B-110000, AUG 12, 1952

B-110000: Aug 12, 1952

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PRECIS-UNAVAILABLE THE SECRETARY OF THE AIR FORCE: THERE WAS RECEIVED IN THIS OFFICE LETTER DATED APRIL 29. REQUESTING A DECISION WITH RESPECT TO AN ERROR ALLEGED BY THE AIRCRAFT TOOL COMPANY TO HAVE BEEN MADE IN ITS BID IN CONNECTION WITH CONTRACT NO. SINCE THE CONTRACT HAS BEEN AWARDED THE CONTRACTING OFFICER IS NOT ENTITLED TO A DECISION. 26 COMP. IN VIEW OF THE DELAY WHICH ALREADY HAS ELAPSED AND IN ORDER TO OBVIATE THE NECESSITY FOR RESUBMITTING THE MATTER THROUGH REGULAR CHANNELS THIS DECISION IS BEING RENDERED TO YOU. FOUR BIDS WERE RECEIVED IN THE AMOUNTS OF $6.90. UPON REVIEW OF THE BIDS THE QUESTION AROSE AS TO WHETHER THE BID OF THE STANHOPE PRODUCTS COMPANY IN THE AMOUNT OF $6.90 EACH WAS CORRECT SINCE IT WAS CONSIDERABLY LOWER THAN THE TWO NEXT LOWEST BIDS RECEIVED.

B-110000, AUG 12, 1952

PRECIS-UNAVAILABLE

THE SECRETARY OF THE AIR FORCE:

THERE WAS RECEIVED IN THIS OFFICE LETTER DATED APRIL 29, 1952, WITH ENCLOSURES, FILE MCPPMG-34/JUMCG/MVS, FROM THE CONTRACTING OFFICER, HEADQUARTERS, AIR MATERIEL COMMAND, WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, DAYTON, OHIO, REQUESTING A DECISION WITH RESPECT TO AN ERROR ALLEGED BY THE AIRCRAFT TOOL COMPANY TO HAVE BEEN MADE IN ITS BID IN CONNECTION WITH CONTRACT NO. AF 33(600)-8520, FOR FURNISHING A CERTAIN QUANTITY OF KITS, STUD DRIVERS AND REMOVERS TO THE DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE.

SINCE THE CONTRACT HAS BEEN AWARDED THE CONTRACTING OFFICER IS NOT ENTITLED TO A DECISION. 26 COMP. GEN. 993; AND 28 ID. 401. HOWEVER, IN VIEW OF THE DELAY WHICH ALREADY HAS ELAPSED AND IN ORDER TO OBVIATE THE NECESSITY FOR RESUBMITTING THE MATTER THROUGH REGULAR CHANNELS THIS DECISION IS BEING RENDERED TO YOU.

IN RESPONSE TO INVITATION NO. 33-600-52-228, ISSUED OCTOBER 17, 1951, BY HEADQUARTERS, AIR MATERIEL COMMAND, PROCUREMENT DIVISION AT THE ABOVE BASE, FOUR BIDS WERE RECEIVED IN THE AMOUNTS OF $6.90, $12, $15.93 AND $121.46 EACH FOR FURNISHING 2,052 KITS, STUD DRIVERS AND REMOVERS IN ACCORDANCE WITH U.S.A.F. SPECIFICATION NO. 50455, DATED JANUARY 3, 1945, AND AMENDMENT NO. 1, DATED AUGUST 28, 1945, APPLICABLE DRAWINGS, ETC. UPON REVIEW OF THE BIDS THE QUESTION AROSE AS TO WHETHER THE BID OF THE STANHOPE PRODUCTS COMPANY IN THE AMOUNT OF $6.90 EACH WAS CORRECT SINCE IT WAS CONSIDERABLY LOWER THAN THE TWO NEXT LOWEST BIDS RECEIVED. THE COMPANY WAS REQUESTED BY TELEPHONE TO VERIFY ITS BID AND IN REPLY IT WAS ALLEGED THAT AN ERROR HAD BEEN MADE THEREIN AND REQUEST WAS MADE THAT IT BE WITHDRAWN. THE ALLEGATION OF ERROR AND REQUEST OF THE STANHOPE PRODUCTS COMPANY LATER WAS AFFIRMED BY LETTER DATED NOVEMBER 9, 1951. SUBSEQUENTLY, IN ACCORDANCE WITH DEPARTMENTAL PROCEDURE, THE INVITATION WAS CANCELED IN THE BEST INTERESTS OF THE GOVERNMENT AND THE AIRCRAFT TOOL COMPANY, WHICH SUBMITTED THE SECOND LOWEST BID OF $12 EACH FOR THE KITS, STUD DRIVERS AND REMOVERS, WAS ASKED, WITH A VIEW TO NEGOTIATING A CONTRACT FOR THE REQUIREMENTS SET FORTH IN THE INVITATION, WHETHER IT WOULD ACCEPT A CONTRACT ON THE BASIS OF THE TERMS THEREOF. BY TELEGRAM DATED DECEMBER 7, 1951, THE COMPANY ADVISED THAT IT WOULD ACCEPT THE CONTRACT ON THE BASIS OF ITS ORIGINAL BID OF $12 EACH AND CONTRACT NO. AF 33(600)-8520, WAS THEN ENTERED INTO ON A NEGOTIATED BASIS.

