B-124458, AUG. 23, 1955

B-124458: Aug 23, 1955

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TO THE NATIONAL CORPORATION: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR PROTEST AGAINST THE AWARD MADE BY THE SPECIAL SERVICES OFFICER. AS YOU WERE ADVISED. THE COMMANDANT OF THE MARINE CORPS WAS REQUESTED TO FURNISH A COMPLETE REPORT CONCERNING THE AWARD. THE AWARD WAS TO BE MADE AS A LOT TO THE FIRM SUBMITTING THE LOWEST ACCEPTABLE AGGREGATE BID. NOM-68071 WAS AWARDED TO THE AMERICAN SHUFFLEBOARD COMPANY. WITH RESPECT TO YOUR PROTEST AND THE REASONS FOR THE REJECTION OF YOUR LOW BID THE REPORT IS. THIS REQUIREMENT WAS BASED ON LITERATURE AVAILABLE AT THE TIME THE PURCHASE DESCRIPTION WAS PREPARED (COPIES ENCLOSED) WHICH SHOWS THAT THE REGULATION TOURNAMENT SIZE OF PLAYING SURFACE IS 20 FEET. IT WILL BE NOTED THAT EVEN NATIONAL'S LITERATURE SHOWS THAT THEY OFFER SIZES 16 FEET AND UP "TOURNAMENT SIZES" .

B-124458, AUG. 23, 1955

TO THE NATIONAL CORPORATION:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR PROTEST AGAINST THE AWARD MADE BY THE SPECIAL SERVICES OFFICER, MARINE CORPS HEADQUARTERS, UNDER INVITATION FOR BIDS NO. 229.

AS YOU WERE ADVISED, THE COMMANDANT OF THE MARINE CORPS WAS REQUESTED TO FURNISH A COMPLETE REPORT CONCERNING THE AWARD. THE REQUESTED REPORT, TOGETHER WITH PERTINENT PAPERS, HAS BEEN RECEIVED.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT THE INVITATION REQUESTED BIDS, TO BE OPENED ON APRIL 22, 1955, FOR FURNISHING 96 NINE-FOOT SHUFFLEBOARDS AND 50 TWENTY- TWO FOOT SHUFFLEBOARDS TO VARIOUS MARINE CORPS FIELD INSTALLATIONS IN ACCORDANCE WITH PURCHASE DESCRIPTION FOR SHUFFLEBOARDS DATED MARCH 22, 1955. THE AWARD WAS TO BE MADE AS A LOT TO THE FIRM SUBMITTING THE LOWEST ACCEPTABLE AGGREGATE BID.

IN RESPONSE TO THE INVITATION, YOU SUBMITTED A BID QUOTING A PRICE OF $37,996.14, LESS ONE-HALF PERCENT PROMPT PAYMENT DISCOUNT OR $37,806.16. THE OTHER BID RECEIVED, AMERICAN SHUFFLEBOARD COMPANY, QUOTED A PRICE OF $39,883.41, LESS ONE PERCENT PROMPT PAYMENT DISCOUNT OR $39,484.58. NOTICE OF AWARD DATED JUNE 15, 1955, CONTRACT NO. NOM-68071 WAS AWARDED TO THE AMERICAN SHUFFLEBOARD COMPANY. WITH RESPECT TO YOUR PROTEST AND THE REASONS FOR THE REJECTION OF YOUR LOW BID THE REPORT IS, IN PART, AS FOLLOWS:

"A. THE PURCHASE DESCRIPTION FOR THE 22 FOOT SHUFFLEBOARD REQUIRED THE TOP TO BE APPROXIMATELY 20 FEET, 8 INCHES. THIS REQUIREMENT WAS BASED ON LITERATURE AVAILABLE AT THE TIME THE PURCHASE DESCRIPTION WAS PREPARED (COPIES ENCLOSED) WHICH SHOWS THAT THE REGULATION TOURNAMENT SIZE OF PLAYING SURFACE IS 20 FEET, 8 INCHES LONG AND 20 INCHES WIDE. IT WILL BE NOTED THAT EVEN NATIONAL'S LITERATURE SHOWS THAT THEY OFFER SIZES 16 FEET AND UP "TOURNAMENT SIZES" . NATIONAL OFFERED A PLAYING SURFACE OF 20 FEET 4 1/2 INCHES LONG AND 19 3/4 INCHES WIDE.

