B-110646, AUG 8, 1952

B-110646: Aug 8, 1952

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THE REPORT OF THE CONTRACTING OFFICER AND THE REQUEST OF THE DIRECTOR OF FINANCE ARE IN EFFECT REQUESTS FOR A DECISION ON AN ISSUE RAISED BY THE PROTESTING BIDDER AND IS A MATTER WHICH GOES TO THE AVAILABILITY OF APPROPRIATED FUNDS AND AS SUCH SHOULD HAVE BEEN SUBMITTED BY THE HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT. THIS MATTER WILL BE TREATED AS A SUBMISSION BY YOU. PROSPECTIVE BIDDERS WERE ADVISED THAT THE WORK WOULD BE DONE IN STRICT ACCORDANCE WITH THE ADVERTISED SPECIFICATIONS (GENERAL. BIDDERS WERE ADVISED THAT THE CONTRACT WOULD BE AWARDED TO THE LOWEST RESPONSIBLE BIDDER COMPLYING WITH THE CONDITIONS OF THE INVITATION FOR BIDS. PROVIDED HIS BID IS REASONABLE AND IT IS TO THE INTEREST OF THE UNITED STATES TO ACCEPT IT AND THAT THE GOVERNMENT RESERVES THE RIGHT TO REJECT ANY AND ALL BIDS.

B-110646, AUG 8, 1952

PRECIS-UNAVAILABLE

THE SECRETARY OF THE AIR FORCE:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED BY REFERENCE FROM THE DIRECTOR OF FINANCE, UNITED STATES AIR FORCE, A REPORT BY THE CONTRACTING OFFICER, MCCLELLAN AIR FORCE BASE, MCCLELLAN, CALIFORNIA, FORWARDING, AMONG OTHER THINGS, THE PROTEST OF THE SACRAMENTO FIRE DETECTOR COMPANY AGAINST THE AWARD OF A CONTRACT EITHER TO THE PROTECTOWIRE INSTALLATION COMPANY OR THE AMERICAN DISTRICT TELEGRAPH COMPANY OF SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA, PURSUANT TO INVITATION FOR BIDS 04-606-52-16 ISSUED BY THE CONTRACTING OFFICER REQUESTING BIDS FOR FURNISHING AUTOMATIC HEAT DETECTING FIRE ALARM SYSTEMS FOR VARIOUS BARRACKS BUILDINGS. THE DIRECTOR OF FINANCE REQUESTS THAT A REPLY BE MADE DIRECTLY TO THE CONTRACTING OFFICER AT MCCLELLAN AIR FORCE BASE WITH AN INFORMATION COPY TO THE OFFICE, DIRECTOR OF FINANCE.

THE REPORT OF THE CONTRACTING OFFICER AND THE REQUEST OF THE DIRECTOR OF FINANCE ARE IN EFFECT REQUESTS FOR A DECISION ON AN ISSUE RAISED BY THE PROTESTING BIDDER AND IS A MATTER WHICH GOES TO THE AVAILABILITY OF APPROPRIATED FUNDS AND AS SUCH SHOULD HAVE BEEN SUBMITTED BY THE HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT. IN THIS CONNECTION, SEE SECTION 8 OF THE ACT OF JULY 31, 1894, AS AMENDED, 31 U.S.C. 74, WHICH AUTHORIZES DECISIONS UPON THE REQUEST OF THE HEAD OF A DEPARTMENT OR ESTABLISHMENT OF THE GOVERNMENT, AND 26 COMP. GEN. 993. ALSO, SEE CHAPTER 2, PART SEVEN OF AFM 173-10, DATED JULY 1, 1951. HOWEVER, IN VIEW OF THE NEED FOR PROMPT ACTION, THIS MATTER WILL BE TREATED AS A SUBMISSION BY YOU.

IN THE INVITATION FOR BIDS, PROSPECTIVE BIDDERS WERE ADVISED THAT THE WORK WOULD BE DONE IN STRICT ACCORDANCE WITH THE ADVERTISED SPECIFICATIONS (GENERAL, SPECIAL & TECHNICAL) AND DRAWING NO. S-814 AND THAT THEY SHOULD CAREFULLY EXAMINE THE DRAWINGS AND SPECIFICATIONS, VISIT THE SITE OF THE WORK AND FULLY INFORM THEMSELVES AS TO ALL CONDITIONS AND MATTERS WHICH COULD IN ANY WAY AFFECT THE WORK OR THE COST THEREOF. IN THE INSTRUCTIONS TO BIDDERS, BIDDERS WERE ADVISED THAT THE CONTRACT WOULD BE AWARDED TO THE LOWEST RESPONSIBLE BIDDER COMPLYING WITH THE CONDITIONS OF THE INVITATION FOR BIDS, PROVIDED HIS BID IS REASONABLE AND IT IS TO THE INTEREST OF THE UNITED STATES TO ACCEPT IT AND THAT THE GOVERNMENT RESERVES THE RIGHT TO REJECT ANY AND ALL BIDS.

THE ABSTRACT OF BIDS FORWARDED WITH THE CONTRACTING OFFICER'S REPORT SHOWS THAT SIX BIDS WERE RECEIVED IN RESPONSE TO THE INVITATION. THE PROTECTOWIRE INSTALLATION COMPANY SUBMITTED TWO BIDS, ONE OF WHICH IS REFERRED TO AS A BASE BID AND THE OTHER AS AN ALTERNATE BID AND BOTH OF THE SAID BIDS ARE LOW AS TO PRICE.

