A-66374, JANUARY 17, 1936, 15 COMP. GEN. 626

A-66374: Jan 17, 1936

Additional Materials:

Contact:

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

 

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

IF SERVICE NEEDS ARE URGENT. THAT BIDS WILL BE EVALUATED ON THE BASIS OF TIME REQUIRED FOR DELIVERY IN EXCESS OF A REASONABLE PERIOD SPECIFIED. IN NO CASE SHOULD IT BE PROVIDED THAT BIDS WOULD BE REJECTED IF SPECIFYING A PERIOD OF DELIVERY LONGER THAN THAT STATED IN THE SPECIFICATIONS UNLESS IT CAN BE CLEARLY ESTABLISHED THAT THE NEED IS SUCH THE GOVERNMENT'S INTEREST WOULD NOT BE PROTECTED BY AN EVALUATION OF THE BIDS OVER A LONGER PERIOD. 1936: YOUR ATTENTION IS INVITED TO CONTRACT C 3 A-3875. WHICH WAS AWARDED TO OTHER THAN THE LOWEST BIDDER BECAUSE OF SHORTER DELIVERY TIME. ALL BIDDERS WERE REQUESTED TO STATE THE TIME WITHIN WHICH DELIVERY COULD BE MADE. IT BEING PROVIDED THAT: THE TIME FOR COMPLETION OR DELIVERY WHICH MUST BE STATED BY BIDDERS FOR EACH ITEM WILL BE CONSIDERED IN CONNECTION WITH THE AWARD OF THE CONTRACT.

A-66374, JANUARY 17, 1936, 15 COMP. GEN. 626

CONTRACTS - SPECIFICATIONS - EVALUATION OF BIDS ON BASIS OF DELIVERY TIME CONTRACT SPECIFICATIONS MAY PROPERLY PROVIDE, IF SERVICE NEEDS ARE URGENT, THAT BIDS WILL BE EVALUATED ON THE BASIS OF TIME REQUIRED FOR DELIVERY IN EXCESS OF A REASONABLE PERIOD SPECIFIED, WITH A COMPARABLE PROVISION FOR LIQUIDATED DAMAGES IN CASE OF DELIVERY DELAY, BUT IN NO CASE SHOULD IT BE PROVIDED THAT BIDS WOULD BE REJECTED IF SPECIFYING A PERIOD OF DELIVERY LONGER THAN THAT STATED IN THE SPECIFICATIONS UNLESS IT CAN BE CLEARLY ESTABLISHED THAT THE NEED IS SUCH THE GOVERNMENT'S INTEREST WOULD NOT BE PROTECTED BY AN EVALUATION OF THE BIDS OVER A LONGER PERIOD.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE, JANUARY 17, 1936:

YOUR ATTENTION IS INVITED TO CONTRACT C 3 A-3875, DATED SEPTEMBER 15, 1934, WITH THE WESTINGHOUSE ELECTRIC AND MANUFACTURING CO. COVERING THE PURCHASE OF LAMP CHANGERS, WHICH WAS AWARDED TO OTHER THAN THE LOWEST BIDDER BECAUSE OF SHORTER DELIVERY TIME.

IT APPEARS THAT UNDER DATE OF AUGUST 8, 1934, THE SUPERINTENDENT OF LIGHTHOUSES, STATEN ISLAND, N.Y., ADVERTISED FOR BIDS FOR THE FURNISHING OF CERTAIN SUPPLIES. ITEM 2 CALLED FOR THE FURNISHING OF 100 LAMP CHANGERS FOR 200-MILLIMETER LANTERNS FOR MINOR ELECTRIC LIGHTS. ALL BIDDERS WERE REQUESTED TO STATE THE TIME WITHIN WHICH DELIVERY COULD BE MADE, IT BEING PROVIDED THAT:

THE TIME FOR COMPLETION OR DELIVERY WHICH MUST BE STATED BY BIDDERS FOR EACH ITEM WILL BE CONSIDERED IN CONNECTION WITH THE AWARD OF THE CONTRACT, AND OTHER THINGS BEING EQUAL, PREFERENCE WILL BE GIVEN TO THE PROPOSAL SPECIFYING THE SHORTEST PERIOD FOR COMPLETION. BIDDERS MUST STATE THE PERIOD IN CALENDAR DAYS AFTER DATE OF RECEIPT OF ORDER WITHIN WHICH THEY PROPOSE TO COMPLETE ALL THE ARTICLES UNDER EACH ITEM, WHICH PERIOD MUST NOT EXCEED THIRTY (30) DAYS. BIDS WHICH SPECIFY A PERIOD IN EXCESS OF THIRTY (30) CALENDAR DAYS FROM DATE OF RECEIPT OF ORDER WILL NOT BE CONSIDERED.

