B-140135, SEP. 21, 1959

B-140135: Sep 21, 1959

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IT IS STATED IN YOUR LETTER OF JULY 7 THAT WHEN BIDS WERE OPENED YOUR CLIENT APPEARED TO BE THE SECOND LOW BIDDER BUT THAT THE LOWEST BIDDER WAS DISQUALIFIED. WAS TOLD BY THE CONTRACTING OFFICER THAT ALLIED WAS ALSO TO BE DISQUALIFIED AS NON RESPONSIBLE. YOU CONTEND THAT THIS LATTER DETERMINATION WITH RESPECT TO ALLIED'S RESPONSIBILITY WAS ERRONEOUS AND THAT ALLIED SHOULD BE REINSTATED AS A QUALIFIED CONTRACTOR. IT WAS FOUND THAT THE LOW BID HAD BEEN SUBMITTED BY BARRY INDUSTRIES. THAT THE SECOND LOW BIDDER WAS ALLIED MAINTENANCE COMPANY. THAT DETERMINATION WAS LATER CHANGED BY THE CONTRACTING OFFICER. AWARD WAS MADE TO BARRY INDUSTRIES ON JULY 22. GOVERNMENT CONTRACTS AWARDED PURSUANT TO FORMAL ADVERTISING ARE NORMALLY REQUIRED TO BE LET TO THE RESPONSIBLE BIDDER SUBMITTING THE LOWEST RESPONSIVE BID.

B-140135, SEP. 21, 1959

TO MILLER, BROWN, AND GILDENHORN:

WE REFER AGAIN TO YOUR LETTER OF JULY 7, 1959, WITH ENCLOSURE, PROTESTING ON BEHALF OF ALLIED MAINTENANCE COMPANY, INC., AGAINST DISQUALIFICATION OF THAT FIRM FOR AWARD UNDER INVITATION FOR BIDS NO. (EAIV34-031-59-86 ISSUED APRIL 13, 1959, FOR THE PERFORMANCE OF CUSTODIAL SERVICES AT FORT SILL, OKLAHOMA.

IT IS STATED IN YOUR LETTER OF JULY 7 THAT WHEN BIDS WERE OPENED YOUR CLIENT APPEARED TO BE THE SECOND LOW BIDDER BUT THAT THE LOWEST BIDDER WAS DISQUALIFIED; AND THAT, SUBSEQUENTLY, A REPRESENTATIVE OF THE ALLIED MAINTENANCE COMPANY, INC., WAS TOLD BY THE CONTRACTING OFFICER THAT ALLIED WAS ALSO TO BE DISQUALIFIED AS NON RESPONSIBLE. YOU CONTEND THAT THIS LATTER DETERMINATION WITH RESPECT TO ALLIED'S RESPONSIBILITY WAS ERRONEOUS AND THAT ALLIED SHOULD BE REINSTATED AS A QUALIFIED CONTRACTOR.

UPON BID OPENING ON JUNE 8, 1959, IT WAS FOUND THAT THE LOW BID HAD BEEN SUBMITTED BY BARRY INDUSTRIES, WASHINGTON, D.C., AND THAT THE SECOND LOW BIDDER WAS ALLIED MAINTENANCE COMPANY, INC. ALTHOUGH THE CONTRACTING OFFICER FIRST CONSIDERED THE LOW BID TO BE NON-RESPONSIVE, THAT DETERMINATION WAS LATER CHANGED BY THE CONTRACTING OFFICER, AND, AS CHANGED, APPROVED BY HIGHER HEADQUARTERS. PURSUANT TO THE LATER DETERMINATION AS APPROVED, AWARD WAS MADE TO BARRY INDUSTRIES ON JULY 22, 1959.

GOVERNMENT CONTRACTS AWARDED PURSUANT TO FORMAL ADVERTISING ARE NORMALLY REQUIRED TO BE LET TO THE RESPONSIBLE BIDDER SUBMITTING THE LOWEST RESPONSIVE BID. IT APPEARS THAT THE RULE HAS BEEN FOLLOWED IN THE CASE AT ISSUE. ACCORDINGLY, IT IS UNNECESSARY TO ANSWER THE QUESTION WHETHER THE PROPOSED DISQUALIFICATION OF THE ALLIED MAINTENANCE BID ON THE GROUNDS OF LACK OF RESPONSIBILITY WOULD OTHERWISE HAVE BEEN PROPER.