B-123778, JUN. 17, 1955

B-123778: Jun 17, 1955

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Edda Emmanuelli Perez
(202) 512-2853
EmmanuelliPerezE@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

TO THE GENERAL EQUIPMENT COMPANY: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 25. TELEGRAPHIC BIDS WERE NOT AUTHORIZED IN THE BID SCHEDULE. THE RECORD DISCLOSES THAT YOUR BID WAS HAND-CARRIED BY MR. HE WAS UNABLE TO BOARD AN AIRPLANE FOR DETROIT UNTIL 12:02 P.M. IT IS REPORTED FURTHER THAT YOUR BID ENVELOPE INDICATED THAT IT HAD BEEN TIME STAMPED BY THE CLEVELAND ORDNANCE DISTRICT AT 10:35 A.M. RIZZO WAS ADVISED THAT YOUR BID WOULD NOT BE OPENED BUT WOULD BE RETURNED TO YOU AT THE TIME OF AWARD. HIGBEE WAS INFORMED THAT YOUR BID COULD NOT BE ACCEPTED BY THE CLEVELAND ORDNANCE DISTRICT. HAVE THAT INDIVIDUAL FILL IN A BID FORM FOR THE GENERAL EQUIPMENT COMPANY. LEUCHMAN ADVISED HIM THAT THE BIDS WERE AT THAT TIME BEING OPENED AND THAT IT WAS TOO LATE FOR HIM TO PREPARE AND SUBMIT THE BID OF THE GENERAL EQUIPMENT COMPANY.

B-123778, JUN. 17, 1955

TO THE GENERAL EQUIPMENT COMPANY:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 25, 1955, RELATIVE TO YOUR BID SUBMITTED IN RESPONSE TO INVITATION NO. ORD-20-113 55-638, ISSUED BY HEADQUARTERS, ORDNANCE TANK-AUTOMOTIVE COMMAND, DETROIT, MICHIGAN, FOR BIDS TO BE OPENED ON APRIL 20, 1955.

THE INVITATION PROVIDED THAT BIDS WOULD BE RECEIVED "AT THE ABOVE OFFICE" UNTIL 9:00 A.M., EASTERN STANDARD TIME, APRIL 20, 1955. TELEGRAPHIC BIDS WERE NOT AUTHORIZED IN THE BID SCHEDULE. THE RECORD DISCLOSES THAT YOUR BID WAS HAND-CARRIED BY MR. RIZZO. APPARENTLY, HE HAD A RESERVATION ON AN AIRPLANE SCHEDULED TO LEAVE THE CLEVELAND AIRPORT FOR DETROIT, MICHIGAN, AT 5:55 A.M. ON APRIL 20, 1955, BUT, BECAUSE OF FOG CONDITIONS, HE WAS UNABLE TO BOARD AN AIRPLANE FOR DETROIT UNTIL 12:02 P.M. AT 3:00 P.M. ON THE DAY OF THE BID OPENING, AND AFTER ALL THE BIDS HAD BEEN RECEIVED, OPENED AND READ, MR. RIZZO ARRIVED AT THE DETROIT ORDNANCE TANK-AUTOMOTIVE COMMAND AND PRESENTED YOUR SEALED BID FOR CONSIDERATION. IT IS REPORTED FURTHER THAT YOUR BID ENVELOPE INDICATED THAT IT HAD BEEN TIME STAMPED BY THE CLEVELAND ORDNANCE DISTRICT AT 10:35 A.M. ON APRIL 20, 1955, AND THAT MR. RIZZO WAS ADVISED THAT YOUR BID WOULD NOT BE OPENED BUT WOULD BE RETURNED TO YOU AT THE TIME OF AWARD. THE RECORD ALSO DISCLOSES THAT AT ABOUT 8:15 A.M. ON THE DAY OF THE BID OPENING, AT THE REQUEST OF MR. RIZZO, MR. E. HIGBEE, SMALL BUSINESS SPECIALIST, CLEVELAND ORDNANCE DISTRICT, CALLED MR. T. F. STAPLETON OF THE DETROIT ORDNANCE TANK- AUTOMOTIVE COMMAND BY TELEPHONE TO INQUIRE WHETHER YOUR BID COULD BE ACCEPTED BY THE CLEVELAND ORDNANCE DISTRICT; THAT MR. HIGBEE WAS INFORMED THAT YOUR BID COULD NOT BE ACCEPTED BY THE CLEVELAND ORDNANCE DISTRICT; AND THAT MR. STAPLETON SUGGESTED THAT MR. RIZZO CONTACT SOMEONE HE KNEW IN DETROIT, OTHER THAN A GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEE, AND HAVE THAT INDIVIDUAL FILL IN A BID FORM FOR THE GENERAL EQUIPMENT COMPANY. AT 9:05 A.M. ON THE DAY OF THE BID OPENING, MR. RIZZO FINALLY CONTACTED MR. LEUCHMAN BY TELEPHONE AT THE DETROIT ORDNANCE TANK-AUTOMOTIVE COMMAND. MR. LEUCHMAN ADVISED HIM THAT THE BIDS WERE AT THAT TIME BEING OPENED AND THAT IT WAS TOO LATE FOR HIM TO PREPARE AND SUBMIT THE BID OF THE GENERAL EQUIPMENT COMPANY.

