A-35360, MARCH 9, 1931, 10 COMP. GEN. 402

A-35360: Mar 9, 1931

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Edda Emmanuelli Perez
(202) 512-2853
EmmanuelliPerezE@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

IS ALWAYS A MATTER FOR CONSIDERATION BY THE GOVERNMENT IN DETERMINING WHICH IS THE LOWEST BID RECEIVED. IS TO BE PURCHASED F.O.B. THAT THE COST TO THE GOVERNMENT OF TRANSPORTING TO POINT EQUIPMENT IS TO BE SHIPPED WILL BE CONSIDERED IN MAKING THE AWARD. INDICATE SUCH POINT IN ORDER THAT ALL BIDDERS MAY BE ADVISED AND HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY OF FIXING THEIR PRICES AND POINT OF SHIPMENT IN THE LIGHT THEREOF. 1931: I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 28. AS FOLLOWS: RECEIPT IS ACKNOWLEDGED OF YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 19. REQUESTING A COMPLETE REPORT OF FACTS IN CONNECTION WITH THE PROTEST OF THE STANDARD MOTOR CONSTRUCTION COMPANY IN WHICH THEY CLAIM THAT THE SPECIFICATIONS FOR ENGINES FOR THE BUREAU OF LIGHTHOUSES WERE RESTRICTED TO PRACTICALLY ONE BIDDER.

A-35360, MARCH 9, 1931, 10 COMP. GEN. 402

ADVERTISING - BIDS - EVALUATION - COST OF DELIVERY THE COST OF DELIVERY OF EQUIPMENT, ETC., IS ALWAYS A MATTER FOR CONSIDERATION BY THE GOVERNMENT IN DETERMINING WHICH IS THE LOWEST BID RECEIVED. WHILE SPECIFICATIONS NEED NOT STATE SPECIFICALLY, WHERE EQUIPMENT, ETC., IS TO BE PURCHASED F.O.B. POINT OF SHIPMENT, THAT THE COST TO THE GOVERNMENT OF TRANSPORTING TO POINT EQUIPMENT IS TO BE SHIPPED WILL BE CONSIDERED IN MAKING THE AWARD, THEY SHOULD, WHERE POSSIBLE, INDICATE SUCH POINT IN ORDER THAT ALL BIDDERS MAY BE ADVISED AND HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY OF FIXING THEIR PRICES AND POINT OF SHIPMENT IN THE LIGHT THEREOF.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE, MARCH 9, 1931:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 28, 1931, AS FOLLOWS:

RECEIPT IS ACKNOWLEDGED OF YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 19, 1931, REQUESTING A COMPLETE REPORT OF FACTS IN CONNECTION WITH THE PROTEST OF THE STANDARD MOTOR CONSTRUCTION COMPANY IN WHICH THEY CLAIM THAT THE SPECIFICATIONS FOR ENGINES FOR THE BUREAU OF LIGHTHOUSES WERE RESTRICTED TO PRACTICALLY ONE BIDDER. A COPY OF THE SPECIFICATIONS AND ALL BIDS RECEIVED ARE ENCLOSED AND ATTENTION IS INVITED TO PAGES 74 TO 90 OF THE SPECIFICATIONS WHICH COVER THE REQUIREMENT FOR MACHINERY.

BIDS FOR EQUIPMENT WERE INVITED ON DECEMBER 17, 1930 AND ALL WERE REJECTED AND CHANGES MADE IN THE SPECIFICATIONS TO PERMIT OF WIDER COMPETITION. BIDS WERE AGAIN OPENED ON FEBRUARY 17, 1931, EIGHT BIDDERS RESPONDING, SEVEN OF WHICH (INCLUDING THE STANDARD MOTOR CONSTRUCTION COMPANY) OFFERED COMPLETE BIDS, THE EIGHTH, THE LOWEST, THAT OF THE BESSEMER ENGINE COMPANY, BEING INCOMPLETE AND NOT COMPLYING WITH THE SPECIFICATIONS IN THE FOLLOWING PARTICULARS:

1. THE TOTAL CYLINDER DISPLACEMENT OF THE ENGINE OFFERED IS 2,782 CUBIC INCHES, WHILE THE SPECIFICATIONS REQUIRE 3,700 CUBIC INCHES.

2. THE LIST OF THE SPARE PARTS IS INCOMPLETE.

3. NO AUXILIARY GENERATING SET IS OFFERED.

4. NO AUXILIARY AIR COMPRESSOR IS OFFERED.

5. NO WEIGHTS OR DIMENSIONS OF THE GENERATING SETS ARE GIVEN.

6. NO DETAIL DRAWINGS ARE OFFERED.

THE BID OF THE COOPER BESSEMER COMPANY CAN NOT THEREFORE BE CONSIDERED. THE BID OF THE STANDARD MOTOR CONSTRUCTION COMPANY WAS THE ONLY ALTERNATE ON THE SPECIFICATIONS, THIS COMPANY OFFERING SEPARATE CYLINDER ENGINES INSTEAD OF WATER-BOX CONSTRUCTION WITH LINERS AS SPECIFIED.

THE RESTRICTIONS REFERRED TO BY THE STANDARD MOTOR CONSTRUCTION COMPANY ARE NOT STATED IN ITS LETTER OF FEBRUARY 11, 1931, BUT IT IS ASSUMED THAT THEY REFER TO WATER-BOX CONSTRUCTION WITH LINERS UPON WHICH ALL BIDDERS EXCEPT THE STANDARD MOTOR CONSTRUCTION COMPANY OFFERED BIDS. THE BID OF THIS COMPANY WAS NEXT TO HIGHEST OF THE EIGHT RECEIVED.

