B-143287, OCT. 14, 1960

B-143287: Oct 14, 1960

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TO HEYWOOD-WAKEFIELD COMPANY: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTERS DATED JUNE 21. ISSUED BY THE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION WERE RESTRICTIVE AND DESIGNED FOR ONE MANUFACTURER. TWO OF THE THREE BIDS RECEIVED WERE REJECTED FOR FAILURE TO MEET THE APPLICABLE SPECIFICATION. THE BID SUBMITTED BY THE AMERICAN SEATING COMPANY WAS FOUND REASONABLE AND FULLY RESPONSIVE TO THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE INVITATION. A CONTRACT WAS AWARDED TO THAT COMPANY ON JUNE 28. YOU CONTEND THAT THE SPECIFICATIONS WERE RESTRICTIVE BECAUSE THEYREQUIRED THAT THE BACK OF THE CHAIRS CONSIST OF COMPOUND-CURVED. THE ESTABLISHMENT OF SPECIFICATION REQUIREMENTS IS PRIMARILY THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE PROCURING AGENCY. IT IS OUR FUNCTION ONLY TO INSURE THE PROCUREMENTS ARE MADE IN ACCORDANCE WITH LAW.

B-143287, OCT. 14, 1960

TO HEYWOOD-WAKEFIELD COMPANY:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTERS DATED JUNE 21, 1960, AND SEPTEMBER 1, 1960, ALLEGING THAT THE SPECIFICATIONS UNDER INVITATION FOR BIDS NO. WA-PY -R-82257-6-21-60, ISSUED BY THE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION WERE RESTRICTIVE AND DESIGNED FOR ONE MANUFACTURER.

THE INVITATION REQUIRED THAT THE CHAIR OFFERED BE "AMERICAN SEATING COMPANY CATALOG NO. 16-040 WITH NO. 119 AISLE STANDARD OR EQUAL.' TWO OF THE THREE BIDS RECEIVED WERE REJECTED FOR FAILURE TO MEET THE APPLICABLE SPECIFICATION. THE BID SUBMITTED BY THE AMERICAN SEATING COMPANY WAS FOUND REASONABLE AND FULLY RESPONSIVE TO THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE INVITATION. ACCORDINGLY, A CONTRACT WAS AWARDED TO THAT COMPANY ON JUNE 28, 1960.

YOU CONTEND THAT THE SPECIFICATIONS WERE RESTRICTIVE BECAUSE THEYREQUIRED THAT THE BACK OF THE CHAIRS CONSIST OF COMPOUND-CURVED, DIE-FORMED STEEL INNER AND OUTER PARTS AND THAT THE ENTIRE PERIMETER OF OUTER PANEL BE HEMMED. ALSO, YOU PROTEST THE SPECIFICATIONS REQUIRING THAT THE HINGE PIVOTS BE CAST IRON SECURELY BOLTED TO THE STANDARDS, AND THAT THE STANDARDS BE CAST IRON RATHER THAN STEEL.

THE ESTABLISHMENT OF SPECIFICATION REQUIREMENTS IS PRIMARILY THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE PROCURING AGENCY. IT IS OUR FUNCTION ONLY TO INSURE THE PROCUREMENTS ARE MADE IN ACCORDANCE WITH LAW. EXCEPT TO THE EXTENT THAT A REQUIREMENT IS IMPOSED DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY BY, OR IS IN CONFLICT WITH THE LAW, WE CANNOT DIRECT THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS WHICH ARE TO BE INCLUDED IN AN INVITATION FOR BIDS.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT THE COMPOUND CURVED BACK WAS DESIRED FOR THESE AUDITORIUM CHAIRS BECAUSE IT PROVIDED A MORE COMFORTABLE SEAT. THE DIE FORM STEEL WAS SPECIFIED SO THAT THE DOUBLE BEND OF THE COMPOUND CURVE COULD BE MADE AND THE CHAIRS WOULD BE SUFFICIENTLY RIGID AND OF AS LIGHT A WEIGHT AS POSSIBLE. PLYWOOD COULD NOT BE USED FOR SUCH A COMPOUND CURVATURE, AND WOODEN BACKS CREATE A HEAVIER CHAIR. IT WAS ALSO FOUND THAT THROUGH THE USE OF CHAIRS HAVING SUCH A CURVATURE APPROXIMATELY ONE INCH MORE OF KNEE ROOM COULD BE PROVIDED IN THE LOCATION OF THESE CHAIRS.

IN REFERENCE TO THE CAST IRON HINGE PIVOTS AND STANDARDS WHICH WERE SPECIFIED, THIS WAS DONE TO ADD RIGIDITY TO THE CHAIR AND TO GET AWAY FROM THE COMPLICATED HINGE ACTION THAT REQUIRES ADJUSTMENTS OF THE SELF-RISING SEAT SPRING. BY USING CAST IRON HINGE PIVOTS, IT WAS POSSIBLE TO GET A DESIGNED HINGE WHICH COULD BE SO LOCATED THAT THE CHAIR OCCUPANTS COULD NOT COME IN CONTACT WITH THE MOVING HINGE PARTS. WHILE YOU CONTEND THAT THESE REQUIREMENTS OF THE INVITATION LIMITED CONSIDERATION FOR AWARD TO ONE FIRM, PRESUMABLY THE AMERICAN SEATING COMPANY, WE HAVE BEEN INFORMED BY GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION THAT SIX FIRMS ARE ABLE TO OFFER CAST IRON STANDARDS AND THAT THE CHAIRS SPECIFIED ARE "CAPABLE OF BEING SUPPLIED BY NUMEROUS CONCERNS.'

FOR THESE REASONS WE WOULD NOT FEEL JUSTIFIED IN OBJECTING TO THE ACTION OF THE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION IN THIS INSTANCE.