B-117048, OCT 20, 1953

B-117048: Oct 20, 1953

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RELATIVE TO AN ERROR ALLEGED BY GENERAL MARINE COMPANY TO HAVE BEEN MADE IN ITS BID DATED MAY 28. IS BASED. THE CONTRACTING OFFICER IS NOT ENTITLED TO A DECISION ON THE BASIS OF THE AUTHORITY REQUESTED. THE DECISION IS BEING ADDRESSED TO YOU. REFERENCE IS MADE TO THE TESTS REQUIRED UNDER THE SPECIFICATIONS AND INSTRUCTIONS ARE SET FORTH AS TO THE TYPE OF THE FIRST ARTICLE TEST REPORTS TO BE RENDERED FOR APPROVAL PRIOR TO THE FABRICATION OF THE REMAINING ARTICLES. IT IS FURTHER PROVIDED IN SAID PARAGRAPH AS FOLLOWS: "THE GOVERNMENT RESERVES THE RIGHT TO WAIVE TEST DATA REQUIREMENTS OF THIS ARTICLE PRIOR TO AWARD.". THE CONTRACTING OFFICER ADVISED THAT UPON NOTING THAT THE COMPANY'S BID WAS EXTREMELY LOW.

B-117048, OCT 20, 1953

PRECIS-UNAVAILABLE

THE SECRETARY OF THE AIR FORCE:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED A LETTER DATED SEPTEMBER 14, 1953, COPY ENCLOSED, FROM JOHN U. MCGUIRE, CONTRACTING OFFICER, ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, GEORGIA, RELATIVE TO AN ERROR ALLEGED BY GENERAL MARINE COMPANY TO HAVE BEEN MADE IN ITS BID DATED MAY 28, 1953, ON WHICH CONTRACT NO. AF 09(603)-30355 DATED JUNE 30, 1953, IS BASED. THE LETTER REQUESTS A DECISION AS TO WHETHER THE UNIT PRICE OF $410 MAY BE INCREASED TO $470.

SINCE THE AWARD HAS BEEN MADE IN THE PRESENT CASE, THE CONTRACTING OFFICER IS NOT ENTITLED TO A DECISION ON THE BASIS OF THE AUTHORITY REQUESTED, NAMELY, 16 COMP. GEN. 565. SEE 26 COMP. GEN. 993; AND 28 ID. 401. HOWEVER, SINCE A DECISION APPEARS TO BE NECESSARY, THE DECISION IS BEING ADDRESSED TO YOU.

THE WARNER ROBINS AIR MATERIEL AREA, ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, GEORGIA, BY INVITATION NO. IFB 09-603-53-147B, REQUESTED BIDS - TO BE OPENED JUNE 1, 1953 - FOR FURNISHING 42 PARACHUTE FOLDING TABLE ASSEMBLIES WITH CONTAINERS, TYPE C-1, IN ACCORDANCE WITH AIR FORCE SPECIFICATIONS NO. 50491 AND THE DRAWINGS, ITEM NO. 1. IN PARAGRAPH S ON PAGE 6 OF THE INVITATION, REFERENCE IS MADE TO THE TESTS REQUIRED UNDER THE SPECIFICATIONS AND INSTRUCTIONS ARE SET FORTH AS TO THE TYPE OF THE FIRST ARTICLE TEST REPORTS TO BE RENDERED FOR APPROVAL PRIOR TO THE FABRICATION OF THE REMAINING ARTICLES. IT IS FURTHER PROVIDED IN SAID PARAGRAPH AS FOLLOWS:

"THE GOVERNMENT RESERVES THE RIGHT TO WAIVE TEST DATA REQUIREMENTS OF THIS ARTICLE PRIOR TO AWARD."

IN RESPONSE TO THE INVITATION, THE GENERAL MARINE COMPANY SUBMITTED A BID IN WHICH IT QUOTED A UNIT PRICE OF $410 FOR THE TABLE ASSEMBLY WITH CONTAINER.