THE AIRCRAFT TOOL COMPANY NOTIFIED THE DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE AT WICHITA, KANSAS, BY LETTER DATED JANUARY 30, 1952, THAT AN ERROR WAS MADE IN ITS BID IN THAT THE PRICE QUOTED WAS BASED ON FURNISHING ONLY THE KITS AND DID NOT INCLUDE THE COST OF STUD DRIVERS AND REMOVERS. IT WAS CONTENDED THAT SPECIFICATION NO. 50455 WAS NOT AVAILABLE WHEN THE BID WAS PREPARED AND THAT BLUEPRINT NO. 45D6573 SHOWS AND DESCRIBES ONLY THE KITS. THE COMPANY FURTHER CONTENDED THAT UPON INQUIRY AT THE AIR FORCE PROCUREMENT OFFICE IT WAS ADVISED THAT THE SPECIFICATION WAS NOT AVAILABLE AND THAT, IN ANY EVENT, THE SPECIFICATION ONLY CLARIFIED MINOR DETAILS THAT WERE LACKING ON THE BLUEPRINT.

WHILE IT IS THE SOLE RESPONSIBILITY OF A BIDDER TO OBTAIN AND FULLY FAMILIARIZE ITSELF WITH ALL DETAILS OF AN INVITATION, APPLICABLE SPECIFICATIONS AND DRAWINGS, IT IS NOTED IN THIS INSTANCE THAT THE ORIGINAL LOW BIDDER, THE STANHOPE PRODUCTS COMPANY, STATED THAT AS FAR AS IT KNEW, SPECIFICATION NO. 50455 ALSO WAS NOT RECEIVED BY IT AND THAT THE SAID BIDDER WAS FURNISHED ONLY BLUEPRINT NO. 45D6573, COVERING THE KIT. THE STANHOPE PRODUCTS COMPANY FURTHER STATED THAT ITS BID ALSO WAS BASED ON FURNISHING THE KITS ONLY AND UPON REQUEST THE COMPANY WAS PERMITTED TO WITHDRAW ITS BID. MOREOVER, WHILE THE THIRD LOW ORIGINAL BIDDER, THE J.O. MANUFACTURING COMPANY, AFFIRMED ITS BID OF $15.93 FOR THE KITS, STUD DRIVERS AND REMOVERS, IT IS ALSO SIGNIFICANT TO NOTE THAT THIS COMPANY, UPON REQUEST, LATER QUOTED THE AIRCRAFT TOOL COMPANY A PRICE OF $15.93 EACH BUT STATED SPECIFICALLY THAT SUCH PRICE DID NOT INCLUDE STUD REMOVER AND CERTAIN OTHER REQUIRED EQUIPMENT. THUS, THERE WOULD APPEAR TO BE LITTLE, IF ANY, DOUBT THAT THE AIRCRAFT TOOL COMPANY MADE AN ERROR IN ITS BID AS ALLEGED.

WITH RESPECT TO THE GOVERNMENT'S ACTION IN NEGOTIATING THE CONTRACT WITH THE AIRCRAFT TOOL COMPANY ON THE BASIS OF ITS BID OF $12 FOR EACH UNIT, IT APPEARS THAT REPRESENTATIVES OF THE AIR FORCE PROCUREMENT OFFICE VISITED AND INSPECTED THE COMPANY'S PLANT PRIOR TO THE AWARD OF THE CONTRACT. THE FACILITIES OF THE PLANT ARE STATED BY THE COMPANY TO BE "OF A SHEET METAL FABRICATION AND ASSEMBLY NATURE ONLY WITH VERY LIMITED MACHINE EQUIPMENT." THE GOVERNMENT LATER ADMITTED THAT THE BIDDER'S EQUIPMENT WAS INADEQUATE FOR PRODUCING THE COMPONENT PARTS OF THE KIT. FURTHERMORE, THE FACILITY CAPABILITY REPORT APPARENTLY SUBMITTED BY A GOVERNMENT INSPECTOR IN CONNECTION WITH THE INVITATION FOR BIDS IS REPORTED TO HAVE BEEN BASED ON THE MANUFACTURE OF THE KIT BOX ALONE. ALSO, THE AIRCRAFT TOOL COMPANY ALLEGES THAT IT STATED IN ITS BID THAT NONE OF THE WORK WAS TO BE SUBCONTRACTED, THUS FURTHER INDICATING THAT ITS BID CONTEMPLATED FURNISHING THE KIT ONLY AND NOT THE OTHER PARTS WHICH THE BIDDER'S PLANT WAS NOT IN A POSITION TO MANUFACTURE. AS FURTHER EVIDENCE OF THE FACT THAT THE QUOTED PRICE COVERED THE KIT ONLY, THE COMPANY SET FORTH IN ITS BID THAT THE ITEM WOULD WEIGH TWO POUNDS. HOWEVER, THE CONTRACTING OFFICER REPORTS THAT THE REALISTIC WEIGHT OF THE KIT WITH THE REQUIRED TOOLS WOULD BE APPROXIMATELY NINE POUNDS. THUS, THESE FACTS WOULD APPEAR TO HAVE BEEN SUFFICIENT TO HAVE PLACED THE AIR FORCE PROCUREMENT OFFICE ON NOTICE THAT THE COMPANY PROBABLY HAD NOT BASED ITS BID ON ALL OF THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE INVITATION. UNDER SUCH CIRCUMSTANCES, IT IS BELIEVED THAT A SPECIFIC REQUEST FOR A VERIFICATION OF THE BID OF THE AIRCRAFT TOOL COMPANY SHOULD HAVE BEEN MADE PRIOR TO THE NEGOTIATION OF THE CONTRACT.

ACCORDINGLY, ON THE BASIS OF THE FACTS OF RECORD, THE CONTRACT AWARDED TO THE AIRCRAFT TOOL COMPANY MAY BE CANCELED WITHOUT LIABILITY TO THE CONTRACTOR.