANCE OF THE HIGHER.

A-19044, JULY 9, 1927, 7 COMP. GEN. 23

ADVERTISING, ACCEPTANCE OF OTHER THAN LOWEST BID - SPECIFICATIONS IN THE PURCHASE OF AUTOMOBILES, IN ORDINARY CASES, FOR THE USE OF THE UNITED STATES, ALL MAKES AND GRADES ARE FOR CONSIDERATION IN DETERMINING WHICH WILL BEST MEET THE NEEDS OF THE SERVICE, AND BIDS SHOULD BE REQUESTED ON SPECIFICATIONS DRAWN NOT BY DESIGNATION OF A PARTICULAR MAKE NOR TO COVER THE MECHANICAL CONSTRUCTION OF A PARTICULAR MAKE, BUT SHOWING ONLY SUCH DETAILS AS TO THE CONSTRUCTION AND PERFORMANCE REQUIREMENTS AS CAN SATISFACTORILY BE SHOWN TO MEET THE NEEDS OF THE SERVICE. THE MAKE OR MODEL OF AN AUTOMOBILE SUCH AS "STOCK MODEL" IS NOT THE CONTROLLING ELEMENT AS TO THE ACCEPTANCE OR REJECTION OF A BID. IF AN AUTOMOBILE OFFERED TO THE GOVERNMENT AT A LOWER PRICE CONFORMS TO THE ESSENTIAL REQUIREMENTS OF THE SPECIFICATIONS AND WILL SATISFACTORILY MEET THE NEEDS OF THE SERVICE THE FACT THAT IT IS NOT A STOCK MODEL OR THAT IT HAS A BELT-DRIVEN PUMP INSTEAD OF A CENTRIFUGAL PUMP IN CONNECTION WITH THE COOLING SYSTEM AS SPECIFIED AND OTHER MINOR MECHANICAL DIFFERENCES, IS NOT SUFFICIENT JUSTIFICATION FOR THE REJECTION OF THE LOWER BID AND ACCEPTANCE OF THE HIGHER.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY, JULY 9, 1927:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 29, 1927, AS FOLLOWS:

UNDER DATE OF APRIL 11, 1927, THE BUREAU OF ENGRAVING AND PRINTING ADVERTISED FOR PROPOSALS ON TWO ARMORED DELIVERY TRUCKS OF TWO AND ONE HALF TONS CAPACITY, CONFORMING TO CERTAIN SPECIFICATIONS. SEALED PROPOSALS WERE RECEIVED AND OPENED ON APRIL 29, 1927, PURSUANT THERETO. THESE ARMORED CARS ARE INTENDED FOR USE IN DELIVERING CURRENCY AND OTHER SECURITIES TO VARIOUS POINTS IN THE CITY OF WASHINGTON. FOUR BIDS WERE RECEIVED AS FOLLOWS: GUSTAV SCHAEFER WAGON CO., OFFERING GENERAL MOTORS TRUCK MODEL K-52'S CHASSIS -------- ----------------------- $12,500.00 GUSTAV SCHAEFER WAGON CO. OFFERING PIERCE ARROW MODEL X-A CHASSIS -------- ------------------------------- ----------- 13,450.00 AMERICAN COACH AND BODY CO., OFFERING WHITE MODEL 51 CHASSIS, $13,564, LESS 1/2 OF 1 PERCENT FOR PAYMENT WITHIN 15 DAYS, OR ------------------------------------------- ---- 13,496.18 GUSTAV SCHAEFER WAGON CO., OFFERING WHITE MODEL 51 CHASSIS ----------- --------------------------------------- 13,500.00

THE PROPOSALS FOR THE FIRST TWO OF THE FOREGOING BIDS DID NOT CONFORM TO THE BUREAU'S SPECIFICATIONS. THE VARIATIONS ARE MENTIONED BELOW:

G.M.C. MODEL K-52'S

WHILE THE GENERAL MOTORS TRUCK COMPANY IN ITS LETTER OF MAY 31, 1927, ATTACHED, STATES THAT THE G.M.C. MODEL K-52'S CHASSIS IS A STANDARDIZED CURRENT STOCK MODEL, THE WASHINGTON REPRESENTATIVE OF THE COMPANY WAS UNABLE TO GIVE ANY INFORMATION CONCERNING THIS MODEL CHASSIS. THE DIRECTOR OF THE BUREAU OF ENGRAVING AND PRINTING ADVISES THAT THE GENERAL MOTORS COMPANY DOES NOT ADVERTISE THIS MODEL, AND IT APPEARS THAT THE COMPANY PLANS TO CHANGE ITS TWO AND ONE-HALF TON TRUCK IN ORDER TO MEET THE BUREAU'S SPECIFICATIONS. IN THESE CIRCUMSTANCES THE BUREAU WOULD NOT BE RECEIVING A STOCK MODEL TWO AND ONE-HALF TON CHASSIS, AS REQUIRED BY THE SPECIFICATIONS, BUT INSTEAD, WOULD BE RECEIVING A SPECIAL TRUCK DEVISED TO MEET THE SPECIFICATIONS. THE DIRECTOR OF THE BUREAU REGARDS IT AS ESSENTIAL THAT HE RECEIVE A STANDARD TRUCK, SO THAT THERE WILL BE NO DIFFICULTY WITH RESPECT TO THE SECURING OF REPLACEMENT PARTS AT SOME FUTURE DATE.

