B-146574, DEC. 20, 1961

B-146574: Dec 20, 1961

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FEDERAL AVIATION AGENCY: REFERENCE IS MADE OF OCTOBER 13. - "BIDS OFFERING EQUIPMENT OTHER THAN BRAND NAME EQUIPMENT REFERENCE IN THIS INVITATION WILL BE CONSIDERED:PROVIDED. SUCH OFFERED EQUIPMENT IS CLEARLY IDENTIFIED IN THE BIDS AND BIDDERS FURNISHED WITH THEIR BIDS (1) DESCRIPTIVE MATERIAL. WHICH WILL CLEARLY SHOW THE CHARACTERISTICS OF THE EQUIPMENT OFFERED. FAILURE TO FURNISH THE INFORMATION REQUIRED BY (1) AND (2) ABOVE WILL REQUIRE REJECTION OF THE BID.'. AWARD WAS MADE FOR A REDUCED QUANTITY TO THE STANDARD PRESSED STEEL COMPANY. THE PURCHASING OFFICE STATED THAT THE LOW BID WAS REJECTED BECAUSE "THE BID WAS NOT ACCOMPANIED BY A STATEMENT SHOWING IN DETAIL THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE EQUIPMENT OFFERED AND THAT REFERENCED IN THE INVITATION.'.

B-146574, DEC. 20, 1961

TO ADMINISTRATIVE, FEDERAL AVIATION AGENCY:

REFERENCE IS MADE OF OCTOBER 13, 1961, FROM YOUR DIRECTOR, AVIATION FACILITIES SERVICE, FORWARDING, IN RESPONSE TO OUR REQUEST, A REPORT AND RELATED PAPERS CONCERNING THE REJECTION OF THE BID OF GENERAL STEEL PRODUCTS CORPORATION, SUBMITTED ON INVITATION FOR BIDS NO. 1-61 1226B2, ISSUED BY THE PURCHASING UNIT, NEW YORK INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT.

THE INVITATION SOUGHT BIDS ON A QUANTITY OF STEEL SHELVING AND ACCOMPANYING ACCESSORIES,"TO BE SIMILAR AND EQUAL TO STANDARD PRESSED STEEL CO., HALLOWELL DIV. (JENKINTOWN, PENNA.) MODEL 522.' THE INVITATION FURTHER STIPULATED THAT---

"BIDS OFFERING EQUIPMENT OTHER THAN BRAND NAME EQUIPMENT REFERENCE IN THIS INVITATION WILL BE CONSIDERED:PROVIDED, THAT, SUCH OFFERED EQUIPMENT IS CLEARLY IDENTIFIED IN THE BIDS AND BIDDERS FURNISHED WITH THEIR BIDS (1) DESCRIPTIVE MATERIAL, INCLUDING CUTS, ILLUSTRATIONS, DRAWINGS, OR OTHER GRAPHIC MATERIAL, WHICH WILL CLEARLY SHOW THE CHARACTERISTICS OF THE EQUIPMENT OFFERED, AND (2) A STATEMENT SHOWING IN DETAIL THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE EQUIPMENT OFFERED AND THAT REFERENCED IN THE INVITATION. FAILURE TO FURNISH THE INFORMATION REQUIRED BY (1) AND (2) ABOVE WILL REQUIRE REJECTION OF THE BID.'

GENERAL STEEL PRODUCTS CORPORATION SUBMITTED A LOW BID OF $14,097.94 FOR THE LOT; HOWEVER, AWARD WAS MADE FOR A REDUCED QUANTITY TO THE STANDARD PRESSED STEEL COMPANY, THE SEVENTH LOWEST BIDDER, WHOSE OFFER OF $16,155.10 EXCEEDED THE LOW BID BY $2,057.16, EQUAL TO APPROXIMATELY 13 PERCENT. THE PURCHASING OFFICE STATED THAT THE LOW BID WAS REJECTED BECAUSE "THE BID WAS NOT ACCOMPANIED BY A STATEMENT SHOWING IN DETAIL THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE EQUIPMENT OFFERED AND THAT REFERENCED IN THE INVITATION.' IN THAT CONNECTION, OUR EXAMINATION OF THE GENERAL STEEL PRODUCTS BID DISCLOSES THAT THE SAID FIRM PROPOSED TO FURNISH SHELVING AND RELATED EQUIPMENT OF ITS OWN MANUFACTURE. THE BID WAS ACCOMPANIED BY DRAWINGS SHOWING THE DETAILED CHARACTERISTICS OF ITS PRODUCTS, INCLUDING DIMENSIONS OF THE VARIOUS COMPONENTS AND THE GAGE OF THE STEEL TO BE FABRICATED. FURTHERMORE, NO EXCEPTION WAS TAKEN TO THE SPECIFICATIONS CALLING FOR COMPLETED UNITS EQUAL TO THE NAMED BRAND REFERRED TO IN THE INVITATION.

THE RECORD FURNISHED TO US DOES NOT INCLUDE ANY DRAWINGS OR SPECIFICATIONS OF THE STANDARD PRESSED STEEL MODEL S-522, AND THEREFORE A COMPARISON BETWEEN THE TWO PRODUCTS IS IMPOSSIBLE TO MAKE. HOWEVER, IT APPEARS FROM THE RECORD THAT STEEL SHELVING OF THE TYPE INVOLVED IS COVERED BY A FEDERAL SPECIFICATION, AND WE ARE NOT SATISFIED THAT THE USE OF THE BRAND NAME SPECIFICATION IN LIEU THEREOF WAS JUSTIFIED, SINCE THERE WAS NO REFERENCE TO ANY PARTICULAR FEATURES OR CHARACTERISTICS OF THE NAMED BRAND WHICH WERE REQUIRED AND WHICH WOULD NOT BE MET BY ANY ITEM MEETING THE FEDERAL SPECIFICATION. IT ALSO SEEMS SIGNIFICANT TO US THAT THE PURCHASING OFFICIALS MADE NO FINDING TO THE EFFECT THAT THE LOW BIDDER'S PRODUCT WAS IN ANY MATERIAL WAY DIFFERENT FROM THE EQUIPMENT SPECIFIED.

IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING IT APPEARS TO US THAT AWARD TO THE HIGHER BIDDER HAS NOT BEEN SUFFICIENTLY JUSTIFIED. HOWEVER, SINCE WE HAVE BEEN INFORMALLY ADVISED THAT SUBSTANTIAL PERFORMANCE WAS ACCOMPLISHED PROMPTLY AFTER RECEIPT OF AWARD BY THE CONTRACTOR, AND BEFORE THE FURNISHING OF THE REPORT CONCERNING THE PROTEST, THE CONTRACT WILL NOT BE DISTURBED. AS TO FUTURE PROCUREMENTS OF SUCH EQUIPMENT, YOUR ATTENTION IS INVITED TO OUR DECISION OF NOVEMBER 28, 1961, B-147393, 41 COMP. GEN. - , TO YOU, INVOLVING A PROTEST MADE UNDER SIMILAR CIRCUMSTANCES, WHEREIN WE CITED FPR 1-1.307-4, WHICH SUGGESTS THE USE OF SEVERAL DIFFERENT BRAND NAMES WHERE FEASIBLE. SEE ALSO DECISION OF NOVEMBER 29, 1961, B-147370, COPY ENCLOSED, AS TO THE USE OF BRAND NAME SPECIFICATIONS.