B-139772, AUG. 10, 1959

B-139772: Aug 10, 1959

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TO PUTNAM MILLS CORPORATION: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 3. THE BID WAS REJECTED BY THE CONTRACTING OFFICER FOR THE REASON THAT YOU WERE NOT CONSIDERED A RESPONSIBLE BIDDER UNDER THE PARTICULAR INVITATION. IT IS ALSO STATED THAT THE FINISHER DESIGNATED BY THE SUCCESSFUL BIDDER IS THE FIRM WHICH HAS HAD THE MAJOR SHARE OF DIFFICULTY IN PRODUCING SPECIFICATION MATERIAL AND THAT THE FINISHER WHOM YOU CHOSE IS THE ONLY ONE SO FAR THAT HAS BEEN CONSISTENT IN PRODUCING SPECIFICATION FABRIC. THE REPORT AND PAPERS FURNISHED IN THE MATTER BY THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY SHOW THAT THE MATERIAL COVERED BY THE INVITATION IS TO BE USED FOR AIR FORCE CWU COVERALLS TO BE MANUFACTURED AT THE MILITARY CLOTHING AND TEXTILE SUPPLY AGENCY FACTORY.

B-139772, AUG. 10, 1959

TO PUTNAM MILLS CORPORATION:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 3, 1959, PROTESTING THE REJECTION OF YOUR BID SUBMITTED IN RESPONSE TO INVITATION FOR BIDS NO. QM/CTM/-36-243-59-746, ISSUED BY THE MILITARY CLOTHING AND TEXTILE SUPPLY AGENCY.

THE INVITATION REQUESTED BIDS ON TWO TYPES OF NYLON TWILL CLOTH WITH DELIVERY TO COMMENCE DURING THE MONTH OF SEPTEMBER 1959, AND MONTHLY ALLOTMENTS THEREAFTER. YOU SUBMITTED THE LOWEST BID RECEIVED. HOWEVER, THE BID WAS REJECTED BY THE CONTRACTING OFFICER FOR THE REASON THAT YOU WERE NOT CONSIDERED A RESPONSIBLE BIDDER UNDER THE PARTICULAR INVITATION.

YOU PROTEST THE DETERMINATION MADE BY THE CONTRACTING OFFICER ON THE BASIS THAT YOUR RECORD WITH THE GOVERNMENT HAS BEEN EXCELLENT. IT IS ALSO STATED THAT THE FINISHER DESIGNATED BY THE SUCCESSFUL BIDDER IS THE FIRM WHICH HAS HAD THE MAJOR SHARE OF DIFFICULTY IN PRODUCING SPECIFICATION MATERIAL AND THAT THE FINISHER WHOM YOU CHOSE IS THE ONLY ONE SO FAR THAT HAS BEEN CONSISTENT IN PRODUCING SPECIFICATION FABRIC.

THE REPORT AND PAPERS FURNISHED IN THE MATTER BY THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY SHOW THAT THE MATERIAL COVERED BY THE INVITATION IS TO BE USED FOR AIR FORCE CWU COVERALLS TO BE MANUFACTURED AT THE MILITARY CLOTHING AND TEXTILE SUPPLY AGENCY FACTORY; THAT ALL PLANNING RELATIVE TO MANUFACTURE OF THE COVERALLS IS BASED ON THE REQUIRED CLOTH DELIVERIES FROM SEPTEMBER THROUGH DECEMBER AND THAT ANY DELAY IN DELIVERY WILL HAVE AN ADVERSE EFFECT ON THE FACTORY SCHEDULE, INCLUDING IDLING OF THE ADDITIONAL PERSONNEL HIRED FOR THIS PROGRAM.

IT IS REPORTED THAT AN EXAMINATION OF ITS PERFORMANCE UNDER THE CONTRACTS AWARDED TO PUTNAM MILLS CORPORATION SINCE MAY 27, 1958, SHOWED THAT OUT OF 11 CONTRACTS TWO WERE TERMINATED FOR DEFAULT AND 6 OTHERS WERE DELINQUENT AT ONE STAGE OR ANOTHER DURING PERFORMANCE; AND THAT IN 4 DIFFERENT CONTRACTS AFTER AWARD YOU ELECTED TO CHANGE SUPPLIERS. IT IS STATED THAT IT MUST BE ASSUMED THAT THE DELINQUENCIES AROSE AS A RESULT OF INADEQUATE ADMINISTRATION OF THE CONTRACTS AND CONTROL OF THE SUPPLIERS. IT IS FURTHER REPORTED THAT THE DETERMINATION WAS MADE ON THE BASIS OF THE OVERALL PERFORMANCE UNDER THE PRIOR CONTRACTS AND NOT SOLELY ON THE DEFAULT TERMINATIONS AND THAT SUCH ACTION WAS NOT TAKEN AS A PUNITIVE MEASURE FOR THE DEFAULTS.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT THE CONTRACTING OFFICER'S DETERMINATION THAT YOU WERE NOT A RESPONSIBLE BIDDER UNDER THE INSTANT INVITATION WAS CONCURRED IN BY TWO OTHER ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICIALS AND WAS ALSO APPROVED BY THE CHIEF, PURCHASING BRANCH.

WITH RESPECT TO THE CONTENTION THAT THE FINISHER CHOSEN BY YOU IS THE ONLY ONE WHO SO FAR HAS BEEN CONSISTENT IN PRODUCING SPECIFICATION FABRIC, THE RECORD SHOWS THAT YOU LISTED IN YOUR BID TWO DYEING AND FINISHING CONCERNS AND THAT ONE OF THOSE LISTED IS THE SAME FINISHER DESIGNATED BY AND BEING USED BY THE SUCCESSFUL BIDDER. IT WOULD APPEAR, THEREFORE, THAT YOUR OBJECTION TO THE FINISHER DESIGNATED BY THE SUCCESSFUL BIDDER IS INCONSISTENT SINCE YOU DESIGNATED THE SAME FIRM AS ONE OF YOUR SUBCONTRACTORS.

PARAGRAPH 1-902 ARMED SERVICES PROCUREMENT REGULATION, REQUIRES THAT PURCHASES SHALL BE MADE FROM RESPONSIBLE PROSPECTIVE CONTRACTORS WHO MEET THE STANDARDS SET FORTH IN PARAGRAPH 1-903. AMONG THE REQUIREMENTS IS THAT THE PROSPECTIVE CONTRACTOR IS ABLE TO COMPLY WITH THE REQUIRED DELIVERY AND PERFORMANCE SCHEDULE AND HAS A SATISFACTORY RECORD OF PERFORMANCE.

STRICT ADHERENCE TO THE DELIVERY SCHEDULE IS REQUIRED UNDER THE INSTANT INVITATION, AND BASED UPON YOUR PERFORMANCE UNDER RECENT PRIOR CONTRACTS, THE CONTRACTING OFFICER COULD NOT DETERMINE THAT YOU WERE A RESPONSIBLE BIDDER. IN THE ABSENCE OF A SHOWING THAT THE DETERMINATION MADE WAS NOT BASED UPON THE REASONABLE EXERCISE OF HONEST JUDGMENT THERE IS NO BASIS UPON WHICH WE WOULD BE WARRANTED IN QUESTIONING THE ADMINISTRATIVE DETERMINATION.