IN AN UNDATED STATEMENT, THE CONTRACTING OFFICER ADVISED THAT UPON NOTING THAT THE COMPANY'S BID WAS EXTREMELY LOW, HE CONTACTED THE COMPANY AND BY TELEPHONE INQUIRED AS TO WHETHER THE BID WAS IN ACCORDANCE WITH ALL THE SPECIFICATIONS AND DRAWINGS, AND THAT THE COMPANY STATED THAT ITS PRICE DID NOT INCLUDE THE COST OF FIRST ARTICLE TEST REPORTS. BY CONFIRMING LETTER DATED JUNE 12, 1953, THE COMPANY ADVISED, IN PERTINENT PART, AS FOLLOWS:

"IN REFERENCE TO OUR CONVERSATION OF TO-DAY WE ARE ENCLOSING A COPY OF SHEET 10 OF CONTRACT #AF(038)-17385 ISSUED ON 16 NOVEMBER 1950 IN WHICH THE EXCEPTIONS WE MENTIONED WERE DELETED FROM THE ARMY AIR FORCE SPECIFICATION #50491 DATED JANUARY 2, 1947.

"WE REGRET WE DID NOT QUALIFY THE INVITATION TO BID #1FB-09-603-53 1478 REGARDING THESE ITEMS. WE TOOK IT FOR GRANTED IN AS MUCH AS THE TABLES WE PRODUCED UNDER CONTRACT #AF (038)-17385 WERE ACCEPTABLE THEY WOULD BE ACCEPTABLE UNDER THIS INVITATION."

THE COPY OF THE PAGE FROM THE REFERRED-TO PRIOR CONTRACT FOR LIKE TABLE ASSEMBLIES SHOWS THAT THE GOVERNMENT MODIFIED SAID CONTRACT BY DELETING CERTAIN PARAGRAPHS OF SPECIFICATION NO. 50491.

IN A LETTER DATED JUNE 23, 1953, THE COMPANY AGAIN REFERRED TO ITS CONTRACT OF 1950, WHEREIN THE TESTS WERE STATED TO HAVE BEEN WAIVED AND THE UNIT PRICE FOR FURNISHING THE IDENTICAL TABLE ASSEMBLIES WITHOUT THE TESTS WAS STATED TO HAVE BEEN $561. BY REASON THEREOF, THE COMPANY AGAIN REQUESTED A WAIVER OF THE TESTS. BY TELEGRAM OF THE SAME DATE THE COMPANY REQUESTED THAT THE UNIT PRICE BE INCREASED TO $470 IF THE TEST REQUIREMENTS OF THE INSTANT CONTRACT CANNOT BE WAIVED.

THE COMPANY'S BID OF $410 IS CONSIDERABLY LESS THAN THE TWO OTHER BIDS OF $550 AND $670 AND, ALSO, CONSIDERABLY LESS THAN ITS PRIOR CONTRACT PRICE OF $561 FOR SIMILAR ASSEMBLIES, LESS CERTAIN SPECIFICATION REQUIREMENTS. ACCORDINGLY, SINCE IT WAS BELIEVED THAT THE BID WAS ERRONEOUS AND SINCE SUCH BELIEF WAS CONFIRMED AND THE ERROR WAS EXPLAINED SATISFACTORILY BY THE COMPANY PRIOR TO AWARD - THE AWARD HAVING BEEN MADE, BY REASON OF THE EXIGENCY, SUBJECT TO THE DECISION OF THIS OFFICE IN THE MATTER - PAYMENT IS AUTHORIZED TO BE MADE TO THE GENERAL MARINE COMPANY AT $470 EACH FOR THE TABLE ASSEMBLIES PROVIDED SUCH PRICE BE CONSIDERED REASONABLE.

A REFERENCE TO THIS DECISION SHOULD BE MADE ON THE CONTRACT OR ON THE VOUCHER COVERING PAYMENT FOR THE TABLE ASSEMBLIES.

THE PAPERS, WITH THE EXCEPTION OF THE CONTRACTING OFFICER'S UNDATED STATEMENT, ARE FORWARDED HEREWITH.