A-79205, AUGUST 5, 1936, 16 COMP. GEN. 120

A-79205: Aug 5, 1936

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CONTRACTS - SPECIFICATIONS - AUTOMOBILES - PARTICULAR NEEDS THERE IS NO OBJECTION TO THE INCLUSION IN ADVERTISED SPECIFICATIONS FOR TRUCKS OF SAFETY GLASS. PARTICULARLY THOSE IN THE MOUNTAINOUS REGIONS OF KENTUCKY WHERE THE TRUCK IS TO BE USED. THE SPECIFICATION ALSO PROVIDED THAT THE BODY OF THE TRUCK SHOULD HAVE A FLOOR LENGTH OF NOT LESS THAN 88 INCHES. WHICH SPECIFICATION WAS NECESSARY AS THE TRUCK IS TO BE USED FOR CONVEYING MINE RESCUE APPARATUS. BIDS RECEIVED FOR THE TRUCK WITH SPECIFICATIONS AS ABOVE MENTIONED ARE LISTED BELOW: PROPOSALS WERE SENT THE FOLLOWING FIRMS WITH RESULTS AS INDICATED: TABLE ORDER NO. 5070 F.O.B. BECAUSE RECENT DECISIONS OF YOUR OFFICE HAVE HELD THAT SAFETY GLASS MAY NOT BE SPECIFIED WITHOUT ADEQUATE REASONS.

A-79205, AUGUST 5, 1936, 16 COMP. GEN. 120

CONTRACTS - SPECIFICATIONS - AUTOMOBILES - PARTICULAR NEEDS THERE IS NO OBJECTION TO THE INCLUSION IN ADVERTISED SPECIFICATIONS FOR TRUCKS OF SAFETY GLASS, MINIMUM BODY FLOOR LENGTH, AND MAXIMUM WIDTH AND HEIGHT REQUIREMENTS, WHERE THE USE INTENDED, AND THE CONDITIONS UNDER WHICH OPERATED, REQUIRE SUCH INCLUSION IN THE INTERESTS OF THE UNITED STATES.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL ELLIOTT TO THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR, AUGUST 5, 1936:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED YOUR LETTER OF JULY 30, 1936, WITH INCLOSURES, AS FOLLOWS:

I AM ENCLOSING ALL PAPERS RELATIVE TO AN ADVERTISEMENT BY THE BUREAU OF MINES OF THIS DEPARTMENT OPENED JULY 6, 1936, AT PITTSBURGH, PA., FOR THE PURCHASE OF A HALF-TON TRUCK.

THE ADVERTISEMENT REFERRED TO SPECIFIED THAT THE TRUCK SHOULD BE EQUIPPED WITH THE LATEST TYPE OF SAFETY GLASS THROUGHOUT (WINDSHIELD TOBE OF SAFETY PLATE GLASS), BECAUSE OF THE HAZARD OF TRAVELING UNPAVED ROADS, PARTICULARLY THOSE IN THE MOUNTAINOUS REGIONS OF KENTUCKY WHERE THE TRUCK IS TO BE USED. THE SPECIFICATION ALSO PROVIDED THAT THE BODY OF THE TRUCK SHOULD HAVE A FLOOR LENGTH OF NOT LESS THAN 88 INCHES, A MAXIMUM WIDTH OF NOT LESS THAN 51 INCHES, OR 47 1/2 INCHES BETWEEN WHEEL HOUSINGS, AND A HEIGHT OF 50 INCHES, WHICH SPECIFICATION WAS NECESSARY AS THE TRUCK IS TO BE USED FOR CONVEYING MINE RESCUE APPARATUS, INCLUDING OXYGEN BREATHING EQUIPMENT PACKED IN SPECIAL TRUNKS.

BIDS RECEIVED FOR THE TRUCK WITH SPECIFICATIONS AS ABOVE MENTIONED ARE LISTED BELOW:

PROPOSALS WERE SENT THE FOLLOWING FIRMS WITH RESULTS AS INDICATED:

TABLE

ORDER NO. 5070

F.O.B. F.O.B. TERMS NET COST

PITTSBURGH FACTORY BEACHY MOTOR CO. (DODGE TRUCK) -- $612.82 $595.82 NET ------- $612.82 INTERNATIONAL HARVESTER CO. 640.00 615.00 NONE ------ 640.00

(INTERNATIONAL TRUCK). HOEVELER MOTORS, INC. (1)

(FORD TRUCK) -------------------607.70 590.00 NONE ------ 607.70 GENERAL MOTORS CORPORATION 5 PERCENT 20 (2)

(CHEVROLET TRUCK). ------------- 546.86 533.20 DAYS ------ 519.52

(1) NOT IN ACCORDANCE WITH SPECIFICATIONS, QUOTING ON 82-INCH FLOOR LENGTH.