"B. THE PURCHASE DESCRIPTION CALLS FOR THE LAMINATED PLAYING SURFACE TO BE BUILT UP FROM 25 EDGE-GRAIN STRIPS ACROSS THE WIDTH, BONDED WITH UREA RESIN GLUE AT 1 1/2 HOUR HEAT CURING CYCLE AND APPROXIMATELY 200 POUNDS PER SQUARE INCH UNIFORM HYDRAULIC PRESSURE ON EVERY INCH OF LAMINATION, REINFORCED WITH SCREW NAILS, STRIP TO STRIP. NATIONAL'S BID STATES THAT THE STRIPS WILL NOT EXCEED 25 NOR BE LESS THAN 22. MORE IMPORTANT, HOWEVER, NATIONAL OFFERS A TOP IN WHICH THE STRIPS ARE BONDED TOGETHER WITH COLD RESIN GLUE SPECIFICALLY PROHIBITED BY PARAGRAPH 1. OF THE PURCHASE DESCRIPTION. BONDING OF THE STRIPS WITH HOT RESIN GLUE IN A HYDRAULIC PRESSURE PRESS IS CONSIDERED ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL TO INSURE TIGHT GLUE JOINTS THROUGHOUT THEIR ENTIRE LENGTH AND ELIMINATES THE CHANCES OF UNGLUED JOINTS OPENING DUE TO TWISTING OR WARPAGE AND BECOMING UNEVEN, THEREBY AFFECTING THE PLAYING SURFACE.

"C. PARAGRAPH 2. OF THE PURCHASE DESCRIPTION REQUIRES THE TABLE TO HAVE 10 LEGS, FIVE PAIRS, AND TO BE CONSTRUCTED OF SOLID SELECTED HARDWOOD. NATIONAL OFFERS A TABLE WITH ONLY 8 LEGS SPACED APPROXIMATELY 7 1/2 FEET APART AND CONSTRUCTED OF LAMINATED WOOD. IT IS READILY APPARENT THAT FIVE PAIRS OF ASSEMBLED LEGS SPACED APPROXIMATELY 5 1/2 FEET APART UNDER A 22 FOOT ASSEMBLED TABLE FRAME AFFORDS MUCH MORE SUPPORT AND RIGIDITY TO THE FRAME AND PREVENTS POSSIBLE TENDENCY OF THE FRAME STRUCTURE TO TWIST AND WARP THEN DOES FOUR PAIRS OF LEGS SPACED APPROXIMATELY 7 1/2 FEET APART. THIS REQUIREMENT IS ESPECIALLY IMPORTANT WHEN IT IS CONSIDERED THAT THESE TABLES WILL BE SUBJECT TO UNUSUALLY SEVERE ROUGH SERVICE USAGE.

"IT WILL BE NOTED FROM THE LITERATURE ENCLOSED THAT WITH THE EXCEPTION OF NATIONAL, THE OTHER FIRMS ILLUSTRATE A TABLE WITH 10 LEGS.

"D. PARAGRAPH 1. OF THE PURCHASE DESCRIPTION REQUIRES THAT THE MARKINGS ON THE PLAYING SURFACE BE "BURNED IN.' NATIONAL OFFERS A TABLE WITH THESE MARKINGS "STENCILLED IN.'

"EVEN A VISUAL COMPARISON OF THE TABLE OFFERED BY NATIONAL AND THE TABLE OFFERED BY AMERICAN REVEALS A CONSIDERABLE DIFFERENCE IN QUALITY OF APPEARANCE AND CONSTRUCTION.

