B-145375, JUN. 15, 1961

B-145375: Jun 15, 1961

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TO WHITLOCK CORPORATION: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 17. THIRTEEN BIDS WERE RECEIVED. THE LOW BID OF NULOCK SUPPLY COMPANY TO FURNISH THE LAWN SPRINKLERS FOR $1.7109 EACH WAS ACCEPTED. 564 WAS THE FOURTH LOWEST BID RECEIVED (EXCLUSIVE OF ALTERNATE BIDS). YOU STATE THAT THERE ARE NINE DEFICIENCIES IN HE SPRINKLER. IN THE REPORT OF THE MECHANICAL ENGINEER EMPLOYED BY YOU IT IS ADMITTED THAT 40-FOOT COVERAGE MEETS THE REQUIREMENTS FOR . AS TO YOUR ALLEGATION THAT THE LAFAYETTE SPRINKLER DOES NOT HAVE A CAST METAL CORROSION RESISTANT BASE. AS TO THE ALLEGATION THAT THE BASE IS TO BE DESIGNED FOR EASY DRAGGING. YOU STATE THAT SINCE THE LAFAYETTE SPRINKLER BASE ONLY HAS A MAXIMUM GROUND CLEARANCE OF ONE HALF INCH AND IS AS LOW AS ONE-QUARTER INCH AT THE CENTER.

B-145375, JUN. 15, 1961

TO WHITLOCK CORPORATION:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 17, 1961, PROTESTING THE AWARD OF CONTRACT NO. GS-00S-33729 TO THE NULOCK SUPPLY COMPANY FOR FURNISHING A QUANTITY OF LAWN SPRINKLERS TO THE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION STORES DEPOTS DURING THE PERIOD FROM JANUARY 4, 1961, THROUGH JANUARY 3, 1962.

THE INVITATION ISSUED IN THIS CASE CALLED FOR DELIVERY OF LAWN SPRINKLERS AS NEEDED DURING THE CONTRACT PERIOD, WITH A GUARANTEED MINIMUM QUANTITY OF 19,617. THIRTEEN BIDS WERE RECEIVED. THE LOW BID OF NULOCK SUPPLY COMPANY TO FURNISH THE LAWN SPRINKLERS FOR $1.7109 EACH WAS ACCEPTED. YOUR BID OF $2,564 WAS THE FOURTH LOWEST BID RECEIVED (EXCLUSIVE OF ALTERNATE BIDS).

IN YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 17, YOU STATED THAT THE SAMPLE LAWN SPRINKLER SUBMITTED BY NULOCK TO THE CONTRACTING OFFICE DOES NOT MEET THE PURCHASE DESCRIPTION OF THE INVITATION. YOU STATE THAT THERE ARE NINE DEFICIENCIES IN HE SPRINKLER, THREE OF WHICH CONCERN SPECIFICATION COMPLIANCE.

AS TO YOU ALLEGATION THAT THE LAFAYETTE SPRINKLER OFFERED BY NULOCK DOES NOT MEET THE REQUIREMENT THAT IT MUST COVER A SPACE APPROXIMATELY 50 FEET IN DIAMETER, THE CONTRACTING OFFICE (GSA) REPORTS THAT TESTING REVEALED COVERAGE UP TO 40 FEET. IN THE REPORT OF THE MECHANICAL ENGINEER EMPLOYED BY YOU IT IS ADMITTED THAT 40-FOOT COVERAGE MEETS THE REQUIREMENTS FOR ,APPROXIMATELY" 50 FEET. AS TO YOUR ALLEGATION THAT THE LAFAYETTE SPRINKLER DOES NOT HAVE A CAST METAL CORROSION RESISTANT BASE, THE CONTRACTING OFFICE REPORTS THAT THE PAINTED CAST IRON BASE MEETS THE GOVERNMENT'S REQUIREMENT FOR CORROSIVE RESISTANCE SINCE IT HAS KNOWLEDGE OF CAST IRON SOIL PIPE THAT HAS BEEN BURIED FOR 50 YEARS WITH NO APPRECIABLE DETERIORATION. AS TO THE ALLEGATION THAT THE BASE IS TO BE DESIGNED FOR EASY DRAGGING, YOU STATE THAT SINCE THE LAFAYETTE SPRINKLER BASE ONLY HAS A MAXIMUM GROUND CLEARANCE OF ONE HALF INCH AND IS AS LOW AS ONE-QUARTER INCH AT THE CENTER, THE SPRINKLER DOES NOT COMPLY WITH SPECIFICATIONS. THE CONTRACTING OFFICE STATES THAT THERE WILL NOT BE A DRAGGING PROBLEM BECAUSE OF LOW CLEARANCE OF BASE WHEN SPRINKLER IS USED ON LAWNS.

THE OTHER ALLEGED SIX DEFICIENCES PERTAIN TO FEATURES NOT COVERED BY THE SPECIFICATION AND ARE STATED BY THE CONTRACTING AGENCY NOT TO BE OF SUCH A NATURE THAT THE "GOOD WORKMANSHIP" REQUIREMENT OF THE SPECIFICATION IS BEING VIOLATED. ALSO, IT IS STATED THAT WHETHER OR NOT THESE ALLEGED DEFICIENCIES ARE ACTUAL, THESE FEATURES COULD NOT HAVE BEEN CONSIDERED IN DETERMINING THE ACCEPTABILITY OF THE NULOCK PRODUCT IN THE BID EVALUATION.

INSOFAR AS THERE ARE INVOLVED HERE THE FINDINGS OF THE CONTRACTING OFFICE AS TO WHETHER THE PRODUCT OFFERED BY WHITLOCK MET THE SPECIFCATION REQUIREMENTS AND WHICH ARE IN CONTRADICTION OF YOUR STATEMENT IN THE MATTER IT HAS BEEN THE INVARIABLE RULE OF THE ACCOUNTING OFFICERS TO ACCEPT THE ADMINISTRATIVE VERSION OF THE FACTS, IN THE ABSENCE OF CONVINCING EVIDENCE THAT THE FACTS AS ADMINISTRATIVELY REPORTED ARE INCORRECT. THE EVIDENCE PRESENTED BY YOU IS NOT REGARDED AS SUCH CONVINCING EVIDENCE.

IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING WE FIND NO PROPER BASIS FOR CONCLUDING THAT THE AWARD TO NULOCK WAS IMPROPER.