B-142718, JUN. 2, 1960

B-142718: Jun 2, 1960

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INC.: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 23. FIVE OTHER QUOTATIONS WERE RECEIVED AND THE NEXT LOWEST QUOTATION RECEIVED WAS THAT OF THE TRI-STATE ELECTRIC COMPANY WHICH QUOTED A PRICE OF $730.55. THE QUOTATION OF TRI-STATE ELECTRIC COMPANY WAS ACCEPTED AND YOU WERE NOTIFIED OF THE AWARD BY LETTER DATED APRIL 12. IN WHICH THE REASONS THEREFOR WERE STATED. YOU WERE ADVISED THAT (1) IT WAS DESIRED TO MAKE THE INSTALLATION OF THE NEW LIGHTS AS SOON AS POSSIBLE AND YOU HAD OFFERED DELIVERY WITHIN 28 DAYS. (2) THE FIXTURES THAT TRI-STATE PROPOSED TO FURNISH WERE AVAILABLE FOR INSPECTION. (3) PROMPT REPLACEMENT COULD BE MADE IN THE CASE OF DEFECTIVE FIXTURES AS THE COMPANY WAS LOCATED WITHIN A FEW MILES OF THE HOSPITAL.

B-142718, JUN. 2, 1960

TO THE MANHATTAN LIGHTING EQUIPMENT CO., INC.:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 23, 1960, WITH ENCLOSURES, PROTESTING THE AWARD OF A CONTRACT TO TRI-STATE ELECTRIC COMPANY UNDER REQUEST FOR QUOTATIONS ISSUED BY THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION HOSPITAL, MARION, ILLINOIS, ON MARCH 8, 1960, FOR FURNISHING LIGHTING FIXTURES.

IN RESPONSE TO THE REQUEST FOR QUOTATIONS FOR FURNISHING 7 ITEMS OF LIGHTING FIXTURES YOU QUOTED A TOTAL PRICE OF $686.54. FIVE OTHER QUOTATIONS WERE RECEIVED AND THE NEXT LOWEST QUOTATION RECEIVED WAS THAT OF THE TRI-STATE ELECTRIC COMPANY WHICH QUOTED A PRICE OF $730.55. THE QUOTATION OF TRI-STATE ELECTRIC COMPANY WAS ACCEPTED AND YOU WERE NOTIFIED OF THE AWARD BY LETTER DATED APRIL 12, 1960, IN WHICH THE REASONS THEREFOR WERE STATED. YOU WERE ADVISED THAT (1) IT WAS DESIRED TO MAKE THE INSTALLATION OF THE NEW LIGHTS AS SOON AS POSSIBLE AND YOU HAD OFFERED DELIVERY WITHIN 28 DAYS, WHEREAS TRI STATE OFFERED DELIVERY WITHIN 2 DAYS; (2) THE FIXTURES THAT TRI-STATE PROPOSED TO FURNISH WERE AVAILABLE FOR INSPECTION; AND (3) PROMPT REPLACEMENT COULD BE MADE IN THE CASE OF DEFECTIVE FIXTURES AS THE COMPANY WAS LOCATED WITHIN A FEW MILES OF THE HOSPITAL. YOU CONTEND THAT URGENCY OF DELIVERY WAS NOT INDICATED ON THE REQUEST FOR QUOTATIONS; THAT YOU COULD HAVE SHIPPED A SAMPLE; AND THAT YOU COULD HAVE MADE PROMPT REPLACEMENTS.

UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF 41 U.S.C. 252 (C) (3), ADVERTISING FOR PROPOSALS, OR COMPETITIVE BIDDING, IS NOT REQUIRED IN CASES SUCH AS HERE INVOLVED WHERE THE PURCHASE IS LESS THAN $2,500 IN AMOUNT. THE PURCHASE HERE WAS IN EFFECT AN OPEN MARKET PURCHASE AND, AS SUCH, FACTORS OTHER THAN PRICE MAY BE TAKEN INTO ACCOUNT WHEN MAKING AN AWARD OR PLACING AN ORDER FOR SUPPLIES.

IN VIEW OF THE SMALL DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE COST OF THE FIXTURES OFFERED BY YOU AND THOSE PROPOSED TO BE FURNISHED BY TRI-STATE WHEN CONSIDERED IN CONNECTION WITH THE REASONS ASSIGNED BY THE CONTRACTING OFFICER FOR MAKING THE AWARD TO TRI-STATE, WE FIND NO LEGAL BASIS FOR CONCLUDING THAT THE AWARD WAS IMPROPER.