B-143419, AUG. 17, 1960

B-143419: Aug 17, 1960

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Edda Emmanuelli Perez
(202) 512-2853
EmmanuelliPerezE@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

WE ALSO HAVE A REPORT ON THE MATTER DATED AUGUST 2. THE MACHINE IS INTENDED FOR USE AT HASKELL INSTITUTE. PAGE 5 OF THE INVITATION CONTAINED THE FOLLOWING PARAGRAPH: "SEPARATE BIDS WILL BE ACCEPTED ON TWO TYPES OF WASH SYSTEMS AS FOLLOWS: "1. BIDDERS SHOULD BID ON BOTH SYSTEMS IF BOTH ARE AVAILABLE.'. THE BIDS WERE OPENED ON JUNE 22. THE ABSTRACT OF BIDS SHOWS THAT FOUR BIDS WERE RECEIVED AS FOLLOWS: TABLE 1. 927.10 1) DEDUCTION IF DELRIN FLIGHT TYPE LINKS ARE DESIRED IN LIEU OF STAINLESS STEEL. DID NOT INDICATE WHETHER IT WAS OFFERING THE REVOLVING ARM OR STATIONARY SPRAY TYPE. BIDDERS WILL SUPPLY NAME AND LOCATION OF FACTORY BRANCHES. ATTACHED TO YOUR BID WAS A BROCHURE OF THE MAR-BECK APPLIANCE SERVICE.

B-143419, AUG. 17, 1960

TO SALINA COFFEE HOUSE, INC.:

WE REFER TO YOUR TELEFAX OF JULY 6, 1960, PROTESTING THE AWARD OF A CONTRACT TO ANOTHER FIRM UNDER INVITATION NO. P-2145, ISSUED BY THE BUREAU OF INDIAN AFFAIRS, MUSKOGEE, OKLAHOMA, ON JUNE 7, 1960. WE ALSO HAVE A REPORT ON THE MATTER DATED AUGUST 2, 1960, FROM THE ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR.

THE INVITATION CALLED FOR ONE (1) DISHWASHING MACHINE, FULLY AUTOMATIC, WITH FLITE TYPE CONVEYOR, SIMILAR OR EQUAL TO "HOBART MODEL FT-22," IN ACCORDANCE WITH FURTHER SPECIFICATIONS STATED IN THE INVITATION. THE MACHINE IS INTENDED FOR USE AT HASKELL INSTITUTE, A BUREAU OF INDIAN AFFAIRS-OPERATED BOARDING SCHOOL AT LAWRENCE, KANSAS.

PAGE 5 OF THE INVITATION CONTAINED THE FOLLOWING PARAGRAPH:

"SEPARATE BIDS WILL BE ACCEPTED ON TWO TYPES OF WASH SYSTEMS AS FOLLOWS:

"1. REVOLVING WASH ARMS * * *

"2. STATIONARY SPRAYS * * *

"BIDDERS MUST CLEARLY INDICATE WHICH SYSTEM THIS BID COVERS. BIDDERS SHOULD BID ON BOTH SYSTEMS IF BOTH ARE AVAILABLE.'

THE BIDS WERE OPENED ON JUNE 22, 1960, AND THE ABSTRACT OF BIDS SHOWS THAT FOUR BIDS WERE RECEIVED AS FOLLOWS:

TABLE 1. GOODNER VAN CO., TULSA, OKLAHOMA ............... $13,820.00 2. HOBART MFG. CO., KANSAS CITY, MO. .............. 14,587.00 LESS

$825.00 1) 3. SMITH-ST. JOHN MANUFACTURING COMPANY,

KANSAS CITY, MO. ................................ 11,719.00 LESS

618.75 1) 4. SALINA COFFEE HOUSE, INC., SALINA, KAN. ........ 10,927.10 1) DEDUCTION IF DELRIN FLIGHT TYPE LINKS ARE DESIRED IN LIEU OF

STAINLESS STEEL.

SALINA OFFERED A "BLAKESLEE MODEL 86PT3" DISHWASHING MACHINE WITH STATIONARY SPRAY (PAGE 5, ITEM 2 OF THE INVITATION). ALL THE OTHER BIDDERS OFFERED THE "HOBART MODEL FT-22" DISHWASHING MACHINE WITH REVOLVING WASH ARMS (ITEM 1), EXCEPT THAT GOODNER VAN COMPANY, DID NOT INDICATE WHETHER IT WAS OFFERING THE REVOLVING ARM OR STATIONARY SPRAY TYPE.

