A-80602, OCTOBER 28, 1936, 16 COMP. GEN. 448

A-80602: Oct 28, 1936

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CONTRACTS - SPECIFICATIONS - AUTOMOBILES - WHEELBASE AND BUILT-IN TRUNK REQUIREMENTS THE INCLUSION IN ADVERTISED AUTOMOBILE SPECIFICATIONS OF A DEFINITE MINIMUM WHEELBASE REQUIREMENT IS UNAUTHORIZED. NOTWITHSTANDING THE INCLUSION IS TO SECURE "INSIDE BODY DIMENSIONS SUFFICIENT TO ACCOMMODATE ADULT PASSENGERS AND THEIR PERSONAL BAGGAGE.'. OF A REQUIREMENT FOR BUILT-IN TRUNKS IS NOT AUTHORIZED. 1936: THERE HAVE BEEN BROUGHT TO MY ATTENTION CONTRACT I2R-5583. THE SPECIFICATION REQUIREMENTS WERE. (WHEELBASE IS STATED NOT AS A MECHANICAL DETAIL BUT TO SECURE INSIDE BODY DIMENSIONS SUFFICIENT TO ACCOMMODATE ADULT PASSENGERS AND THEIR PERSONAL BAGGAGE.). THE CERTIFICATE OF AWARD IS TO THE EFFECT THAT ADVERTISING WAS BY CIRCULAR LETTER TO 13 DEALERS.

A-80602, OCTOBER 28, 1936, 16 COMP. GEN. 448

CONTRACTS - SPECIFICATIONS - AUTOMOBILES - WHEELBASE AND BUILT-IN TRUNK REQUIREMENTS THE INCLUSION IN ADVERTISED AUTOMOBILE SPECIFICATIONS OF A DEFINITE MINIMUM WHEELBASE REQUIREMENT IS UNAUTHORIZED, NOTWITHSTANDING THE INCLUSION IS TO SECURE "INSIDE BODY DIMENSIONS SUFFICIENT TO ACCOMMODATE ADULT PASSENGERS AND THEIR PERSONAL BAGGAGE.' THE INCLUSION IN ADVERTISED AUTOMOBILE SPECIFICATIONS, CONTAINING NO SERVICE REQUIREMENTS OR CONDITIONS, OF A REQUIREMENT FOR BUILT-IN TRUNKS IS NOT AUTHORIZED, PARTICULARLY WHERE THE SPECIFICATIONS REQUIRE "INSIDE BODY DIMENSIONS SUFFICIENT TO ACCOMMODATE ADULT PASSENGERS AND THEIR PERSONAL BAGGAGE.'

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL ELLIOTT TO THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR, OCTOBER 28, 1936:

THERE HAVE BEEN BROUGHT TO MY ATTENTION CONTRACT I2R-5583, JANUARY 9, 1936, WITH DAVID M. ROSE, RICHMOND, CALIF., AND CONTRACT I2R-5654, DECEMBER 13, 1935, WITH UNIVERSAL MOTOR CO., SACRAMENTO, CALIF., COVERING THE PURCHASE OF PASSENGER-CARRYING AUTOMOBILES FOR THE BUREAU OF RECLAMATION, SACRAMENTO, CALIF.

CONTRACT I2R-5583 COVERED THE PURCHASE OF FIVE 4-DOOR SEDANS. THE SPECIFICATION REQUIREMENTS WERE, IN PART, AS FOLLOWS:

AUTOMOBILE 4-DOOR SEDAN WITH BUILT-IN TRUNKS, NOT LESS THAN 112 INCH WHEELBASE. (WHEELBASE IS STATED NOT AS A MECHANICAL DETAIL BUT TO SECURE INSIDE BODY DIMENSIONS SUFFICIENT TO ACCOMMODATE ADULT PASSENGERS AND THEIR PERSONAL BAGGAGE.) LATEST 1936 MODEL, COMPLETE WITH STANDARD EQUIPMENT INCLUDING BUMPERS, EXTRA CAPACITY RADIATOR FOR DESERT USE, SPARE TIRE AND TUBE, RIM OR WHEEL, AND SPARE TIRE CARRIER. (DO NOT INCLUDE ACCESSORIES OTHER THAN STANDARD EQUIPMENT UNLESS SPECIFICALLY REQUESTED HEREIN.) 5 ONLY.

THE FOLLOWING DATA MUST BE COMPLETELY FILLED OUT AND MUST AGREE WITH NET DELIVERED PRICE:

FACTORY LIST PRICE (LESS FEDERAL EXCISE TAX).