THE REPORT OF THE CONTRACTING OFFICER SETS FORTH THE BASIS FOR THE PROTEST OF THE SACRAMENTO FIRE DETECTOR COMPANY AND THE RESPECTIVE COMMENTS OF THE CONTRACTING OFFICER, AS FOLLOWS:

"3. THE FOLLOWING BASIS WAS SUBMITTED BY PROTESTOR FOR REJECTING PROTECTOWIRE'S BID:

A. THE SYSTEM INDICATES NO TROUBLE BELL AS DEMANDED BY SECTION T1-07 OF THE TECHNICAL PROVISIONS AND PAGE 22, PARAGRAPH 280, OF NBFU PAMPHLET NO. 72.

COMMENT: ALTHOUGH PROTECTOWIRE HAS INDICATED IN ENGINEERING DATA IN ONE PLACE THAT "ALL ALARM GONGS IN EACH BUILDING TO RING INDEPENDENTLY OF OTHER ALARM GONGS IN THE GROUP AND TROUBLE SIGNAL WOULD BE RELAYED TO FIRE STATION OVER TELEPHONE WIRES NOW INSTALLED FROM FORTY-FIVE OF THE BUILDINGS INSTEAD OF RINGING TROUBLE BELL ON PREMISES", OTHER ENGINEERING DATA SUBMITTED INDICATES THAT TROUBLE BELLS WILL BE FURNISHED. THIS WAS VERIFIED BY LETTER DATED 17 MAY 1952 FROM PROTECTOWIRE (EXHIBIT 4).

B. THIS SYSTEM INDICATES NO STANDBY BATTERY SOURCE AS REQUIRED BY SECTION T1-11 OF THE TECHNICAL PROVISIONS AND NBFU PAMPHLET NO. 72, PARAGRAPH 227. A FLOATING STORAGE BATTERY WITH RECTIFIER IS SHOWN, HOWEVER, THIS IS NOT OF SUFFICIENT POWER TO SUPPLY THE SYSTEM FOR THE REQUIRED SIXTY (60) HOURS (COMPUTED USING 20 OHMS PER 100 FT. AS LISTED BY UNDERWRITERS' LABORATORIES INC.) AS REQUIRED. THE SYSTEM DOES COMPLY WITH NBFU PAMPHLET 72, PARAGRAPHS 233A AND 235A, B, AND C, BUT THIS IS NOT SUFFICIENT AS THE TECHNICAL PROVISIONS SPECIFICALLY REQUIRE THE SYSTEM TO BE EQUIPPED WITH STANDBY POWER.

COMMENT: SEE VERIFICATION (EXHIBIT 4) FROM PROTECTOWIRE. LETTER FROM THE PROTECTOWIRE COMPANY AS TRANSMITTED BY LETTER DATED 29 APRIL 1952 FROM PROTECTOWIRE INSTALLATION COMPANY (EXHIBITS 5 AND 6) GUARANTEES THAT SYSTEM WILL BE IN FULL ACCORDANCE WITH INTENT AND MEANING OF THE SPECIFICATIONS AS TO BOTH EQUIPMENT AND INSTALLATION. AIR INSTALLATIONS OFFICER AT SMAMA HAS ADVISED CONTRACTING OFFICER THAT INFORMATION FURNISHED INDICATES THAT THE PROPOSED SYSTEM MEETS THE SPECIFICATIONS.

C. IT IS BELIEVED THAT THE MANUAL FIRE ALARM STATIONS AS LISTED BY THE BID IN QUESTION AS PROTECTOWIRE BG-30 ARE NOT APPROVED BY UNDERWRITERS' LABORATORIES, INC. OR OTHER NATIONALLY RECOGNIZED FIRE PROTECTION TESTING LABORATORIES.

COMMENT: PROTECTOWIRE STATES THAT MANUAL FIRE ALARM STATIONS LISTED AS PROTECTOWIRE BG-30 ARE ACTUALLY S.H. COUCH #78 STATIONS. THESE STATIONS CARRY THE APPROVAL OF UNDERWRITERS' LABORATORIES, INC."

A CAREFUL EXAMINATION OF THE BID OF THE PROTECTOWIRE INSTALLATION COMPANY AS A WHOLE INDICATES THAT IT IS THE BIDDER'S INTENTION TO COMPLY WITH THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE ADVERTISED SPECIFICATIONS IN ALL THEIR ESSENTIAL PROVISIONS. HENCE, THIS OFFICE WOULD NOT BE JUSTIFIED IN DISAGREEING WITH THE OPINION OF THE CONTRACTING OFFICER AS EXPRESSED IN HIS REPORT THAT THE PROTEST IS WITHOUT MERIT.

IT IS NOTED FROM THE CONTRACTING OFFICER'S REPORT THAT THE STATEMENT IS MADE THAT AN EXAMINATION OF THE BID OF THE AMERICAN DISTRICT TELEGRAPH COMPANY DISCLOSED THAT THE SYSTEM UPON WHICH IT QUOTED DID NOT MEET THE ADVERTISED SPECIFICATIONS. HOWEVER, IT IS ALSO NOTED FROM THE ABSTRACT OF BIDS THAT SAID BID WAS NOT THE LOWEST RECEIVED. THEREFORE, IT WOULD APPEAR THAT SUCH BID IS NOT FOR CONSIDERATION IN ANY EVENT.

THE ENCLOSURES FORWARDED BY THE DIRECTOR OF FINANCE, ARE RETURNED HEREWITH.