THE INVITATION PROVIDED ON PAGE NO. 5, AS FOLLOWS:

"PARTS AND SERVICE MUST BE AVAILABLE FROM A FACTORY BRANCH WITHIN A RADIUS OF 50 MILES FROM LAWRENCE, KANSAS. BIDDERS WILL SUPPLY NAME AND LOCATION OF FACTORY BRANCHES. SUCH SERVICE MUST BE PROVIDED BY FACTORY TRAINED PERSONNEL, EXPERIENCED ON MACHINES OF THIS TYPE.

"THE MACHINE PROPOSED MUST BE IN GENERAL USE IN THE LAWRENCE-KANSAS CITY AREA. A LIST OF INSTALLATIONS IN THIS AREA MUST BE SUBMITTED WITH BID.'

ATTACHED TO YOUR BID WAS A BROCHURE OF THE MAR-BECK APPLIANCE SERVICE, INC., KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI, WHICH IDENTIFIES THAT COMPANY AS THE AUTHORIZED FACTORY SERVICE AND PARTS REPRESENTATIVE FOR THE MANUFACTURERS LISTED THEREIN, INCLUDING BLAKESLEE (THE MANUFACTURER OF "BLAKESLEE MODEL 86PT3"). IN ADDITION, SALINA FURNISHED THE BUREAU'S MUSKOGEE AREA OFFICE A COPY OF A LETTER FROM G. S. BLAKESLEE AND CO., DATED JUNE 17, 1960, ADDRESSED TO GREENWOOD'S INC., OF KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI, WITH REFERENCE TO THE SUBJECT INVITATION, IN WHICH IT STATES THAT:

"OUR FACTORY SERVICE STATION IN THE LAWRENCE, KANSAS AREA IS THE MAR-BECK APPLIANCE SERVICE COMPANY AT 1718 OAK STREET, KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI AND THE NEAREST INSTALLATION OF THIS TYPE OF MACHINE IS THE WESTERN ELECTRIC COMPANY AT OMAHA, NEBRASKA.'

THE SUPERINTENDENT OF THE HASKELL INSTITUTE, BY LETTER OF JUNE 24, 1960, TO THE AREA PROPERTY SUPPLY OFFICER, ANADARKO, OKLAHOMA, RECOMMENDED THAT THE BID OF SMITH-ST. JOHN MANUFACTURING COMPANY BE ACCEPTED IN PREFERENCE TO THE SALINA BID FOR REASONS WHICH HE LISTED, IN PART, AS FOLLOWS:

"THE SMITH-ST. JOHN COMPANY ENCLOSED A LIST OF FOUR FACTORY BRANCHES IN KANSAS AND STATED THAT THE SERVICE BRANCHES IN TOPEKA AND KANSAS CITY WOULD BE RESPONSIBLE FOR SERVICE OF MACHINES AT HASKELL. THESE TWO FACTORY BRANCHES ARE BOTH WITHIN A FIFTY MILE RADIUS OF LAWRENCE, KANSAS. THE LETTER FROM THE BLAKESLEE COMPANY STATES THAT SERVICE WILL BE PROVIDED IN THE GENERAL AREA BY THE MAR-BECK SERVICE COMPANY AT 718 OAK, KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI. THE MAR-BECK SERVICE STATION IS NOT A FACTORY BRANCH AND IT IS NOT IN POSITION TO GIVE US SATISFACTORY SERVICE. THE MAR-BECK COMPANY OFFERS SERVICE TO MORE THAN 100 OTHER MANUFACTURERS (SEE ATTACHED MAR-BECK APPLIANCE SERVICE LIST). OUR EXPERIENCE WITH OUR PRESENT MACHINE OVER THE PAST 18 MONTHS EMPHASIZES CONCLUSIVELY THAT FACTORY TRAINED SERVICE PERSONNEL AND A STOCK OF PARTS ARE EXTREMELY IMPORTANT TO US. WE SUFFERED A GREAT DISADVANTAGE BECAUSE THE MAR-BECK COMPANY DID NOT HAVE PARTS FOR OUR PRESENT MACHINE. THEY TOLD US IN NO UNCERTAIN TERMS THAT IT WOULD BE NECESSARY FOR US TO STOCK OUR OWN PARTS. IT MAY ALSO BE NOTED THAT THE MAR-BECK SERVICE MAN STATED THAT HE HAD NEVER SEEN OUR TYPE OF DISHWASHER UNTIL HE CAME TO HASKELL. SINCE THE BLAKESLEE COMPANY STATES THAT THE ,NEAREST INSTALLATION OF THIS TYPE OF MACHINE IS THE WESTERN ELECTRIC COMPANY AT OMAHA, BRASKA," WE ARE SURE THAT THE MAR BECK COMPANY CANNOT FURNISH FACTORY TRAINED PERSONNEL FOR THE BLAKESLEE MACHINE.'

