A-57511, OCTOBER 1, 1934, 14 COMP. GEN. 268

A-57511: Oct 1, 1934

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BIDS - EVALUATION THERE IS NO LEGAL OBJECTION TO THE EVALUATION OF BIDS FOR THE DELIVERY OF TRACTORS ON THE BASIS STATED IN SPECIFICATIONS OF INITIAL COST OF THE TRACTORS PLUS FUEL CONSUMPTION DURING A STATED PERIOD. THERE WERE RECEIVED 2 BIDS. THAT 1 OF THE BIDS WAS RECEIVED FROM THE CLEVELAND TRACTOR CO. MUSKOGEE AND THE OTHER BID WAS RECEIVED FROM THE CATERPILLAR TRACTOR CO. PROSPECTIVE BIDDERS WERE FURTHER ADVISED THAT PROPOSALS ON THE MACHINES WOULD BE EVALUATED ON THE BASIS OF INITIAL COST OF THE TRACTORS PLUS THE COST OF FUEL AT THE TIME THE BIDS WERE EVALUATED AND THAT THE COST OF FUEL PER GALLON SHOULD BE THE COST DELIVERED TO THE GOVERNMENT AT POINT OF DELIVERY CALLED FOR AND ON THE BASIS OF A PERIOD OF 8.

A-57511, OCTOBER 1, 1934, 14 COMP. GEN. 268

BIDS - EVALUATION THERE IS NO LEGAL OBJECTION TO THE EVALUATION OF BIDS FOR THE DELIVERY OF TRACTORS ON THE BASIS STATED IN SPECIFICATIONS OF INITIAL COST OF THE TRACTORS PLUS FUEL CONSUMPTION DURING A STATED PERIOD.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO D. BUDDRUS, SPECIAL DISBURSING AGENT, OCTOBER 1, 1934:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 30, 1934, WITH ENCLOSURES, TO THE EFFECT THAT IN RESPONSE TO AN ADVERTISEMENT FOR BIDS TO BE OPENED AUGUST 24, 1934, FOR THE DELIVERY OF A TRACTOR TO THE SUPERINTENDENT OF THE FIVE CIVILIZED TRIBES TO BE USED IN THE ROAD BUILDING PROGRAM OF THAT INDIAN AGENCY, THERE WERE RECEIVED 2 BIDS; THAT 1 OF THE BIDS WAS RECEIVED FROM THE CLEVELAND TRACTOR CO. FOR THE DELIVERY OF A MODEL 55 TRACTOR WITH A GAS COMBUSTION ENGINE FOR THE SUM OF $3,089 F.O.B. MUSKOGEE AND THE OTHER BID WAS RECEIVED FROM THE CATERPILLAR TRACTOR CO. FOR THE DELIVERY OF A CATERPILLAR TRACTOR, MODEL NO. 50, PROPELLED BY A DIESEL ENGINE, FOR THE SUM OF $4,582.57 F.O.B. MUSKOGEE; THAT THESE BIDS HAD BEEN EVALUATED, SHOWING A TOTAL COST OF $10,067.72 TO THE UNITED STATES AFTER 8,000 HOURS OF SERVICE FOR THE CLEVELAND TRACTOR AND A COST OF $6,295.21 TO THE UNITED STATES AFTER A SIMILAR PERIOD OF SERVICE FOR THE CATERPILLAR TRACTOR, RESULTING IN A DIFFERENCE OF $3,772.51 IN FAVOR OF THE CATERPILLAR TRACTOR BETWEEN THE EVALUATED BIDS; AND THAT RECOMMENDATION HAD BEEN MADE FOR THE ACCEPTANCE OF THE PROPOSAL SUBMITTED BY THE CATERPILLAR TRACTOR CO. YOU REQUEST DECISION WHETHER THIS OFFICE WOULD WITHHOLD OBJECTION TO THE USES OF APPROPRIATED MONEYS, IF OTHERWISE CORRECT, IN EVENT THE CONTRACT BE AWARDED TO THE CATERPILLAR TRACTOR CO. ON THE BASIS OF THE EVALUATED BID SHOWING THE LOWEST NET COST TO THE GOVERNMENT AFTER A PERIOD OF 8,000 HOURS OF SERVICE.

