B-147994, MAR. 9, 1962

B-147994: Mar 9, 1962

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TO ALLIED BLUEPRINT COMPANY: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR PROTEST OF JANUARY 18. V AND VI WERE REJECTED FOR FAILURE TO MEET THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE IFB RELATING TO THE FURNISHING OF SAMPLES. YOU HAVE PROTESTED THIS ACTION ON THE GROUND THAT IN A CONFERENCE WITH THE PROCURING AGENCY. IT WAS AGREED THAT YOU HAD COMPLIED WITH ALL OF THE SAMPLE REQUIREMENTS. "THAT THE SAMPLES HAD BEEN APPROPRIATELY MARKED AND THAT THOSE WHICH WERE REQUIRED WERE IN THE FOLDER WHEN THE BID WAS SUBMITTED.'. THE IFB PROVIDED THAT BID SAMPLES WERE REQUIRED TO INDICATE THE QUALITY OF THE BIDDER'S WORKMANSHIP WHICH WERE TO BE PLAINLY MARKED FOR IDENTIFICATION WITH THE BID. BIDDERS WERE ALSO REQUIRED TO INSERT IN THE SPACES PROVIDED THE ITEM NUMBER.

B-147994, MAR. 9, 1962

TO ALLIED BLUEPRINT COMPANY:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR PROTEST OF JANUARY 18, 1962, AGAINST THE AWARD ACTION TAKEN UNDER INVITATION FOR BIDS IFB-60921-34 628 ISSUED NOVEMBER 17, 1961, BY THE U.S. NAVAL ORDNANCE LABORATORY, SILVER SPRING, MARYLAND.

THE IFB COVERED SIX LOTS OF PHOTOGRAPHIC PROCESSING SERVICES CONSISTING OF ITEMS NOS. 1 TO 23, INCLUSIVE, AS REQUIRED DURING THE CALENDAR YEAR 1962, WITH PROVISION FOR AWARD BY LOT OR ITEM AS FOUND ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT. LOW BIDS SUBMITTED BY YOUR FIRM ON LOTS III, V AND VI WERE REJECTED FOR FAILURE TO MEET THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE IFB RELATING TO THE FURNISHING OF SAMPLES. YOU HAVE PROTESTED THIS ACTION ON THE GROUND THAT IN A CONFERENCE WITH THE PROCURING AGENCY, SUBSEQUENT TO THE BID OPENING, IT WAS AGREED THAT YOU HAD COMPLIED WITH ALL OF THE SAMPLE REQUIREMENTS,"THAT THE SAMPLES HAD BEEN APPROPRIATELY MARKED AND THAT THOSE WHICH WERE REQUIRED WERE IN THE FOLDER WHEN THE BID WAS SUBMITTED.'

THE IFB PROVIDED THAT BID SAMPLES WERE REQUIRED TO INDICATE THE QUALITY OF THE BIDDER'S WORKMANSHIP WHICH WERE TO BE PLAINLY MARKED FOR IDENTIFICATION WITH THE BID, INCLUDING THE INVITATION NUMBER, AS FOLLOWS:

"EACH BIDDER SHALL SUBMIT WITH HIS BID A SAMPLE OF THE MATERIAL WITH A FINISHED IMAGE ON ONE SURFACE; THE REVERSE SIDE OF THE SAMPLE SHALL BE MARKED WITH MANUFACTURER'S NAME, TYPE AND NUMBER OF MATERIAL AND ANY OTHER INFORMATION NECESSARY TO IDENTIFY THE SAMPLES HE PROPOSES TO USE FOR ITEMS 1, 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13A, 14A, 16, 19, 21 AND 22.'

BIDDERS WERE ALSO REQUIRED TO INSERT IN THE SPACES PROVIDED THE ITEM NUMBER, MANUFACTURER, AND THE BRAND NAME OF ANY MATERIAL BEING OFFERED AS A PRODUCT EQUAL TO THOSE REFERENCED IN THE SEVERAL ITEMS. IN THIS CONNECTION, THE FOLLOWING PERTINENT STIPULATION WAS SET OUT ON PAGE 16 OF THE FB:

"IF THE BIDDER PROPOSES TO FURNISH AN "EQUAL" PRODUCT, THE BRAND NAME, IF ANY, OF THE PRODUCT TO BE FURNISHED SHALL BE INSERTED IN THE SPACE PROVIDED IN THE INVITATION FOR BIDS, OR SUCH PRODUCT SHALL BE OTHERWISE CLEARLY IDENTIFIED IN THE BID. THE EVALUATION OF BIDS AND THE DETERMINATION AS TO EQUALITY OF THE PRODUCT OFFERED SHALL BE THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE GOVERNMENT AND WILL BE BASED ON INFORMATION FURNISHED BY THE BIDDER OR IDENTIFIED IN HIS BID, AS WELL AS OTHER INFORMATION, WHICH IS NOT IDENTIFIED IN THE BID AND REASONABLY AVAILABLE TO THE PURCHASING ACTIVITY. CAUTION TO BIDDERS. THE PURCHASING ACTIVITY IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR LOCATING OR SECURING ANY INFORMATION WHICH IS NOT IDENTIFIED BY THE BIDDER. ACCORDINGLY, TO INSURE THAT SUFFICIENT INFORMATION IS AVAILABLE, THE BIDDER MUST FURNISH AS A PART OF HIS BID ALL DESCRIPTIVE MATERIAL (SUCH AS CUTS, ILLUSTRATIONS, DRAWINGS, OR OTHER INFORMATION) NECESSARY FOR THE PURCHASING ACTIVITY TO (I) DETERMINE WHETHER THE PRODUCT OFFERED MEETS THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE INVITATION FOR BIDS AND (II) ESTABLISH EXACTLY WHAT THE BIDDER PROPOSES TO FURNISH AND WHAT THE GOVERNMENT WOULD BE BINDING ITSELF TO PURCHASE BY MAKING AN AWARD. THE INFORMATION FURNISHED MAY INCLUDE SPECIFIC REFERENCES TO INFORMATION PREVIOUSLY FURNISHED OR TO INFORMATION OTHERWISE AVAILABLE TO THE PURCHASING ACTIVITY.'