THE BID OF THE WINTON ENGINE COMPANY IS THE LOWEST UNDER BID "A" IN THE SUM OF $39,450.00 WITH DELIVERY AT CLEVELAND, OHIO, WHILE THE BID OF THE ATLAS IMPERIAL DIESEL ENGINE COMPANY IN THE SUM OF $39,485.00 IS FOR DELIVERY AT OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA, WHERE THE VESSEL IN WHICH THE MACHINERY IS TO BE INSTALLED IS UNDER CONSTRUCTION. ATTENTION IS INVITED TO THE BID OF THE ATLAS IMPERIAL COMPANY, WHO APPARENTLY OFFER THE AUXILIARY AIR COMPRESSOR AT AN ADDITIONAL COST OF $506. ATTENTION IS ALSO INVITED TO THE ATTACHED TELEGRAMS COVERING THIS MATTER, RECEIVED AFTER THE BIDS WERE OPENED, EXPLAINING THAT THIS AMOUNT WAS INCLUDED IN THE BID BY MISTAKE AND DID NOT CHANGE THE TOTAL AMOUNT OF THE BID WHICH STILL STANDS AT $39,485. THE LOWEST AND MOST ADVANTAGEOUS BID TO THE GOVERNMENT IS THAT OF THE ATLAS IMPERIAL DIESEL ENGINE COMPANY AFTER TAKING INTO ACCOUNT THE COST OF FREIGHT FROM CLEVELAND, OHIO, WHICH IS ESTIMATED AT $680, PROVIDED SUCH FREIGHT COST MAY BE GIVEN CONSIDERATION, THOUGH THIS IS NOT SPECIFICALLY MENTIONED IN THE SPECIFICATIONS; AND THE ACCEPTANCE OF THIS BID IS RECOMMENDED, IF PROPER. OTHERWISE, THE DEPARTMENT RECOMMENDS THE AWARD TO THE WINTON COMPANY ON PRICE F.O.B. MANUFACTURER'S PLANT, MEETING THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE SPECIFICATIONS.

IT IS RESPECTFULLY REQUESTED THAT THE DEPARTMENT BE FURNISHED WITH YOUR DECISION AT THE EARLIEST PRACTICABLE DATE IN ORDER THAT THE AWARD MAY NOT BE DELAYED, AS THE VESSEL FOR WHICH THE MACHINERY IS TO BE INSTALLED IS NOW WELL UNDER CONSTRUCTION AND THE MACHINERY IS NEEDED AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.

IN SO FAR AS CONCERNS THE COMPLAINT OF THE STANDARD MOTOR CONSTRUCTION CO. IN REGARD TO THE SPECIFICATIONS ACCOMPANYING THE REQUEST FOR BIDS IT BEING ALLEGED THAT THEY WERE SO DRAWN AS TO LIMIT COMPETITION TO A PARTICULAR MAKE, IT APPEARS FROM THE FACTS REPORTED IN YOUR LETTER THAT SIX BIDS WERE RECEIVED IN RESPONSE TO THE SAID ADVERTISEMENT OFFERING ENGINES MEETING THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE SPECIFICATIONS. SUCH BEING THE CASE, THE SAID BIDDER HAS BEEN ADVISED THAT NO FURTHER ACTION IN THE MATTER WILL BE TAKEN BY THIS OFFICE IN SO FAR AS CONCERNS THE SPECIFICATIONS. IT IS TO BE UNDERSTOOD, OF COURSE, THAT THERE IS NO AUTHORITY IN THE DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE, BUREAU OF LIGHTHOUSES, TO DRAW UP SPECIFICATIONS SO AS TO EXCLUDE ANY BIDDER UNNECESSARILY OR TO LIMIT COMPETITION TO A PARTICULAR TYPE OF EQUIPMENT WHEN OTHER TYPES WOULD MEET THE ACTUAL NEEDS OF THE SERVICE.

WITH RESPECT TO THE MATTER OF DETERMINING WHICH IS IN FACT THE LOWEST BID RECEIVED AND THE QUESTION AS TO WHETHER THE COSTS OF DELIVERY OF THE MACHINERY AT OAKLAND, CALIF; THE PLACE WHERE IT IS TO BE INSTALLED, MAY BE CONSIDERED IN MAKING THE AWARD, NO PROVISION THEREFOR HAVING BEEN MADE IN THE SPECIFICATIONS, IT MAY BE STATED AS A GENERAL RULE THAT THE COST OF DELIVERY OF EQUIPMENT, ETC., IS ALWAYS A MATTER FOR CONSIDERATION BY THE GOVERNMENT IN DETERMINING WHICH IS IN FACT THE LOWEST BID RECEIVED. WHILE SPECIFICATIONS NEED NOT STATE SPECIFICALLY--- WHERE EQUIPMENT, ETC., IS TO BE PURCHASED F.O.B. POINT OF SHIPMENT--- THAT THE COST TO THE GOVERNMENT OF TRANSPORTING TO POINT THE EQUIPMENT IS TO BE SHIPPED WILL BE CONSIDERED IN MAKING THE AWARD, THEY SHOULD, WHERE POSSIBLE, INDICATE SUCH POINT IN ORDER THAT ALL BIDDERS MAY BE ADVISED THAT HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY OF FIXING THEIR PRICES AND POINT OF SHIPMENT IN THE LIGHT THEREOF.

IN THE PRESENT CASE THE AWARD OF THE CONTRACT SHOULD BE MADE TO THE LOWEST BIDDER OFFERING EQUIPMENT MEETING THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE SPECIFICATIONS, GOVERNMENT COST OF TRANSPORTATION CONSIDERED.