B-130910, MARCH 26, 1957, 36 COMP. GEN. 673

B-130910: Mar 26, 1957

Additional Materials:

Contact:

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

 

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

1957: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR PROTEST AGAINST FAVORABLE CONSIDERATION OF EITHER OF THE TWO LOWEST BIDS RECEIVED UNDER AN INVITATION FOR BIDS ISSUED ON FEBRUARY 8. YOUR PROTEST IS BASED UPON THE PROVISION IN THE INVITATION THAT "BIDS WILL BE CONSIDERED ONLY FROM UNITED STATES OR NICARAGUA FIRMS WITH A SATISFACTORY PERFORMANCE RECORD ON HIGHWAY CONSTRUCTION IN THE UNITED STATES OR NICARAGUA.'. YOUR COMPANY WAS THE THIRD LOWEST BIDDER ON THE BASIS OF COMPLETION OF THE PROJECT BY JUNE 30. THE SECOND LOWEST BID WAS SUBMITTED BY A JOINT VENTURE CONSISTING OF A GUATEMALAN FIRM AND JAMES STEWART AND COMPANY. THE LOWEST BID WAS SUBMITTED BY THOMPSON- 1CORNWALL. LISTED IN THE LETTER AS PREVIOUS ROAD WORK PERFORMED BY THE CORPORATION ARE: WEST SIDE HIGHWAY.

B-130910, MARCH 26, 1957, 36 COMP. GEN. 673

BIDDERS - QUALIFICATIONS - EXPERIENCE - RECENTLY ESTABLISHED CORPORATIONS AND JOINT VENTURERS IN EVALUATION OF THE EXPERIENCE OF SEVERAL BIDDERS FOR A ROAD CONSTRUCTION CONTRACT, A RECENTLY FORMED JOINT VENTURE AND A RECENTLY ESTABLISHED CORPORATION MAY BE CONSIDERED AS MEETING THE EXPERIENCE QUALIFICATION ON THE BASIS OF PAST CONSTRUCTION EXPERIENCE OF ONE OF THE JOINT VENTURERS AND THE PREVIOUS CONSTRUCTION EXPERIENCE OF ONE OR MORE OF THE CORPORATION'S PRINCIPAL OFFICERS WHO OWN OR CONTROL MOST OF THE CORPORATE STOCK OR GUARANTEE THE CORPORATION'S FINANCIAL OBLIGATIONS.

TO THE NELLO L. TEER COMPANY, MARCH 26, 1957:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR PROTEST AGAINST FAVORABLE CONSIDERATION OF EITHER OF THE TWO LOWEST BIDS RECEIVED UNDER AN INVITATION FOR BIDS ISSUED ON FEBRUARY 8, 1957, BY THE DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE, BUREAU OF PUBLIC ROADS, FOR ROAD CONSTRUCTION WORK DESCRIBED AS NICARAGUA PROJECT 8-A, INTER-AMERICAN HIGHWAY FROM SEBACO TO CONDEGA, REPUBLIC OF NICARAGUA.

YOUR PROTEST IS BASED UPON THE PROVISION IN THE INVITATION THAT "BIDS WILL BE CONSIDERED ONLY FROM UNITED STATES OR NICARAGUA FIRMS WITH A SATISFACTORY PERFORMANCE RECORD ON HIGHWAY CONSTRUCTION IN THE UNITED STATES OR NICARAGUA.' YOUR COMPANY WAS THE THIRD LOWEST BIDDER ON THE BASIS OF COMPLETION OF THE PROJECT BY JUNE 30, 1959. THE SECOND LOWEST BID WAS SUBMITTED BY A JOINT VENTURE CONSISTING OF A GUATEMALAN FIRM AND JAMES STEWART AND COMPANY, INC. THE LOWEST BID WAS SUBMITTED BY THOMPSON- 1CORNWALL, INC.

THE BUREAU OF PUBLIC ROADS HAS REPORTED, WITH REFERENCE TO JAMES STEWART AND COMPANY, INC., THAT ONE OF THE JOINT VENTURERS HAS PERFORMED A LARGE VOLUME OF HIGHWAY WORK SINCE 1937. BY LETTER DATED MARCH 15, 1957, THAT COMPANY ADVISED THE BUREAU WITH RESPECT TO YOUR PROTEST THAT IT HAS PERFORMED ALL TYPES OF INDUSTRIAL CONSTRUCTION, INCLUDING FACTORIES, OFFICE BUILDINGS, BANKS, HARBOR DEVELOPMENTS, PUBLIC HIGHWAYS, AND MILITARY INSTALLATIONS AND BASES. LISTED IN THE LETTER AS PREVIOUS ROAD WORK PERFORMED BY THE CORPORATION ARE: WEST SIDE HIGHWAY, NEW YORK CITY, PARK AVENUE OVER NEW YORK CENTRAL TRACKS, NEW YORK CITY; BALTIMORE- 1WASHINGTON EXPRESS HIGHWAY; AND ROAD WORK IN CONJUNCTION WITH UNITED STATES NAVAL AIR STATION, TRINIDAD, B.W.I. THUS, IT IS APPARENT THAT THERE EXISTS NO SUBSTANTIAL BASIS FOR YOUR PROTEST AGAINST ANY AWARD TO THE SECOND LOWEST BIDDER.

