B-147436, FEB. 23, 1962

B-147436: Feb 23, 1962

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Edda Emmanuelli Perez
(202) 512-2853
EmmanuelliPerezE@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

INCORPORATED: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR PROTEST CONCERNING THE AWARD MADE UNDER DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR. 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 ARE GENERAL IN NATURE AND REPLY PRINCIPALLY UPON FEDERAL HOUSING ADMINISTRATION MINIMUM PROPERTY STANDARDS. THE HOUSE WAS TO BE DESIGNED SO THAT IT WOULD BE CAPABLE OF BEING MOVED OVER PUBLIC HIGHWAYS IN NOT MORE THAN TWO SECTIONS. THE LATTER PROVISION WAS FOR THE PURPOSE OF MINIMIZING FUTURE COST OF DISASSEMBLY. MOVING AND REASSEMBLY AT OTHER SITES WHEN THE HOUSES HAVE SERVED THEIR PURPOSE AT THESE PARTICULAR SITES.

B-147436, FEB. 23, 1962

TO VOUGHT INDUSTRIES, INCORPORATED:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR PROTEST CONCERNING THE AWARD MADE UNDER DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, BUREAU OF RECLAMATION, SPECIFICATIONS NO. DC- 5665 FOR 3-BEDROOM RELOCATABLE HOUSES AT GOVERNMENT COMMUNITIES AT YELLOWTAIL DAM AND FONTENELLE DAM.

THE INVITATION INVITED BIDDERS TO EXERCISE INGENUITY TO PROVIDE A 3 BEDROOM, 1-STORY STRUCTURE WITH A MINIMUM NET FLOOR AREA OF 950 SQUARE FEET AND A MAXIMUM OF 1,300 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 ARE GENERAL IN NATURE AND REPLY PRINCIPALLY UPON FEDERAL HOUSING ADMINISTRATION MINIMUM PROPERTY STANDARDS. THE HOUSE WAS TO BE DESIGNED SO THAT IT WOULD BE CAPABLE OF BEING MOVED OVER PUBLIC HIGHWAYS IN NOT MORE THAN TWO SECTIONS. THE LATTER PROVISION WAS FOR THE PURPOSE OF MINIMIZING FUTURE COST OF DISASSEMBLY, MOVING AND REASSEMBLY AT OTHER SITES WHEN THE HOUSES HAVE SERVED THEIR PURPOSE AT THESE PARTICULAR SITES. THE FACTOR OF RELOCATABILITY WAS CONSIDERED VERY IMPORTANT AND THEREFORE THE PROVISIONS ON EVALUATION OF THE BIDS WERE STATED IN CONSIDERABLE DETAIL AND INCLUDED SUCH ITEMS AS THE COST OF DISASSEMBLY, HAULING OVER HIGHWAYS AND REASSEMBLY UPON A NEW FOUNDATION.

THE INVITATION HERE INVOLVED IS A READVERTISEMENT OF TWO PRIOR SIMILAR INVITATIONS UNDER WHICH ALL BIDS WERE REJECTED. UNDER THE PRIOR INVITATIONS THE ACTUAL TRANSPORTATION COST WAS NOT MADE AN EVALUATION FACTOR FOR THE REASON THAT IT WAS BELIEVED THAT THE COST OF HAULING WOULD BE ABOUT THE SAME FOR ANY OF THE HOUSES OFFERED BY THE BIDDERS. HOWEVER, UPON EXAMINATION OF THE BIDS RECEIVED, IT WAS EVIDENT THAT TWO SEPARATE LOADS WOULD BE REQUIRED FOR SOME OF THE HOUSES, WHEREAS OTHERS WOULD REQUIRE ONLY ONE LOAD. IT THEN BECAME APPARENT THAT FUTURE HAULING, DISASSEMBLY AND REASSEMBLY OF THE HOUSES WERE IMPORTANT ELEMENTS AND SHOULD HAVE BEEN SPECIFIED IN MORE DETAIL IN THE INVITATION IN ORDER TO PROPERLY EVALUATE THE BIDS TO DETERMINE THE LOWEST OVERALL COST TO THE GOVERNMENT AS WELL AS TO ACHIEVE EQUAL CONSIDERATION OF ALL BIDS. THEREFORE UNDER THE INVITATION HERE INVOLVED, IN ADDITION TO CERTAIN TECHNICAL PROVISIONS AND COMBINING THE QUANTITY REQUIREMENTS UNDER THE TWO PRIOR INVITATIONS, THE SPECIFICATIONS WERE REVISED TO EXPAND THE BASIS TO BE USED IN EVALUATING THE BIDS AS TO THE COST OF DISMANTLING AND READYING EACH UNIT FOR SHIPMENT AND OF REESTABLISHING EACH UNIT ON A NEW FOUNDATION, TO INCLUDE ANTICIPATED HAULING COST FOR A GIVEN DISTANCE AND TO INFORM BIDDERS OF THE TARIFF TO BE USED IN COMPUTING SUCH HAULING COST.