THE ADVERTISED SPECIFICATIONS NOTIFIED ALL CONCERNED THAT THE TRACTOR SHOULD BE CAPABLE OF NOT LESS THAN 50 HORSEPOWER IN SECOND GEAR, AT SEA LEVEL, MEASURED AT THE DRAWBAR AND THAT THE HORSEPOWER SHOULD BE DETERMINED BY THE "NEBRASKA TEST," OR AT ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, OR OTHER TESTS EQUALLY SATISFACTORY TO THE GOVERNMENT. THE SPECIFICATIONS FURTHER PROVIDED THAT THE POWER UNIT SHOULD BE EITHER AN INTERNAL COMBUSTION TYPE OF GASOLINE ENGINE OF STURDY CONSTRUCTION AND CAPABLE OF CONTINUOUS OPERATION AT GOVERNED SPEED WITHOUT EVIDENCE OF OVERHEATING, UNDUE VIBRATION, OR OVERLOAD, OR, AS AN ALTERNATE, BIDDERS COULD OFFER TO DELIVER A TRACTOR EQUIPPED WITH A DIESEL POWER UNIT. PROSPECTIVE BIDDERS WERE FURTHER ADVISED THAT PROPOSALS ON THE MACHINES WOULD BE EVALUATED ON THE BASIS OF INITIAL COST OF THE TRACTORS PLUS THE COST OF FUEL AT THE TIME THE BIDS WERE EVALUATED AND THAT THE COST OF FUEL PER GALLON SHOULD BE THE COST DELIVERED TO THE GOVERNMENT AT POINT OF DELIVERY CALLED FOR AND ON THE BASIS OF A PERIOD OF 8,000 HOURS OF OPERATION. THE BIDDERS WERE REQUIRED TO STATE IN THEIR BIDS THE SPECIFICATIONS OF FUEL MOST SUITABLE FOR USE IN THE MACHINE QUOTED AND THAT, OTHER REQUIREMENTS BEING MET, THE CONTRACT WOULD BE AWARDED ON THE BASIS OF THE LOWEST COMBINATION OF INITIAL COST AND FUEL COST.

APPARENTLY, ON THE BASIS OF DATA FURNISHED BY THE BIDDERS AND ON THE BASIS OF THE "NEBRASKA TEST" SHOWING FUEL CONSUMPTION, IT HAS BEEN COMPUTED THAT THE CLEVELAND TRACTOR WOULD CONSUME IN 8,000 HOURS OF SERVICE 49,848 GALLONS OF GASOLINE AT AN AVERAGE COST OF 14 CENTS A GALLON, OR $6,978.72, AND THAT THE CATERPILLAR TRACTOR BASED ON THE FUEL CONSUMPTION SHOWN BY THE SAME TEST WOULD CONSUME IN A SIMILAR PERIOD OF 8,000 HOURS OF SERVICE 28,544 GALLONS OF FUEL OIL AT A COST OF 6 CENTS PER GALLON, OR A TOTAL COST OF $1,712.64. WHEN THE COST OF THE GASOLINE IS ADDED TO THE BID PRICE OF THE CLEVELAND TRACTOR AND THE COST OF THE FUEL OIL, A MUCH CHEAPER FUEL, IS ADDED TO THE BID PRICE OF THE CATERPILLAR TRACTOR, THERE WOULD APPARENTLY RESULT A SAVING OF $3,772.51 FOR 8,000 HOURS OF SERVICE THROUGH THE PURCHASE OF A CATERPILLAR TRACTOR.

THE UNITED STATES IS NOT ONLY JUSTIFIED, BUT IS REQUIRED, TO EXERCISE ECONOMY IN THE EXPENDITURE OF PUBLIC FUNDS, AND IF THE REPORTED FACTS BE CORRECT THAT AFTER 8,000 HOURS OF SERVICE THERE WOULD BE SAVED IN TOTAL COST THE SUM OF $3,772.51 IN THE PURCHASE OF THE CATERPILLAR TRACTOR, THIS OFFICE WILL MAKE NO OBJECTION TO THE USES--- IF OTHERWISE CORRECT--- OF APPROPRIATED MONEYS FOR MAKING PAYMENT UNDER THE CONTRACT AWARDED TO THE CATERPILLAR TRACTOR CO. ..END :