B-141630, JAN. 27, 1960

B-141630: Jan 27, 1960

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POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JANUARY 4. BIDS WERE RECEIVED FROM THREE BIDDERS. 800 WAS SUBMITTED BY J. AS WELL AS TWO ALTERNATIVE BIDS WHICH YOU STATE WERE BASED ON MAJOR DEVIATIONS FROM THE SPECIFICATIONS AND THEREFORE NOT FOR CONSIDERATION IN ANY EVENT. THE THIRD BID SUBMITTED BY AIRTRONICS INTERNATIONAL CORPORATION WAS IN THE AMOUNT OF $778. YOU STATE THAT THE BID OF ELECTRIC VENDORS COMPLIES IN ALL RESPECTS WITH THE TERMS OF THE INVITATION AND THAT THAT COMPANY IS A RESPONSIBLE BIDDER. WHICH IS AS FOLLOWS: "SUBMISSION WITH BIDS - EACH BIDDER SHALL SUBMIT. THE DEPARTMENT IS SATISFIED THAT KEENEY POSSESSES SUFFICIENT SKILL AND CAPACITY TO MANUFACTURE STAMP VENDING MACHINES SINCE IT HAS BEEN ENGAGED IN THE MANUFACTURE OF COIN VENDING MACHINES.

B-141630, JAN. 27, 1960

TO MR. LEONARD J. SHELTON, POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JANUARY 4, 1960, REQUESTING OUR DECISION AS TO WHETHER YOU MAY REJECT THE BID OF J. H. KEENEY AND CO. AND ACCEPT THE BID OF ELECTRIC VENDORS, INC., SUBMITTED IN RESPONSE TO INVITATION NO. 102 ISSUED BY YOUR DEPARTMENT ON DECEMBER 4, 1959.

THE INVITATION REQUESTED BIDS FOR FURNISHING 2,000 STAMP VENDING MACHINES. BIDS WERE RECEIVED FROM THREE BIDDERS. THE LOW BID OF $352,800 WAS SUBMITTED BY J. H. KEENEY AND CO. THE FIRM OF ELECTRIC VENDORS, INC., SUBMITTED A BID IN THE AMOUNT OF $540,000, AS WELL AS TWO ALTERNATIVE BIDS WHICH YOU STATE WERE BASED ON MAJOR DEVIATIONS FROM THE SPECIFICATIONS AND THEREFORE NOT FOR CONSIDERATION IN ANY EVENT. THE THIRD BID SUBMITTED BY AIRTRONICS INTERNATIONAL CORPORATION WAS IN THE AMOUNT OF $778,860.

YOU STATE THAT THE BID OF ELECTRIC VENDORS COMPLIES IN ALL RESPECTS WITH THE TERMS OF THE INVITATION AND THAT THAT COMPANY IS A RESPONSIBLE BIDDER. HOWEVER, THE BID OF KEENEY DOES NOT COMPLY WITH PARAGRAPH 3.8.1 OF SPECIFICATIONS POD-V-116 (RE) DATED NOVEMBER 25, 1959, WHICH IS AS FOLLOWS:

"SUBMISSION WITH BIDS - EACH BIDDER SHALL SUBMIT, WITH THEIR BIDS, OUTLINE DRAWINGS AND SCHEMATICS OF THEIR PROPOSED DESIGNS, METHODS OF PERFORMANCE, AND TYPES OF INTERNAL MECHANISMS. EACH BIDDER SHALL SUBMIT A LIST OF ALL COMPONENTS AND DEVICES NOT OF HIS OWN MANUFACTURE WHICH HE INTENDS TO INCORPORATE IN HIS MACHINE. THE LIST SHALL INCLUDE THE NAME OF EACH MANUFACTURER, CATALOG NUMBER, SIZE, TYPE, DESCRIPTION AND GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS OF EACH ITEM.' YOU STATE THAT YOU DO NOT CONSIDER THE DRAWING SUBMITTED BY KEENEY AS BEING SCHEMATIC, AND THAT THE BIDDER DID NOT FURNISH ANY OF THE MATERIAL REQUESTED.

THE DEPARTMENT IS SATISFIED THAT KEENEY POSSESSES SUFFICIENT SKILL AND CAPACITY TO MANUFACTURE STAMP VENDING MACHINES SINCE IT HAS BEEN ENGAGED IN THE MANUFACTURE OF COIN VENDING MACHINES. HOWEVER, YOU FEEL THAT KEENEY'S BID SHOULD BE REJECTED BECAUSE OF ITS FAILURE TO FURNISH ALL THE DETAILS REQUIRED BY THE AFORESAID PARAGRAPH 3.8.1 OF THE SPECIFICATIONS. IT IS STATED THAT THE PURPOSE OF PARAGRAPH 3.8.1 WAS TO OBTAIN DATA IN ORDER TO DETERMINE WHETHER THE PRODUCT WHICH A BIDDER PROPOSED TO FURNISH COMPLIED WITH THE SPECIFICATIONS. PARAGRAPH 3.7.1 OF THE SPECIFICATIONS REQUIRED THE CONTRACTOR TO MANUFACTURE TWO PILOT MODELS FOR EVALUATION AND APPROVAL PRIOR TO MANUFACTURE OF PRODUCTION MACHINES AND PROVIDED THAT APPROVAL OF PILOT MODELS WOULD NOT RELIEVE THE CONTRACTOR FROM THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE PROPER CONSTRUCTION, OPERATION, ETC., OF PRODUCTION MACHINES NOR FROM FURNISHING MATERIALS AND WORK REQUIRED BY THE CONTRACT.

ALTHOUGH THE INVITATION DID NOT SPECIFICALLY STATE THAT THE DATA REQUIRED BY PARAGRAPH 3.8.1 OF THE SPECIFICATIONS WOULD BE CONSIDERED MATERIAL AND THAT THE FAILURE TO FURNISH SUCH DATA WOULD BE CAUSE FOR REJECTION OF A BID, THE FACT THAT THE INVITATION STATED IN MANDATORY LANGUAGE THAT SUCH DATA SHOULD BE FURNISHED AND IT WAS NOT FURNISHED IS SUFFICIENT JUSTIFICATION FOR REJECTION OF A BID IF THE DATA IS NECESSARY IN THE EVALUATION OF BIDS. COMPARE 36 COMP. GEN. 415; AND B 139923, SEPTEMBER 30, 1959, 39 COMP. GEN. 247.

SINCE YOU STATE THAT THE DATA WAS REQUIRED TO DETERMINE COMPLIANCE WITH SPECIFICATIONS, THE FAILURE TO SUBMIT THE DATA MAKES KEENEY'S BID NONRESPONSIVE AND REQUIRES THAT IT BE REJECTED. HOWEVER, IN VIEW OF THE GREAT DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE LOW BID SUBMITTED BY J. H. KEENEY AND CO. AND THE SECOND LOW BID OF ELECTRIC VENDORS, INC., AND THE STATEMENT IN YOUR LETTER THAT THE DEPARTMENT AFTER INVESTIGATION IS SATISFIED THAT J. H. KEENEY AND CO. POSSESSES SUFFICIENT SKILL AND CAPACITY TO MANUFACTURE STAMP VENDING MACHINES, WE ARE OF THE OPINION THAT CONSIDERATION SHOULD BE GIVEN TO THE ADVISABILITY OF REJECTING ALL OF THE BIDS RECEIVED UNDER THIS INVITATION AND READVERTISING.