DATA SUPPLIED BY THOMPSON-1CORNWALL, INC., SHOWS THAT ON APRIL 20, 1950, THE MACCO PAN-PACIFIC COMPANY WAS INCORPORATED IN THE STATE OF NEVADA, AND THAT THE NAME OF THIS CORPORATION WAS CHANGED ON AUGUST 12, 1954, TO THOMPSON-1CORNWALL, INC. IT HAS BEEN ALLEGED THAT THE ORIGIN OF THOMPSON- 1CORNWALL, INC., STEMS DIRECTLY FROM THE PARTNERSHIP OF CHARLES AND GEORGE K. THOMPSON WHICH WAS FORMED IN 1916 FOR THE PURPOSE OF ENTERING INTO THE GENERAL CONTRACTING BUSINESS IN THE MID-WESTERN PART OF THE UNITED STATES. A BROCHURE ENTITLED " CONTRACTS COMPLETED BY THOMPSON-1CORNWALL 1916 THROUGH 1954," LISTS A NUMBER OF CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS, INCLUDING THE CONSTRUCTION OF HIGHWAYS AND BRIDGES IN THE UNITED STATES, THE CANAL ZONE, THE REPUBLIC OF PANAMA, PUERTO RICO, AND SOUTH AMERICA. THE BUREAU OF PUBLIC ROADS IS SHOWN AS A CONTRACTOR FOR SOME OF THE HIGHWAY WORK IN THE UNITED STATES.

IN A LETTER OF MARCH 19, 1957, YOU INDICATED THAT IT WAS YOUR UNDERSTANDING THAT THOMPSON-1CORNWALL, INC., HAS NEVER AS A CORPORATE ENTITY PERFORMED HIGHWAY CONSTRUCTION WORK IN THE UNITED STATES OR NICARAGUA. WE ARE ADVISED THAT SINCE MAY 1954 THE STOCK OF THOMPSON- CORNWALL, INC., IS JOINTLY AND EQUALLY OWNED BY R. C. THOMPSON AND F. E. CORNWALL, AND THAT ALL OF THE OBLIGATIONS OF THE CORPORATION ARE PRESENTLY GUARANTEED BY GEORGE K. THOMPSON AS WELL AS BY R. C. THOMPSON AND F. E. CORNWALL. GEORGE K. THOMPSON AND HIS SON, R. C. THOMPSON, APPEAR TO HAVE HAD A CONSIDERABLE AMOUNT OF EXPERIENCE IN THE CONSTRUCTION OF HIGHWAYS IN THE UNITED STATES, PARTICULARLY IN CONNECTION WITH CONTRACTS PERFORMED BY THE THOMPSON-1MARKHAM CO., WHICH PARTNERSHIP CONSTRUCTED HIGHWAYS, TUNNELS, AIRPORTS AND BUILDINGS IN THE UNITED STATES DURING THE YEARS 1936 TO 1943. BEFORE THAT TIME GEORGE K. THOMPSON WAS A PARTNER WITH HIS BROTHER, CHARLES THOMPSON, IN THE CONTRACTING BUSINESS AND OPERATED IN THE WESTERN STATES ON DRAINAGE AND BRIDGES, HIGHWAYS AND TUNNEL CONSTRUCTION. GEORGE K. THOMPSON IS NOW ONE OF THE VICE PRESIDENTS OF THOMPSON- 1CORNWALL, INC., AND HIS SON, R. C. THOMPSON, IS THE PRESIDENT OF THE CORPORATION.

WE DO NOT BELIEVE IT WOULD BE IMPROPER IN EVALUATING THE EXPERIENCE OF A CORPORATION TO CONSIDER THE EXPERIENCE OF ONE OR MORE OF ITS PRINCIPAL OFFICERS WHO OWN OR CONTROL MOST OF THE CORPORATE STOCK OR GUARANTEE THE CORPORATION'S FINANCIAL OBLIGATIONS. NOR DOES IT APPEAR UNUSUAL FOR A CORPORATION TO CLAIM THAT IT HAS PERFORMED WORK WHICH HAS ACTUALLY BEEN PERFORMED BY INDIVIDUALS OR PREDECESSOR FIRMS BEFORE THE DATE ON WHICH THE CORPORATION WAS FORMED. IT IS INTERESTING TO NOTE IN THIS CONNECTION THAT JAMES STEWART AND COMPANY, INC., IN ITS LETTER OF MARCH 15, 1957, REFERS TO ITS INCORPORATION IN 1913 BUT FURTHER STATES THAT " THIS ORGANIZATION HAS BEEN IN THE GENERAL CONTRACTING BUSINESS FOR OVER 110 YEARS AND HAS PERFORMED CONSTRUCTION WORK IN EVERY SECTOR OF THE UNITED STATES AS WELL AS IN SOUTH AMERICA, EUROPE AND ASIA.'

UNDER THESE CIRCUMSTANCES, WE DO NOT FEEL JUSTIFIED IN INTERPOSING ANY OBJECTION TO CONSIDERATION OF THE TWO LOWEST BIDS RECEIVED ON NICARAGUA PROJECT 8-A. ..END :