A-63427, AUGUST 7, 1935, 15 COMP. GEN. 107

A-63427: Aug 7, 1935

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IT IS INCUMBENT UPON PURCHASING AND CONTRACTING OFFICERS CHARGED WITH THE DUTY AND RESPONSIBILITY OF MAKING PURCHASES TO PROTECT THE INTERESTS OF THE UNITED STATES. THIS DUTY AND RESPONSIBILITY IS NOT PERFORMED BY MERELY OPENING THE BIDS AND AWARDING THE CONTRACT WITHOUT GIVING ANY CONSIDERATION WITH RESPECT TO BIDS RECEIVED. EXCEPT TO NOTE THAT A LOW BID OR BIDDER FAILED TO FURNISH SOMETHING THAT WAS REQUIRED THAT DOES NOT AFFECT IN ANY WAY THE PRICE. AGAINST THE REJECTION OF ITS LOW BID FOR FURNISHING ONE PRECISION TRANSIT AND THERE IS NOTED YOUR STATEMENT THAT SAID BID WAS REJECTED "BECAUSE THE BIDDER DID NOT SUBMIT DESCRIPTIVE MATTER WITH ITS BID. IT IS TO BE UNDERSTOOD. THE ADVERTISED SPECIFICATIONS ARE CONTROLLING.

A-63427, AUGUST 7, 1935, 15 COMP. GEN. 107

ADVERTISING - BIDS - AWARD THE FAILURE OF A BIDDER TO FURNISH CERTAIN DATA WITH ITS BID DOES NOT REQUIRE IMMEDIATE REJECTION OF A LOW BID. IT IS INCUMBENT UPON PURCHASING AND CONTRACTING OFFICERS CHARGED WITH THE DUTY AND RESPONSIBILITY OF MAKING PURCHASES TO PROTECT THE INTERESTS OF THE UNITED STATES, AND THIS DUTY AND RESPONSIBILITY IS NOT PERFORMED BY MERELY OPENING THE BIDS AND AWARDING THE CONTRACT WITHOUT GIVING ANY CONSIDERATION WITH RESPECT TO BIDS RECEIVED, EXCEPT TO NOTE THAT A LOW BID OR BIDDER FAILED TO FURNISH SOMETHING THAT WAS REQUIRED THAT DOES NOT AFFECT IN ANY WAY THE PRICE, QUALITY, ETC., OF THE EQUIPMENT TO BE FURNISHED.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY, AUGUST 7, 1935:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED YOUR LETTER OF JULY 30, 1935, IN REPLY TO REQUEST OF JULY 6, 1935, FOR REPORT OF THE FACTS WITH REFERENCE TO THE PROTEST OF BUFF AND BUFF MANUFACTURING CO. AGAINST THE REJECTION OF ITS LOW BID FOR FURNISHING ONE PRECISION TRANSIT AND THERE IS NOTED YOUR STATEMENT THAT SAID BID WAS REJECTED "BECAUSE THE BIDDER DID NOT SUBMIT DESCRIPTIVE MATTER WITH ITS BID, AS REQUIRED BY THE SPECIFICATIONS.'

IT IS TO BE UNDERSTOOD, OF COURSE, THAT THERE WOULD BE NO AUTHORITY TO AWARD A CONTRACT TO A BIDDER NOT OFFERING EQUIPMENT IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE ADVERTISED SPECIFICATIONS, NOR TO A BIDDER REFUSING TO FURNISH NECESSARY DESCRIPTIVE DATA. HOWEVER, THE ADVERTISED SPECIFICATIONS ARE CONTROLLING, THAT IS, THE NEEDS OF THE NAVY DEPARTMENT WITH RESPECT TO SURVEYING INSTRUMENTS ARE FOR SETTING FORTH IN THE SPECIFICATIONS. WHILE THERE IS NO OBJECTION TO STIPULATING THAT A BIDDER MUST FURNISH CERTAIN DATA WITH ITS BID, THE FAILURE TO SO FURNISH THE REQUIRED DATA DOES NOT REQUIRE IMMEDIATE REJECTION OF A LOW BID. UNDER CIRCUMSTANCES SUCH AS APPEAR TO HAVE EXISTED IN THIS CASE, THE CONTRACTING OFFICER, BEFORE MAKING AN AWARD, SHOULD CALL TO THE ATTENTION OF THE LOW BIDDER ITS FAILURE TO FURNISH THE REQUIRED DATA. HAD THAT BEEN DONE IN THIS CASE, IT IS POSSIBLE A CONSIDERABLE SAVING TO THE GOVERNMENT WOULD HAVE RESULTED.

IT IS INCUMBENT UPON PURCHASING AND CONTRACTING OFFICERS CHARGED WITH THE DUTY AND RESPONSIBILITY OF MAKING SUCH PURCHASES TO PROTECT THE INTERESTS OF THE UNITED STATES, AND THIS DUTY AND RESPONSIBILITY IS NOT PERFORMED BY MERELY OPENING THE BIDS AND AWARDING THE CONTRACT WITHOUT GIVING ANY CONSIDERATION WITH RESPECT TO THE BIDS RECEIVED, EXCEPT TO NOTE THAT A LOW BID OR BIDDER FAILED TO FURNISH SOMETHING THAT WAS REQUIRED THAT DOES NOT AFFECT IN ANY WAY THE PRICE, QUALITY, ETC., OF THE EQUIPMENT TO BE FURNISHED.

OTHERWISE PROPER PAYMENTS UNDER THE CONTRACT AS MADE IN THIS CASE WILL NOT BE FURTHER QUESTIONED BECAUSE OF THE AWARD BEING TO OTHER THAN THE LOW BIDDER, BUT IT IS REQUESTED THAT THE OFFICERS OF THE NAVY CHARGED WITH THE RESPONSIBILITY OF MAKING SUCH PURCHASES BE ADVISED OF THE MATTERS HEREIN SET FORTH SO THAT HEREAFTER LOW BIDS WILL NOT BE REJECTED MERELY BECAUSE OF FAILURE TO FURNISH DATA THAT DOES NOT AFFECT IN ANY WAY THE PRICE, QUALITY, ETC., OF THE EQUIPMENT TO BE FURNISHED, WITHOUT FIRST ADVISING THE LOW BIDDER OF ITS FAILURE TO FURNISH THE REQUIRED DATA. IF A LOW BIDDER FAILS TO FURNISH THE REQUIRED DATA UPON THE MATTER BEING BROUGHT TO ITS ATTENTION, THE SAID BID WOULD OF COURSE, BE PROPER FOR REJECTION.