ACCESSORIES NOT INCLUDED IN LIST PRICE (ITEMIZE).

FREIGHT, UNLOADING, AND SERVICE.

TOTAL.

LESS FLEET OWNERS DISCOUNT.

NET DELIVERED PRICE, EACH F.O.B. SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA.

STATE SHIPPING POINT.

THE CERTIFICATE OF AWARD IS TO THE EFFECT THAT ADVERTISING WAS BY CIRCULAR LETTER TO 13 DEALERS, AND IT APPEARS THAT ONLY TWO BIDS WERE RECEIVED, THE CONTRACTOR OFFERING 1936 MODEL 68, FORD V-8 TOURING SEDANS FOR THE DELIVERED PRICE OF $712 EACH, OR $3,560, AND THE GENERAL MOTORS CO., WHOSE DELIVERED PRICE FOR FIVE VEHICLES WAS $4,095.91.

THE LOWEST BID, WHICH WAS ACCEPTED, WAS ITEMIZED AS FOLLOWS:

TABLE THE FOLLOWING DATA MUST BE COMPLETELY FILLED OUT AND MUST

AGREE WITH NET DELIVERED PRICE. FACTORY LIST PRICE (LESS

FEDERAL EXCISE TAX) ------------------------------------- $605.00 ACCESSORIES NOT INCLUDED IN LIST PRICE (ITEMIZE) FRONT

AND REAR BUMPERS AND GUARDS, SPARE TIRE, TUBE, LOCK,

AND COVER ----------------------------------------------- 31.50 FREIGHT, UNLOADING, AND SERVICE -------------------------- 136.00

TOTAL --------------------------------------------- 772.50 LESS FLEET OWNERS DISCOUNT ------------------------------- 60.50

NET DELIVERED PRICE, EACH F.O.B. SACRAMENTO,

CALIFORNIA -------------------------------------- 712.00 EA.

$3,560.00

NO PRICE WAS QUOTED FOR DELIVERY F.O.B. FACTORY.

CONTRACT NO. I2R-5654 COVERED THE PURCHASE OF FIVE FOUR-DOOR SEDANS. THE SPECIFICATION REQUIREMENTS WERE IDENTICAL WITH THOSE QUOTED ABOVE, EXCEPT THAT THE BUILT-IN TRUNK WAS NOT REQUIRED. CERTIFICATE OF AWARD STATED THAT ADVERTISING WAS BY CIRCULAR SENT TO 13 DEALERS. SO FAR AS APPEARS THE UNIVERSAL MOTOR CO., OFFERING 1936 FORD STANDARD V-8 FOUR-DOOR SEDAN AUTOMOBILES FOR A DELIVERED PRICE OF $653 EACH, LESS FEDERAL EXCISE TAX, OR $3,247.85, F.O.B. SACRAMENTO, CALIF., WAS THE ONLY BIDDER. THE BID WAS ITEMIZED THUS:

THE FOLLOWING DATA MUST BE COMPLETELY FILLED OUT AND MUST AGREE WITH THE NET DELIVERY PRICE:

TABLE FACTORY LIST PRICE ---------------------------- $580.00 FEDERAL EXCISE TAX ---------------------------- 3.43 ACCESSORIES NOT INCLUDED IN LIST PRICE

(ITEMIZE):

BUMPERS, METAL TIRE COVER, SPARE TIRE AND

TUBE, AND TIRE LOCK ------------------------- 32.50 FREIGHT, UNLOADING, AND SERVICE --------------- 129.00

TOTAL ------------------------------------ 744.93 LESS FLEET OWNERS DISCOUNT -------------------- 91.93

NET DELIVERED PRICE, EACH F.O.B.

SACRAMENTO, CALIF. ---------------------- 653.00

-------- $3,265.00 STATE SHIPPING POINT SACRAMENTO, LESS TAX ------------ -- 17.15

3,247.85

NO BID WAS SUBMITTED FOR DELIVERY F.O.B. FACTORY.

NO SERVICE REQUIREMENTS OR CONDITIONS WERE STATED IN EITHER INSTANCE, THOUGH IT IS INDICATED THAT THE VEHICLES MIGHT POSSIBLY BE SUBJECTED TO DESERT USE AT TIMES.

