B-116078, DECEMBER 14, 1953, 33 COMP. GEN. 265

B-116078: Dec 14, 1953

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RENEWAL OPTIONS - ADVERTISING REQUIREMENTS THE QUALITY OF STENOGRAPHIC REPORTING SERVICES RENDERED BY A BIDDER UNDER PRIOR CONTRACTS IS NOT AN ADEQUATE BASIS FOR REJECTING THE LOW BID FOR A STENOGRAPHIC REPORTING CONTRACT IN THE ABSENCE OF INFORMATION REFLECTING UPON THE LAW BIDDER'S QUALIFICATIONS. THEREFORE AN AWARD MADE TO THE HIGHER BIDDER ON THE BASIS OF PERFORMANCE UNDER PRIOR CONTRACTS IS IMPROPER AND NECESSITATES CANCELLATION OF THE CONTRACT. 1953: RECEIPT IS ACKNOWLEDGED OF YOUR LETTER DATED SEPTEMBER 25. YOUR REPORT CLEARLY SHOWS THAT THE REJECTION OF THE LOWER BID OF FEDERAL REPORTING COMPANY WAS BASED SOLELY UPON THE QUALITY OF SERVICE RENDERED BY WARD AND PAUL UNDER PRIOR CONTRACTS WITH YOUR BOARD.

B-116078, DECEMBER 14, 1953, 33 COMP. GEN. 265

BIDS - ACCEPTANCE OR REJECTION - ACCEPTANCE OF OTHER THAN LOWEST; RENEWAL OPTIONS - ADVERTISING REQUIREMENTS THE QUALITY OF STENOGRAPHIC REPORTING SERVICES RENDERED BY A BIDDER UNDER PRIOR CONTRACTS IS NOT AN ADEQUATE BASIS FOR REJECTING THE LOW BID FOR A STENOGRAPHIC REPORTING CONTRACT IN THE ABSENCE OF INFORMATION REFLECTING UPON THE LAW BIDDER'S QUALIFICATIONS, AND THEREFORE AN AWARD MADE TO THE HIGHER BIDDER ON THE BASIS OF PERFORMANCE UNDER PRIOR CONTRACTS IS IMPROPER AND NECESSITATES CANCELLATION OF THE CONTRACT. AN OPTION TO RENEW A CONTRACT ON A YEARLY BASIS MAY BE EXERCISED BY THE GOVERNMENT ONLY AFTER IT HAS BEEN DETERMINED BY COMPETITIVE BIDDING THAT MORE ADVANTAGEOUS TERMS CANNOT BE OBTAINED FROM OTHER SOURCES.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO THE CHAIRMAN, NATIONAL MEDIATION BOARD, DECEMBER 14, 1953:

RECEIPT IS ACKNOWLEDGED OF YOUR LETTER DATED SEPTEMBER 25, IN REPLY TO OFFICE LETTER OF AUGUST 13, 1953, RELATIVE TO THE PROTEST BY FEDERAL REPORTING COMPANY OF THE AWARD BY YOUR AGENCY TO WARD AND PAUL OF A CONTRACT FOR REPORTING SERVICES FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1954.

YOUR REPORT CLEARLY SHOWS THAT THE REJECTION OF THE LOWER BID OF FEDERAL REPORTING COMPANY WAS BASED SOLELY UPON THE QUALITY OF SERVICE RENDERED BY WARD AND PAUL UNDER PRIOR CONTRACTS WITH YOUR BOARD. AS INDICATED IN OFFICE LETTER OF AUGUST 13, 1953, THIS GROUND IS CONSIDERED INADEQUATE IN THE ABSENCE OF INFORMATION REFLECTING UPON THE QUALIFICATIONS OF THE FEDERAL REPORTING COMPANY. SEE ALSO DECISION OF JUNE 28, 1946, TO YOUR PREDECESSOR, 25 COMP. GEN. 914.

EVEN WHERE A CONTRACT CARRIED AN OPTION IN THE GOVERNMENT FOR RENEWAL ON A YEARLY BASIS AT THE SAME RATE, IT IS THE RULE THAT SUCH OPTION MAY BE EXERCISED ONLY AFTER DETERMINATION BY COMPETITIVE BIDDING THAT MORE ADVANTAGEOUS TERMS CANNOT BE OBTAINED. 20 COMP. GEN. 572.

UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES, IT IS MY CONCLUSION THAT THE CONTRACT WAS IMPROPERLY AWARDED TO WARD AND PAUL, AND SHOULD BE CANCELED IMMEDIATELY.