(2) NOT IN ACCORDANCE WITH SPECIFICATIONS, QUOTING ON 75-INCH FLOOR LENGTH.

BECAUSE RECENT DECISIONS OF YOUR OFFICE HAVE HELD THAT SAFETY GLASS MAY NOT BE SPECIFIED WITHOUT ADEQUATE REASONS, AND DUE TO THE FACT THAT THE LOWEST BIDDERS DID NOT MEET THE SPECIFICATIONS AS TO FLOOR LENGTH, I AM SUBMITTING THIS CASE TO YOU FOR CONSIDERATION AND ADVICE BEFORE MAKING AN AWARD.

IT APPEARS FROM YOUR LETTER AND INCLOSURES THAT THE TRUCK IS TO BE USED FOR CONVEYING MINE RESCUE EQUIPMENT, INCLUDING OXYGEN BREATHING APPARATUS PACKED IN SPECIAL TRUNKS, WHICH YOU STATE NECESSITATES THE BODY DIMENSIONS SPECIFIED, AND THAT THE TRUCK IS TO TRAVEL UNPAVED ROADS LEADING TO MINING OPERATIONS IN THE MOUNTAINOUS REGIONS OF KENTUCKY WHERE, IT IS STATED, THERE IS HAZARD OF WINDSHIELDS AND OTHER GLASS BEING BROKEN BY FLYING STONES, AND THIS IS ASSIGNED AS REASON FOR REQUIRING SAFETY GLASS THROUGHOUT.

THE LOW BID OF THE GENERAL MOTORS CORPORATION OFFERS A CHEVROLET TRUCK WITH A FLOOD LENGTH OF 75 INCHES, OR 13 INCHES LESS THAN REQUIRED BY THE SPECIFICATIONS, AT A NET PRICE OF $519.52; THE HOEVELER MOTORS, INC., OFFERS A FORD TRUCK WITH A FLOOR LENGTH OF 82 INCHES, OR 6 INCHES LESS THAN REQUIRED, AT A NET PRICE OF $607.70, WHILE BEACHY MOTOR CO. OFFERS A TRUCK APPARENTLY COMPLYING WITH THE SPECIFICATIONS AT A NET PRICE OF $612.82, OR $93.30 IN EXCESS OF THE LOW BID, AND $5.12 ABOVE THE NEXT LOWER BID.

ACCEPTING YOUR STATEMENT THAT THE FLOOR LENGTH OF 88 INCHES IS NECESSARY IN ORDER TO ACCOMMODATE THE MINE RESCUE EQUIPMENT, IT WOULD APPEAR THAT THE DEFICIENCY IN FLOOR LENGTH OF THE VEHICLES OFFERED BY THE TWO LOWER BIDDERS WOULD RENDER THEM INADEQUATE TO SERVE THE NEEDS OF THE GOVERNMENT IN THE SERVICE TO BE PERFORMED, AND TO JUSTIFY REJECTION OF THE BIDS.

IN VIEW OF THE SPECIAL CHARACTER OF WORK IN WHICH THE TRUCK IS TO BE USED, THIS OFFICE WILL NOT QUESTION THE REQUIREMENT OF NONSHATTER GLASS IN THIS INSTANCE. HOWEVER, SEE 15 COMP. GEN. 974-7 AND PREVIOUS DECISIONS THERE CITED. IT IS TO BE UNDERSTOOD THAT IT IS ONLY WHEN THE FACTS PRESENTED INDICATE AN ACTUAL NECESSITY FOR NONSHATTER GLASS THAT SUCH A REQUIREMENT IS AUTHORIZED, AND THE FACT THAT OCCASIONAL FLYING STONES HAVE IN THE PAST BROKEN WINDSHIELDS OR WINDOWS IS NOT ORDINARILY SUFFICIENT TO AUTHORIZE THE SPECIFICATION, SINCE SUCH ACCIDENTS ARE UNUSUAL AND SELDOM ATTENDED WITH SERIOUS RESULTS.

YOU ARE ADVISED THAT THIS OFFICE WILL NOT OBJECT TO THE AWARD OF A CONTRACT TO THE BEACHY MOTOR CO., IF IT IS ADMINISTRATIVELY DETERMINED THAT THE SHORTER FLOOR LENGTH AUTOMOBILES WILL NOT SERVE THE NEEDS OF THE UNITED STATES IN THIS INSTANCE.