THE LETTER GOES ON TO LIST SEVERAL FEATURES NOT FOUND IN THE BLAKESLEE MACHINE, BUT WHICH ARE CALLED FOR BY THE SPECIFICATIONS FOR REASONS OF SANITATION AND TO ACCOMMODATE THE USE REQUIRED OF THE MACHINE AT HASKELL INSTITUTE. THESE FEATURES INCLUDE "CLEAN-OUT DRAWERS (TO KEEP FOOD WASTE OUT OF THE MACHINE), SELF-DRAWING PUMPS (FOR SANITATION), ACCOMMODATION FOR LENGTHWISE, LOADING OF TRAYS (NEEDED AT HASKELL), AND A COMPLETE STAINLESS STEEL FRAME (TO PREVENT RUST). ALSO, THE SPECIFICATIONS CALL FOR A MACHINE WEIGHING APPROXIMATELY 5400 POUNDS IN ORDER TO STAND UP TO THE HEAVY WORK LOAD REQUIRED, WHEREAS THE BLAKESLEE MACHINE ONLY WEIGHS 3800 POUNDS. THE LETTER CONCLUDES THAT IN ALL RESPECTS THE "HOBART MODEL FT-22" OFFERED BY SMITH-ST. JOHN, MEETS THE SPECIFICATION REQUIREMENTS.

ON JUNE 27, 1960, AN AWARD UNDER INVITATION NO. P-2145, WAS MADE TO SMITH -ST. JOHN MANUFACTURING COMPANY FOR $11,100.25 ($11,719 LESS $618.75 FOR DELRIN FLIGHT TYPE CONVEYOR LINKS).

ON JULY 1, 1960, SALINA FILED A PROTEST TO THE AWARD WITH THE BUREAU'S AREA OFFICE AT MUSKOGEE, OKLAHOMA. THE AREA OFFICE RESPONDED THAT ITEM 1, PAGE 5 OF THE INVITATION HAD BEEN SELECTED FOR AWARD AND SINCE SALINA BID ON ITEM 2, THEIR PROTEST WAS NOT VALID. A PROTEST TO THE AWARD WAS THEN SENT TO THIS OFFICE BY SALINA AND WE ARE ADVISED THAT DELIVERY OF THE DISHWASHING MACHINE HAS BEEN HELD UP PENDING OUR CONSIDERATION OF THE MATTER.

YOUR PROTEST IS BASED ON THE CONTENTION THAT YOUR BID MEETS THE SPECIFICATION REQUIREMENTS. IN THIS REGARD, IT HAS LONG BEEN RECOGNIZED BY OUR OFFICE THAT THE RESPONSIBILITY FOR DRAFTING PROPER SPECIFICATIONS WHICH REFLECT THE NEEDS OF THE GOVERNMENT AND THE BONA FIDE FACTUAL DETERMINATIONS WHETHER THE ITEMS OFFERED BY BIDDERS MEET THESE SPECIFICATIONS ARE MATTERS PRIMARILY WITHIN THE PROVINCE OF THE PROCURING AGENCIES. 17 COMP. GEN. 554. IN THIS CASE THE SPECIFICATIONS WERE DRAWN TO THE END OF PROVIDING THE INSTITUTE WITH A DISHWASHING MACHINE PROPERLY SUITED TO ITS PARTICULAR NEEDS, INCLUDING READILY AVAILABLE FACTORY SERVICE AND PARTS, AS DETERMINED FROM ITS PAST EXPERIENCES WITH ANOTHER MACHINE. WHILE YOU CERTIFIED IN YOUR BID THAT THE MACHINE OFFERED WOULD MEET THE SPECIFICATION REQUIREMENTS, THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE HAS DETERMINED THAT IN SEVERAL IMPORTANT RESPECTS THE MACHINE YOU OFFER VARIES FROM THE STATED REQUIREMENTS, AND THIS DETERMINATION APPEARS TO BE SUPPORTED BY SUBSTANTIAL EVIDENCE THAT YOUR BID DOES NOT FULLY CONFORM TO THE SPECIFICATION REQUIREMENTS, PARTICULARLY IN THE WEIGHT AND SERVICE PROVISIONS.

WE THEREFORE CONCLUDE THAT THERE IS NO ADEQUATE BASIS FOR OUR OFFICE TO OBJECT TO THE AWARD TO SMITH-ST. JOHN MANUFACTURING COMPANY, AND YOUR PROTEST IS DENIED.