B-146299, SEP. 18, 1961

B-146299: Sep 18, 1961

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TO AMERICAN HYDROTHERM CORPORATION: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR PROTEST AGAINST THE ACTION TAKEN BY THE DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE IN REJECTING ALL BIDS RECEIVED UNDER INVITATION FOR BIDS NO. 11-603-61-3. THE SERVICES WERE DIVIDED INTO FOUR ITEMS BY THE INVITATION. THE EIGHT BIDS RECEIVED IN RESPONSE TO THE INVITATION WERE OPENED ON JUNE 14. THE LOW BID WAS SUBMITTED BY ENGINEERING SERVICE. WAS SECOND LOW. SUBSEQUENT TO THE OPENING OF THE BIDS IT WAS DISCOVERED THAT THE CENTRAL HEATING PLANT FOR NEW HANGARS WOULD NOT BE READY FOR OPERATION UNTIL THE FALL OF 1961 AND. SINCE THE SERVICES CALLED FOR UNDER THE INVITATION WERE ON AN ALL OR NONE BASIS FOR A 12-MONTH PERIOD. IT WAS DECIDED TO CANCEL THE INVITATION.

B-146299, SEP. 18, 1961

TO AMERICAN HYDROTHERM CORPORATION:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR PROTEST AGAINST THE ACTION TAKEN BY THE DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE IN REJECTING ALL BIDS RECEIVED UNDER INVITATION FOR BIDS NO. 11-603-61-3.

THE INVITATION REQUESTED BIDS FOR FURNISHING NON-PERSONAL SERVICES TO PROVIDE MAINTENANCE, CUSTODIAL, SECURITY AND FIRE GUARDS WITHIN THE AREA UNDER THE JURISDICTION OF THE 64TH TROOP CARRIER SQUADRON AT O HARE INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, FOR A PERIOD OF 12 MONTHS, JULY 1, 1961, TO JUNE 30, 1962. THE SERVICES WERE DIVIDED INTO FOUR ITEMS BY THE INVITATION, WHICH PROVIDED THAT THE AWARD WOULD BE MADE ON AN ALL OR NONE BASIS FOR ALL FOUR ITEMS.

THE EIGHT BIDS RECEIVED IN RESPONSE TO THE INVITATION WERE OPENED ON JUNE 14, 1961. THE LOW BID WAS SUBMITTED BY ENGINEERING SERVICE, INC., OF AMERICA, IN THE TOTAL AMOUNT OF $236,160. YOUR BID, IN THE TOTAL AMOUNT OF $268,368, WAS SECOND LOW.

SUBSEQUENT TO THE OPENING OF THE BIDS IT WAS DISCOVERED THAT THE CENTRAL HEATING PLANT FOR NEW HANGARS WOULD NOT BE READY FOR OPERATION UNTIL THE FALL OF 1961 AND, THEREFORE, NO REQUIREMENT FOR THE OPERATION AND MAINTENANCE OF THAT PLANT, AS CALLED FOR BY ITEM 2 OF THE INVITATION, WOULD EXIST UNTIL APPROXIMATELY NOVEMBER 1, 1961. IN VIEW THEREOF, AND SINCE THE SERVICES CALLED FOR UNDER THE INVITATION WERE ON AN ALL OR NONE BASIS FOR A 12-MONTH PERIOD, IT WAS DECIDED TO CANCEL THE INVITATION, TO REJECT ALL BIDS RECEIVED AND TO EXERCISE THE OPTION UNDER THE EXISTING CONTRACT TO EXTEND THE PERIOD OF PERFORMANCE FOR FOUR MONTHS, OR TO OCTOBER 31, 1961. IT IS REPORTED THAT IT IS INTENDED TO ADVERTISE FOR THE SERVICES FOR A PERIOD COMMENCING NOVEMBER 1, 1961.

YOUR PROTEST THE ACTION TAKEN IN THE REJECTION OF ALL BIDS AND THE EXERCISE OF THE OPTION TO EXTEND THE EXISTING CONTRACT ON THE BASIS THAT SUCH ACTION IS NOT IN THE BEST INTEREST OF THE GOVERNMENT. IT MAY BE TRUE THAT THE ADDITIONAL PERSONNEL CALLED FOR BY THE INVITATION INVOLVED COULD HAVE BEEN OBTAINED FOR VERY LITTLE HAD AN AWARD BEEN MADE UNDER THE INVITATION. HOWEVER, SINCE SUCH ADDITIONAL PERSONS WERE NOT NEEDED, EVEN A RELATIVELY SMALL ADDITIONAL COST WOULD BE AN UNWARRANTED EXPENSE. FURTHERMORE, THE RECORD SHOWS THAT ENGINEERING SERVICES, INC., THE LOW BIDDER, WAS GIVEN A FAVORABLE FACILITY CAPABILITY REPORT AND THEREFORE AWARD PROBABLY WOULD HAVE BEEN MADE TO THAT BIDDER HAD IT NOT BEEN DECIDED TO EXTEND THE EXISTING CONTRACT.

SINCE THE INVITATION HERE INVOLVED REQUESTED SERVICES FOR A PERIOD COMMENCING JULY 1, 1961, WHICH WERE NOT NEEDED UNTIL NOVEMBER 1, 1961, THERE IS NO LEGAL BASIS UPON WHICH WE COULD QUESTION THE ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION TAKEN IN THE MATTER. IT IS UNFORTUNATE THAT THE INVITATION REQUESTED SERVICES WHICH WERE NOT NEEDED IMMEDIATELY, BUT WE DO NOT BELIEVE THAT THE INTEGRITY OF THE COMPETITIVE BID SYSTEM REQUIRES THE ACCEPTANCE OF AND PAYMENT FOR SERVICES NOT NEEDED.

WHILE YOU RAISED CERTAIN QUESTIONS CONCERNING THE AWARD OF THE EXISTING CONTRACT FOR SERVICES FOR THE PERIOD COMMENCING JULY 1, 1960, THERE WOULD APPEAR TO BE NO USEFUL PURPOSE AT THIS TIME TO QUESTION THE PROPRIETY OF THE AWARD SINCE THE ORIGINAL TERM OF THE CONTRACT HAS EXPIRED AND THE AWARD WAS MADE TO THE LOW BIDDER.