B-140179, OCT. 12, 1959

B-140179: Oct 12, 1959

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P. CLARKE COMPANY: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED JULY 10. WHICH WAS ISSUED ON MAY 21. IT APPEARS THAT FOUR OTHER BIDS WERE RECEIVED FOR THESE FOUR ITEMS IN THE AMOUNTS OF $0.65. ONE OF THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE INVITATION WAS THAT THE MAPTACKS WERE TO CONFORM TO CORPS OF ENGINEERS PURCHASE DESCRIPTION PD-2GCB. IT WAS DETERMINED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY THAT YOUR BID DID NOT COMPLY WITH THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE INVITATION IN THAT THE MAPTACKS YOU PROPOSED TO FURNISH WERE NOT OF CORROSION-RESISTANT STEEL AS REQUIRED. 3 AND 4 WAS MADE TO THE GENERAL MACHINING WORKS AFTER A FURTHER DETERMINATION THAT THE BID OF THE SECOND LOW BIDDER. YOU TAKE THE POSITION THAT THE STEEL IN THE MAPTACKS WHICH YOU PROPOSED TO FURNISH IS CORROSION RESISTANT.

B-140179, OCT. 12, 1959

TO R. P. CLARKE COMPANY:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED JULY 10, 1959, PROTESTING THE ACTION TAKEN BY THE ARMY ENGINEERS PROCUREMENT OFFICE, CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, UNDER INVITATION NO. DA-ENG-11-184-59-CE-715.

IN RESPONSE TO THE INVITATION, WHICH WAS ISSUED ON MAY 21, 1959, BY THE CHICAGO PROCUREMENT OFFICE, YOU SUBMITTED A BID DATED JUNE 2, 1959, OFFERING TO FURNISH, IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE INVITATION, ITEMS NOS. 1 THROUGH 4, COVERING CERTAIN QUANTITIES OF METAL MAPTACKS AT $0.62 A PACKAGE. IT APPEARS THAT FOUR OTHER BIDS WERE RECEIVED FOR THESE FOUR ITEMS IN THE AMOUNTS OF $0.65, $0.80, $1.07 AND $1.47 TO $1.49 A PACKAGE. ONE OF THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE INVITATION WAS THAT THE MAPTACKS WERE TO CONFORM TO CORPS OF ENGINEERS PURCHASE DESCRIPTION PD-2GCB, DATED DECEMBER 9, 1955. THE DESCRIPTION PROVIDED, IN PART, THAT THE PIN SHAFT OF THE MAPTACKS SHALL BE OF HIGHLY POLISHED, CORROSION-RESISTANT STEEL AND THE PIN CAP CORROSION RESISTANT METAL. UPON A PREAWARD SURVEY AND THE EXAMINATION OF A SAMPLE FURNISHED BY YOU, IT WAS DETERMINED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY THAT YOUR BID DID NOT COMPLY WITH THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE INVITATION IN THAT THE MAPTACKS YOU PROPOSED TO FURNISH WERE NOT OF CORROSION-RESISTANT STEEL AS REQUIRED. THEREFORE, AN AWARD FOR ITEMS NOS. 1, 2, 3 AND 4 WAS MADE TO THE GENERAL MACHINING WORKS AFTER A FURTHER DETERMINATION THAT THE BID OF THE SECOND LOW BIDDER, THE WOODHOUSE STATIONERY INVITATION. THE REJECTION OF YOUR BID FOR THE REASONS STATED COMPANY, DID NOT CONFORM TO THE DIMENSIONAL REQUIREMENTS OF THE HAS RESULTED IN YOUR PROTEST.

IN THE LETTER OF JULY 10, 1959, YOU TAKE THE POSITION THAT THE STEEL IN THE MAPTACKS WHICH YOU PROPOSED TO FURNISH IS CORROSION RESISTANT. YOU STATE THAT THE ONLY QUESTION IN THIS CONNECTION IS THE DEGREE OF CORROSION -RESISTANCE THE CORPS OF ENGINEERS REQUIRES AND THAT PURCHASE DESCRIPTION PD-200B DOES NOT INDICATE IN ANY WAY WHAT THIS DEGREE IS. YOU FURTHER STATE THAT YOU WERE UNABLE TO GATHER ANY ADDITIONAL INFORMATION FROM THE CHICAGO PROCUREMENT OFFICE PRIOR TO THE BID OPENING AS TO JUST WHAT WAS MEANT BY CORROSION-RESISTANT BUT THAT AFTER RECEIPT OF BIDS YOU WERE INFORMED BY THAT OFFICE THAT STAINLESS STEEL WOULD BE CONSIDERED CORROSION -RESISTANT AND, THEREFORE, IT BECOMES OBVIOUS THAT THE DECISION AS TO WHAT WOULD BE ACCEPTED WAS MADE AFTER THE OPENING OF BIDS. YOU REQUEST THAT THE CONTRACT WITH THE GENERAL MACHINING WORKS BE CANCELED AND THE REQUIREMENT READVERTISED.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT IN REPLY TO AN INQUIRY MADE DURING THE PREAWARD SURVEY OF YOUR COMPANY YOU ADVISED THAT THE SAMPLES SUBMITTED, AS WELL AS THE MAPTACKS TO BE FURNISHED, WOULD BE OF AISI C1065 HEAT TREATED STEEL WITH A HARDNESS OF ROCKWELL C50 TO 60 AND A BRIGHT POLISH FINISH. BASED ON THIS INFORMATION THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE DETERMINED THAT THE MAPTACKS OFFERED BY YOU DID NOT COMPLY WITH THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE INVITATION IN THAT THEY WERE NOT OF CORROSION RESISTANT STEEL AS REQUIRED. IT IS REPORTED BY THE CONTRACTING OFFICER THAT AISI C1065 IS A HIGH CARBON STEEL AND IS NOT THE TYPE OF STEEL COMMONLY ACCEPTED AND CONSIDERED BY INDUSTRY AS BEING CORROSION RESISTANT. THE COMPOSITION OF AISI C1065 (SAE 1065) STEEL IS STATED TO BE AS FOLLOWS: TABLE

