B-131753, AUG. 5, 1957

B-131753: Aug 5, 1957

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INCORPORATED: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTERS DATED MAY 3 AND JUNE 27. THE SECOND LOW BID WAS SUBMITTED BY YOUR COMPANY IN THE AMOUNT OF $1. IT WAS DETERMINED THAT METRO WAS THE LOWEST RESPONSIVE. BIDDER AND AWARD WAS MADE ON THAT BASIS. YOUR PROTEST IS BASED PRIMARILY UPON A CONTENTION THAT THE FACILITIES. SKILLS OF METRO ARE NOT ADEQUATE TO ACCOMPLISH DELIVERY OF THE CONTRACT ITEMS WITHIN THE TIME ALLOTTED UNDER THE TERMS OF THE INVITATION AND THAT THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY WAS THEREFORE OBLIGED TO REJECT SUCH BID AND ACCEPT THE BID SUBMITTED BY YOUR COMPANY. DURING A CONFERENCE BETWEEN REPRESENTATIVES OF YOUR COMPANY AND THIS OFFICE YOU HAVE QUESTIONED THE ACCURACY OF THE DOMESTIC TRANSPORTATION COSTS AS COMPUTED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY.

B-131753, AUG. 5, 1957

TO BOYERTOWN AUTO BODY WORKS, INCORPORATED:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTERS DATED MAY 3 AND JUNE 27, 1957, PROTESTING THE AWARD OF CONTRACT NO. DA-20-113-ORD-22614 TO METRO ENGINEERING AND MANUFACTURING COMPANY, INCORPORATED.

THE REPORT FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY TO THIS OFFICE IN THE MATTER INDICATES THAT INVITATION NO. ORD-20-113-57-1532 REQUESTED BIDS FOR THE MANUFACTURE OF 132 EXPANSIBLE VAN BODIES AND THE ATTACHMENT OF SUCH BODIES ON TRUCK CHASSIS TO BE FURNISHED BY THE GOVERNMENT. THE INVITATION FURTHER PROVIDED THAT BID PRICES WOULD BE EVALUATED AFTER ADDING THE GOVERNMENT'S PLANT AND THE COST OF TRANSPORTING THE ASSEMBLED TRUCKS FROM THE BIDDER'S PLANT TO VARIOUS DESTINATIONS IN THE UNITED STATES AND ABROAD. METRO ENGINEERING AND MANUFACTURING COMPANY, INCORPORATED, SUBMITTED THE LOW BID PRICE OF $1,484,233.94, AND THE SECOND LOW BID WAS SUBMITTED BY YOUR COMPANY IN THE AMOUNT OF $1,509,283.98. TO THE BID PRICE OF METRO THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY THEN ADDED TRANSPORTATION CHARGES AMOUNTING TO $206,183.98 TO ARRIVE AT A TOTAL BID PRICE OF $1,690,417.92 FOR EVALUATION PURPOSES. TO THE BID PRICE SUBMITTED BY YOUR COMPANY, THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY ADDED TRANSPORTATION CHARGES AMOUNTING TO $200,394.18 TO ARRIVE AT A TOTAL BID PRICE OF $1,709,678.16. BASED UPON SUCH EVALUATION, IT WAS DETERMINED THAT METRO WAS THE LOWEST RESPONSIVE, RESPONSIBLE, BIDDER AND AWARD WAS MADE ON THAT BASIS.

