B-146671, NOV. 22, 1961

B-146671: Nov 22, 1961

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INC.: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR TELEGRAM OF AUGUST 15 AND LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 5. NO MONETARY ALLOWANCE WAS TO BE GIVEN IN THE EVALUATION OF THE BIDS FOR ANY HOUSE PLAN THAT WAS IN EXCESS OF THE MINIMUM NET FLOOR AREA REQUIRED. THE HOUSE WAS TO BE SO DESIGNED THAT IT WOULD BE CAPABLE OF BEING MOVED OVER HIGHWAYS IN NOT MORE THAN TWO SECTIONS. THE LATTER PROVISION WAS FOR THE PURPOSE OF MINIMIZING FUTURE COSTS OF DISASSEMBLY. IT IS REPORTED THAT THE ACTUAL TRANSPORTATION COST WAS NOT MADE AN EVALUATION FACTOR FOR THE REASONS THAT THE NUMBER OF POSSIBLE FUTURE MOVES COULD NOT BE DETERMINED. THE AVERAGE DISTANCE OF THE HAUL COULD NOT REASONABLY BE ESTIMATED AS THE FUTURE SITE WAS NOT KNOWN.

B-146671, NOV. 22, 1961

TO BUCKINGHAM WOOD PRODUCTS, INC.:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR TELEGRAM OF AUGUST 15 AND LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 5, 1961, PROTESTING THE REJECTION OF ALL BIDS SUBMITTED UNDER SPECIFICATIONS NO. 600C-193, ISSUED BY THE BUREAU OF RECLAMATION FOR RELOCATABLE HOUSES TO BE ERECTED AT YELLOWTAIL DAM IN MONTANA.

THE SPECIFICATIONS INVITED BIDDERS TO EXERCISE INGENUITY TO PROVIDE A THREE-BEDROOM, ONE-STORY STRUCTURE WITH A NET FLOOR AREA OF 950 TO 1,050 SQUARE FEET. NO MONETARY ALLOWANCE WAS TO BE GIVEN IN THE EVALUATION OF THE BIDS FOR ANY HOUSE PLAN THAT WAS IN EXCESS OF THE MINIMUM NET FLOOR AREA REQUIRED. THE TECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS INCORPORATED THE FEDERAL HOUSING ADMINISTRATION'S MINIMUM PROPERTY STANDARDS NO. 300 FOR ONE AND TWO LIVING UNITS. THE HOUSE WAS TO BE SO DESIGNED THAT IT WOULD BE CAPABLE OF BEING MOVED OVER HIGHWAYS IN NOT MORE THAN TWO SECTIONS. THE LATTER PROVISION WAS FOR THE PURPOSE OF MINIMIZING FUTURE COSTS OF DISASSEMBLY, MOVING, AND REASSEMBLY AT ANOTHER SITE WHEN THE HOUSES HAD SERVED THEIR PURPOSE AT THE YELLOWTAIL DAM SITE. THE SPECIFICATION PROVIDED THAT BIDS WOULD BE EVALUATED ON THE BASIS OF COST OF ONE MOVE FOR EACH OF THE RESIDENCES TO ANOTHER SITE AND REASSEMBLING ON ANOTHER FOUNDATION, INCLUDING (1) DISMANTLING AND READYING EACH HOUSE FOR THE MOVE AND (2) REASSEMBLING ON A NEW FOUNDATION AT A NEW SITE. IT IS REPORTED THAT THE ACTUAL TRANSPORTATION COST WAS NOT MADE AN EVALUATION FACTOR FOR THE REASONS THAT THE NUMBER OF POSSIBLE FUTURE MOVES COULD NOT BE DETERMINED, THE AVERAGE DISTANCE OF THE HAUL COULD NOT REASONABLY BE ESTIMATED AS THE FUTURE SITE WAS NOT KNOWN, AND IT WAS BELIEVED THAT THE COST OF HAULING WOULD BE ABOUT THE SAME FOR ANY OF THE HOUSES OFFERED BY THE BIDDERS.

UPON EXAMINATION OF THE SIX BIDS RECEIVED IN RESPONSE TO THE INVITATION, INCLUDING THE DRAWINGS AND OTHER DATA RELATING TO THE TYPE OF DWELLINGS OFFERED, IT WAS EVIDENT THAT TWO SEPARATE LOADS WOULD BE REQUIRED TO MOVE SOME OF THE HOUSES WHEREAS OTHERS WOULD REQUIRE ONLY ONE, AND THAT THE AMOUNTS OF WORK REQUIRED TO PREPARE THE HOUSES FOR THE MOVE AND THE WORK IN REASSEMBLING THE HOUSES AT A NEW SITE WERE CONSIDERABLY DIFFERENT. THEN BECAME APPARENT THAT FUTURE HAULING, DISASSEMBLING AND REASSEMBLING OF THE HOUSES WERE IMPORTANT ELEMENTS WHICH SHOULD HAVE BEEN SPECIFIED IN MORE DETAIL IN THE INVITATION IN ORDER TO PROPERLY EVALUATE THE BIDS TO DETERMINE THE LOWEST OVER-ALL COST TO THE GOVERNMENT AS WELL AS TO ACHIEVE EQUAL CONSIDERATION OF ALL BIDS. THE FACT WAS ALSO DISCLOSED THAT SEVERAL OF THE BIDS CONTAINED MAJOR DEVIATIONS FROM THE TECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS OF THE SPECIFICATIONS.

