B-136463, JUL. 11, 1958

B-136463: Jul 11, 1958

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INC.: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR PROTEST AGAINST THE REPORTED REJECTION BY THE DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY OF YOUR LOW BID SUBMITTED IN RESPONSE TO INVITATION FOR BIDS NO. WAS THAT THE REQUIRED ENGINE WOULD HAVE A ROTATIVE SPEED OF NOT MORE THAN 750 R.P.M. THE LATTER REQUIREMENTS ON PAGE 6 OF THE INVITATION WERE AMENDED TO READ: "THE ENGINE SHALL HAVE A ROTATIVE SPEED OF NOT MORE THAN 750 R.P.M. IT WAS FOUND THAT SEVEN BIDDERS RESPONDED TO THE INVITATION. YOUR PROPOSAL WAS SUBMITTED ON AN ALTERNATE ARTICLE BASIS. YOUR PROPOSAL THEREAFTER WAS TECHNICALLY EVALUATED BY THE BUREAU OF SHIPS. THEY RECOMMENDED TO THE NAVY PURCHASING OFFICE THAT YOUR EQUIPMENT BE REJECTED ON THE GROUNDS THAT IT WAS NOT CONSIDERED TO BE EQUAL TO THAT SPECIFIED.

B-136463, JUL. 11, 1958

STERLING ENGINE COMPANY, INC.:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR PROTEST AGAINST THE REPORTED REJECTION BY THE DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY OF YOUR LOW BID SUBMITTED IN RESPONSE TO INVITATION FOR BIDS NO. IFB-600-1744-58, ISSUED APRIL 28, 1958, BY THE UNITED STATES NAVY PURCHASING OFFICE, WASHINGTON, D.C.

THE INVITATION ABOVE REFERRED TO SOLICITED PROPOSALS ON TWO GENERATORS, DIESEL ENGINE DRIVEN, 450 K.W., 460 VOLT A.C., 3 PHASE, 50 CYCLE, AS THEREIN SPECIFIED. PAGE 12 OF THE INVITATION PERMITTED THE SUBMISSION OF BIDS ON ARTICLES DIFFERING FROM THE SPECIFIED DETAILS, PROVIDED THE ARTICLES OFFERED SHOULD GIVE SERVICE EQUAL TO THOSE SPECIFIED. ONE OF THE STIPULATED REQUIREMENTS OF THE SPECIFICATIONS, AS SET FORTH ON PAGE 6 OF THE INVITATION, WAS THAT THE REQUIRED ENGINE WOULD HAVE A ROTATIVE SPEED OF NOT MORE THAN 750 R.P.M., AND A CORRESPONDING PISTON SPEED NOT EXCEEDING 1,250 FEET PER MINUTE. BY AMENDMENT NO. 1, DATED MAY 8, 1958, THE LATTER REQUIREMENTS ON PAGE 6 OF THE INVITATION WERE AMENDED TO READ: "THE ENGINE SHALL HAVE A ROTATIVE SPEED OF NOT MORE THAN 750 R.P.M. AND A CORRESPONDING PISTON SPEED NOT EXCEEDING 1,350 FEET PER MINUTE.'

UPON OPENING OF THE BIDS ON MAY 22, 1958, IT WAS FOUND THAT SEVEN BIDDERS RESPONDED TO THE INVITATION. THE BID PRICES RANGED ANYWHERE FROM YOUR TOTAL LOW BID PRICE OF $108,500 ON THE EQUIPMENT TO A HIGH OF $175,000. HOWEVER, YOUR PROPOSAL WAS SUBMITTED ON AN ALTERNATE ARTICLE BASIS, YOUR ACCOMPANYING LETTER OF MAY 16, 1958, EXPLAINING YOUR INTENT TO FURNISH AN ENGINE WITH A ROTATIVE SPEED OF 1,000 R.P.M., AND A CORRESPONDING PISTON SPEED OF 1,500 FEET PER MINUTE, IN LIEU OF 750 R.P.M., AND A 1,350 FEET PER MINUTE PISTON SPEED, AS SPECIFIED.

YOUR PROPOSAL THEREAFTER WAS TECHNICALLY EVALUATED BY THE BUREAU OF SHIPS, WHICH INITIATED THIS PROCUREMENT, AND BY A LETTER DATED MAY 27, 1958, THEY RECOMMENDED TO THE NAVY PURCHASING OFFICE THAT YOUR EQUIPMENT BE REJECTED ON THE GROUNDS THAT IT WAS NOT CONSIDERED TO BE EQUAL TO THAT SPECIFIED, IN THAT THE HIGHER OPERATING SPEEDS, WHILE ENABLING THE USE OF LIGHTER AND SMALLER COMPONENTS, WOULD NOT PROVIDE AN EQUAL SERVICE LIFE NOR THE MAINTENANCE-FREE LIFE EXPECTED OF THE EQUIPMENT SPECIFIED IN THE INVITATION, AND OFFERED BY THE OTHER BIDDERS.

THE GOVERNMENT CONTRACTING OFFICER ACCEPTED THE RECOMMENDATION OF THE TECHNICAL PERSONNEL OF THE BUREAU OF SHIPS, AND REJECTED YOUR PROPOSAL AS BEING NON-RESPONSIVE TO THE MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS OF THE SPECIFICATIONS.

IT LONG HAS BEEN RECOGNIZED THAT THE QUESTION OF WHETHER EQUIPMENT OFFERED BY A BIDDER CONFORMS WITH THE DETAILED REQUIREMENTS OF THE ADVERTISED SPECIFICATIONS IS ONE FOR DETERMINATION BY THE CONTRACTING OR ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICIALS OF THE GOVERNMENT. SEE O-BRIEN V. CARNEY, 6 F.SUPP. 761; ROYAL SUNDRIES CORP. V. UNITED STATES, 111 F.SUPP. 136; 35 COMP. GEN. 174, 179-180. THE DETERMINATION OF THE NEEDS OF THE GOVERNMENT AND THE PREPARATION OF SPECIFICATIONS STATING THOSE NEEDS IS ALSO WITHIN THE SCOPE OF THEIR ADMINISTRATIVE AUTHORITY.

THE RECORD FURNISHES NO GROUND FOR US TO QUESTION THE ADMINISTRATIVE DETERMINATION THAT THE EQUIPMENT OFFERED BY YOU DOES NOT COMPLY SUBSTANTIALLY WITH THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE SPECIFICATIONS. WE, THEREFORE, HAVE NO ALTERNATIVE BUT TO AFFIRM THE ADMINISTRATIVE REJECTION OF YOUR BID.