B-135331, MAR. 7, 1958

B-135331: Mar 7, 1958

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INC.: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 21. ADVISING THAT YOU HAVE BEEN AWARDED A CONTRACT WITH THE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION COVERING THE HYDROSTATIC TESTING AND RECHARGING OF CARBON DIOXIDE FIRE EXTINGUISHERS FOR A PERIOD OF ONE YEAR FROM JANUARY 9. IT IS STATED THAT SINCE YOU WERE AWARDED THE CONTRACT WITH THE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE REQUESTED BIDS FOR THE SAME TYPE OF SERVICE. THAT YOU WERE OBLIGATED TO BID AT THE SAME PRICE YOU HAVE IN YOUR GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION CONTRACT. THAT SINCE THE INFORMATION AND PRICES IN THAT CONTRACT ARE NOW PUBLIC. YOU WERE LEFT IN A POSITION OF BIDING AGAINST COMPETITION WHO KNEW YOUR PRICES OR BIDDING AGAINST YOURSELF IN SUBMITTING A BID TO THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE.

B-135331, MAR. 7, 1958

TO CAPITAL INSPECTION AND RECHARGE SERVICE, INC.:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 21, 1958, ADVISING THAT YOU HAVE BEEN AWARDED A CONTRACT WITH THE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION COVERING THE HYDROSTATIC TESTING AND RECHARGING OF CARBON DIOXIDE FIRE EXTINGUISHERS FOR A PERIOD OF ONE YEAR FROM JANUARY 9, 1958.

IT IS STATED THAT SINCE YOU WERE AWARDED THE CONTRACT WITH THE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE REQUESTED BIDS FOR THE SAME TYPE OF SERVICE; THAT YOU WERE OBLIGATED TO BID AT THE SAME PRICE YOU HAVE IN YOUR GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION CONTRACT; AND THAT SINCE THE INFORMATION AND PRICES IN THAT CONTRACT ARE NOW PUBLIC, YOU WERE LEFT IN A POSITION OF BIDING AGAINST COMPETITION WHO KNEW YOUR PRICES OR BIDDING AGAINST YOURSELF IN SUBMITTING A BID TO THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE. IT IS FURTHER STATED YOU HAVE BEEN UNDERBID BY OTHERS ON THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE CONTRACT AND THAT UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES YOU WISH TO FILE A COMPLAINT, IF THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE CONTRACT IS AWARDED TO THE LOW BIDDER, AS YOU BELIEVE IT WOULD BE AN ILLEGAL CONTRACT IN VIOLATION OF SECTION 3709 REVISED STATUTES.

WE ARE NOT AWARE OF ANY REASON THAT YOU WERE OBLIGATED TO QUOTE THE SAME PRICE TO THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE AS IS INCLUDED IN YOUR GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION CONTRACT. PERHAPS YOU HAVE REFERENCE TO ARTICLE 13 OF THE GENERAL PROVISIONS FOR FEDERAL SUPPLY SCHEDULE CONTRACTS (MARCH 1951), WHICH PROVIDES AS FOLLOWS:

"PRICE REDUCTIONS.--- IF AT ANY TIME AFTER THE DATE OF THE BID, THE CONTRACTOR REDUCES THE COMPARABLE PRICE OF ANY ARTICLE OR SERVICE COVERED BY THE CONTRACT TO CUSTOMERS OTHER THAN THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, THE PRICE TO THE GOVERNMENT FOR SUCH ARTICLE OR SERVICE SHALL BE REDUCED PROPORTIONATELY. SUCH REDUCTION SHALL BE EFFECTIVE AT THE SAME TIME AND IN THE SAME MANNER AS THE REDUCTION IN THE PRICE TO CUSTOMERS OTHER THAN THE GOVERNMENT. * * *"

EVEN IF THE ABOVE-QUOTED CLAUSE IS A PART OF YOUR CONTRACT WITH THE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION IT WOULD APPEAR THAT THERE WAS NOTHING TO PREVENT YOU FROM QUOTING A LOWER PRICE TO THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE, WHICH IS A PART OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, WITHOUT REQUIRING A CORRESPONDING PRICE REDUCTION IN YOUR GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION CONTRACT.

HOWEVER THAT MAY BE, THE PROCUREMENT STATUTES GENERALLY REQUIRE IN CONNECTION WITH THE GOVERNMENT'S PROCUREMENT OF PROPERTY AND SERVICES, ADVERTISING, PUBLIC OPENING OF BIDS INCLUDING THE DISCLOSURE OF BID PRICES, AND THE AWARD TO BE MADE TO THE LOWEST RESPONSIBLE BIDDER. ALTHOUGH IT MAY BE THAT YOU WERE UNDERBID ON THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE CONTRACT DUE TO THE DISCLOSURE OF YOUR BID PRICE ON THE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION CONTRACT, MANY OTHER BIDDERS UNDOUBTEDLY FIND THEMSELVES IN THE SAME POSITION. THE FACT THAT YOU WERE LOW ON THE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION CONTRACT DOES NOT GIVE YOU THE RIGHT TO ALL FURTHER GOVERNMENT CONTRACTS FOR THE SAME SUPPLIES FOR ANY FUTURE PERIOD WITHOUT BEING REQUIRED TO COMPETE THEREFOR.

THERE APPEARS TO BE NOTHING IN YOUR LETTER REQUIRING FURTHER ACTION BY US. ..END :