THE SPECIFICATION OF MINIMUM WHEELBASE OF 112 INCHES IN THE PURCHASE OF LIGHTWEIGHT PASSENGER-CARRYING VEHICLES FOR GOVERNMENT USE HAS BEEN HELD TO BE RESTRICTIVE OF COMPETITION AND OBJECTIONABLE. IT IS KNOWN TO EXCLUDE AT LEAST ONE MODEL OF AUTOMOBILE OTHERWISE COMPETITIVE IN THIS CLASS, AND THIS IS TRUE WHETHER THE REQUIREMENT IS STATED AS A MECHANICAL OR DIMENSIONAL DETAIL, OR FOR WHATEVER REASON. THERE IS NO EVIDENCE THAT THE INSIDE DIMENSIONS OF THE SHORTER WHEELBASE VEHICLES ARE NOT REASONABLY "SUFFICIENT TO ACCOMMODATE ADULT PASSENGERS AND THEIR PERSONAL BAGGAGE.'

THE REQUIREMENT FOR BUILT-IN TRUNK UNDER THE ROSE CONTRACT SERVED TO EXCLUDE THE STANDARD MODELS OF RECOGNIZED LIGHTWEIGHT VEHICLES FROM COMPETITION, AS THOSE MODELS DO NOT HAVE BUILT-IN TRUNKS AS STANDARD EQUIPMENT. SINCE THE FACTORY LIST PRICE OF THE VEHICLES COVERED BY THIS CONTRACT WAS GIVEN AS $605, WHILE THE FACTORY LIST PRICE OF THE STANDARD VEHICLE WAS GIVEN AS $580 IN THE OTHER CONTRACT, IT APPEARS THAT THE REQUIREMENT FOR BUILT-IN TRUNK REPRESENTED A CONSIDERABLE EXCESS COST TO THE GOVERNMENT, EVEN AS BETWEEN THE TWO FORD MODELS. AS THE VEHICLES ACQUIRED UNDER THE TWO CONTRACTS WERE FOR THE USE OF THE SAME DEPARTMENT AND SERVICE, AND APPARENTLY IN THE SAME TERRITORY, THERE WOULD APPEAR NO REASON FOR THE REQUIREMENT OF THE BUILT-IN TRUNK IN ONE INSTANCE WHEN IT WAS NOT REQUIRED IN THE OTHER. THERE WOULD APPEAR NO NECESSITY FOR REQUIRING THE BUILT-IN TRUNK IN EITHER INSTANCE, MORE ESPECIALLY SINCE THE INSIDE DIMENSIONS WERE SUFFICIENT TO ACCOMMODATE "ADULT PASSENGERS AND THEIR PERSONAL BAGGAGE.' (SEE 15 COMP. GEN. 974.)

WHAT HAS BEEN SAID RELATIVE TO THE MINIMUM WHEELBASE REQUIREMENT IS APPLICABLE ALSO TO THE UNIVERSAL MOTOR CO. CONTRACT, THE SPECIFICATIONS UNDER THIS CONTRACT APPEARING OTHERWISE UNOBJECTIONABLE.

WHILE, UNDER ALL THE CIRCUMSTANCES, APPROVAL OF OTHERWISE PROPER PAYMENTS WILL NOT BE WITHHELD BY REASON OF THE RESTRICTIVE SPECIFICATIONS IN THESE INSTANCES, ADMINISTRATIVE MEASURES SHOULD BE TAKEN TO SEE THAT SPECIFICATIONS FOR MOTOR EQUIPMENT FOR ALL BUREAUS OF YOUR DEPARTMENT IN THE FUTURE COMPLY WITH THE REQUIREMENTS.

HOWEVER, THE ROSE CONTRACT INCLUDED A FREIGHT, UNLOADING, AND SERVICE CHARGE OF $136 PER VEHICLE, OR $680, AND THE UNIVERSAL MOTOR CO. CONTRACT INCLUDED A SIMILAR CHARGE OF $129 PER VEHICLE, OR $645. PRESUMABLY THE FREIGHT CHARGES INCLUDED IN THE CONTRACTS REPRESENTED THE COST OF FREIGHT TO THE BIDDERS AT COMMERCIAL RATES FROM THE FORD FACTORY TO DESTINATION. IT HAS BEEN HELD BY THIS OFFICE THAT IN THE PURCHASE OF EQUIPMENT FOR THE GOVERNMENT BIDS SHOULD BE OBTAINED FOR BOTH FACTORY OR SHIPPING POINT AND DESTINATION DELIVERY, SO THAT THE UNITED STATES MAY HAVE THE BENEFIT OF LAND-GRANT RATES OR OTHER ADVANTAGES, IF ANY, OF TRANSPORTATION ON GOVERNMENT BILLS OF LADING. (SEE 14 COMP. GEN. 82; 16 ID. 43; ID. 207.)