IT IS REPORTED THAT THE DISTANCE OF 750 MILES CHOSEN WAS BASED UPON PRIOR EXPERIENCE, AND DUE TO THE NATURE OF THE WORK INVOLVED OF LOADS, THAT THE ADVICE AND ASSISTANCE OF THE TRAFFIC DIVISION OF THE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION WAS OBTAINED. IT WAS DECIDED THAT THE TRANSPORTATION COST FOR THE SECONDARY MOVEMENT SHOULD BE COMPUTED UPON THE BASIS OF CURRENT RATES PUBLISHED IN SECTION 1 OF HEAVY AND SPECIALIZED CARRIER'S TARIFF BUREAU, TARIFF NO. 100-C, AGENT, F. H. FLOYD'S MF-ICC NO. 11, OR REISSUES THEREOF, IN EFFECT ON THE DATE OF BID OPENING.

THE NINE BIDS RECEIVED IN RESPONSE TO THE INSTANT INVITATION WERE OPENED ON OCTOBER 3, 1961. YOUR BID ON SCHEDULE 1 FOR THE 33 RESIDENCE AT THE YELLOWTAIL DAM SITE WAS LOW. HOWEVER, AFTER THE EVALUATION PURSUANT TO PARAGRAPH 18 OF THE SPECIFICATIONS, YOUR BID WAS NOT LOW ON EITHER OF THE TWO SCHEDULES. SINCE YOUR BID AS EVALUATED WAS NOT LOW ON EITHER SCHEDULE THERE WAS NO NEED FOR THE CONTRACTING OFFICER TO DETERMINE DEFINITELY WHETHER YOUR BID OTHERWISE COMPLIED WITH THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE SPECIFICATIONS. HOWEVER, IT IS ADMITTED THAT THE FLOOR AREA OF THE HOUSE WHICH YOU PROPOSED TO FURNISH WAS ABOUT 1 PERCENT SHY OF THE REQUIRED 950 SQUARE FOOT MINIMUM.

YOU ADVISED THE CONTRACTING OFFICER THAT THE FAILURE OF THE HOUSE WHICH YOU PROPOSED TO FURNISH TO HAVE 950 SQUARE FEET OF FLOOR SPACE WAS DUE TO A CLERICAL ERROR AND THAT "THE ADDITIONAL AREA NEEDED TO MEET THE 950 SQ. FT. MINIMUM CAN BE OBTAINED AT NO ADDITIONAL COST TO US SINCE THE ONLY CHANGES REQUIRED ARE IN THE LENGTH TO WHICH THE MATERIALS ARE CUT SO THAT LESS WASTE IN MATERIALS RESULTS. NO CHANGES IN THE NUMBER OF PIECES ARE REQUIRED, AND THERE IS NO CHANGE IN THE LABOR COST. FOR THIS REASON, THE 1 PERCENT ERROR WOULD NOT AFFECT THE BID, AND WE STAND READY TO DELIVER THE HOME CONTAINING 950 SQ. FT. OF INTERIOR FLOOR SPACE AT THE PRICE QUOTED.'

YOU PROTEST EVALUATING THE BIDS TO INCLUDE THE COST OF RELOCATING THE HOMES AT A FUTURE SITE AND IT IS URGED THAT THE AWARD SHOULD BE MADE TO THE LOW BIDDER BASED ON THE COST OF INITIAL DELIVERY. IT IS ALSO STATED THAT THE RATES SET FORTH IN THE INVITATION FOR COMPUTING THE ESTIMATED COST OF THE HAULING ARE SUBSTANTIALLY HIGHER THAN PRESENT COMMERCIAL RATES. IT IS URGED THAT USING PRESENT AVAILABLE COMMERCIAL HAULING RATES WOULD PERMIT YOU TO MOVE THE TWO HALVES OF EACH HOUSE FOR A TOTAL OF ABOUT $1 PER MILE AND THAT ON SUCH BASIS YOU WOULD STILL BE THE LOW BIDDER ON SCHEDULE 1.