YOUR PROTEST IS BASED PRIMARILY UPON A CONTENTION THAT THE FACILITIES, TECHNICAL KNOWLEDGE, AND SKILLS OF METRO ARE NOT ADEQUATE TO ACCOMPLISH DELIVERY OF THE CONTRACT ITEMS WITHIN THE TIME ALLOTTED UNDER THE TERMS OF THE INVITATION AND THAT THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY WAS THEREFORE OBLIGED TO REJECT SUCH BID AND ACCEPT THE BID SUBMITTED BY YOUR COMPANY, OR TO REJECT ALL BIDS AND NEGOTIATE WITH YOUR COMPANY FOR PERFORMANCE OF THE WORK ON A COST-PLUS-A-FIXED-FEE BASIS. ADDITIONALLY, DURING A CONFERENCE BETWEEN REPRESENTATIVES OF YOUR COMPANY AND THIS OFFICE YOU HAVE QUESTIONED THE ACCURACY OF THE DOMESTIC TRANSPORTATION COSTS AS COMPUTED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY, AS WELL AS THE PROPRIETY OF COMPUTING SUCH COSTS ON THE BASIS OF CHASSIS STORED AT ROSSFORD ORDNANCE DEPOT, TOLEDO, OHIO, SINCE THE INVITATION FOR BIDS REQUIRED THE CONTRACTOR TO VERIFY SHIPPING INSTRUCTIONS ON COMPLETED VEHICLES WITH THE COMMANDING OFFICER, LETTERKENNY ORDNANCE DEPOT, CHAMBERSBURG, PENNSYLVANIA, AND RAISED A QUESTION AS TO WHETHER SUFFICIENT CHASSIS TO COVER THE CONTRACT REQUIREMENTS WERE NOT AVAILABLE AT, AND COULD HAVE BEEN FURNISHED FROM, THE LATTER INSTALLATION.

WITH RESPECT TO THAT PORTION OF YOUR PROTEST WHICH IS BASED UPON THE CONTENTION THAT METRO IS NOT CAPABLE OF MEETING THE CONTRACT DELIVERY SCHEDULE, THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY HAS ADVISED THAT PREAWARD SURVEY WAS CONDUCTED AT THE REQUEST OF THE CONTRACTING OFFICER. SUCH SURVEY INDICATED THAT THE BIDDER HAD FIRM QUOTATIONS FROM SUPPLIERS ON ALL MATERIALS DEEMED POSSIBLE OBSTACLES TO CONFORMANCE WITH THE DELIVERY SCHEDULE; THAT THE BIDDER HAD, WITHIN THE PAST TWO YEARS, SUCCESSFULLY PRODUCED TRUCK AND VAN BODIES FOR THE GOVERNMENT IN QUANTITIES COMPARABLE TO, AND GREATER THAN THE NUMBER REQUIRED UNDER THE PRESENT CONTRACT; THAT TECHNICAL AND SUPERVISORY PERSONNEL EMPLOYED BY THE BIDDER POSSESSED ADEQUATE QUALIFICATIONS AND EXPERIENCE; AND THE PHYSICAL CAPACITY OF THE BIDDERS PLANT WAS ALREADY ADEQUATE FOR, OR READILY ADAPTABLE TO, PRODUCTION REQUIREMENTS UNDER THE CONTRACT.

A DETERMINATION OF A BIDDER'S QUALIFICATION TO MEET THE CONTRACT REQUIREMENTS IS PRIMARILY A FUNCTION OF THE AGENCY CHARGED WITH ADMINISTRATION OF THE CONTRACT. SUCH DETERMINATION MUST OF NECESSITY BE BASED UPON FACTUAL INFORMATION AVAILABLE PRIOR TO AWARD AND, IN THE ABSENCE OF ANY SHOWING OF BAD FAITH OR LACK OF REASONABLE FACTUAL BASIS FOR THE DETERMINATION, THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE IS NOT REQUIRED TO TAKE ACTION. IN VIEW OF THE INFORMATION OBTAINED BY THE PREAWARD SURVEY IN THE INSTANT CASE, WE ARE UNABLE TO STATE THAT THE AWARD TO METRO WAS NOT JUSTIFIED BY THE RECORD BEFORE THE CONTRACTING OFFICER AT THAT TIME. SUCH CONCLUSION NOW APPEARS TO BE SUPPORTED BY INFORMATION RECEIVED FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY UNDER DATE OF JULY 19, 1957, WHICH INDICATES THAT THE PILOT MODEL, WHICH WAS REQUIRED TO BE COMPLETED BY JUNE 27, WAS DELIVERED TO THE GOVERNMENT FOR INSPECTION ON JUNE 29.

WITH RESPECT TO YOUR INQUIRIES RELATIVE TO THE STORAGE OF TRUCK CHASSIS AT LETTERKENNY ORDNANCE DEPOT, THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY HAS ADVISED AS FOLLOWS:

"THE CHASSIS FOR REFERENCED PROCUREMENT WERE NOT AVAILABLE AT LETTERKENNY. THESE BODIES WERE PROCURED FOR MOUNTING ON CHASSIS, 6 TIMES 6, M46, WHICH WERE PROCURED AGAINST A REQUIREMENT OF THE ARMY SECURITY AGENCY. CHASSIS ARE ONLY PROCURED UPON REQUEST FOR A CUSTOMER AND ARE NOT STOCKED. THE CHASSIS FOR THESE BODIES WERE PREVIOUSLY PROCURED AND WERE STORED AT THE ROSSFORD DEPOT PENDING AVAILABILITY OF BODIES.'

ADDITIONALLY, THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY HAS FURNISHED A BREAKDOWN OF TRANSPORTATION COSTS USED IN EVALUATING THE BIDS SUBMITTED BY BOTH METRO AND YOUR COMPANY. BASICALLY, SUCH COMPUTATION IN THE CASE OF METRO CONSISTED OF DRIVEAWAY CHARGES ON 132 VEHICLES FROM ROSSFORD ORDNANCE DEPOT TO DETROIT, PLUS DRIVEAWAY CHARGES ON 96 VEHICLES FROM DETROIT TO NORFOLK POE, PLUS DRIVEAWAY AND FREIGHT CHARGES ON 36 VEHICLES TO VARIOUS DESTINATIONS WITHIN THE UNITED STATES. TRANSPORTATION CHARGES WITH RESPECT TO THE BID SUBMITTED BY YOUR COMPANY WERE BASED UPON DRIVEAWAY CHARGES ON 132 VEHICLES FROM ROSSFORD ORDNANCE DEPOT TO BOYERTOWN, PENNSYLVANIA, PLUS DRIVEAWAY CHARGES ON 96 VEHICLES FROM BOYERTOWN TO VARIOUS DESTINATIONS WITHIN THE UNITED STATES. A COPY OF SUCH COMPUTATIONS LABELED "EXHIBIT A" (TWO PAGES) AND "EXHIBIT B" (ONE PAGE) IS ENCLOSED. OUR INDEPENDENT COMPUTATION OF SUCH CHARGES IS IN AGREEMENT WITH THE FIGURES SHOWN. ALSO, WE HAVE COMPUTED TRANSPORTATION COSTS ON A SIMILAR BASIS FROM DETROIT TO BALTIMORE POE IN THE CASE OF METRO AND FROM BOYERTOWN TO PHILADELPHIS POE IN YOUR CASE. BASED UPON SUCH COMPUTATION, TOTAL TRANSPORTATION COSTS IN THE AMOUNT OF $204,762.64 WOULD BE ADDED TO THE BID PRICE OF $1,484,233.94 SUBMITTED BY METRO TO ARRIVE AT A TOTAL BID PRICE OF $1,688,996.58 FOR EVALUATION PURPOSES, WHILE TRANSPORTATION COSTS OF $197,701.28 WOULD BE ADDED TO YOUR BID PRICE OF $1,509,283.98 TO ARRIVE AT A TOTAL BID PRICE OF $1,706,985.26 FOR EVALUATION PURPOSES.

UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES WE MUST CONCLUDE THAT THE PRESENT RECORD FAILS TO PRESENT EVIDENCE WHICH WOULD REQUIRE OR JUSTIFY ANY FURTHER ACTION BY THIS OFFICE WITH RESPECT TO THE AWARD MADE TO METRO ENGINEERING AND MANUFACTURING COMPANY, INC. ..END :