B-146135, AUG. 2, 1961

B-146135: Aug 2, 1961

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INC.: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR TELEGRAM OF JUNE 14. SEVEN BIDS WERE RECEIVED IN RESPONSE TO THE INVITATION AND THEY WERE PUBLICLY OPENED ON MAY 29. THE LOWEST PRICE WAS QUOTED BY YOUR COMPANY BUT THAT PRICE WAS MADE SUBJECT TO THE ADDITION OF THE SUM OF $135 IF ENCLOSING PANELS WERE REQUIRED FOR ALL FOUR SIDES OF THE MACHINE. YOUR COMPANY HAD OFFERED TO SUPPLY THE HOBART MODEL FT 19 (6-6 7) AND IT WAS CONTENDED BY YOUR COMPANY AND HOBART MANUFACTURING COMPANY. THAT YOU WERE ENTITLED TO THE AWARD AS THE LOWEST BIDDER. " AND IT IS APPARENT THAT THE CONTRACTING OFFICER WAS JUSTIFIED IN TAKING THE POSITION THAT ANY BID WHICH OFFERED TO FURNISH A HOBART MACHINE WITHOUT SIDE PANELS WOULD NOT BE RESPONSIVE TO THE INVITATION AND.

B-146135, AUG. 2, 1961

TO W. S. WELSHIMER COMPANY, INC.:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR TELEGRAM OF JUNE 14, 1961, RELATIVE TO YOUR PROTEST AGAINST THE AWARD OF A CONTRACT TO ANOTHER CONCERN UNDER INVITATION FOR BIDS NO. AV 14-040-61-74/MED 2-1136) ISSUED MAY 12, 1961, BY THE PURCHASING AND CONTRACTING DIVISION, FORT RILEY, KANSAS, BASED UPON A REQUIREMENT OF THE IRWIN ARMY HOSPITAL FOR ONE DISHWASHER, CONVEYOR TYPE, HOBART MODEL FT 19 (6-6-7), CHAMPION MODEL UC 19 PRC OR EQUAL.

SEVEN BIDS WERE RECEIVED IN RESPONSE TO THE INVITATION AND THEY WERE PUBLICLY OPENED ON MAY 29, 1961. FOUR BIDDERS OFFERED TO SUPPLY THE HOBART MODEL FT 19 AND THREE BIDDERS OFFERED TO SUPPLY THE CHAMPION MODEL UC 19 PRC. THE BID PRICES RANGED BETWEEN $8,577.62 AND $11,628.75, WITH THE HIGHEST PRICE HAVING BEEN QUOTED BY THE HOBART MANUFACTURING COMPANY, INC., KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI. THE LOWEST PRICE WAS QUOTED BY YOUR COMPANY BUT THAT PRICE WAS MADE SUBJECT TO THE ADDITION OF THE SUM OF $135 IF ENCLOSING PANELS WERE REQUIRED FOR ALL FOUR SIDES OF THE MACHINE. THE CONTRACTING OFFICER EVALUATED YOUR BID AS HAVING AMOUNTED AT LEAST TO THE SUM OF $8,712.62 ($8,577.62 PLUS $135) AND DETERMINED THAT THE AWARD SHOULD BE MADE TO FEHR HOTEL SUPPLY, INC., KANSAS CITY, KANSAS, ON THE BASIS OF ITS BID PRICE OF $8,691.50 FOR THE FURNISHING OF A DISHWASHER, CHAMPION MODEL UC 19 PRC. YOUR COMPANY HAD OFFERED TO SUPPLY THE HOBART MODEL FT 19 (6-6 7) AND IT WAS CONTENDED BY YOUR COMPANY AND HOBART MANUFACTURING COMPANY, INC., THAT YOU WERE ENTITLED TO THE AWARD AS THE LOWEST BIDDER.

THE CATALOG SPECIFICATIONS FOR THE HOBART MODEL FT 19 (757), SUBMITTED WITH THE MANUFACTURER'S BID, STATE THAT: "ENTIRE MACHINE COMPLETELY PANEL- ENCLOSED ABOVE BOTTOM HORIZONTAL FRAME," AND IT IS APPARENT THAT THE CONTRACTING OFFICER WAS JUSTIFIED IN TAKING THE POSITION THAT ANY BID WHICH OFFERED TO FURNISH A HOBART MACHINE WITHOUT SIDE PANELS WOULD NOT BE RESPONSIVE TO THE INVITATION AND, THEREFORE, THE AMOUNT OF $135 SHOULD BE ADDED TO YOUR BID PRICE FOR BID EVALUATION PURPOSES. ANOTHER PROBLEM WAS PRESENTED IN THE EVALUATION OF YOUR BID IN THAT, WHEREAS THE INVITATION APPEARS TO HAVE CONTEMPLATED THAT A MACHINE WOULD BE FURNISHED WITHOUT INVOLVING ANY MAJOR ASSEMBLY COSTS TO THE GOVERNMENT, THE SPECIFICATIONS MADE A PART OF YOUR BID INDICATED THAT YOU INTENDED TO SHIP THE MACHINE IN THREE SECTIONS FOR ASSEMBLY ON THE JOB SITE. ALSO, A QUESTION AROSE AS TO THE RESPONSIVENESS OF YOUR BID BECAUSE IT CONTAINS NO DEFINITE COMMITMENT ON YOUR PART THAT DELIVERY WOULD BE ACCOMPLISHED WITHIN 30 DAYS AFTER RECEIPT OF A WRITTEN NOTICE OF AWARD OR DELIVERY ORDER, DESCRIBED IN THE INVITATION AS BEING "WITHIN ACCEPTABLE TIME LIMITS.' THE BID STATES ONLY THAT "THE HOBART FACTORY HAS PROMISED THAT THIS MACHINE WILL BE DELIVERED AT IRWIN ARMY HOSPITAL BEFORE JUNE 30, 1961.'

THERE HAS BEEN A CONSIDERABLE AMOUNT OF CONTROVERSY CONCERNING THE RESPECTIVE MERITS OF THE HOBART AND CHAMPION DISHWASHING MACHINES. OBVIOUSLY, EITHER TYPE OF EQUIPMENT MEETS THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE INVITATION FOR BIDS BUT IT DEVELOPED IN CONNECTION WITH AN INVESTIGATION OF VARIOUS ALLEGATIONS MADE BY A REPRESENTATIVE OF HOBART MANUFACTURING COMPANY, INC., AFTER THE AWARD WAS MADE TO FEHR HOTEL SUPPLY, INC., THAT, IN THE OPINION OF THE CONTRACTING OFFICER, THE CHAMPION MODEL UC 19 PRC WOULD BE MORE SUITABLE THAN THE HOBART MODEL FT 19 FOR USE AT THE IRWIN ARMY HOSPITAL. IN ANY EVENT, THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE CASE ARE SUCH AS TO REQUIRE THE CONCLUSION THAT THE CONTRACTING OFFICER PROPERLY CONSIDERED THE BID OF FEHR HOTEL SUPPLY, INC., FOR ACCEPTANCE AS THE LOWEST BID WHICH WAS COMPLETELY RESPONSIVE TO THE INVITATION.