IN SUPPORT OF YOUR STATEMENT THAT THE TWO HALVES OF THE HOUSE COULD BE MOVED FOR ABOUT $1 PER MILE, THERE WAS SUBMITTED WITH YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 18, 1961, A TELEGRAM DATED DECEMBER 14, 1961, FROM MORGAN DRIVE AWAY, ADDRESSED TO THE ABC COACH COMPANY, LOVELAND, COLORADO, AS FOLLOWS:

"PLEASE ACCEPT OUR BID OF 200 COACHES FOR A DISTANCE OF 750 MILES FOR $375.00 PER UNIT OR .50 PER MILE MOUNTED ON A LOWBOY.'

IT WILL BE NOTED THAT THE RATE QUOTED IN THE ABOVE TELEGRAM IS FOR "COACHES" AND NOT HOUSES, AS HERE INVOLVED, AND THEREFORE SUCH RATE WOULD APPEAR TO HAVE NO APPLICATION IN THE INSTANT MATTER.

WE HAVE CONSISTENTLY HELD THAT IT IS THE PREROGATIVE AND THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE TO DETERMINE ITS NEEDS AND, IN PROCURING SUPPLIES OR SERVICES TO MEET SUCH NEEDS, TO DRAW PROPER SPECIFICATIONS THEREFOR. IN THE INSTANT CASE IT WAS ADMINISTRATIVELY DETERMINED THAT ITS NEEDS WOULD BE BEST MET BY PROCURING RELOCATABLE HOUSES, AND THERE IS NO LEGAL BASIS FOR US TO QUESTION SUCH DETERMINATION. HAVING DETERMINED TO PROCURE RELOCATABLE HOUSES, IT IS ONLY NATURAL AND PROPER THAT THE COST INVOLVED IN RELOCATING THE VARIOUS TYPES OF SUCH HOUSES SHOULD BE TAKEN INTO CONSIDERATION IN EVALUATING THE BIDS. THE PROVISIONS RECOMMENDED AND INCLUDED IN THE INVITATION (PARAGRAPH 18) FOR DETERMINING FUTURE RELOCATION COST, INCLUDING HAULING, HAVE NOT BEEN SHOWN TO BE UNREALISTIC OR INEQUITABLE.

IT IS ALLEGED THAT THE DEFICIENCY OF THE FLOOR AREA IN THE HOUSES YOU PROPOSED TO FURNISH WAS THE RESULT OF A CLERICAL ERROR; THAT THE ADDITIONAL AREA NEEDED TO MEET THE MINIMUM COULD BE OBTAINED AT NO ADDITIONAL COST TO YOU AND THAT YOU WOULD DELIVER HOUSES HAVING THE REQUIRED FLOOR AREA FOR THE PRICE QUOTED. PARAGRAPH 14 OF THE SPECIFICATIONS SPECIFICALLY PROVIDED THAT THE RESIDENCES SHALL HAVE A MINIMUM FLOOR AREA OF 950 SQUARE FEET AND A MAXIMUM OF 1,300 SQUARE FEET. THIS IS OBVIOUSLY A MATERIAL REQUIREMENT AND, THEREFORE, THE FAILURE OF A BIDDER TO COMPLY WITH SUCH REQUIREMENT MAY NOT BE WAIVED AS A MINOR INFORMALITY. 30 COMP. GEN. 179, 40 ID. 132. THEREFORE, ASIDE FROM THE FACT THAT YOURS WAS NOT THE LOWEST EVALUATED BID SINCE THE HOUSE YOU PROPOSED TO FURNISH DID NOT MEET THE MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS OF THE SPECIFICATIONS, THE BID WAS NOT RESPONSIVE TO THE INVITATION AND WAS NOT ELIGIBLE FOR CONSIDERATION FOR AWARD. A BID WHICH IS NONRESPONSIVE ON ITS FACE MAY NOT BE CONSIDERED FOR CORRECTION REGARDLESS OF THE CIRCUMSTANCES. 38 COMP. GEN. 819.

FOR THE FOREGOING REASONS, WE FIND NO LEGAL BASIS TO OBJECT TO THE PROVISIONS OF THE INVITATIONS HERE INVOLVED OR TO THE AWARD MADE THEREUNDER.