EXAMINATION OF THE RECORD DISCLOSES THAT NONE OF THE SAMPLE MARKINGS IDENTIFIED THE ITEM NUMBERS, SAMPLES FOR ALL OF THE ITEMS SPECIFIED WERE NOT FURNISHED, AND SOME OF THE SAMPLES FURNISHED WERE IMPROPERLY AND INCORRECTLY MARKED. FOR EXAMPLE, WITH REFERENCE TO LOT III, ITEM NO. 12, YOUR BID LISTED "ANKEN ANKOSTAT" AS AN ALTERNATE MATERIAL OFFERED IN LIEU OF PHOTOSTAT "J" OR HALOID RECORD "J" PAPER CALLED FOR IN THE THE ITEM DESCRIPTION, BUT THE MARKING ON THE ONLY SAMPLE WHICH MIGHT BE IDENTIFIED WITH ITEM 12 CONSISTS OF "PHOTOSTAT R" WITHOUT INDICATING THE OTHER INFORMATION REQUIRED BY THE IFB. WITH REFERENCE TO LOT V, ITEM NO. 19, YOUR BID LISTED ,ANKEN ANKENFLEX" AS AN ALTERNATE MATERIAL OFFERED IN LIEU OF K AND E MADURO PAPER NO. 432 CALLED FOR IN THE ITEM DESCRIPTION, BUT A SAMPLE FOR THIS ITEM WAS NOT SUBMITTED, AS REQUIRED. WITH REFERENCE TO LOT VI, ITEM NO. 22, YOUR FIRM SUBMITTED A SAMPLE MARKED "K AND E 420" WHICH IS THE MATERIAL CALLED FOR IN THE ITEM DESCRIPTION. THE RESPONSIBLE OFFICIALS ADVISE THAT THE SAMPLE IS MISLABELED AS IT IS A NONUSABLE WASHOFF TYPE CLOTH, AS COMPARED WITH K AND E 420 WHICH IS NOT A WASHOFF EMULSION BUT HAS A PHOTOGRAPHIC IMAGE. THE FACT THAT YOUR SUPPLIER MAY HAVE SUBSTITUTED A SOMEWHAT SIMILAR MATERIAL FOR THAT SPECIFIED, AS YOU HAVE INDICATED, AFFORDS NO JUSTIFICATION FOR MARKING THE SAMPLE INCORRECTLY, AND YOUR ACTION MANIFESTLY MAY NOT BE REGARDED AS CONFORMANCE WITH THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE IFB.

CONCERNING THE UNDERSTANDING OR AGREEMENT WHICH YOU CONTEND WAS REACHED IN A CONFERENCE WITH AN AGENCY EMPLOYEE, THE RECORD DISCLOSES THAT ALL PHASES OF THE MATTER WERE REVIEWED DURING THE CONFERENCE AND YOU WERE ADVISED THAT A PROTEST MIGHT BE SUBMITTED TO OUR OFFICE IF YOU SO DESIRED. NOTHING HAS BEEN FOUND TO INDICATE A CHANGE IN THE ADMINISTRATIVE POSITION AT THIS CONFERENCE AS YOU HAVE CONTENDED.

IT SEEMS CLEAR FROM THE PROVISIONS OF THE INVITATION THAT THE BURDEN WAS PLACED SQUARELY ON YOU TO FURNISH SUFFICIENT INFORMATION TO ENABLE THE PURCHASING ACTIVITY TO DETERMINE THEREFROM WHAT YOU PROPOSED TO FURNISH UNDER EACH ITEM AND THAT THE ITEMS OFFERED WOULD MEET THE SPECIFIED REQUIREMENTS. THE FACTS AND INFORMATION OF RECORD, IN OUR OPINION, REASONABLY ESTABLISH THAT YOU FAILED TO MEET THIS BURDEN AND AMPLY SUPPORT THE CONTRACTING OFFICER'S DETERMINATION TO REJECT YOUR BID FOR LACK OF COMPLIANCE WITH ESSENTIAL REQUIREMENTS OF THE IFB.

WE THEREFORE FIND NO REASONABLE BASIS UPON WHICH YOUR PROTEST MIGHT BE SUSTAINED.