B-143636, OCT. 6, 1960

B-143636: Oct 6, 1960

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INC.: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JULY 27. THE INVITATION WAS ISSUED DECEMBER 30. CORRECTION OF YOUR BID WAS PERMITTED ACCORDINGLY. THE SECOND LOW BID ON ITEM NO. 4 WAS SUBMITTED BY NULOCK SUPPLY COMPANY IN THE AMOUNT OF $1. IT IS REPORTED THAT BECAUSE OF YOUR UNSATISFACTORY PERFORMANCE RECORD THE CONTRACTING OFFICER REQUESTED THE INSPECTOR OF NAVAL MATERIAL. YOUR BID WAS REJECTED AND ON APRIL 29. AWARD WAS MADE TO NULOCK SUPPLY COMPANY. WE HAVE HELD CONSISTENTLY THAT THE QUESTION OF THE QUALIFICATIONS OF A PROSPECTIVE CONTRACTOR PRIMARILY IS FOR DETERMINATION BY THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICERS CONCERNED AND SUCH DETERMINATION WILL NOT BE QUESTIONED BY US IN THE ABSENCE OF A CLEAR SHOWING OF BAD FAITH OR LACK OF A REASONABLE FACTUAL BASIS THEREFOR. 39 COMP.

B-143636, OCT. 6, 1960

TO MANHATTAN LIGHTING EQUIPMENT CO., INC.:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JULY 27, 1960, WITH ENCLOSURES, PROTESTING AGAINST THE AWARD TO ANOTHER BIDDER UNDER INVITATION NO. IFB-155-/7-6/-1715-60 ISSUED BY THE GENERAL STORES SUPPLY OFFICE, PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA.

THE INVITATION WAS ISSUED DECEMBER 30, 1959, REQUESTING BIDS--- TO BE OPENED JANUARY 20, 1960--- FOR FURNISHING FIVE ITEMS OF SUPPLIES, INCLUDING 4,620 HAMMER HANDLES (ITEM NO. 4). YOU SUBMITTED A BID OF $1,726.03 LESS A CASH DISCOUNT OF 1 PERCENT 30 DAYS ON ITEM NO. 2, INTENDED TO BE ON ITEM NO. 4, AND CORRECTION OF YOUR BID WAS PERMITTED ACCORDINGLY, RESULTING IN YOUR BID BEING THE LOW BID ON ITEM NO. 4. THE SECOND LOW BID ON ITEM NO. 4 WAS SUBMITTED BY NULOCK SUPPLY COMPANY IN THE AMOUNT OF $1,901.13 LESS A CASH DISCOUNT OF 1/2 PERCENT 30 DAYS.

IT IS REPORTED THAT BECAUSE OF YOUR UNSATISFACTORY PERFORMANCE RECORD THE CONTRACTING OFFICER REQUESTED THE INSPECTOR OF NAVAL MATERIAL, NEW YORK, TO MAKE A PREAWARD SURVEY. IN HIS REPORT DATED FEBRUARY 19, 1960, THE INSPECTOR OF NAVAL MATERIAL REPORTED THAT THE PREAWARD SURVEY HAD SHOWN THAT YOUR CORPORATION COULD NOT BE CONSIDERED A RESPONSIBLE BIDDER IN VIEW OF YOUR POOR PERFORMANCE RECORD WITH VARIOUS DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE AGENCIES. THEREFORE, YOUR BID WAS REJECTED AND ON APRIL 29, 1960, AWARD WAS MADE TO NULOCK SUPPLY COMPANY.

WE HAVE HELD CONSISTENTLY THAT THE QUESTION OF THE QUALIFICATIONS OF A PROSPECTIVE CONTRACTOR PRIMARILY IS FOR DETERMINATION BY THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICERS CONCERNED AND SUCH DETERMINATION WILL NOT BE QUESTIONED BY US IN THE ABSENCE OF A CLEAR SHOWING OF BAD FAITH OR LACK OF A REASONABLE FACTUAL BASIS THEREFOR. 39 COMP. GEN. 468; 38 ID. 131; ID. 778; 37 ID. 430; ID. 676; ID. 798; 36 ID. 42. IN THE INSTANT MATTER, THE INFORMATION SHOWN IN THE FILE IS CONSISTENT WITH THE CONCLUSION THAT THE ACTIONS OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICERS WERE TAKEN IN GOOD FAITH, AFTER CAREFUL CONSIDERATION, FOR THE PURPOSE OF SERVING THE BEST INTERESTS OF THE GOVERNMENT, AND THAT THERE WAS A REASONABLE BASIS FOR SUCH ACTIONS. THEREFORE, THERE APPEARS NO PROPER BASIS FOR OBJECTION BY OUR OFFICE TO THE ACTION OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE IN REJECTING YOUR BID.

THERE IS NOTED IN CONNECTION WITH THIS MATTER THE CONTRACTING OFFICER'S STATEMENT THAT SEVERAL RECENT CONTRACTS HAVE BEEN AWARDED TO YOU IN VIEW OF YOUR IMPROVED PERFORMANCE ON CONTRACTS ISSUED IN THE FIRST HALF OF 1960.