B-140072, SEP. 30, 1959

B-140072: Sep 30, 1959

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INC.: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTERS DATED JUNE 29 AND AUGUST 1. THE BASIS OF YOUR PROTEST IS THAT THESE ITEMS SHOULD HAVE BEEN AWARDED TO YOU AS LOW BIDDER. - (A) THE CONTRACT WILL BE AWARDED TO THAT RESPONSIBLE BIDDER WHOSE BID. WILL BE MOST ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT. 13 BIDS WERE RECEIVED. WAS LOW. WAS AWARDED TOGETHER WITH 20 OTHER ITEMS TO ANOTHER BIDDER. WHILE YOUR BID FOR ITEM NO. 22 AT $2.47 PER UNIT AND A TOTAL OF $24.70 WAS ALSO LOW. SINCE YOUR BID (PAGE 6) STIPULATED THAT YOUR QUOTATIONS WERE ON AN "ALL OR NONE" BASIS FOR ITEMS NOS. 8. YOUR BID FOR THE GROUP OF THOSE ITEMS WAS NOT LOW. YOUR BID ON ITEM NO. 22 WAS CONSIDERED A QUALIFIED BID AND. WAS ALSO LOW.

B-140072, SEP. 30, 1959

TO MANHATTAN LIGHTING EQUIPMENT CO., INC.:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTERS DATED JUNE 29 AND AUGUST 1, 1959, WITH ENCLOSURES, IN WHICH YOU PROTEST THE AWARDS OF CONTRACTS BY REDSTONE ARSENAL, ALABAMA, TO OTHER BIDDERS FOR ITEMS NOS. 3, 22, AND 24 ON INVITATION FOR BIDS NO. ORD-01-021-59-380. THE BASIS OF YOUR PROTEST IS THAT THESE ITEMS SHOULD HAVE BEEN AWARDED TO YOU AS LOW BIDDER.

BY THE INVITATION REDSTONE ARSENAL SOLICITED BIDS, SUBJECT TO ALL THE GENERAL AND ADDITIONAL PROVISIONS OF SUPPLY CONTRACTS MADE A PART OF THE INVITATION, FOR FURNISHING 26 ITEMS OF ELECTRONICAL SUPPLIES AS SPECIFIED ON PAGES TWO THROUGH FOUR OF THE INVITATION. PARAGRAPH 8 OF THOSE PROVISIONS (APPEARING ON THE REVERSE OF PAGE 1 OF THE INVITATION) PROVIDED, AS FOLLOWS:

"AWARD OF CONTRACT.--- (A) THE CONTRACT WILL BE AWARDED TO THAT RESPONSIBLE BIDDER WHOSE BID, CONFORMING TO THE INVITATION FOR BIDS, WILL BE MOST ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT, PRICE AND OTHER FACTS CONSIDERED.

"/C) THE GOVERNMENT MAY ACCEPT ANY ITEM OR GROUP OF ITEMS OF ANY BID, UNLESS THE BIDDER QUALIFIES HIS BID BY SPECIAL LIMITATIONS. UNLESS OTHERWISE PROVIDED IN THE SCHEDULE, BIDS MAY BE SUBMITTED FOR ANY QUANTITIES LESS THAN THOSE SPECIFIED; AND THE GOVERNMENT RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MAKE AN AWARD ON ANY ITEM FOR A QUANTITY LESS THAN THE QUANTITY BID UPON AT THE UNIT PRICES OFFERED UNLESS THE BIDDER SPECIFIES OTHERWISE IN HIS BID.'

IN RESPONSE TO THE INVITATION, 13 BIDS WERE RECEIVED, INCLUDING ONE FROM YOU. YOUR BID CONTAINED UNIT PRICE QUOTATIONS ON 14 ITEMS, INCLUDING ITEMS NOS. 3, 22, AND 24.

