B-133971, NOV. 7, 1957

B-133971: Nov 7, 1957

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TO SPECIALTY ENGINEERING AND ELECTRONICS COMPANY: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR TELEGRAM DATED OCTOBER 3. YOUR BID ON ITEMS 1 THROUGH 15 WAS THE LOWEST BID RECEIVED. TAKING INTO CONSIDERATION THE AMOUNTS BID FOR ITEM 16 ON THE ADDITIONAL QUANTITY DESIRED BY THE GOVERNMENT THE BID OF OLYMPIC RADIO AND TELEVISION DIVISION OF UNITRONICS CORPORATION WAS THE LOWEST RECEIVED. NOBSR-69064 WAS AWARDED TO THIS COMPANY FOR THE FURNISHING OF ITEMS 1 THROUGH 15 AND 23 UNITS OF ITEM 16. YOU CONTEND THAT ITEM 16 IS A PROVISIONAL OPTION AND THAT IT IS NOT PART OF THE BID PROPER. COMPETITIVE BIDDING IF THE GOVERNMENT AWARDS ON THE BASIS OF CONSIDERING ITEM 16 IN DETERMINING WHO IS THE LOW BIDDER.'. YOU STATE THAT HAD YOU KNOWN THAT THE GOVERNMENT WOULD EXERCISE ITS OPTION YOU COULD HAVE MADE A LOWER BID.

B-133971, NOV. 7, 1957

TO SPECIALTY ENGINEERING AND ELECTRONICS COMPANY:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR TELEGRAM DATED OCTOBER 3, 1957, PROTESTING THE AWARD MADE BY THE DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY ON ITEMS 1 THROUGH 16 UNDER INVITATION NO. IFB-600-1625-57-S, COVERING CERTAIN ELECTRONIC SUPPLIES AND MANUALS.

THE DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY HAS NOW FURNISHED US A COMPLETE REPORT IN THE MATTER, WHICH, IN SUBSTANCE, INDICATES THE FOLLOWING:

THE INVITATION REQUESTED BIDS FOR THE FURNISHING OF DIRECTION FINDERS, MAINTENANCE PARTS AND TECHNICAL MANUALS, ITEMS 1 THROUGH 15. ALSO, THE INVITATION UNDER ITEM 16 REQUESTED BIDS ON A STEP-LADDER OPTION FOR ADDITIONAL DIRECTION FINDERS IN QUANTITIES OF ONE TO 50, 51 TO 75, 76 TO 100, AND 101 TO 150. FURTHER THE INVITATION STATED WITH RESPECT TO ITEM 16, THAT THE GOVERNMENT MAY, WITHIN 90 DAYS AFTER THE DATE OF THE CONTRACT, UPON WRITTEN NOTICE TO THE CONTRACTOR, REQUIRE THE CONTRACTOR TO FURNISH ITEM 16, IN ADDITION TO ITEMS 1 THROUGH 15. YOUR BID ON ITEMS 1 THROUGH 15 WAS THE LOWEST BID RECEIVED. HOWEVER, TAKING INTO CONSIDERATION THE AMOUNTS BID FOR ITEM 16 ON THE ADDITIONAL QUANTITY DESIRED BY THE GOVERNMENT THE BID OF OLYMPIC RADIO AND TELEVISION DIVISION OF UNITRONICS CORPORATION WAS THE LOWEST RECEIVED. ACCORDINGLY, CONTRACT NO. NOBSR-69064 WAS AWARDED TO THIS COMPANY FOR THE FURNISHING OF ITEMS 1 THROUGH 15 AND 23 UNITS OF ITEM 16.

YOU CONTEND THAT ITEM 16 IS A PROVISIONAL OPTION AND THAT IT IS NOT PART OF THE BID PROPER. ALSO, YOU CONTEND THAT THIS ITEM "NEGATES THE PRINCIPLE OF ADVERTISED, COMPETITIVE BIDDING IF THE GOVERNMENT AWARDS ON THE BASIS OF CONSIDERING ITEM 16 IN DETERMINING WHO IS THE LOW BIDDER.' YOU STATE THAT HAD YOU KNOWN THAT THE GOVERNMENT WOULD EXERCISE ITS OPTION YOU COULD HAVE MADE A LOWER BID.

THERE IS NOTHING OF RECORD TO INDICATE THAT THE GOVERNMENT INFORMED THE SUCCESSFUL BIDDER PRIOR TO THE SUBMISSION OF ITS BID THAT IT (THE GOVERNMENT) INTENDED TO PLACE AN ORDER FOR AN ADDITIONAL 23 UNITS UNDER ITEM 16. SO FAR AS THE RECORD SHOWS NO BIDDER WAS FURNISHED WITH ANY MATERIAL INFORMATION WHICH WAS NOT AVAILABLE TO OTHER BIDDERS. IF YOU FELT THAT YOU COULD HAVE DELIVERED ANY OF THE UNITS UNDER ITEM 16 FOR AN AMOUNT LESS THAN THE AMOUNT OF YOUR BID, YOU CERTAINLY SHOULD HAVE MADE YOUR BID ACCORDINGLY.

IT HAVING BEEN DETERMINED TO EXERCISE THE OPTION, THE BIDS HAD TO BE EVALUATED ON THE BASIS OF THE TOTAL QUANTITY TO BE AWARDED. IN THE ABSENCE OF ANY SPECIFIC PROVISION IN THE INVITATION AS TO THE BASIS OF EVALUATION OF BIDS, IT WOULD BE MANIFESTLY IMPROPER TO MAKE THE AWARD ON THE BASIS OF EVALUATION OF PRICES OF ONLY PART OF THE SUPPLIES TO BE PURCHASED.

ACCORDINGLY, YOU ARE ADVISED THAT THERE IS NO LEGAL BASIS UPON WHICH WE WOULD BE JUSTIFIED IN QUESTIONING THE ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION TAKEN IN THE MATTER.