PARAGRAPH 13 OF THE SPECIFICATIONS CALLS FOR THE FRAME ON THE CHASSIS TO BE NOT LESS THAN A 6 INCH CHANNEL. THE FRAME OF MODEL K-52 A IS MADE OF 5 7/8 INCH CHANNEL. IN A LETTER DATED MAY 31, 1927, THE GENERAL MOTORS TRUCK COMPANY STATES THAT THE MODEL K-52-S, ON WHICH THE SCHAEFER COMPANY FAILED TO SUBMIT ANY DATA, IS THE SAME AS MODEL K 52-A, EXCEPT THAT THE 5 7/8 INCH CHANNEL FRAME HAS AN INSERT SECTION 5 3/4 INCH BY 3/16 INCH FASTENED TO IT, AND THAT IT HAS A LARGER ENGINE, WITH CYLINDERS OF 4 1/2 INCH BORE BY 6 1/2 INCH STROKE, DEVELOPING A MINIMUM OF 40 BRAKE HORSEPOWER. THE MODEL K-52-A IS RATED AT 37 (ACTUAL) BRAKE HORSEPOWER. THESE CHANGES WHICH THE GENERAL MOTORS COMPANY OFFERS TO MAKE CONVERT THEIR MODEL K-52-A INTO A SPECIAL MODEL, OR ONE THAT IS NOT STANDARD.

PARAGRAPH 18 OF THE SPECIFICATIONS PROVIDES THAT THE CYLINDERS HAVE WATER PASSAGES CAST INTEGRALLY WITH THE CYLINDER WALLS. THE ENGINE OFFERED BY THE GENERAL MOTORS COMPANY HAS REMOVABLE LINERS IN THE CYLINDERS.

PARAGRAPH 28 OF THE SPECIFICATIONS CALLS FOR A GEARED CENTRIFUGAL PUMP IN CONNECTION WITH THE COOLING SYSTEM. THE GENERAL MOTORS COMPANY ENGINE USES A BELT-DRIVEN PUMP.

WITH THE EXCEPTION OF THE CHANGES NOTED IN THE FOREGOING PARAGRAPHS, THE CHASSIS OFFERED IN THIS BID MEETS THE BUREAU'S SPECIFICATIONS.

PIERCE-ARROW MODEL X-A

THE NEXT LOWEST PROPOSAL IS THAT OF THE GUSTAV SCHAEFER WAGON COMPANY, BASED ON A PIERCE-ARROW MODEL X-A CHASSIS.

PARAGRAPH 3 OF THE SPECIFICATIONS REQUIRES THAT THE CHASSIS BE A STANDARDIZED, CURRENT STOCK MODEL, AND ALSO THAT IT SHALL BE RATED BY ITS MANUFACTURER FOR A LOAD, EXCLUSIVE OF BODY WEIGHT AND ACCESSORIES, OF NOT LESS THAN 2 1/2 TONS. PIERCE-ARROW MODEL X-A IS RATED BY ITS MANUFACTURER AS A 2-TON TRUCK CHASSIS. SINCE THE OPENING OF THE BIDS THE WASHINGTON REPRESENTATIVE OF THE PIERCE-ARROW MOTOR CAR COMPANY AND THE GUSTAV SCHAEFER WAGON COMPANY HAVE SUBMITTED LETTERS TO THE EFFECT THAT THE X-A 2 -TON CHASSIS OFFERED WOULD BE BUILT UP TO THEIR X B 3-TON CHASSIS STANDARD, WITH THE EXCEPTION OF THE DIFFERENCE OF MATERIAL IN THE FRAME. THE DIFFERENCE IN MATERIAL REFERRED TO IS THAT THE S-A 2-TON CHASSIS IS OF 30-35 CARBON STEEL, HEAT TREATED, AND THE X-B 3-TON IS OF CHROME NICKEL STEEL, HEAT TREATED. THIS CHANGE WOULD REQUIRE THE ADDITION OF ONE LEAF TO EACH OF THE REAR SPRINGS, AND MAKING THESE CHANGES, THEREFORE, WOULD CONVERT THIS CHASSIS INTO A MODEL THAT IS NOT A STANDARD STOCK MODEL WITH THE PIERCE-ARROW COMPANY.

THE THIRD AND FOURTH BIDS MEET THE SPECIFICATIONS OF THE BUREAU IN EVERY RESPECT.