YOUR BID ON ITEM NO. 3 OF THE UNIT PRICE OF $199.26 AND A TOTAL OF $597.78, LESS 1 PERCENT 20 DAYS DISCOUNT, WAS LOW; HOWEVER, BASED ON THE DISADVANTAGE TO THE GOVERNMENT IN MAKING MULTIPLE AWARDS (SEE ASPR 2- 406.3/VI) (, ITEM NO. 3 AT A UNIT PRICE OF $200 FOR A TOTAL OF $600, TERMS NET 30 DAYS, WITH A NET DIFFERENCE OF ONLY $8.20 BEING INVOLVED, WAS AWARDED TOGETHER WITH 20 OTHER ITEMS TO ANOTHER BIDDER.

WHILE YOUR BID FOR ITEM NO. 22 AT $2.47 PER UNIT AND A TOTAL OF $24.70 WAS ALSO LOW, SINCE YOUR BID (PAGE 6) STIPULATED THAT YOUR QUOTATIONS WERE ON AN "ALL OR NONE" BASIS FOR ITEMS NOS. 8, 12, 16,17, 18, 19, 20, AND 22, AND YOUR BID FOR THE GROUP OF THOSE ITEMS WAS NOT LOW, YOUR BID ON ITEM NO. 22 WAS CONSIDERED A QUALIFIED BID AND, THEREFORE, NOT ACCEPTABLE FOR AWARD.

YOUR BID ON ITEM NO. 24 AT A UNIT PRICE OF $5.91 FOR A TOTAL OF $1,442.04, LESS 1 PERCENT 20 DAYS DISCOUNT, WAS ALSO LOW. THAT ITEM WAS DESCRIBED IN THE INVITATION, AS FOLLOWS:

"BALLAST, AUTOMATIC TRANSFORMER, TYPE FOR 96 INCH T-12, 75 WATTS, FLORESCENT LAMP 118V 60 CYCLES, 1.7 LINE AMP, GE NO. 89G 396 OR EQUAL, 2 LAMP (GOV-T STK. NO. AIF 7456-125)"

IN SUBMITTING YOUR BID ON ITEM NO. 24 YOU DELETED THE BRAND NAME AND NUMBER "GE NO. 89G 396 OR" FROM THE GOVERNMENT'S DESCRIPTION AND SPECIFICATIONS OF THE BALLAST CALLED FOR UNDER THE ITEM AND INSERTED AT THE END OF THE ITEM THE NOTATION "DESCRIPTIVE LITERATURE ATTACHED.'

THE RECORD INDICATES THAT YOU WERE FULLY INFORMED BY THE DEFINITION OF THE TERM "OR EQUAL" IN THE INVITATION FOR BIDS (PAGE 5) AND BY DIRECT CONTACT WITH THE PROCURING OFFICE THAT A SUBSTITUTE ITEM OFFERED UNCONDITIONALLY AS AN EQUAL TO THE BRAND NAME AND NUMBER, SPECIFIED BY WAY OF DESCRIPTION AND NOT RESTRICTION, WOULD BE EVALUATED AND REGARDED AS RESPONSIVE IN THE ABSENCE OF ANY QUALIFYING STATEMENT BY THE BIDDER THAT HE DID NOT IN FACT OFFER A SUBSTITUTE THAT FAILED TO COMPLY WITH THE DEFINITION OF THE TERM "CR EQUAL.'

SINCE YOU FAILED TO SUBMIT THE REFERRED-TO DESCRIPTIVE LITERATURE AND SINCE THE CONTRACTING OFFICER, THEREFORE, WAS UNABLE TO EVALUATE THE TYPE, STYLE, QUALITY, ETC., OF THE BALLAST YOU PROPOSED TO FURNISH AS A SUBSTITUTE, YOUR BID ON ITEM NO. 24 WAS CONCLUDED TO BE NONRESPONSIVE TO THE INVITATION. BECAUSE OF THIS CONCLUSION AND ON THE BASIS OF THE DISADVANTAGE TO THE GOVERNMENT IN MAKING MULTIPLE AWARDS ITEM NO. 24, TOGETHER WITH THREE OTHER ITEMS, WAS AWARDED TO THE NEXT LOW BIDDER AT A UNIT PRICE OF $6.17 WITH A NET TOTAL DIFFERENCE OF ONLY $47.75 OVER YOUR BID FOR THE ITEM.

IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES, WE FIND NO PROPER GROUND FOR OBJECTION TO THE ACTION OF THE CONTRACTING AGENCY IN THIS INSTANCE.