B-100949, MAY 14, 1951

B-100949: May 14, 1951

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PRECIS-UNAVAILABLE DE LUXE METAL FURNITURE CO.: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED JANUARY 24. WHICH IS YOUR REPRESENTATIVE IN THE STATE OF UTAH. THE SHIPPING WEIGHT OF WHICH WAS 1. WHICH WAS THE SECOND LOWEST BID RECEIVED. THAT YOU WERE INFORMED BY THE CONTRACTING OFFICER THAT AFTER THE BIDS WERE OPENED THE LOW BIDDER CALLED THAT OFFICIAL AND INFORMED HIM THAT THE WEIGHT SHOWN ON ITS BID WAS ERRONEOUS AND THAT THE CORRECT WEIGHT WAS 145. THAT FREIGHT CHARGES FROM THE SHIPPING POINT WERE CONSIDERED AS A PART OF THE TOTAL COST TO THE GOVERNMENT AND THAT TO PERMIT THE LOW BIDDER TO REVISE ITS FIGURES AS TO WEIGHT WOULD RESULT IN A REDUCTION IN COST TO THE GOVERNMENT. WHICH MEANS THAT THE LOW BIDDER WAS ABSORBING FREIGHT CHARGES ON THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE REVISED WEIGHT AND THE ACTUAL WEIGHT.

B-100949, MAY 14, 1951

PRECIS-UNAVAILABLE

DE LUXE METAL FURNITURE CO.:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED JANUARY 24, 1951, WHEREIN YOU, ON BEHALF OF THE PEMBROKE COMPANY, PROTEST THE AWARD TO THE BERGER MANUFACTURING DIVISION, REPUBLIC STEEL CORPORATION, OF A CONTRACT FOR RACK STEEL STORAGE, (SHELVING), PURSUANT TO INVITATION NO. 42-014-51-220, ISSUED JANUARY 4, 1951, BY THE CONTRACTING OFFICER, HILL AIR FORCE BASE, UTAH.

IN YOUR LETTER YOU STATED THAT THE PEMBROKE COMPANY, WHICH IS YOUR REPRESENTATIVE IN THE STATE OF UTAH, IN RESPONSE TO THE INVITATION, SUBMITTED A BID IN WHICH IT PROPOSED TO FURNISH YOUR SHELVING, THE SHIPPING WEIGHT OF WHICH WAS 1,460,000 POUNDS, FOR THE PRICE OF $174,000; THAT THE BERGER MANUFACTURING DIVISION, REPUBLIC STEEL CORPORATION, THE LOW BIDDER, OFFERED TO FURNISH SHELVING OF A SHIPPING WEIGHT OF 1,605,000 POUNDS FOR $171,162, OR $2,738 LESS THAN THE AMOUNT OF YOUR BID, WHICH WAS THE SECOND LOWEST BID RECEIVED; THAT YOU WERE INFORMED BY THE CONTRACTING OFFICER THAT AFTER THE BIDS WERE OPENED THE LOW BIDDER CALLED THAT OFFICIAL AND INFORMED HIM THAT THE WEIGHT SHOWN ON ITS BID WAS ERRONEOUS AND THAT THE CORRECT WEIGHT WAS 145,000 POUNDS LESS THAN THAT SET FORTH IN ITS BID; THAT FREIGHT CHARGES FROM THE SHIPPING POINT WERE CONSIDERED AS A PART OF THE TOTAL COST TO THE GOVERNMENT AND THAT TO PERMIT THE LOW BIDDER TO REVISE ITS FIGURES AS TO WEIGHT WOULD RESULT IN A REDUCTION IN COST TO THE GOVERNMENT; THAT YOU UNDERSTAND THAT THE GOVERNMENT FURNISHES BILLS OF LADING ONLY UP TO THE WEIGHT STATED IN THE BIDS, WHICH MEANS THAT THE LOW BIDDER WAS ABSORBING FREIGHT CHARGES ON THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE REVISED WEIGHT AND THE ACTUAL WEIGHT; AND THAT SUCH PROCEDURE IS HIGHLY IRREGULAR. HENCE, YOU REQUEST THAT THE BID SUBMITTED BY THE BERGER MANUFACTURING DIVISION, REPUBLIC STEEL CORPORATION, BE DISREGARDED AND THAT THE BID OF THE PEMBROKE COMPANY BE ACCEPTED.

BY OFFICE LETTER OF FEBRUARY 13, 1951, YOU WERE INFORMED THAT THE MATTER WAS BEING BROUGHT TO THE ATTENTION OF THE SECRETARY OF THE AIR FORCE WITH THE REQUEST THAT A COMPLETE REPORT THEREON BE FURNISHED THIS OFFICE. THE REPORT - SETTING FORTH THE MATERIAL FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES INVOLVED - NOW HAS BEEN RECEIVED. IT IS STATED THEREIN THAT A REPRESENTATIVE OF THE LOW BIDDER, AFTER THE OPENING OF THE BIDS, CALLED THE CONTRACTING OFFICER AND ADVISED HIM THAT, UPON CHECKING THE FIGURES SHOWN IN THE LOW BID, IT WAS DISCOVERED THAT A MISTAKE OF APPROXIMATELY 145,000 POUNDS HAD BEEN MADE THEREIN; THAT SINCE SUCH INFORMATION WAS OBTAINED AFTER THE BIDS WERE OPENED, THE AWARD WAS MADE UPON THE BASIS OF THE UNIT COST, THE WEIGHT FACTORS AND THE TOTAL WEIGHT FIGURES AS CONTAINED IN THE INVITATION FOR BIDS; AND THAT THE COMPUTATION OF THE AWARD WAS MADE AS FOLLOWS:

"BIDDER NO. 19 - BERGER MANUFACTURING DIVISION

2000 EACH $85.581 - $171,162.00

1,605,000 LBS $1.80 CWT - $ 28,890.00

TOTAL - $200,052.00

BIDDER NO. 9 - PEMBROKE COMPANY, SALT LAKE CITY

2000 EACH $87.00 - $174,000.00

1,460,000 LBS $1.94 CWT - $ 28,324.00

TOTAL - $202,324.00"

ALSO, IT IS STATED THAT THE FREIGHT RATES WERE BASED ON SHIPMENT FROM CANTON, OHIO, (CLEVELAND AREA) AT $1.80 PER HUNDRED AND DELIVERY FROM WARREN, PENNSYLVANIA, (BUFFALO AREA) AT $1.94 PER HUNDRED; THAT THE AWARD WAS BASED ENTIRELY UPON THE UNIT PRICES AND QUOTED SHIPPING WEIGHT AS CONTAINED IN THE SEALED BIDS SUBMITTED; AND THAT THE AWARD WAS MADE TO THE BERGER MANUFACTURING DIVISION, REPUBLIC STEEL CORPORATION, SINCE ITS TOTAL BID, TRANSPORTATION CHARGES CONSIDERED, WAS $2,272 LOWER THAN THE BID SUBMITTED BY THE PEMBROKE COMPANY.

IT IS FURTHER STATED IN SAID REPORT THAT THE BID SUBMITTED BY THE PEMBROKE COMPANY DID NOT MEET THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE INVITATION AS TO DELIVERY, AND SINCE OTHER BIDS WERE RECEIVED WHICH MET ALL THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE INVITATION, AWARD COULD NOT HAVE BEEN MADE TO THE PEMBROKE COMPANY.

ACCORDINGLY, UPON CAREFUL CONSIDERATION OF YOUR PROTEST, IT MUST BE CONCLUDED THAT THE RECORD DISCLOSES NO LEGAL BASIS UPON WHICH THIS OFFICE WOULD BE WARRANTED IN QUESTIONING THE ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION TAKEN IN THE MATTER.