CARBON 0.60 - 0.70

MANGANESE 0.60 - 0.90

PHOSPHOROUS 0.040

SULPHUR 0.050

THE CONTRACTING OFFICER FURTHER REPORTED THAT THE PUBLICATION "MATERIALS IN DESIGN ENGINEERING" FORMERLY (MATERIALS AND METHODS), "MATERIALS SELECTOR 1958-59 REFERENCE ISSUE VOL. 48 NO. 5, MID OCTOBER 1958" PUBLISHED BY REINHOLD PUBLISHING CORPORATION, NEW YORK, NEW YORK, UNDER SECTION 2A AT PAGE 40 LISTS THE HIGH CARBON STEELS WHICH COVER THE RANGE FROM AISI C1055 THROUGH C1095 AND SPECIFICALLY SETS FORTH THE COMPOSITION, PHYSICAL PROPERTIES, CORROSION-RESISTANCE, ETC., AS WELL AS THE AVAILABLE FORMS AND USES OF SUCH HIGH CARBON STEELS. THE TYPE OF STEEL WHICH WAS TO BE USED IN THE MAPTACKS WHICH YOU WOULD HAVE FURNISHED WAS AISI C1065, WHICH FALLS WITHIN THE RANGE AISI C1060 AND AISI C1070. THE LIST UNDER THE HEADING "CORROSION RESISTANCE" IN THE SAID PUBLICATION SETS FORTH THE FOLLOWING:

"RUST WHEN BROUGHT INTO CONTACT WITH MOISTURE AND AIR AT ROOM TEMPERATURE; RATES NOT APPRECIABLY AFFECTED BY CARBON CONTENT. IF SALTS ARE PRESENT, CORROSION RATE IS INCREASED. ATTACKED READILY BY ACIDS, BUT RESISTANT TO ALKALIS AT ORDINARY TEMPERATURES.'

MOREOVER, ENGINEERING ENCYCLOPEDIA VOL. 1, SECOND EDITION, 1948 REVISIONS, ON PAGE 329C IN REFERRING TO CORROSION-RESISTANT STEELS STATES THAT STAINLESS STEEL IS A TERM COMMONLY USED TO INDICATE ANY OR ALL RUSTLESS STEELS BUT THAT CORROSION-RESISTANT STEELS COVER A WIDE RANGE OF COMPOSITIONS AND PHYSICAL PROPERTIES AND THAT THE CHROMIUM CONTENT COMMONLY RANGES FROM 10 OR 12 TO 18 OR 20 PERCENT. THE COMPOSITION OF THE AISI C1065 STEEL, PROPOSED TO BE USED IN YOUR MAPTACKS, DOES NOT APPEAR TO CONTAIN ANY CHROMIUM CONTENT. HENCE, WE CANNOT AGREE WITH YOUR CONTENTION THAT THE AISI C1065 STEEL WAS CORROSION-RESISTANT STEEL WITHIN THE COMMONLY ACCEPTED MEANING THEREOF. NEITHER CAN WE AGREE WITH YOUR POSITION THAT THE INVITATION REQUIREMENTS WERE VAGUE, THEREBY ENABLING THE CHICAGO PROCUREMENT OFFICE TO MAKE A DECISION AS TO WHAT IT WOULD ACCEPT AFTER THE BIDS WERE OPENED. THE CORPS OF ENGINEERS PURCHASE DESCRIPTION PD-200B WAS MADE A PART OF THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE INVITATION AND EXPRESSLY PROVIDED FOR MAPTACKS TO BE CORROSION-RESISTANT, AS SPECIFIED, AND FROM THE RECORD BEFORE US SUCH A DETERMINATION IS PRECISELY ASCERTAINABLE AND THERE APPEARS NO REASONABLE BASIS TO EXPECT THAT METAL WOULD BE ACCEPTED WHICH WAS ONLY PARTIALLY CORROSION-RESISTANT OR CORROSION RESISTANT TO A DEGREE, AS SUGGESTED IN YOUR LETTER.

IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, WE MUST CONCLUDE THAT THE ACTION TAKEN BY THE CHICAGO PROCUREMENT OFFICE IN REJECTING YOUR BID IS NOT SUBJECT TO LEGAL OBJECTION.