"SINCE THE QUANTITIES INVOLVED REPRESENT A PRODUCTION RUN AND THEREFORE NEITHER SUPPLIER WOULD BE ABLE TO SHIP FROM STOCK, AND SINCE THE PURCHASE DESCRIPTION IS NOT RESTRICTIVE IN ANY SENSE, IT WOULD APPEAR THAT THE NATIONAL CORPORATION SHOULD HAVE SUBMITTED A BID MEETING MARINE CORPS SPECIFICATIONS, RATHER THAN TO DEMAND THAT THE MARINE CORPS ACCEPT AN ITEM OF INFERIOR QUALITY SOLELY OF ITS OWN DESIGN BECAUSE OF A CHEAPER PRICE. WERE IT NOT POSSIBLE FOR NATIONAL TO HAVE BID IN STRICT ACCORDANCE WITH THE PURCHASE DESCRIPTION THERE WOULD BE SOME JUSTIFICATION FOR THEIR ACTION. WHILE THE PURCHASE DESCRIPTION CONCLUDES WITH THE STATEMENT "CLIPPER MODEL AS MANUFACTURED BY AMERICAN SHUFFLEBOARD COMPANY OR EQUAL," THE SCHEDULE, ON PAGE 13 POINTS OUT THAT THE TRADE NAME REFERENCE IS DESCRIPTIVE BUT NOT RESTRICTIVE AND ANY MANUFACTURER OF THESE ITEMS COULD EASILY HAVE COMPLIED WITH THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE PURCHASE DESCRIPTION.

"NATIONAL CONTENDS THAT AMERICAN FAILS TO MEET THE SPECIFICATIONS IN THAT THEY DO NOT INTEND TO CRATE THE TABLE FOR SHIPMENT. THERE IS NO REQUIREMENT THAT THE TABLES BE CRATED. THE SCHEDULE, ON PAGE 13, REQUIRES ONLY THAT THEY BE PACKED "STANDARD COMMERCIAL FOR DOMESTIC SHIPMENT.' ALSO PARAGRAPH 8. OF THE PURCHASE DESCRIPTION COVERING THE 9 FOOT BOARDS REQUIRES THAT THE UNITS BE PACKED COMPLETE IN A 350 POUND TEST CARTON. AMERICAN'S BID SHOWS THAT THEY PROPOSE TO SHIP THE 22 FOOT BOARDS VIA TRUCK, UNCRATED, WHICH MEETS THE TERMS OF THE CONTRACT AND IS PERFECTLY SATISFACTORY. THE BOARDS WERE PURCHASED ON A DELIVERED BASIS AND IT IS THE CONTRACTOR'S RESPONSIBILITY TO INSURE THEIR SAFE DELIVERY TO DESTINATION.

"IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING IT IS BELIEVED THE AWARD WAS PROPERLY MADE TO THE AMERICAN SHUFFLEBOARD COMPANY AS THE ONLY BIDDER MEETING THE MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS AS TO QUALITY OF MATERIALS AND CONSTRUCTION AS DETERMINED BY THE MARINE CORPS.'

THE SPECIFICATIONS REQUIRED A BOARD WITH A PLAYING SURFACE BONDED TOGETHER WITH UREA RESIN GLUE AT 1 1/2 HOUR HEAT CURING CYCLE; WITH TEN LEGS CONSTRUCTED OF DOUGLAS FIR; AND WITH THE MARKINGS ON THE PLAYING SURFACE BURNED IN. YOUR BID OFFERED TO FURNISH A BOARD WITH A PLAYING SURFACE BONDED TOGETHER WITH COLD RESIN GLUE; WITH EIGHT LEGS CONSTRUCTED OF LAMINATED WOOD; AND WITH THE MARKINGS ON THE PLAYING SURFACE STENCILLED IN. THUS, YOUR BID WAS NOT RESPONSIVE TO THE INVITATION AND, THEREFORE, YOUR BID COULD NOT HAVE BEEN ACCEPTED. FURTHERMORE, IT DOES NOT APPEAR THAT THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE SPECIFICATIONS WERE RESTRICTIVE SINCE YOU COULD HAVE COMPLIED WITH THE REQUIREMENTS HAD YOU SO DESIRED. THE REFERENCE IN THE PURCHASE DESCRIPTION TO MODELS MANUFACTURED BY THE AMERICAN SHUFFLEBOARD COMPANY WAS MERELY DESCRIPTIVE AND SPECIFICALLY PROVIDED FOR "OR EQUAL.'

ACCORDINGLY, THERE IS NO LEGAL BASIS UPON WHICH WE COULD OBJECT TO THE ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION TAKEN IN THE MATTER.