B-147714, FEB. 15, 1962

B-147714: Feb 15, 1962

Additional Materials:

Contact:

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

 

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

TO WESTWOOD CABLE CORPORATION: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO THE COPY OF YOUR LETTER DATED NOVEMBER 28. THE INVITATION WAS ISSUED ON OCTOBER 24. AMENDMENT NO. 1 TO THE INVITATION WAS ISSUED ON NOVEMBER 17. THE DAY BEFORE BIDS WERE OPENED. YOUR PROTEST IS BASED ON THE FAILURE OF PERSONNEL OF THE AIR FORCE BASE TO ACT PROMPTLY ON YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 31. REQUESTING THE CLARIFICATION OF THE DISCREPANCY OR IN ANY EVENT TO ALLOW SUFFICIENT TIME AFTER THE AMENDMENT ACTUALLY WAS ISSUED FOR BID PREPARATION. AMENDMENT NO. 1 WAS ISSUED TO INVITATION NO. 30-635-62-127 ON NOVEMBER 17. IT APPEARS THAT THE REVISED BID OPENING DATE WAS BASED ON AN ADMINISTRATIVE DETERMINATION OF THE PROCUREMENT ACTIVITY THAT THE PROCUREMENT WAS URGENTLY REQUIRED AND THAT AMPLE TIME WAS BEING ALLOWED TO PERMIT ALL PROSPECTIVE BIDDERS TO CONSIDER THE INFORMATION COVERED BY THE AMENDMENT IN PREPARING OR MODIFYING THEIR BIDS.

B-147714, FEB. 15, 1962

TO WESTWOOD CABLE CORPORATION:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO THE COPY OF YOUR LETTER DATED NOVEMBER 28, 1961, ADDRESSED TO THE ROME AIR MATERIEL AREA, PROTESTING AGAINST THE AWARD OF ANY CONTRACT BY THE GRIFFISS AIR FORCE BASE OF THAT AREA UNDER INVITATION NO. 30-635-62-127.

THE INVITATION WAS ISSUED ON OCTOBER 24, 1961, BY THE GRIFFISS AIR FORCE BASE AND PROVIDED FOR THE PROCUREMENT OF 150 EACH 6150-621-0531, JUMPER 6 STRANDED CONDUCTORS, ETC., BURTON P/N 169G-50, OR EQUAL, WITH BIDS TO BE OPENED ON NOVEMBER 24, 1961. BY LETTER DATED OCTOBER 31, 1961, YOU REQUESTED THAT THE AIR FORCE BASE CLARIFY A CERTAIN DISCREPANCY THAT EXISTED IN THE DESCRIPTION REQUIREMENTS BETWEEN THE SPECIFICATIONS AND THE APPLICABLE BURTON ELECTRICAL ENGINEERING COMPANY DRAWING. BASED ON TECHNICAL INFORMATION, AMENDMENT NO. 1 TO THE INVITATION WAS ISSUED ON NOVEMBER 17, 1961, BY THE GRIFFISS AIR FORCE BASE CLARIFYING THIS PART OF THE DESCRIPTION REQUIREMENTS AND EXTENDING THE OPENING DATE FOR BIDS TO NOVEMBER 29, 1961. BY LETTER OF PROTEST DATED NOVEMBER 28, 1961, THE DAY BEFORE BIDS WERE OPENED, YOU ADVISED THE AIR FORCE BASE THAT AFTER YOU HAD RECEIVED THE AMENDMENT INSUFFICIENT TIME REMAINED FOR YOU TO SECURE RAW MATERIAL PRICES AND PREPARE YOUR BID BEFORE THE BID OPENING DATE, AS EXTENDED. YOUR PROTEST IS BASED ON THE FAILURE OF PERSONNEL OF THE AIR FORCE BASE TO ACT PROMPTLY ON YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 31, 1961,REQUESTING THE CLARIFICATION OF THE DISCREPANCY OR IN ANY EVENT TO ALLOW SUFFICIENT TIME AFTER THE AMENDMENT ACTUALLY WAS ISSUED FOR BID PREPARATION. IN YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 28, 1961, YOU REQUEST THAT THE AWARD OF CONTRACT UNDER THE INVITATION BE WITHHELD AND THAT AN ADDITIONAL AMENDMENT BE ISSUED ALLOWING A REASONABLE TIME FOR PREPARATION OF BIDS.

AMENDMENT NO. 1 WAS ISSUED TO INVITATION NO. 30-635-62-127 ON NOVEMBER 17, 1961. THE AMENDMENT EXTENDED THE BID OPENING DATE FIVE DAYS, OR FROM NOVEMBER 24, 1961, TO NOVEMBER 29, 1961, AND, THEREFORE, THERE REMAINED A TOTAL OF TWELVE DAYS FROM THE DATE OF THE AMENDMENT TO THE OPENING OF THE BIDS. IT APPEARS THAT THE REVISED BID OPENING DATE WAS BASED ON AN ADMINISTRATIVE DETERMINATION OF THE PROCUREMENT ACTIVITY THAT THE PROCUREMENT WAS URGENTLY REQUIRED AND THAT AMPLE TIME WAS BEING ALLOWED TO PERMIT ALL PROSPECTIVE BIDDERS TO CONSIDER THE INFORMATION COVERED BY THE AMENDMENT IN PREPARING OR MODIFYING THEIR BIDS.

THERE IS NOTHING IN THE RECORD TO INDICATE THAT THE PROCEDURE FOLLOWED BY THE GRIFFISS AIR FORCE BASE IN PROCESSING THE INVITATION OR AMENDMENT WAS ARBITRARY OR IN VIOLATION OF EXISTING REGULATIONS. THAT THE FIVE-DAY EXTENSION ALLOWED BY THE AMENDMENT WAS AN ADEQUATE PERIOD OF TIME FOR THE PREPARATION OF BIDS APPEARS TO BE COMPLETELY AFFIRMED BY THE FACT THAT THE AMENDMENT WAS MAILED TO ALL BIDDERS AT THE SAME TIME AND NO OTHER COMPLAINT WAS RECEIVED AS TO THE TIME LLOWED; ALSO, THAT EIGHT OF THE NINE BIDS RECEIVED ACKNOWLEDGED AND EXECUTED AMENDMENT NO. 1, AS REQUIRED. MOREOVER, THE AIR FORCE REPORTS THAT HAD YOU TIMELY ADVISED THE CONTRACTING OFFICE BY TELEPHONE OR TELETYPE THAT YOU DID NOT HAVE AMPLE TIME TO PREPARE YOUR PROPOSAL AN ADMINISTRATIVE DECISION COULD HAVE BEEN MADE TO EXTEND THE BID OPENING FOR AN ADDITIONAL PERIOD OF TIME. IN THIS REGARD, IT MUST HAVE BEEN EVIDENT TO YOU THAT YOUR REQUEST BY LETTER OF NOVEMBER 28, 1961, FOR ADDITIONAL TIME, WHICH WAS ONLY ONE DAY BEFORE THE BID OPENING AND WHICH WAS NOT RECEIVED AT THE AIR FORCE BASE UNTIL DECEMBER 4, 1961, WOULD NOT BE RECEIVED BEFORE THE OPENING OF BIDS.

IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, WE FIND NO LEGAL OBJECTION TO THE PROCUREMENT PROCEDURE FOLLOWED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE IN THE MATTER.