IN ORDER THAT THE AWARD OF THE CONTRACT MAY BE MADE IN CONFORMITY WITH THE FINDINGS OF YOUR OFFICE, THE DIRECTOR OF THE BUREAU OF ENGRAVING AND PRINTING WANTS TO KNOW WHETHER, IN VIEW OF THE SPECIFICATIONS, HE SHOULD AWARD THE CONTRACT TO A BIDDER WHO OFFERS A CURRENT STOCK MODEL ON WHICH CERTAIN MECHANICAL CHANGES HAVE BEEN MADE IN ORDER TO MEET THE SPECIFICATIONS, WHETHER OR NOT THE MECHANICAL CHANGES ARE OBJECTIONABLE; OR WHETHER THE AWARD MUST BE MADE TO THE BIDDER WHOSE CURRENT STOCK MODEL MEETS THE SPECIFICATIONS IN EVERY RESPECT WITHOUT ALTERATIONS.

UNDER EXISTING LAWS GOVERNING PURCHASE OF EQUIPMENT FOR THE GOVERNMENT,THE CONTROLLING ELEMENT IS, THE JOB TO BE DONE--- THE WORK NECESSARY TO BE ACCOMPLISHED. THE REQUEST FOR BIDS SHOULD FAIRLY REFLECT THE ACTUAL NEED, THROUGH SPECIFICATIONS OR OTHERWISE, AND THE EQUIPMENT TO BE HAD AT THE LOWEST PRICE THAT WILL SERVE THE PURPOSE IS THAT AUTHORIZED TO BE PURCHASED AT PUBLIC EXPENSE.

THE MATTER OF THE PURCHASE OF AUTOMOBILES AND THE DRAWING OF SPECIFICATIONS TO ACCOMPANY THE ADVERTISEMENT FOR BIDS HAS BEEN THE SUBJECT OF NUMEROUS DECISIONS BY THIS OFFICE AND IT HAS UNIFORMLY BEEN HELD THAT FOR ALL ORDINARY USES, ALL MAKES AND GRADES OF AUTOMOBILES ARE FOR CONSIDERATION IN DETERMINING WHICH WILL BEST MEET THE NEEDS OF THE SERVICE, AND THAT BIDS SHOULD BE REQUESTED ON SPECIFICATIONS DRAWN NOT BY DESIGNATION OF A PARTICULAR MAKE OR TO COVER THE MECHANICAL CONSTRUCTION OF A PARTICULAR MAKE, BUT SHOULD SHOW ONLY SUCH DETAILS AS TO CONSTRUCTION AND PERFORMANCE REQUIREMENTS AS CAN SATISFACTORILY BE SHOWN NECESSARY TO MEET THE NEEDS OF THE SERVICE. 5 COMP. GEN. 771; ID. 963. AN EXAMINATION OF THE SPECIFICATIONS IN THE INSTANT MATTER DISCLOSES THAT THEY WERE DRAWN WITH GREATER DETAIL THAN NECESSARY OR PROPER IN THAT THEY COVER MECHANICAL CONSTRUCTION OF THE ENGINE AND OTHER NONESSENTIAL DETAILS.

IT APPEARS THAT WHAT THE GOVERNMENT REQUIRES IN THIS CASE IS TWO ARMORED AUTOMOBILE TRUCKS OF SUFFICIENT POWER, DURABILITY, ETC., FOR USE IN DELIVERING CURRENCY AND OTHER SECURITIES FROM THE BUREAU OF ENGRAVING AND PRINTING TO VARIOUS PLACES IN THE CITY OF WASHINGTON, D.C. THE MAKE OR MODEL OF AN AUTOMOBILE SUCH AS "STOCK MODEL" IS NOT THE CONTROLLING ELEMENT AS TO THE ACCEPTANCE OR REJECTION OF A BID. IN OTHER WORDS, IF THE AUTOMOBILE OFFERED AT A LOWER PRICE CONFORMS TO THE ESSENTIAL REQUIREMENTS OF THE SPECIFICATIONS AND WILL SATISFACTORILY MEET THE NEEDS OF THE SERVICE, THE FACT THAT IT IS NOT A "STOCK MODEL" OR THAT IT HAS A BELT-DRIVEN PUMP INSTEAD OF A CENTRIFUGAL PUMP IN CONNECTION WITH THE COOLING SYSTEM, AS SPECIFIED,AND OTHER MINOR MECHANICAL DIFFERENCES, IS NOT SUFFICIENT JUSTIFICATION FOR THE REJECTION OF THE LOWER BID AND ACCEPTANCE OF THE HIGHER.

THE BID OF THE GUSTAV SCHAEFER WAGON CO. OFFERING GENERAL MOTORS TRUCK, MODEL K-52'S CHASSIS, AT A PRICE OF $12,500 IS THE LOWEST OF THE BIDS RECEIVED, AND IT APPEARS THAT THE MACHINE OFFERED MEETS IN EVERY RESPECT THE NEEDS OF THE SERVICE AND ALSO CONFORMS TO THE ESSENTIAL REQUIREMENTS OF THE SPECIFICATIONS, DIFFERING ONLY IN MINOR MECHANICAL DETAILS.