B-141919, APR. 11, 1960

B-141919: Apr 11, 1960

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INC.: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR TELEGRAM OF FEBRUARY 4. THE RECORDS SHOW THAT THE INVITATION WAS ISSUED TO 13 PROSPECTIVE BIDDERS ON DECEMBER 22. THE MODIFICATION OF THE EXISTING HANGAR DOORS WAS REQUIRED IN ORDER TO ACCOMMODATE NEW JET AIRCRAFT WHICH ARE CONSIDERABLY LONGER THAN THE AIRCRAFT FOR WHICH THE EXISTING HANGAR DOORS HAD BEEN BUILT. IT WAS DEEMED NECESSARY TO HAVE THE WORK PERFORMED ON AN URGENT BASIS. AS SHORT A TIME AS POSSIBLE WAS ALLOWED FOR THE SUBMISSION OF BIDS. THE OPENING OF BIDS WAS SCHEDULED FOR JANUARY 11. ONLY ONE BID WAS RECEIVED. THE BIDDER WAS THE MCCRARY PIPING AND HEATING COMPANY. THE GOVERNMENT'S ESTIMATE FOR PERFORMING THIS WORK WAS $42. THE CONTRACTING OFFICER DETERMINED THAT THE BID PRICE WAS FAIR AND REASONABLE AND AWARDED THE CONTRACT TO THE MCCRARY PIPING AND HEATING COMPANY ON JANUARY 14.

B-141919, APR. 11, 1960

TO ELGIN SUPPLY COMPANY, INC.:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR TELEGRAM OF FEBRUARY 4, 1960, AND A COPY OF YOUR LETTER DATED JANUARY 21, 1960, ADDRESSED TO THE CONTRACT REVIEW BRANCH, SCOTT FIELD, BELLEVILLE, ILLINOIS, PROTESTING THE ACTION OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE IN AWARDING A CONTRACT TO MCCRARY PIPING AND HEATING COMPANY FOR THE MODIFICATION OF ALERT HANGAR DOORS AT CHARLESTON AIR FORCE BASE, SOUTH CAROLINA.

THE RECORDS SHOW THAT THE INVITATION WAS ISSUED TO 13 PROSPECTIVE BIDDERS ON DECEMBER 22, 1959. THE MODIFICATION OF THE EXISTING HANGAR DOORS WAS REQUIRED IN ORDER TO ACCOMMODATE NEW JET AIRCRAFT WHICH ARE CONSIDERABLY LONGER THAN THE AIRCRAFT FOR WHICH THE EXISTING HANGAR DOORS HAD BEEN BUILT. DUE TO THE EXPECTED EARLY ARRIVAL OF THE NEW AIRCRAFT AT THE BASE, IT WAS DEEMED NECESSARY TO HAVE THE WORK PERFORMED ON AN URGENT BASIS. FOR THAT REASON, AS SHORT A TIME AS POSSIBLE WAS ALLOWED FOR THE SUBMISSION OF BIDS. THE OPENING OF BIDS WAS SCHEDULED FOR JANUARY 11, 1960. ONLY ONE BID WAS RECEIVED. THE BIDDER WAS THE MCCRARY PIPING AND HEATING COMPANY, WHO SUBMITTED A BID OF $39,000. THE GOVERNMENT'S ESTIMATE FOR PERFORMING THIS WORK WAS $42,000. THE CONTRACTING OFFICER DETERMINED THAT THE BID PRICE WAS FAIR AND REASONABLE AND AWARDED THE CONTRACT TO THE MCCRARY PIPING AND HEATING COMPANY ON JANUARY 14, 1960.

YOUR PROTEST IS BASED UPON THE ALLEGATION THAT (1) YOU WERE NOT AFFORDED AN OPPORTUNITY TO SUBMIT A BID; (2) THAT THE INVITATION FOR BIDS WAS NOT SYNOPSIZED; (3) AND THAT THE ONLY BID RECEIVED WAS EXCESSIVE.

