A-8033, MAY 23, 1925, 4 COMP. GEN. 983

A-8033: May 23, 1925

Additional Materials:

Contact:

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

 

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

BIDS ARE SUBMITTED ON THREE MAKES OF CARS AT DIFFERENT PRICES BUT WITHIN THE ADVERTISED SPECIFICATIONS. AN ADMINISTRATIVE DETERMINATION BY THE HEAD OF THE EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT OR ESTABLISHMENT THAT ONE OF THE AUTOMOBILES OTHER THAN THE LOWEST PRICED ONE IS BEST ADAPTED TO THE PARTICULAR NEEDS OF THE SERVICE FOR WHICH DESIRED MAY BE ACCEPTED AS SUFFICIENT REASON FOR THE ACCEPTANCE OF OTHER THAN THE LOWEST BID. THE THREE PROPOSALS WERE SUBMITTED TO THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR. THE SUPERINTENDENT WAS DIRECTED TO ACCEPT THE PROPOSAL FOR FURNISHING THE CHEVROLET CAR. CREDIT FOR $170.57 OF THE PAYMENT OF $650 FOR THE CHEVROLET CAR WAS SUSPENDED IN THE AUDIT OF THE DISBURSING AGENT'S ACCOUNT FOR REASONS AS OLLOWS: THE AGENT GIVES AS REASONS FOR ACCEPTING HIGHEST BID THAT THE STAR IS A NEW CAR ON MARKET AND HAS NOT PROVED ITS WORTH AND THAT THE FORD "* * *.

A-8033, MAY 23, 1925, 4 COMP. GEN. 983

ADVERTISING - ACCEPTANCE OF OTHER THAN LOWEST BID WHEN, IN RESPONSE TO ADVERTISEMENTS FOR PROPOSALS FOR AN AUTOMOBILE TO MEET CERTAIN SPECIFICATIONS, BIDS ARE SUBMITTED ON THREE MAKES OF CARS AT DIFFERENT PRICES BUT WITHIN THE ADVERTISED SPECIFICATIONS, AN ADMINISTRATIVE DETERMINATION BY THE HEAD OF THE EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT OR ESTABLISHMENT THAT ONE OF THE AUTOMOBILES OTHER THAN THE LOWEST PRICED ONE IS BEST ADAPTED TO THE PARTICULAR NEEDS OF THE SERVICE FOR WHICH DESIRED MAY BE ACCEPTED AS SUFFICIENT REASON FOR THE ACCEPTANCE OF OTHER THAN THE LOWEST BID.

DECISION BY ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL GINN, MAY 23, 1925:

BYRON A. SHARP, SUPERINTENDENT AND SPECIAL DISBURSING AGENT, INDIAN SERVICE, REQUESTED FEBRUARY 2, 1925, REMOVAL OF SUSPENSION AGAINST CREDIT OF $170.43 CLAIMED ON HIS VOUCHER NO. 10, JUNE, 1924, ACCOUNTS, AS A PART OF THE PAYMENT OF $650 TO THE HIGHEST BIDDER, SAGAR-BAYNARD CHEVROLET CO. FOR ONE CHEVROLET TOURING CAR.

UNDER DATE OF JUNE 6, 1924, THE SUPERINTENDENT OF THE UMATILLA INDIAN SCHOOL, PENDLETON, OREG., ADVERTISED FOR PROPOSALS FOR FURNISHING TO THE SCHOOL ONE NEW, LIGHT-WEIGHT, FIVE-PASSENGER TOURING CAR, EQUIPPED WITH A SELF-STARTER, DEMOUNTABLE RIMS, ONE EXTRA RIM, AND TIRE CARRIER. THE ROBERT SIMPSON AND CO. SUBMITTED A PROPOSAL TO FURNISH A FORD TOURING CAR FOR $479.43; M. K. LONG SUBMITTED A PROPOSAL TO FURNISH A STAR TOURING CAR FOR $580 OR THE SAME CAR WITH FOUR-WHEEL BRAKES FOR $617; AND THE SAGAR- BAYNARD CHEVROLET CO. SUBMITTED A PROPOSAL FOR FURNISHING A CHEVROLET TOURING CAR FOR $650. THE THREE PROPOSALS WERE SUBMITTED TO THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR, AND BY LETTER DATED JUNE 24, 1924, THE SUPERINTENDENT WAS DIRECTED TO ACCEPT THE PROPOSAL FOR FURNISHING THE CHEVROLET CAR. CREDIT FOR $170.57 OF THE PAYMENT OF $650 FOR THE CHEVROLET CAR WAS SUSPENDED IN THE AUDIT OF THE DISBURSING AGENT'S ACCOUNT FOR REASONS AS OLLOWS:

