B-130875, MAY 21, 1957

B-130875: May 21, 1957

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LAYBURN COMPANY: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTERS OF FEBRUARY 20 AND MARCH 21. PROVIDE THAT THE GRANDSTANDS SHALL BE THE PRODUCTS OF MANUFACTURERS REGULARLY ENGAGED IN THE PRODUCTION OF THE TYPE REQUIRED AND THAT GRANDSTANDS MEETING THE GENERAL REQUIREMENTS OF THE SPECIFICATIONS AND VARYING ONLY IN NON-ESSENTIAL DETAILS WILL BE ACCEPTABLE. IT WAS ALSO PROVIDED THAT ALL BIDS MUST BE ACCOMPANIED WITH PRINTS OR LITERATURE ILLUSTRATING AND DESCRIBING IN DETAIL THE ITEMS OFFERED. SEVEN BIDS WERE RECEIVED IN RESPONSE TO THE INVITATION. THE TOTAL AMOUNT OF THE THREE LOWEST BIDS WERE: PLAYTIME EQUIPMENT CORPORATION. THE REPORT FURNISHED IN THE MATTER BY THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY SHOWS THAT THE SPECIFICATIONS WERE INTENTIONALLY DRAWN TO INCLUDE BLEACHER SEATS THAT WOULD BE STANDARD WITH MOST ANUFACTURERS.

B-130875, MAY 21, 1957

TO BRADLEY M. LAYBURN COMPANY:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTERS OF FEBRUARY 20 AND MARCH 21, 1957, PROTESTING THE ACTION TAKEN BY THE U.S. MILITARY ACADEMY, WEST POINT, NEW YORK, IN AWARDING A CONTRACT TO WINKLER MANUFACTURING COMPANY, PURSUANT TO INVITATION FOR BIDS NO. MA 30-145-57-163, OPENED ON JANUARY 16, 1957.

THE INVITATION REQUESTED BIDS FOR FURNISHING PORTABLE STEEL GRANDSTANDS, TWO APPROXIMATELY 138 FEET IN LENGTH AND TO BE 13 ROWS HIGH, AND TWO APPROXIMATELY 109 FEET IN LENGTH AND TO BE 17 ROWS HIGH. THE SPECIFICATIONS, IN ADDITION TO SUPPORT AND OTHER REQUIREMENTS, PROVIDE THAT THE GRANDSTANDS SHALL BE THE PRODUCTS OF MANUFACTURERS REGULARLY ENGAGED IN THE PRODUCTION OF THE TYPE REQUIRED AND THAT GRANDSTANDS MEETING THE GENERAL REQUIREMENTS OF THE SPECIFICATIONS AND VARYING ONLY IN NON-ESSENTIAL DETAILS WILL BE ACCEPTABLE, SUBJECT TO THE APPROVAL OF THE CONTRACTING OFFICER. THE SPECIFICATIONS FURTHER PROVIDED THAT THE GRANDSTANDS SHALL BE CAPABLE OF EASY ERECTION AND DISMANTLING, REQUIRING A MINIMUM AMOUNT OF FIELD BOLTING. IT WAS ALSO PROVIDED THAT ALL BIDS MUST BE ACCOMPANIED WITH PRINTS OR LITERATURE ILLUSTRATING AND DESCRIBING IN DETAIL THE ITEMS OFFERED.

SEVEN BIDS WERE RECEIVED IN RESPONSE TO THE INVITATION. THE TOTAL AMOUNT OF THE THREE LOWEST BIDS WERE: PLAYTIME EQUIPMENT CORPORATION, $23,812; BRADLEY M. LAYBURN COMPANY, $26,100; AND WINKLER MANUFACTURING COMPANY, $26,500.