THE WESTINGHOUSE ELECTRIC AND MANUFACTURING CO. QUOTED A PRICE OF $28.91 EACH OR A TOTAL OF $2,891 FOR THE ENTIRE LOT OF 100, DELIVERY TO BE MADE WITHIN 30 DAYS. THE SAFETY CAR HEATING AND LIGHTING CO. SUBMITTED A BID OF $2,500 FOR THE ENTIRE LOT, DELIVERY TO BE MADE WITHIN 56 DAYS. THE BID OF THE WESTINGHOUSE ELECTRIC AND MANUFACTURING CO. WAS ACCEPTED ON ACCOUNT OF THE EARLIER DELIVERY OFFERED AND THE LOW BID OF THE SAFETY CAR HEATING AND LIGHTING CO. WAS REJECTED BECAUSE DELIVERY WAS NOT OFFERED WITHIN THE 30-DAY PERIOD SO SPECIFIED IN THE ADVERTISEMENT. THE BIDS WERE OPENED ON AUGUST 23, 1934. HOWEVER, AWARD WAS NOT MADE UNTIL SEPTEMBER 15, 1934, A DELAY OF 24 DAYS, WHICH SUGGESTS A DOUBT AS TO THE NECESSITY FOR THE PROVISION REQUIRING DELIVERY WITHIN 30 DAYS. FURTHERMORE, THE ACCEPTED BIDDER DID NOT EFFECT DELIVERY WITHIN 30 DAYS AS PROVIDED FOR AND WAS CHARGED ONLY ONE-FIFTH OF 1 PERCENT OF THE CONTRACT PRICE FOR EACH DAY OF DELAY. IN THIS CONNECTION, IT IS NOTED THAT THE MAXIMUM AMOUNT THAT COULD HAVE BEEN DEDUCTED UNDER THE TERMS OF THE CONTRACT FOR A DELAY OF 50 DAYS OR MORE WAS ONLY $289.10 AND YET THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE LOW BID AND THE ACCEPTED BID WAS $391 WITH A DIFFERENCE IN AGREED TIME OF DELIVERY OF ONLY 26 DAYS. HENCE, IT WOULD SEEM APPARENT THAT THE PROCEDURE FOLLOWED IN THIS INSTANCE WAS NOT IN THE INTERESTS OF THE UNITED STATES.

WHERE THE NEED OF THE SERVICE IS URGENT IT IS PROPER TO PROVIDE FOR EVALUATION OF BIDS ON THE BASIS OF TIME REQUIRED FOR DELIVERY IN EXCESS OF A REASONABLE PERIOD SPECIFIED IN THE REQUEST FOR BIDS, WITH A COMPARABLE PROVISION FOR LIQUIDATED DAMAGES FOR DELAY IN EFFECTING DELIVERY AS AGREED, BUT IN NO CASE SHOULD THE INVITATION FOR BIDS PROVIDE FOR REJECTION OF BIDS SPECIFYING A PERIOD OF DELIVERY LONGER THAN THAT STATED IN THE REQUEST FOR BIDS UNLESS IT CAN BE CLEARLY ESTABLISHED THAT THE NEED IS SUCH THE GOVERNMENT'S INTERESTS WOULD NOT BE PROTECTED BY AN EVALUATION OF THE BIDS.

WHILE REJECTION OF THE LOW BID IN THIS INSTANCE WILL NOT BE FURTHER QUESTIONED, THE MATTER IS BROUGHT TO YOUR ATTENTION IN ORDER THAT PROPER ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION MAY BE TAKEN TO CORRECT THE PRACTICE.