B-126867, FEB. 21, 1956

B-126867: Feb 21, 1956

Additional Materials:

Contact:

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

 

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

IT APPEARS FROM YOUR LETTER THAT DOUBT AS TO THE PROPRIETY OF THE PROPOSED PAYMENTS ARISES BECAUSE NORMAL CONTRACTUAL PROCEDURES WERE NOT FOLLOWED PRIOR TO EXECUTION OF THE ORIGINAL AGREEMENT. THAT WHILE THE AGREEMENTS WERE ENTERED INTO WITH THE CONTRACTOR WITHOUT ADVERTISING FOR BIDS A WRITTEN PROPOSAL WAS RECEIVED FROM THE MOTOROLA COMPANY PRIOR TO THE EXECUTION OF THE ORIGINAL AGREEMENT. IT IS STATED. ARE LESS THAN THOSE OFFERED BY MOTOROLA. IT IS STATED THAT THE SERVICE OF THE TELEPHONE COMPANY WAS DEEMED SUPERIOR AND THAT THE ABOVE COMPANIES ARE THE ONLY SOURCES OF SUPPLY. IT CONSISTENTLY HAS BEEN HELD THAT ADVERTISING FOR COMPETITIVE BIDS IS NOT REQUIRED WHERE IT WILL ACCOMPLISH NO USEFUL PURPOSE. 28 COMP.

B-126867, FEB. 21, 1956

TO MR. G. W. CUNNINGHAM, AUTHORIZED CERTIFYING OFFICER, BUREAU OF NARCOTICS:

YOUR LETTER OF JANUARY 31, 1956, REQUESTS A DECISION AS TO THE PROPRIETY OF CERTIFYING FOR PAYMENT SEVERAL INVOICES IN FAVOR OF THE PACIFIC TELEPHONE AND TELEGRAPH COMPANY FOR INSTALLATION AND SERVICE OF MOBILE RADIO EQUIPMENT FURNISHED THE BUREAU OF NARCOTICS AT SAN FRANCISCO AND LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, FOR THE MONTHS OF JULY THROUGH DECEMBER 1955, UNDER AN AGREEMENT APPROVED MARCH 22, 1955, AS MODIFIED AND EXTENDED.

IT APPEARS FROM YOUR LETTER THAT DOUBT AS TO THE PROPRIETY OF THE PROPOSED PAYMENTS ARISES BECAUSE NORMAL CONTRACTUAL PROCEDURES WERE NOT FOLLOWED PRIOR TO EXECUTION OF THE ORIGINAL AGREEMENT. YOUR LETTER STATES, IN EFFECT, THAT WHILE THE AGREEMENTS WERE ENTERED INTO WITH THE CONTRACTOR WITHOUT ADVERTISING FOR BIDS A WRITTEN PROPOSAL WAS RECEIVED FROM THE MOTOROLA COMPANY PRIOR TO THE EXECUTION OF THE ORIGINAL AGREEMENT. IT IS STATED, HOWEVER, THAT THE TELEPHONE COMPANY'S INSTALLATION CHARGES, AS WELL AS ITS MONTHLY CHARGES, ARE LESS THAN THOSE OFFERED BY MOTOROLA. ALSO, IT IS STATED THAT THE SERVICE OF THE TELEPHONE COMPANY WAS DEEMED SUPERIOR AND THAT THE ABOVE COMPANIES ARE THE ONLY SOURCES OF SUPPLY.

IT CONSISTENTLY HAS BEEN HELD THAT ADVERTISING FOR COMPETITIVE BIDS IS NOT REQUIRED WHERE IT WILL ACCOMPLISH NO USEFUL PURPOSE. 28 COMP. GEN. 470. 33 ID. 90. ALSO, IN CERTAIN INSTANCES INFORMAL SOLICITATIONS OR SURVEYS HAVE BEEN ACCEPTED AS COMPLIANCE WITH THE REQUIREMENT FOR ADVERTISING. 16 COMP. GEN. 931. IN THE PRESENT INSTANCE SINCE IT IS REPORTED THAT THERE ARE ONLY TWO SOURCES OF SUPPLY AND SINCE IT APPEARS THAT THE RATES OFFERED BY THE TELEPHONE COMPANY ARE LESS THAN THOSE OFFERED BY MOTOROLA, WE ARE NOT REQUIRED TO OBJECT TO THE ABSENCE OF FORMAL SOLICITATION OF BIDS. ACCORDINGLY, THE INVOICES MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT IF CORRECT IN OTHER RESPECTS. IN REACHING THIS CONCLUSION THERE HAS NOT BEEN OVERLOOKED OPINION 113 OF DECEMBER 29, 1955, BY THE GENERAL COUNSEL, GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION. THE CITED OPINION DISTINGUISHES CONTRACTS FOR MOBILE TELEPHONE EQUIPMENT PROVIDING COMMUNICATION CIRCUITS IN CONNECTION WITH CENTRAL TELEPHONE EXCHANGES--- REQUIRES TO BE OBTAINED UNDER AREA-WIDE CONTRACTS--- AND SIMILAR EQUIPMENT FOR USE IN CONJUNCTION WITH BASE STATIONS OPERATED BY GOVERNMENT AGENCIES, REQUIRED TO BE OBTAINED UNDER AREA-WIDE CONTRACTS--- AND SIMILAR EQUIPMENT

AS TO YOUR QUESTION CONCERNING RENEWAL OF THE ABOVE AGREEMENTS WITHOUT READVERTISING IT MAY BE STATED FOR YOUR INFORMATION THAT THE AUTHORITY OF CERTIFYING OFFICERS TO APPLY FOR AND OBTAIN DECISIONS BY OUR OFFICE IS LIMITED TO QUESTIONS OF LAW IN THE PAYMENT OF VOUCHERS OR INVOICES PRESENTED TO THEM FOR CERTIFICATION. SEE SECTION 3, ACT OF DECEMBER 29,1941, 55 STAT. 876. HOWEVER, IT MAY BE STATED THAT, SO FAR AS SHOWN BY THE PRESENT RECORD, RENEWAL OF THESE AGREEMENTS WITHOUT COMPLIANCE WITH SECTION 3709, REVISED STATUTES, WOULD NOT BE AUTHORIZED.