B-143856, SEP. 27, 1960

B-143856: Sep 27, 1960

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TO THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE: REFERENCE IS MADE TO A LETTER DATED AUGUST 26. THE FACTS IN THIS CASE ARE REPORTED TO BE ESSENTIALLY AS FOLLOWS: FOR SOME TIME THE BUREAU OF THE CENSUS HAS EXPERIENCED CONSIDERABLE DIFFICULTY IN OBTAINING A SATISFACTORY QUALITY OF MULTIPLE PART CONTINUOUS FORM PAPER FOR USE WITH ITS HIGH-SPEED PRINTER UNDER THE ANNUAL TERM CONTRACT EXECUTED BY THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE. THE MAJOR DIFFICULTIES HAVE BEEN IN GETTING GOOD LEGIBLE CARBON COPIES AND MULTIPLE PART FORMS TO FEED PROPERLY THROUGH HIGH-SPEED PRINTERS. WHERE FOUR MULTIPLE COPIES ARE REQUIRED. MOST OF THE CONTINUOUS FORM PAPER CURRENTLY AVAILABLE FROM THE VARIOUS CONTRACTORS UNDER THE GPO TERM CONTRACT IS SUITABLE FOR CONVENTIONAL TABULATING EQUIPMENT BUT IS NOT DESIGNED FOR USE WITH HIGH-SPEED PRINTERS.

B-143856, SEP. 27, 1960

TO THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO A LETTER DATED AUGUST 26, 1960, FROM THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY FOR ADMINISTRATION, REQUESTING APPROVAL OF A PROPOSED METHOD OF OBTAINING SATISFACTORY MARGINALLY PUNCHED CONTINUOUS FORMS FOR USE BY THE BUREAU OF THE CENSUS ON ITS REMINGTON RAND HIGHSPEED PRINTER.

THE FACTS IN THIS CASE ARE REPORTED TO BE ESSENTIALLY AS FOLLOWS: FOR SOME TIME THE BUREAU OF THE CENSUS HAS EXPERIENCED CONSIDERABLE DIFFICULTY IN OBTAINING A SATISFACTORY QUALITY OF MULTIPLE PART CONTINUOUS FORM PAPER FOR USE WITH ITS HIGH-SPEED PRINTER UNDER THE ANNUAL TERM CONTRACT EXECUTED BY THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE. THE MAJOR DIFFICULTIES HAVE BEEN IN GETTING GOOD LEGIBLE CARBON COPIES AND MULTIPLE PART FORMS TO FEED PROPERLY THROUGH HIGH-SPEED PRINTERS. WHERE FOUR MULTIPLE COPIES ARE REQUIRED, THE LEGIBILITY OF THE CARBON COPIES HAS NOT BEEN SATISFACTORY. MOST OF THE CONTINUOUS FORM PAPER CURRENTLY AVAILABLE FROM THE VARIOUS CONTRACTORS UNDER THE GPO TERM CONTRACT IS SUITABLE FOR CONVENTIONAL TABULATING EQUIPMENT BUT IS NOT DESIGNED FOR USE WITH HIGH-SPEED PRINTERS.

UNDER THE GPO TERM CONTRACT, DEPARTMENTS AND INDEPENDENT ESTABLISHMENTS IN THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT ARE REQUIRED TO USE THE CONTRACTS FOR PROCURING THE SUPPLIES LISTED IN THE TERM CONTRACT AND UNDER THE TERMS OF PARAGRAPH 4, PAGE 1, OF INSTRUCTIONS TO USING AGENCIES, THE BUREAU OF THE CENSUS IS REQUIRED TO PRICE OUT EACH ORDER FOR PAPER TO ASCERTAIN THE LOWEST COST. IT IS STATED THAT GENERALLY, THE CONTRACTOR WHOSE PRODUCT IS ACCEPTABLE FOR SPECIAL USE IN HIGH-SPEED PRINTER IS NOT THE ONE QUOTING THE LOWEST PRICE.

IT IS STATED THAT THE PROBLEM HERE INVOLVED HAS BEEN DISCUSSED WITH REPRESENTATIVES OF GPO AND THE JOINT COMMITTEE ON PRINTING, AND THAT THEY HAVE EXPRESSED THEIR WILLINGNESS TO PREPARE SPECIFICATIONS WHICH SHOULD PROVIDE FORMS MEETING THE SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS OF THE BUREAU OF THE CENSUS AND TO INCLUDE THESE SPECIFICATIONS IN THE NEXT ANNUAL CONTRACT WHICH WILL BECOME EFFECTIVE JANUARY 1, 1961.

IT IS STATED FURTHER THAT RECENTLY ALL THE CONTRACTORS ON THE GPO TERM CONTRACT, WHO PRODUCE PAPER OF THE TYPE REQUIRED BY THE BUREAU OF THE CENSUS, WERE CONTACTED AND ADVISED OF THE DIFFICULTIES ENCOUNTERED IN USE OF THE PAPER. EACH CONTRACTOR WAS REQUESTED TO SUBMIT SAMPLES OF PAPER AND CARBON COMBINATIONS WHICH IN HIS OPINION WOULD BEST SATISFY THE NEEDS OF THE BUREAU AND YET BE COMPATIBLE WITH THE TERMS OF THE EXISTING CONTRACT. IT WAS FOUND BY TEST THAT THE PAPER PRODUCED BY UARCO WAS FAR SUPERIOR TO ANY OTHER SAMPLES TESTED.

ADVICE IS REQUESTED AS TO WHETHER OUR OFFICE WOULD APPROVE THE PROPOSED PROCUREMENT BY THE BUREAU OF CONTINUOUS FORM PAPER FROM CONTRACTORS WHO WOULD SUPPLY FORMS WHICH MEET ITS SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS EVEN THOUGH THEY MAY NOT BE THE LOWEST PRICED CONTRACTOR ON THE PARTICULAR CONTRACT ITEM. ALSO, IT IS ADDED THAT IN THE MEANTIME, THE BUREAU WOULD PROPOSE THAT ALL CONTRACTORS BE GIVEN A CONTINUOUS OPPORTUNITY TO SUBMIT SAMPLES FOR TESTING AS TO WHETHER ANY NEW PAPER STOCK, CARBONS OR LOCKING DEVICES WOULD SATISFY THE GOVERNMENT'S NEEDS, AND THAT SAMPLES WHICH PROVE TO BE SATISFACTORY WOULD BE CONSIDERED ALONG WITH PRICE AND ABILITY TO MEET DELIVERY REQUIREMENTS IN DETERMINING THE PARTICULAR CONTRACTOR WITH WHOM THE ORDERS WOULD BE PLACED.

IT HAS BEEN INFORMALLY ASCERTAINED FROM A RESPONSIBLE REPRESENTATIVE OF THE GPO THAT THE MATTER WAS DISCUSSED BY REPRESENTATIVES OF YOUR DEPARTMENT WITH THAT AGENCY BUT THAT NO FORMAL PRESENTATION IN WRITING HAS BEEN MADE. IT HAS BEEN RECOGNIZED THAT YOUR AGENCY CANNOT COMPLY IN EVERY CASE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF THE TERM CONTRACT WITHOUT INCREASING THE COST TO THE GOVERNMENT. IT WAS SUGGESTED THAT YOU PRESENT THE MATTER IN WRITING AT THE EARLIEST PRACTICABLE TIME TO GPO SO THAT REPRESENTATIVES OF THAT OFFICE AND YOUR AGENCY MIGHT COOPERATE IN FORMULATING SPECIFICATIONS TO DESCRIBE THE REQUIREMENTS OF YOUR AGENCY WITH A VIEW TO SECURING COMPETITIVE BIDS ON THE PAPER WHICH WILL SATISFY THE NEEDS OF THE BUREAU OF THE CENSUS. ALSO, IT WAS STATED THAT THE GPO HAD NO OBJECTION TO EMERGENCY PURCHASES OF PAPER BEING MADE BY YOUR DEPARTMENT FROM CONTRACTORS OTHER THAN THOSE WHOSE PRICES MAY BE THE LOWEST ON PARTICULAR ORDERS UNTIL SUCH TIME AS SATISFACTORY SPECIFICATIONS CAN BE PREPARED AND THE PAPER CAN BE PROCURED UNDER CONTRACTS ENTERED INTO BY THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE AS A RESULT OF COMPETITIVE BIDDING.

ACCORDINGLY, WE WOULD NOT BE REQUIRED TO OBJECT TO THE PROPOSED PROCUREMENT OF THE REQUIRED PAPER IN THE MANNER SUGGESTED BY THE BUREAU OF THE CENSUS UNTIL SUCH TIME AS THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE IS ABLE TO ENTER INTO A CONTRACT OR CONTRACTS FOR SUCH PAPER. IT IS UNDERSTOOD THAT THE MATTER WILL BE SUBMITTED PROMPTLY BY YOUR DEPARTMENT TO THE GPO SO THAT APPROPRIATE SPECIFICATIONS CAN BE DEVELOPED FOR THE PURPOSE OF SOLICITING BIDS.