B-129037, AUG. 30, 1956

B-129037: Aug 30, 1956

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INC.: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 22. BIDS WERE INVITED FOR THE FURNISHING OF SERVICES FOR PRODUCTION OF A TELEVISION AND MOTION PICTURE FILM TO BE DELIVERED NOT LATER THAN SEPTEMBER 1. 495 WAS QUALIFIED IN TWO RESPECTS. YOU STATED THAT YOUR BID PRICE WAS CONTINGENT UPON THE LOCALIZED USE OF PROFESSIONAL ACTORS EXCEPT IN THE NEW YORK METROPOLITAN AREA "AND DOES NOT INCLUDE ANY TRANSPORTATION INCIDENT THERETO.'. WAS SUBMITTED BY FRED A. THE LOWEST OF THESE BIDS WAS NOT SIGNED AND THAT OF THE NORWOOD STUDIOS. WAS THE LOWEST SIGNED BID WHICH WAS NOT QUALIFIED EITHER AS TO PRICE OR TIME OF DELIVERY. ANOTHER HIGHER BIDDER PROVIDED FOR DELIVERY WITHIN 40 DAYS WHICH WOULD HAVE REQUIRED THAT THE AWARD BE MADE ON JULY 23.

B-129037, AUG. 30, 1956

TO TANTAMOUNT PICTURES, INC.:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 22, 1956, PROTESTING THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT'S PROPOSED ACTION OF REJECTING ALL BIDS RECEIVED IN RESPONSE TO ITS INVITATION NO. 36, ISSUED JULY 10, 1956, WITH A VIEW TOWARD READVERTISING FOR THE SERVICES SOUGHT THEREUNDER.

BIDS WERE INVITED FOR THE FURNISHING OF SERVICES FOR PRODUCTION OF A TELEVISION AND MOTION PICTURE FILM TO BE DELIVERED NOT LATER THAN SEPTEMBER 1, 1956. YOUR BID IN THE AMOUNT OF $12,495 WAS QUALIFIED IN TWO RESPECTS. FIRST, THE BID CONTAINS THE NOTATION: "DATE OF DELIVERY CONTINGENT UPON CIRCUMSTANCES OF ANY CHARACTER BEYOND OUR CONTROL.' SECOND, IN A TELEGRAM OF JULY 23, 1956, THE BID OPENING DATE, YOU STATED THAT YOUR BID PRICE WAS CONTINGENT UPON THE LOCALIZED USE OF PROFESSIONAL ACTORS EXCEPT IN THE NEW YORK METROPOLITAN AREA "AND DOES NOT INCLUDE ANY TRANSPORTATION INCIDENT THERETO.' IN A LETTER DATED AUGUST 6, 1956, YOU INDICATED THAT THE ADDITIONAL COST FOR TALENT WOULD APPROXIMATE $2,500.

THE SECOND LOWEST BID, WHICH PROVIDED FOR DELIVERY OF THE FILM WITHIN 60 DAYS AFTER RECEIPT OF ORDER, WAS SUBMITTED BY FRED A. NILES FILM PRODUCTIONS, INC., IN THE AMOUNT OF $17,000. SEVEN OTHER BIDS RANGED IN PRICE BETWEEN $19,150 TO $39,102.76. THE LOWEST OF THESE BIDS WAS NOT SIGNED AND THAT OF THE NORWOOD STUDIOS, IN THE AMOUNT OF $22,400, WAS THE LOWEST SIGNED BID WHICH WAS NOT QUALIFIED EITHER AS TO PRICE OR TIME OF DELIVERY. ANOTHER HIGHER BIDDER PROVIDED FOR DELIVERY WITHIN 40 DAYS WHICH WOULD HAVE REQUIRED THAT THE AWARD BE MADE ON JULY 23, 1956, THE BID OPENING DATE, IN ORDER TO OBLIGATE THE BIDDER TO COMPLETE DELIVERY BY SEPTEMBER 1, 1956.

IT HAS BEEN REPORTED BY THE OFFICE OF THE SOLICITOR, POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT, THAT 13 FIRMS CONSIDERED THE INVITATION AND THAT, OF THE FOUR FIRMS WHICH DID NOT BID, THREE STATED THAT THEY WERE UNABLE TO MEET THE SPECIFIED DELIVERY DATE. SINCE THE AVAILABLE INFORMATION SHOWED THAT ONLY TWO OUT OF 13 POTENTIAL BIDDERS WERE WILLING TO MEET THE DELIVERY DATE SPECIFIED IN THE INVITATION AND CORRESPONDENCE FROM FIVE OF THE 13 FIRMS INDICATED THE LACK OF SPECIFIC DATA IN THE SPECIFICATIONS, THE PROCUREMENT OFFICIALS REQUESTED THE SOLICITOR TO REVIEW THE SPECIFICATIONS AND BIDS. IT WAS THEN DETERMINED THAT THE DELIVERY DATE SPECIFIED WAS UNREALISTIC AND THAT THE SPECIFICATIONS FAILED TO SUPPLY SUFFICIENT SPECIFIC DATA UPON WHICH POTENTIAL BIDDERS COULD REASONABLY CALCULATE PRODUCTION COSTS ON WHICH TO BASE FIRM, RELIABLE BIDS. IT WAS CONSIDERED THAT THE REQUESTED EARLY DELIVERY DATE AND THE FAILURE TO PRESENT DEFINITE SPECIFICATIONS HAD PREVENTED THE DEPARTMENT FROM RECEIVING THE MAXIMUM NUMBER OF TRULY COMPETITIVE BIDS. ACCORDINGLY, THE SOLICITOR RECOMMENDED CANCELLATION OF INVITATION NO. 36 AND READVERTISEMENT OF THE SERVICES DESIRED UNDER MORE DEFINITE SPECIFICATIONS.

THE ADMINISTRATIVE REPORT FURTHER SETS FORTH THAT YOUR BID WAS TWICE QUALIFIED AND WE ARE OF THE OPINION THAT THE QUALIFICATIONS WERE SUCH THAT THE BID COULD NOT HAVE BEEN GIVEN FAVORABLE CONSIDERATION IN ANY EVENT. SEE 30 COMP. GEN. 179. HENCE, IT IS APPARENT THAT READVERTISEMENT COULD NOT IN ANY MANNER BE CONSIDERED AS ADVERSELY AFFECTING THE INTERESTS OF YOUR COMPANY.

THE QUESTION OF REJECTING ALL BIDS AND READVERTISING IS PRIMARILY A MATTER OF ADMINISTRATIVE DISCRETION AND, WHERE AS HERE IT IS SHOWN THAT THE PURPOSE OF SUCH ACTION IS TO CLARIFY SPECIFICATIONS IN ORDER TO OBTAIN AND PERMIT THE FULL AND FREE COMPETITION REQUIRED BY LAW, WE PERCEIVE NO OBJECTION TO SUCH ACTION.