THE RECORDS INDICATE THAT YOU DID MAKE A NUMBER OF CONTACTS WITH THE PROCUREMENT OFFICE IN WHICH YOU INQUIRED ABOUT THIS PROJECT, BUT THE PROCUREMENT OFFICE HAD NO INFORMATION ON THOSE OCCASIONS CONCERNING THE PROJECT THAT COULD HAVE BEEN COMMUNICATED TO PROSPECTIVE BIDDERS. ALTHOUGH IT APPEARS THAT PERSONNEL OF THE BASE PROCUREMENT OFFICE MAY NOT HAVE ACTED WITH ALL PROPER CARE AND DILIGENCE AT THE TIMES THESE CALLS WERE RECEIVED, IN THAT THEY FAILED TO RECORD THE CALLS AND BRING THEM TO THE ATTENTION OF THE BASE PROCUREMENT OFFICER, NEVERTHELESS, THERE IS NO EVIDENCE INDICATING THAT ANYONE IN THAT OFFICE EITHER TOOK OR FAILED TO TAKE ANY ACTION WITH THE INTENT OR PURPOSE OF HINDERING YOU IN SUBMITTING A BID. IT IS UNFORTUNATE AND REGRETTABLE THAT GREATER CARE WAS NOT EXERCISED BY PERSONNEL OF THAT OFFICE WHO RECEIVED THESE INQUIRIES TO MAKE SURE THAT YOUR COMPANY WOULD BE SOLICITED FOR THIS WORK. HOWEVER, IT APPEARS THAT THE SOLICITATION OF BIDS FROM 13 PROSPECTIVE SOURCES WAS MADE IN GOOD FAITH.

THE ARMED SERVICES PROCUREMENT REGULATION PROVIDES FOR AN EXCEPTION TO THE REQUIREMENT OF SYNOPSIZING OF PROPOSED PROCUREMENTS IN CASES WHERE THE PROCUREMENT MUST BE MADE TOO QUICKLY TO PERMIT PROSPECTIVE CONTRACTORS, WHO DEPEND ON THE DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE SYNOPSIS, SUFFICIENT TIME TO PREPARE AND SUBMIT THEIR BIDS. SINCE THE PROCUREMENT WAS URGENT, THE CONTRACTING OFFICER DECIDED THAT IT DID NOT LEND ITSELF TO SYNOPSIZING. THE AIR FORCE PROCUREMENT INSTRUCTION PROVIDES THAT A PROCUREMENT SHOULD BE SYNOPSIZED IF MORE THAN 18 DAYS ELAPSE FROM THE DATE OF THE ISSUANCE OF THE INVITATION FOR BIDS TO THE SCHEDULED OPENING OF BIDS. HOWEVER, THE NUMEROUS HOLIDAYS AT THIS TIME OF THE YEAR REDUCED THE NUMBER OF WORKING DAYS FOR SUBMISSION OF BIDS TO 12. FOR THIS REASON, THE CONTRACTING OFFICER, IN HIS JUDGMENT, DECIDED THAT SYNOPSIZING WOULD SERVE NO USEFUL PURPOSE.

WITH RESPECT TO THE REASONABLENESS OF THE PRICE FOR WHICH THE CONTRACT WAS AWARDED, THE RECORD SHOWS THAT THE GOVERNMENT'S ESTIMATE FOR THIS WORK WAS $42,000, AND THAT THE AWARD WAS MADE FOR A PRICE OF $39,600 OR $2,400 LESS THAN THE GOVERNMENT'S ESTIMATE. SINCE THE AMOUNT FOR WHICH THE CONTRACT WAS AWARDED IS LESS THAN THE GOVERNMENT'S ESTIMATE, THERE IS JUSTIFICATION FOR THE CONTRACTING OFFICER'S DETERMINATION THAT THE CONTRACT PRICE WAS FAIR AND REASONABLE.

ACCORDINGLY, YOU ARE ADVISED THAT WE SEE NO REASON TO QUESTION THE ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION TAKEN IN THIS INSTANCE.