B-143634, SEP. 2, 1960

B-143634: Sep 2, 1960

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COUNSELLOR AT LAW: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTERS OF JULY 27 AND AUGUST 15. ELEVEN BIDS WERE RECEIVED AND OPENED ON JULY 6. OUR OFFICE HAS CONSISTENTLY HELD THAT THE DETERMINATION OF A BIDDER'S OVER-ALL RESPONSIBILITY IS PRIMARILY THAT OF THE CONTRACTING OFFICER AND NOT OF THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE. 333 COMP. THERE IS NO ACTION OUR OFFICE MAY TAKE WITH RESPECT TO THE MATTER. IT IS SUGGESTED THAT ANY EVIDENCE TENDING TO ESTABLISH YOUR CLIENT'S RESPONSIBILITY BE FILED DIRECTLY WITH THE PROCUREMENT AGENCY CONCERNED FOR ITS CONSIDERATION IN CONNECTION WITH FUTURE PROCUREMENTS.

B-143634, SEP. 2, 1960

TO ABRAHAM N. HORWITZ, COUNSELLOR AT LAW:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTERS OF JULY 27 AND AUGUST 15, 1960, WITH REFERENCE TO THE PROTEST OF THE ABC ALUMINUM MFG. CORP. AGAINST THE REJECTION OF ITS BID SUBMITTED IN RESPONSE TO INVITATION FOR BIDS NO. IFB- 155-/3-3/-4069-60 ISSUED BY THE GENERAL STORES SUPPLY AGENCY, DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY, ON JUNE 15, 1960.

THE INVITATION REQUESTED BIDS TO BE OPENED ON JULY 6, 1960, FOR THE FURNISHING OF 90 ALUMINUM LOG DESKS IN STRICT ACCORDANCE WITH SPECIFICATION NIL-F-902D/SHIPS), DATED NOVEMBER 20, 1959, AND BUREAU OF SHIPS DRAWING S3209-866181, REVISION C DATED JUNE 19, 1959, EXCEPT THAT THE COLOR OF THE DESK TOP LINOLEUM SHOULD BE LIGHT GRAY, JASPE PATTERN.

ELEVEN BIDS WERE RECEIVED AND OPENED ON JULY 6, 1960, AND IT APPEARED THAT ABC ALUMINUM SUBMITTED THE LOWEST BID IN THE TOTAL AMOUNT OF $2,970. HOWEVER, THE PROCUREMENT AGENCY DETERMINED ON THE BASIS OF VARIOUS PREAWARD SURVEYS CONDUCTED OF THE FACILITIES AND CAPABILITIES OF ABC ALUMINUM THAT IT DID NOT QUALIFY AS A RESPONSIVE PROSPECTIVE CONTRACTOR.

SPECIFICALLY, THESE PREAWARD SURVEYS CONSISTENTLY REFLECTED UNSATISFACTORY CONDITIONS, INCLUDING, BUT NOT RESTRICTED TO, THE FOLLOWING CATEGORIES:

(A) LACK OF ADEQUATE QUALITY CONTROL.

(B) LACK OF FAMILIARITY WITH SPECIFICATIONS.

(C) EXTENDED ABSENCES OF MANAGEMENT PERSONNEL.

(D) FREQUENT CHANGES IN PERSONNEL.

(E) REJECTED MATERIAL BOTH AS A SUB-CONTRACTOR TO CARB MANUFACTURING COMPANY AND AS A PRIME CONTRACTOR.

(F) LACK OF FIRM COMMITMENTS FOR MATERIAL.

(G) DELINQUENCIES IN DELIVERY OF MATERIAL.

AS LATE AS JULY 19, 1960, THE INSPECTOR OF NAVAL MATERIAL, NEW YORK, ADVISED THAT THE UNSATISFACTORY CONDITIONS HAD NOT CHANGED AND THAT YOUR CLIENT'S CONTRACT NO. N32-7465 WITH THE MILITARY MEDICAL SUPPLY AGENCY FOR CORROSION-RESISTING STEEL STOOLS HAD BEEN TERMINATED FOR DEFAULT. CONCERNING THE RESPONSIBILITY OF YOUR CLIENT AS A PROSPECTIVE GOVERNMENT CONTRACTOR, OUR OFFICE HAS CONSISTENTLY HELD THAT THE DETERMINATION OF A BIDDER'S OVER-ALL RESPONSIBILITY IS PRIMARILY THAT OF THE CONTRACTING OFFICER AND NOT OF THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE. 333 COMP. GEN. 549; 38 ID. 131. THE RECORD HERE ESTABLISHES THAT ABC ALUMINUM DID NOT MEET THE MINIMUM STANDARDS PRESCRIBED BY SECTION 1 903 OF THE ASPR FOR RESPONSIBLE PROSPECTIVE CONTRACTORS. IN VIEW THEREOF, THERE IS NO ACTION OUR OFFICE MAY TAKE WITH RESPECT TO THE MATTER. IT IS SUGGESTED THAT ANY EVIDENCE TENDING TO ESTABLISH YOUR CLIENT'S RESPONSIBILITY BE FILED DIRECTLY WITH THE PROCUREMENT AGENCY CONCERNED FOR ITS CONSIDERATION IN CONNECTION WITH FUTURE PROCUREMENTS.