B-140007, DEC. 22, 1959

B-140007: Dec 22, 1959

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Edda Emmanuelli Perez
(202) 512-2853
EmmanuelliPerezE@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

INC.: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTERS OF JUNE 23 AND AUGUST 28. MAY BE SUMMARIZED AS FOLLOWS: THAT THE PARKER OIL COMPANY WAS NOT A RESPONSIBLE BIDDER. THAT BECAUSE OF THE DEFICIENCIES OF THE PARKER OIL COMPANY THE DELIVERY REQUIREMENTS OF THE SCHEDULE MADE A PART OF THE BID WERE RELAXED AFTER AWARD TO THE PREJUDICE OF THE OTHER BIDDERS. THAT PREFERENTIAL TREATMENT WAS ACCORDED THE CONTRACTOR'S SUPPLIER IN THE PROCUREMENT OF FILTER-SEPARATORS REQUIRED TO BE INSTALLED ON ITS TANK TRUCKS. THE ADMINISTRATIVE FILE TRANSMITTED TO US FOR USE IN CONSIDERATION OF THE MATTER CONTAINS A COPY OF THE PREAWARD SURVEY MADE BY THE CONTRACTING OFFICER AFTER PARKER OIL COMPANY WAS FOUND TO BE THE LOW BIDDER.

B-140007, DEC. 22, 1959

TO FUEL SERVICE OF ENTERPRISE, INC.:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTERS OF JUNE 23 AND AUGUST 28, 1959, PROTESTING AGAINST THE AWARD OF A CONTRACT TO PARKER OIL COMPANY UNDER INVITATION FOR BIDS NO. 10-044-59-25, FOR THE REFUELING OF AIRCRAFT AT FORT RUCKER, ALABAMA. YOUR CONTENTIONS, AND THOSE MADE BY YOUR ATTORNEYS IN OTHER CORRESPONDENCE, MAY BE SUMMARIZED AS FOLLOWS: THAT THE PARKER OIL COMPANY WAS NOT A RESPONSIBLE BIDDER; THAT THE SAID COMPANY DID NOT POSSESS THE NECESSARY EQUIPMENT, FACILITIES, ORGANIZATION, OR EXPERIENCE, TO PERFORM THE REQUIRED SERVICES; THAT BECAUSE OF THE DEFICIENCIES OF THE PARKER OIL COMPANY THE DELIVERY REQUIREMENTS OF THE SCHEDULE MADE A PART OF THE BID WERE RELAXED AFTER AWARD TO THE PREJUDICE OF THE OTHER BIDDERS; AND, THAT PREFERENTIAL TREATMENT WAS ACCORDED THE CONTRACTOR'S SUPPLIER IN THE PROCUREMENT OF FILTER-SEPARATORS REQUIRED TO BE INSTALLED ON ITS TANK TRUCKS.

THE ADMINISTRATIVE FILE TRANSMITTED TO US FOR USE IN CONSIDERATION OF THE MATTER CONTAINS A COPY OF THE PREAWARD SURVEY MADE BY THE CONTRACTING OFFICER AFTER PARKER OIL COMPANY WAS FOUND TO BE THE LOW BIDDER. WHILE THE SUCCESSFUL BIDDER WAS A NEWLY ORGANIZED CONCERN FORMED SPECIFICALLY TO BID ON THE SUBJECT INVITATION, IT WAS ESTABLISHED THAT THE OWNER OF THE COMPANY WAS A REPUTABLE BUSINESS MAN; THAT HE HAD ADVANCED ADEQUATE WORKING CAPITAL TO THE COMPANY; THAT THE COMPANY'S MANAGER POSSESSED THE NECESSARY EXPERIENCE TO SUPERVISE THE WORK REQUIRED UNDER THE CONTRACT; AND, THAT SUFFICIENT EQUIPMENT HAD BEEN PURCHASED TO PERFORM THE STIPULATED SERVICES WITH A PROMISE FROM THE SUPPLIERS OF ITS DELIVERY BEFORE THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE CONTRACT. HAVING REGARD FOR THE FACT THAT THE CONTRACT INVOLVES MERELY THE RENDERING OF SERVICES; THAT YOUR FIRM, LIKEWISE, WAS ESTABLISHED PREVIOUSLY UNDER SIMILAR CIRCUMSTANCES; AND, IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING FINDINGS OF THE CONTRACTING OFFICER IT WAS RECOMMENDED THAT AWARD BE MADE TO PARKER OIL COMPANY SINCE ITS BID WAS SUBSTANTIALLY LOWER THAN YOUR OFFER. FAVORABLE ACTION THEREON WAS RECOMMENDED BY COMMANDING GENERAL, THIRD UNITED STATES ARMY, AND THE OFFICE OF DEPUTY CHIEF OF STAFF FOR LOGISTICS.

WITH RESPECT TO YOUR CONTENTION THAT THE INVITATION WAS MODIFIED, OR THAT THE DELIVERY REQUIREMENTS WERE RELAXED FOR THE BENEFIT OF PARKER OIL COMPANY, OUR EXAMINATION OF THE RECORD FAILS TO DISCLOSE ANY EVIDENCE TO SUPPORT SUCH ALLEGATION. DUE TO A STRIKE AT THE PLANT OF THE TRUCK MANUFACTURER THERE WAS A SLIGHT DELAY IN DELIVERY OF THE EQUIPMENT PROMISED FOR DELIVERY BEFORE JUNE 30, 1959, WITH THE RESULT THAT LIMITED FUELING OPERATIONS WERE RENDERED ON JULY 1 AND 2, 1959. HOWEVER, THE CONTRACT DID NOT SPECIFY THE NUMBER OF TRUCK UNITS REQUIRED TO BE ASSIGNED TO THE SPECIFIED SERVICES UNDER THE CONTRACT, AND ON AND AFTER JULY 3, 1959, DELIVERY REQUIREMENTS AT ALL FIELDS WERE MET SINCE THE EQUIPMENT INITIALLY ORDERED HAD BEEN OBTAINED AND APPROVED.

THE ADMINISTRATIVE FILE CONTAINS COPIES OF TWO TELEGRAMS BOTH DATED MAY 25, 1959, WHEREIN THE FIRM FURNISHING THE TRUCKS AND THE FIRM INSTALLING FILTER/SEPARATORS BOTH CONFIRMED THEIR PROMISE OF DELIVERY OF THE RESPECTIVE EQUIPMENT ON OR BEFORE JUNE 30, 1959, TO THE PARKER OIL COMPANY. AS STATED ABOVE, THE ONLY CONCESSION MADE TO THE CONTRACTOR INVOLVED THE LIMITED SERVICES PERFORMED ON JULY 1 AND 2, 1959, WHICH HAD BEEN CURTAILED BECAUSE OF THE LATE DELIVERY OF THE EQUIPMENT DUE TO A STRIKE IN THE PLANT OF THE TRUCK MANUFACTURER. THE RECORD CONTAINS NO EVIDENCE OF ANY OTHER ACTS OF FAVORITISM ON THE PART OF THE PROCUREMENT AUTHORITIES AND WE, OF COURSE, ARE NOT IN ANY POSITION TO QUESTION THE TREATMENT ACCORDED ITS CUSTOMERS BY THE MANUFACTURERS OF THE RELATED EQUIPMENT.

IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, IT MUST BE CONCLUDED THAT YOUR PROTEST FURNISHES NO PROPER BASIS ON WHICH WE WOULD BE JUSTIFIED IN QUESTIONING THE ACTION TAKEN BY THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE.