B-130113, FEB. 6, 1957

B-130113: Feb 6, 1957

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INC.: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 17. AS YOU WERE ADVISED IN LETTER OF DECEMBER 28. WAS REQUESTED TO FURNISH A COMPLETE REPORT IN THE MATTER. THAT IT WAS DETERMINED THAT INSPECTION BY BIDDERS OF THE GOODS TO BE SHIPPED WOULD PRESENT A MORE REALISTIC BASIS FOR ESTIMATES THAN ANY WRITTEN SPECIFICATION. SIX MOTOR CARRIER MOVING FIRMS WERE REQUESTED BY TELEPHONE FOR QUOTATIONS ON MOVING THE GOODS. THE GOODS WERE INSPECTED BY REPRESENTATIVES OF FIVE MOVERS AND PROPOSALS WERE RECEIVED. IT IS REPORTED THAT ALL BIDDERS. THE OTHER BIDS WERE IN THE AMOUNTS OF $7.10 PER HUNDRED WEIGHT AND TWO AT $7.70 PER HUNDRED WEIGHT. IN ORDER TO EVALUATE THE BIDS RECEIVED CERTAIN OF THE ITEMS WERE WEIGHED AND THE ENTIRE SHIPMENT WAS CALCULATED TO WEIGH APPROXIMATELY 9.

B-130113, FEB. 6, 1957

TO NORTHERN VANLINES, INC.:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 17, 1956, PROTESTING THE AWARD OF A CONTRACT BY THE NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS BOARD COVERING THE SHIPMENT BY MOTOR CARRIER OF OFFICE EQUIPMENT AND SUPPLIES FROM WASHINGTON, D.C., TO TAMPA, FLORIDA.

AS YOU WERE ADVISED IN LETTER OF DECEMBER 28, 1956, THE CHAIRMAN, NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS BOARD, WAS REQUESTED TO FURNISH A COMPLETE REPORT IN THE MATTER. IT APPEARS FROM THE REPORT FURNISHED THAT THE NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS BOARD HAD CERTAIN GOVERNMENT PROPERTY CONSISTING OF OFFICE FURNITURE, BOOKS AND SUPPLIES TO BE SHIPPED FROM ITS WASHINGTON OFFICE TO TAMPA, FLORIDA, AND THAT IT WAS DETERMINED THAT INSPECTION BY BIDDERS OF THE GOODS TO BE SHIPPED WOULD PRESENT A MORE REALISTIC BASIS FOR ESTIMATES THAN ANY WRITTEN SPECIFICATION. ON DECEMBER 3 AND 4, 1956, SIX MOTOR CARRIER MOVING FIRMS WERE REQUESTED BY TELEPHONE FOR QUOTATIONS ON MOVING THE GOODS. DURING THE PERIOD DECEMBER 3 TO 7, 1956, THE GOODS WERE INSPECTED BY REPRESENTATIVES OF FIVE MOVERS AND PROPOSALS WERE RECEIVED.

IT IS REPORTED THAT ALL BIDDERS, EXCEPT BARRETT'S TRANSFER AND STORAGE, AGENTS FOR NORTH AMERICAN VAN LINES, QUOTED A RATE PER HUNDRED WEIGHT, WHEREAS BARRETT'S BID A FLAT SUM OF $577,50 FOR THE JOB. YOU QUOTED A RATE OF $7 PER HUNDRED WEIGHT. THE OTHER BIDS WERE IN THE AMOUNTS OF $7.10 PER HUNDRED WEIGHT AND TWO AT $7.70 PER HUNDRED WEIGHT.

IN ORDER TO EVALUATE THE BIDS RECEIVED CERTAIN OF THE ITEMS WERE WEIGHED AND THE ENTIRE SHIPMENT WAS CALCULATED TO WEIGH APPROXIMATELY 9,500 POUNDS. ON SUCH BASIS THE FIXED PRICE BID OF BARRETT'S TRANSFER AND STORAGE WAS CONSIDERED THE MOST FAVORABLE TO THE GOVERNMENT AND THE BID WAS ACCEPTED. THE ACTUAL CERTIFIED WEIGHT OF THE GOODS TURNED OUT TO BE 9,210 POUNDS.

YOUR PROTEST AGAINST THE AWARD IS ON THE GROUNDS THAT, SINCE YOU WERE ADVISED TO SUBMIT A BID ON A PER HUNDRED WEIGHT BASIS, THE AWARD ON A LOT BASIS WAS UNFAIR WHEN YOU WERE NOT GIVEN THE OPPORTUNITY TO BID ON THE SAME BASIS.

SECTION 321 (A) OF THE TRANSPORTATION ACT OF 1940, 54 STAT. 954, EXEMPTS BIDS FOR PROCURING TRANSPORTATION SERVICES FROM COMMON CARRIERS FROM THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE FORMAL ADVERTISING STATUTES. EVEN SO, WHEN PROPOSALS OR QUOTATIONS ARE REQUESTED FROM SEVERAL SOURCES, WE BELIEVE THAT THE MOST ELEMENTARY CONCEPT OF FAIRNESS WOULD REQUIRE THAT ALL SHOULD BE GIVEN AN EQUAL OPPORTUNITY TO BID ON THE SAME BASIS. HOWEVER, SINCE COMPETITIVE BIDDING WAS NOT REQUIRED AND IT DOES NOT APPEAR THAT THE AWARD MADE WAS NOT IN THE INTEREST OF THE GOVERNMENT, THERE IS NO LEGAL BASIS UPON WHICH WE COULD OBJECT TO THE ACTION TAKEN IN THE MATTER.