A-20017, OCTOBER 11, 1927, 7 COMP. GEN. 272

A-20017: Oct 11, 1927

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IN THE SPECIFICATIONS FOR THE PURCHASE OF A MOTOR TRUCK INTENDED TO BE USED FOR ORDINARY LIGHT HAULING IS NOT AUTHORIZED. TRANSMITTING WITH REQUEST FOR DECISION WHETHER PAYMENT THEREON IS AUTHORIZED A VOUCHER IN THE SUM OF $462.24 IN FAVOR OF THE WILSON MOTOR CO. THE DOUBT IN THE MATTER APPARENTLY ARISING BECAUSE THE SPECIFICATIONS WHICH ACCOMPANIED THE REQUEST FOR BIDS WERE RESTRICTIVE TO A PARTICULAR TRANSMISSION. BIDS WERE REQUESTED FOR THE FURNISHING OF A TRUCK FOR THE USE OF THE UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS. WHICH BID WAS ACCEPTED UNDER DATE OF AUGUST 31. IT IS NOTED THAT THE ADVERTISEMENT NAMED THE PARTICULAR MAKE OF CAR DESIRED. IT WAS FURTHER PROVIDED THAT "THE QUARTERMASTER RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MAKE AWARD ON THE ABOVE TRUCK TO THE BIDDER OFFERING A TYPE WHICH IN THE OPINION OF THE QUARTERMASTER WILL BEST SERVE THE GOVERNMENT.'.

A-20017, OCTOBER 11, 1927, 7 COMP. GEN. 272

PURCHASES - ADVERTISING - SPECIFICATIONS SPECIFICATIONS FOR THE PURCHASE OF MOTOR VEHICLES SHOULD BE DRAWN NOT BY THE DESIGNATION OF A PARTICULAR MAKE, OR WITH REFERENCE TO THE MECHANICAL CONSTRUCTION OF A PARTICULAR MAKE, BUT TO SHOW ONLY SUCH DETAILS AS TO CONSTRUCTION AND PERFORMANCE REQUIREMENTS AS CAN SATISFACTORILY BE SHOWN TO BE NECESSARY TO MEET THE NEEDS OF THE SERVICE. THE DESIGNATION OF A CERTAIN TYPE OF TRANSMISSION, SUCH AS PLANETARY, IN THE SPECIFICATIONS FOR THE PURCHASE OF A MOTOR TRUCK INTENDED TO BE USED FOR ORDINARY LIGHT HAULING IS NOT AUTHORIZED.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO MAJ. RENATO TITTONI, UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS, OCTOBER 11, 1927:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED YOUR LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 26, 1927, TRANSMITTING WITH REQUEST FOR DECISION WHETHER PAYMENT THEREON IS AUTHORIZED A VOUCHER IN THE SUM OF $462.24 IN FAVOR OF THE WILSON MOTOR CO. FOR A 1-TON AUTOMOBILE TRUCK PURCHASED FOR THE USE OF THE UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS, THE DOUBT IN THE MATTER APPARENTLY ARISING BECAUSE THE SPECIFICATIONS WHICH ACCOMPANIED THE REQUEST FOR BIDS WERE RESTRICTIVE TO A PARTICULAR TRANSMISSION, ETC.

IT APPEARS THAT UNDER DATE OF AUGUST 18, 1927, BIDS WERE REQUESTED FOR THE FURNISHING OF A TRUCK FOR THE USE OF THE UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS, IN ACCORDANCE WITH SPECIFICATIONS ATTACHED TO AND MADE A PART OF THE REQUEST FOR BIDS, DELIVERY TO BE MADE TO THE OFFICER IN CHARGE OF RECRUITING, UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS, CHARLOTTE, N.C.

IT APPEARS THAT IN RESPONSE TO SAID ADVERTISEMENT THE WILSON MOTOR CO. SUBMITTED A BID OF $462.24 ON A FORD TRUCK, WHICH BID WAS ACCEPTED UNDER DATE OF AUGUST 31, 1927, NO OTHER BIDS BEING RECEIVED.

IT IS NOTED THAT THE ADVERTISEMENT NAMED THE PARTICULAR MAKE OF CAR DESIRED, WITH THE QUALIFICATION "OR EQUAL," AND SPECIFIED THE TYPE OF TRANSMISSION (PLANETARY) AND OTHER UNNECESSARY DETAILS WITH WHICH ONLY A FORD TRUCK WOULD COMPLY.

IT WAS FURTHER PROVIDED THAT "THE QUARTERMASTER RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MAKE AWARD ON THE ABOVE TRUCK TO THE BIDDER OFFERING A TYPE WHICH IN THE OPINION OF THE QUARTERMASTER WILL BEST SERVE THE GOVERNMENT.'

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 OF THIS OFFICE, AND IT HAS UNIFORMLY BEEN HELD THAT BIDS SHOULD BE REQUESTED ON SPECIFICATIONS DRAWN, NOT BY DESIGNATION OF A PARTICULAR MAKE, OR WITH REFERENCE TO THE MECHANICAL CONSTRUCTION OF ANY PARTICULAR MAKE, BUT TO SHOW ONLY SUCH DETAILS AS TO CONSTRUCTION AND PERFORMANCE REQUIREMENTS AS CAN SATISFACTORILY BE SHOWN NECESSARY TO MEET THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE SERVICE. 5 COMP. GEN. 771, ID. 963. THE DESIGNATION OF THE PARTICULAR TYPE OF TRANSMISSION AS PLANETARY OR SELECTIVE IS NOT AUTHORIZED. SEE DECISION OF FEBRUARY 25, 1927, A- 17286, ALSO DECISION OF SEPTEMBER 1, 1927, A-19618. IT MAY BE NECESSARY IN SOME PARTICULAR INSTANCES IN THE PURCHASE OF CERTAIN EQUIPMENT TO SPECIFY MINOR DETAILS OR MECHANICAL CONSTRUCTION OF ENGINE, TRANSMISSION, ETC., BUT ONLY UPON A SHOWING OF THE NECESSITY THEREFOR TO MEET SOME PARTICULAR NEED OF THE SERVICE. NO SUCH SHOWING IS MADE IN THIS CASE.

IN VIEW OF THE NUMEROUS DECISIONS OF THIS OFFICE ON THE SUBJECT THERE WOULD APPEAR TO BE NO JUSTIFICATION WHATEVER FOR THE SPECIFICATIONS AS DRAWN IN THIS CASE.

IT WOULD APPEAR THAT ALL THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN NECESSARY IN DRAWING THE SPECIFICATIONS FOR THE PURCHASE HERE INVOLVED, THE TRUCK APPARENTLY BEING INTENDED FOR USE FOR ORDINARY LIGHT HAULING PURPOSES, WOULD HAVE BEEN A STATEMENT OF THE MAXIMUM LOAD TO BE CARRIED, THE CONDITIONS UNDER WHICH THE TRUCK WAS TO BE USED, THE GENERAL REQUIREMENTS AS TO PERFORMANCE, ETC., AND A LIST OF ATTACHMENTS OR EQUIPMENT SUCH AS MIGHT BE FURNISHED WITH ANY MAKE OF TRUCK.

AS IT IS UNDERSTOOD THAT THE TRUCK PURCHASED WAS THE LOWEST-PRICED TRUCK THAT COULD HAVE BEEN OBTAINED UNDER ANY SPECIFICATIONS, PAYMENT ON THE VOUCHER IN THIS PARTICULAR INSTANCE IS AUTHORIZED, IF OTHERWISE CORRECT.