CLOSELY RELATED TO THE ADMINISTRATIVE DECISION TO REJECT ALL BIDS UNDER THE INSTANT INVITATION WAS THE FACT THAT TWO DAYS LATER, ON JULY 20, 1961, BIDS WERE ALSO OPENED FOR 18 HOUSES TO BE FURNISHED UNDER ALMOST IDENTICAL TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS, INCLUDING THE FHA MINIMUM PROPERTY STANDARDS. ALL THREE OF THE BIDS RECEIVED, INCLUDING TWO FROM FIRMS WHICH HAD BID ON THE YELLOWTAIL HOUSES, WERE DEFICIENT IN THAT THEY FAILED TO MEET IMPORTANT TECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS OF THE SPECIFICATIONS.

UNDER ALL THE CIRCUMSTANCES IT WAS DECIDED THAT BIDS FOR THE HOUSES FOR YELLOWTAIL DAM SITE SHOULD BE REJECTED, THE REQUIREMENTS SHOULD BE READVERTISED AND THE SPECIFICATIONS SHOULD BE REVISED IN THE FOLLOWING RESPECTS: (A) TO CLARIFY AND STATE MORE SPECIFICALLY CERTAIN TECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS, (B) TO INFORM BIDDERS THAT REPRESENTATIVES OF THE FEDERAL HOUSING ADMINISTRATION WOULD ASSIST IN REVIEWING THE BIDS FOR TECHNICAL COMPLIANCE WITH THE FHA MINIMUM PROPERTY STANDARDS, (C) TO EXPAND THE BASIS TO BE USED IN EVALUATING THE BIDS WITH RESPECT TO THE COST OF DISMANTLING AND READYING EACH UNIT FOR SHIPMENT AND OF RE ESTABLISHING EACH UNIT ON A NEW FOUNDATION AND (D) TO INCLUDE ANTICIPATED HAULING COSTS FOR A GIVEN DISTANCE AND TO INFORM BIDDERS OF THE TARIFF TO BE USED IN EVALUATING SUCH HAULING COSTS. IT WAS ALSO DECIDED THAT THE NEW INVITATION SHOULD INCLUDE THE REQUIREMENTS FOR HOUSES AT BOTH THE YELLOWTAIL DAM SITE (33) AND THE FONTENELLE DAM SITE (14), A TOTAL OF 47 HOUSES.

YOU PROTEST THE ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION TAKEN ON THE BASIS THAT THE REJECTION OF ALL BIDS FOR THE FAILURE OF THE INVITATION TO TAKE INTO CONSIDERATION THE COST OF HIGHWAY TRANSPORTATION IS NOT VALID. IT IS STATED THAT ALL HOUSES BUILT TO THE SAME PLANS AND SPECIFICATIONS WILL BE THE SAME SIZE AND WEIGHT AND CONSEQUENTLY HIGHWAY TRANSPORTATION COSTS WILL BE THE SAME. THE FACTS UPON WHICH YOUR CONCLUSION IS BASED ARE ERRONEOUS, SINCE THE INVITATION DID NOT CALL FOR BIDS ON A HOUSE BASED ON A SPECIFIC PLAN OR CONTAINING A SPECIFIC AREA. IT IS REPORTED THAT THE DRAWINGS AND OTHER DATA SUBMITTED BY VARIOUS BIDDERS SHOWED DEFINITE DIFFERENCES IN SIZE OF THE STRUCTURES, SIZE AND TYPE OF MATERIALS, AND METHODS OF ASSEMBLY AT THE SITE. THESE DATA INDICATED SIGNIFICANT DIFFERENCES IN THE WEIGHT OF THE HOUSES, WHICH WERE LATER CONFIRMED, AND IN THE METHOD WHICH COULD BE USED IN TRANSPORTING THEM.

WHILE IT WAS ORIGINALLY BELIEVED THAT FUTURE HAULING AND RELATED COSTS WOULD NOT BE AN IMPORTANT FACTOR IN THE EVALUATION, THE BIDS RECEIVED DISCLOSED THAT SUCH COSTS WERE AN IMPORTANT FACTOR. FURTHERMORE IT WAS DETERMINED THAT THE SPECIFICATIONS WERE NONE TOO CLEAR AS TO CERTAIN TECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS. UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES, WE FIND NO LEGAL BASIS FOR OBJECTING TO THE ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION TAKEN IN REJECTING ALL BIDS AND, THEREFORE, YOUR PROTEST MUST BE DENIED.