THE REPORT FURNISHED IN THE MATTER BY THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY SHOWS THAT THE SPECIFICATIONS WERE INTENTIONALLY DRAWN TO INCLUDE BLEACHER SEATS THAT WOULD BE STANDARD WITH MOST ANUFACTURERS; THAT DUE TO THE FACT THAT THE STANDS WOULD BE DISMANTLED AND REERECTED FREQUENTLY, THE PROVISION WAS INSERTED IN THE SPECIFICATIONS THAT THE STANDS SHOULD BE CAPABLE OF EASY ERECTION AND DISMANTLING REQUIRING A MINIMUM AMOUNT OF FIELD BOLTING.

IN EVALUATING THE BIDS RECEIVED, THE NUMBER OF BOLTS TO BE USED IN THE STANDS BY EACH BIDDER WAS TAKEN INTO CONSIDERATION AS WELL AS THE PRICE OF THE STANDS THEMSELVES. IN THE EVALUATION ALL BOLTS WERE CONSIDERED, WHETHER WELDED TO THE STEEL MEMBERS OR DETACHABLE. THE LITERATURE WHICH ACCOMPANIED THE BIDS SHOWED THAT THE NUMBER OF BOLTS IN THE STANDS OFFERED BY THE THREE LOWEST WERE AS FOLLOWS:

BIDDER 13-ROW STANDS 17-ROW STANDS PLAYTIME EQUIPMENT CORP. 1008

1030 BRADLEY LAYBURN CO. 484 656 WINKLER MANUFACTURING CO. 280 336

THE CONTRACTING OFFICER DETERMINED THAT, BASED ON THE SAVINGS IN TIME AND LABOR IN ERECTING AND DISMANTLING THE STANDS, AN AWARD TO WINKLER MANUFACTURING COMPANY WOULD BE MOST ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT, SINCE DURING THE SUMMER AND FALL MONTHS THE STANDS WILL BE REQUIRED TO BE MOVED AS OFTEN AS FOUR OR FIVE TIMES WEEKLY AND, THEREFORE, THE NUMBER OF BOLTS IS OF IMPORTANCE DUE TO THE DEADLINES SET FOR SOME OF THE MOVES REQUIRING EXPEDITIOUS DISMANTLING AND REASSEMBLYING. BASED UPON SUCH FINDING THE CONTRACT WAS AWARDED TO WINKLER MANUFACTURING COMPANY ON FEBRUARY 12, 1957.

IN THAT CONNECTION, IT IS REPORTED THAT IN AN ATTEMPT TO ASCERTAIN THE APPROXIMATE TIME REQUIRED TO ASSEMBLE THE 13-ROW SECTION STAND FURNISHED BY THE WINKLER MANUFACTURING COMPANY, TWO 12-FOOT SECTIONS WERE ASSEMBLED UNDER THE SUPERVISION OF THE POST ENGINEER. IT WAS FOUND THAT THE NUMBER OF BOLTS IN THE 13-ROW SECTION WAS 208 RATHER THAN 280 AS WAS INDICATED IN THE LITERATURE WHICH ACCOMPANIED THE BID. THE ACTUAL TIME INVOLVED IN ERECTING THE TWO SECTIONS WAS BETWEEN 30 AND 45 MINUTES PER STAND AND THE POST ENGINEER CONSIDERS THAT THE TIME REQUIRED TO ASSEMBLE AND DISASSEMBLE THE WINKLER STAND IS CONSIDERABLY LESS THAN WOULD BE REQUIRED TO ASSEMBLE AND DISASSEMBLE THE UNIVERSAL STANDS OFFERED BY YOU.

YOU PROTEST THE AWARD AS MADE PRIMARILY ON THE BASIS THAT THE SPECIFICATIONS CONTAINED IN THE INVITATION FOR BIDS WERE WRITTEN AROUND A STAND MANUFACTURED BY THE UNIVERSAL BLEACHERS COMPANY AND YOUR BID WAS BASED ON FURNISHING STEEL GRANDSTANDS AS MANUFACTURED BY UNIVERSAL; ALSO, THAT THE BOLTS IN THE STANDS OFFERED BY YOU ARE WELDED TO THE STEEL MEMBERS AND, THEREFORE, THERE IS ONLY A NUTTING PROBLEM INVOLVED, WHEREAS ON THE WINKLER STAND AN A FRAME HORSE MUST BE BOLTED TO THE JUNIOR STEEL BEAM WHILE THE STAND IS BEING ASSEMBLED.