THE AGENT GIVES AS REASONS FOR ACCEPTING HIGHEST BID THAT THE STAR IS A NEW CAR ON MARKET AND HAS NOT PROVED ITS WORTH AND THAT THE FORD "* * *. THE PARTS WEAR OUT RAPIDLY, AND PROPORTIONAL TO ITS FIRST COST THE REPAIR BILLS ARE HEAVIER THAN MANY OTHER CARS.'

THE REASONS GIVEN FOR NOT ACCEPTING THE LOWEST BID APPEAR TO BE BASED ON THE PERSONAL OPINION OF THE AGENT AND ARE NOT SUFFICIENT TO SHOW THAT THE BEST INTERESTS OF THE GOVERNMENT WERE SERVED.

IN REVIEW NO. 4764 OF AUG. 16, 1923, IT WAS HELD AS FOLLOWS:

"THE BID OF THE LOWEST RESPONSIBLE BIDDER SHOULD BE ACCEPTED AND A DISBURSING OFFICER IS NOT ENTITLED TO CREDIT FOR THE EXCESS PAID FOR SUPPLIES OVER AND ABOVE THE LOWEST RESPONSIBLE BID WHEN IT APPEARS THAT THE HIGHEST BID WAS ACCEPTED, NOT BECAUSE OF SUPERIORITY OF THE SUPPLIES, BUT BECAUSE OF THE PREDILECTION OF THE PURCHASING OFFICER.'

THE DECISION REFERRED TO IS NOT APPLICABLE TO THE FACTS IN THIS CASE. CONCERNED THE FAILURE TO ACCEPT THE LOWEST BID FOR A QUANTITY OF NEGATIVE PAPER, AND FOR ALL THAT APPEARS THE PAPER PROPOSED TO BE FURNISHED BY THE VARIOUS BIDDERS WAS IDENTICAL IN QUALITY. SO, ALSO, THE SERVICES CONSIDERED IN 1 COMP. GEN. 304. AS BETWEEN PROPOSALS FOR FURNISHING THE SAME MAKE OF CARS OR CHARACTER OF SERVICE, THE LOWEST MUST BE ACCEPTED. HERE THE MAKES OF AUTOMOBILES PROPOSED TO BE FURNISHED WERE NOT IDENTICAL AND THE RULE TO BE APPLIED IS THAT STATED IN 1 COMP. DEC. 363; 22 ID. 303, 421; 27 ID. 640, 896; 3 COMP. GEN. 604, AND IS TO THE EFFECT THAT THERE MUST BE ADVERTISING AND THAT THE LOWEST BID TO FURNISH MATERIAL EQUALLY ADAPTED TO THE NEEDS OF THE SERVICE MUST BE ACCEPTED. THERE WAS ADVERTISING AND THE QUESTION IS WHETHER THE STAR, FORD, OR CHEVROLET TOURING CARS ARE EQUALLY ADAPTED TO THE NEEDS OF THE UMATILLA INDIAN AGENCY; THAT IS, WHICH OF THE THREE MAKES OF AUTOMOBILES IS THE BEST AND, IF THE CHEVROLET, WHETHER IT IS WORTH $170.57 MORE THAN THE CHEAPER OF THE OTHER TWO MAKES. THE DIRECTION TO THE SUPERINTENDENT MUST BE ACCEPTED AS A DETERMINATION BY THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR THAT THE CHEVROLET CAR WOULD BEST SERVE THE INTERESTS OF THE UMATILLA INDIAN AGENCY, AND THERE APPEARS NO REASON TO NOW QUESTION THAT DETERMINATION, IN VIEW OF THE ADVANTAGES TO BE FOUND IN THE CHEVROLET CAR FOR THE SERVICE REQUIRED.

THE SUSPENSION WILL BE REMOVED AND CREDIT ALLOWED FOR $170.57 AS THE BALANCE OF THE PURCHASE PRICE FOR THE AUTOMOBILE.