B-140230, OCT. 19, 1959

B-140230: Oct 19, 1959

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TO VANN TRANSFER AND STORAGE CO.: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTERS OF JULY 14 AND AUGUST 4. AWARD WAS TO BE MADE ON AN ALL OR NONE BASIS. TWO BIDS WERE RECEIVED IN RESPONSE TO THE INVITATION. THE BID OF SECURITY TRANSFER AND STORAGE FOR ITEMS 1 THROUGH 12 IS REPORTED AS HAVING BEEN IN THE TOTAL OF $25. YOUR BID FOR THESE SAME ITEMS WAS $30. SECURITY BID THE RATES QUOTED UNDER THE TARIFF PUBLISHED BY THE FLORIDA HOUSEHOLD GOODS CARRIERS' BUREAU AND STIPULATED THAT THE CONTRACT COULD BE VOIDED IF THESE RATES WERE INCREASED OR DECREASED. YOUR BID ON ITEM 13 WAS $19. THE BID OF SECURITY WAS REJECTED SINCE ITS BID ON ITEM 13 WAS NONRESPONSIVE AS IT WAS NOT BASED ON A PRICE-PER-LOADED MILE BASIS.

B-140230, OCT. 19, 1959

TO VANN TRANSFER AND STORAGE CO.:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTERS OF JULY 14 AND AUGUST 4, 1959, PROTESTING THE REJECTION OF YOUR BID SUBMITTED IN RESPONSE TO INVITATION NO. 08-614-59-54 ISSUED BY THE ORLANDO AIR FORCE BASE, FLORIDA, ON MAY 22, 1959.

THE INVITATION CALLED FOR BIDS--- TO BE OPENED ON JUNE 9, 1959--- ON WORK IN CONNECTION WITH ESTIMATED QUANTITIES ON 13 ITEMS. ITEMS 1 THROUGH 12 CALLED FOR PACKING, LOADING, STORAGE, DRAYAGE AND UNPACKING OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS WITHIN A RADIUS OF 14 MILES FROM THE CENTER OF GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA. ITEM 13, AS AMENDED, SPECIFYING THAT NO DRAYAGE WOULD BE CHARGED WITHIN A 14.9-MILE RADIUS OF THE CENTER OF GAINESVILLE, CALLED FOR PRICES PER LOADED MILE, REGARDLESS OF WEIGHT, ON MOVEMENTS WITHIN ZONES EXTENDING FROM 15 TO 125 MILES FROM GAINESVILLE. AWARD WAS TO BE MADE ON AN ALL OR NONE BASIS.

TWO BIDS WERE RECEIVED IN RESPONSE TO THE INVITATION. THE BID OF SECURITY TRANSFER AND STORAGE FOR ITEMS 1 THROUGH 12 IS REPORTED AS HAVING BEEN IN THE TOTAL OF $25,615. YOUR BID FOR THESE SAME ITEMS WAS $30,300. AS TO ITEM 13, SECURITY BID THE RATES QUOTED UNDER THE TARIFF PUBLISHED BY THE FLORIDA HOUSEHOLD GOODS CARRIERS' BUREAU AND STIPULATED THAT THE CONTRACT COULD BE VOIDED IF THESE RATES WERE INCREASED OR DECREASED. YOUR BID ON ITEM 13 WAS $19,500, BASED ON A FIRM UNIT PRICE. THE BID OF SECURITY WAS REJECTED SINCE ITS BID ON ITEM 13 WAS NONRESPONSIVE AS IT WAS NOT BASED ON A PRICE-PER-LOADED MILE BASIS. YOUR BID WAS REJECTED FOR LACK OF COMPETITIVE PRICING.

IT HAS BEEN ADMINISTRATIVELY REPORTED THAT IN ADDITION TO THE FACT THAT AS TO ITEM 13 THERE WAS NO BASIS FOR COMPARISON, YOUR BID ON ITEMS 1 THROUGH 12 WAS APPROXIMATELY 18 PERCENT HIGHER THAN THE OTHER BIDDER AND SEVERAL OF YOUR UNIT PRICES WERE FOUND TO BE SUBSTANTIALLY HIGHER THAN PRICES ON SIMILAR ITEMS PROCURED UNDER THE PREVIOUS CONTRACT. ALSO, IT WAS FELT THAT WHILE ONLY ONE RESPONSIVE BID WAS RECEIVED, BIDS FOR THE DESIRED SERVICES WOULD NORMALLY BE AVAILABLE IN MOST COMMUNITIES FROM MANY SOURCES. IT WAS FELT THAT THE WORDING OF THE INVITATION, IN REGARD TO ITEM 13, MIGHT HAVE UNDULY RESTRICTED COMPETITION SINCE SEVERAL LETTERS WERE RECEIVED BY THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE FROM POTENTIAL BIDDERS EXPRESSING THEIR HESITANCY TO BID A FIRM PER-LOADED-MILE PRICE IN VIEW OF A RECENT NOTIFICATION BY THE FLORIDA RAILROAD AND PUBLIC UTILITIES COMMISSION THAT CARRIERS RENDERING SERVICE AT RATES NOT IN CONFORMITY WITH CURRENT TARIFFS WOULD PLACE THEIR OPERATING CERTIFICATES IN JEOPARDY. THEREFORE, THESE REQUIREMENTS HAVE BEEN READVERTISED ON A DIFFERENT BASIS- -- DELETING ITEM 13 AS IT PERTAINS TO DRAYAGE OUTSIDE THE 15-MILE COMMERCIAL ZONE AROUND GAINESVILLE--- AND IT IS REPORTED THAT THREE BIDS HAVE BEEN RECEIVED BUT NO AWARD HAS YET BEEN MADE.

YOU CONTEND THAT AN AWARD SHOULD BE MADE TO YOU ON THE BASIS OF THE ORIGINAL BIDS.

WE HAVE CONSISTENTLY HELD THAT THE REJECTION OF ALL BIDS IS PRIMARILY A MATTER OF ADMINISTRATIVE DISCRETION. 17 COMP. GEN. 554, 559. FURTHER, UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF 10 U.S.C. 2305, ALL BIDS MAY BE REJECTED UPON AN ADMINISTRATIVE DETERMINATION THAT SUCH REJECTION IS IN THE PUBLIC INTEREST. IN LINE WITH THIS STATUTORY PROVISION PARAGRAPH 8 (B) OF THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF THE INVITATION ALSO PROVIDED THAT THE GOVERNMENT RESERVED THE RIGHT TO REJECT ANY AND ALL BIDS. THE ACTION TAKEN IN THIS CASE IN REJECTING THE BIDS RECEIVED UNDER THE FIRST INVITATION APPEARS TO HAVE BEEN PROMPTED BY THE RESTRICTION OF COMPETITION INSOFAR AS ITEM 13 WAS CONCERNED AND THE FACT THAT IT WAS CONSIDERED THAT YOUR PRICES AS THE ONLY RESPONSIVE BIDDER ON THE OTHER 12 ITEMS WHEN TAKEN TOGETHER WERE REGARDED AS EXCESSIVE. THUS, THE DECISION TO READVERTISE ON A DIFFERENT BASIS WAS WELL WITHIN THE DISCRETION OF THE CONTRACTING AGENCY AND WE WOULD NOT BE WARRANTED IN OBJECTING TO THE ACTION TAKEN IN THIS CASE.