IT IS DENIED BY THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE THAT THE SPECIFICATIONS WERE INTENDED TO BE WRITTEN AROUND A STAND MANUFACTURED BY A PARTICULAR COMPANY. IN THAT CONNECTION, THE SPECIFICATIONS SPECIFICALLY PROVIDE THAT THE GRANDSTANDS SHALL BE THE PRODUCTS OF MANUFACTURERS REGULARLY ENGAGED IN SUCH PRODUCTION AND THAT GRANDSTANDS MEETING THE GENERAL REQUIREMENTS OF THE SPECIFICATIONS AND VARYING ONLY IN NON-ESSENTIAL DETAILS WILL BE ACCEPTABLE.

IT IS REPORTED THAT HAVING THE BOLTS WELDED TO THE STEEL MEMBERS IS NOT CONSIDERED AN ADVANTAGE OVER DETACHABLE BOLTS; THAT WELDED BOLTS TO SOME EXTENT MIGHT BE CONSIDERED A DISADVANTAGE SINCE IN THE PROCESS OF DISMANTLING, TRANSPORTING AND REERECTING THERE IS A POSSIBILITY THAT SOME OF THE BOLT THREADS WILL BE BURRED OR DAMAGED AND TO REMOVE AND REPLACE SUCH DAMAGED BOLTS WOULD REQUIRE REWELDING.

IT IS FURTHER CONTENDED THAT THE TYPE OF FOTT AND SEAT BOARDS AND THE FINISH OF THE STANDS OFFERED BY YOU ARE SUPERIOR TO THOSE OFFERED BY WINKLER. HOWEVER, IT IS REPORTED THAT THE TYPE OF STANDS OFFERED BY WINKLER FULLY MET THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE SPECIFICATIONS.

YOU ALSO REFER TO A NEWSPAPER ARTICLE ENCLOSED WITH YOUR LETTER RELATIVE TO STANDS THAT WERE TO BE INSTALLED BY THE WINKLER MANUFACTURING COMPANY IN MEMORIAL STADIUM IN NEWARK, NEW JERSEY, IN TIME FOR THE FALL FOOTBALL SEASON OF 1956, BUT WHICH HAD NOT AS YET BEEN COMPLETELY ASSEMBLED. IT IS STATED THAT AN EXAMINATION OF THAT INSTALLATION SHOWS THAT IT WOULD BE IMPRACTICABLE FOR USE IF A PORTABLE STAND WAS DESIRED AND IT IS INDICATED THAT WINKLER MAY NOT BE ABLE TO MAKE TIMELY DELIVERY.

IT IS REPORTED THAT AS OF APRIL 10, 1957, ONE SHIPMENT OF THE STANDS HAD ALREADY BEEN RECEIVED, THAT TWO WERE EN ROUTE TO WEST POINT AND THAT THE FOURTH AND FINAL SHIPMENT WOULD LEAVE THE FACTORY WITHIN THE NEXT FEW DAYS.

AS ABOVE INDICATED, THE INVITATION INVOLVED ADVISED BIDDERS THAT THE EASE BY WHICH THE STANDS OFFERED COULD BE ERECTED AND DISMANTLED WAS A PRIME FACTOR. THE METHOD EMPLOYED IN EVALUATING THE BIDS RECEIVED APPEARS TO HAVE BEEN REASONABLE AND, IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES, THE AWARD MADE APPEARS TO HAVE BEEN IN THE INTEREST OF THE GOVERNMENT. ACCORDINGLY, WE DO NOT FIND ANY LEGAL ..END :