PARAGRAPH 10 (C) OF THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF THE INVITATION FOR BIDS PROVIDED THAT NO BID RECEIVED AFTER THE TIME SET FOR OPENING WOULD BE CONSIDERED EXCEPT IN A CASE OF A BID ARRIVING BY MAIL AFTER THE TIME SET FOR OPENING, AND BEFORE AWARD, AND IT SHOULD BE DETERMINED THAT THE NONARRIVAL ON TIME WAS DUE SOLELY TO A DELAY IN THE MAILS FOR WHICH THE BIDDER WAS NOT RESPONSIBLE.

YOU CONTEND THAT YOUR BID'S LATE ARRIVAL WAS DUE TO CIRCUMSTANCES BEYOND THE CONTROL OF MR. RIZZO AND THAT, THEREFORE, YOUR BID SHOULD BE CONSIDERED IN MAKING AN AWARD UNDER THE INVITATION. ALTHOUGH IT DOES APPEAR THAT MR. RIZZO'S LATE ARRIVAL AT THE PLACE OF OPENING WAS NOT DUE TO ANY FAULT OR NEGLIGENCE ON HIS PART, THE FACT REMAINS THAT YOU SELECTED THE METHOD BY WHICH YOUR BID WAS TO BE DELIVERED. IT IS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF BIDDERS TO SEE THAT THEIR BIDS REACH THE DESIGNATED OFFICE BEFORE THE TIME FIXED FOR OPENING. YOUR BID WAS NOT RECEIVED AT SUCH OFFICE AT SUCH TIME AND THE LATE ARRIVAL OF THE BID WAS NOT "DUE SOLELY TO DELAY IN THE MAILS FOR WHICH BIDDER WAS NOT RESPONSIBLE," AS SET FORTH IN PARAGRAPH 10 (C) OF THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF THE INVITATION FOR BIDS. THIS PARAGRAPH OF THE INVITATION IS IDENTICAL IN EFFECT WITH PARAGRAPH 2-302 OF THE ARMED SERVICES PROCUREMENT REGULATION. THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY HAS REPORTED THAT IN ITS VIEW ANY RELAXATION OF THE POLICY ESTABLISHED BY ASPR 2-302 WOULD RAISE INDETERMINABLE QUESTIONS TO THE PREJUDICE OF OTHER BIDDERS AND WOULD TEND TO DESTROY THE INTEGRITY OF THE COMPETITIVE-BIDDING SYSTEM. WE AGREE WITH THIS VIEW.

CONSEQUENTLY, AS THE LATE ARRIVAL OF YOUR BID IN THIS INSTANCE WAS NOT DUE TO THE ONE EXCUSABLE CAUSE EXPRESSLY PROVIDED FOR BY THE INVITATION AND APPLICABLE ADMINISTRATIVE REGULATION, WE HAVE NO ALTERNATIVE BUT TO ADVISE THE SECRETARY OF THE ARMY THAT YOUR BID PROPERLY MAY NOT BE CONSIDERED IN MAKING THE AWARD OF THE CONTRACT.