B-148431, APR. 12, 1962

B-148431: Apr 12, 1962

Additional Materials:

Contact:

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

 

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

TO DODSON SERVICE CO.: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 14. ON PAGE 4 OF THE INVITATION BIDDERS WERE REQUESTED TO STATE IN THE SPACE PROVIDED THE TIME REQUIRED TO COMPLETE THE SPECIFIED WORK. PROSPECTIVE BIDDERS WERE ADVISED ON PAGE 4 OF THE INVITATION THAT "TIME FOR COMPLETION QUOTED MAY BE CONSIDERED A DETERMINING FACTOR IN THE AWARD OF CONTRACT" AND THAT "BIDS OFFERING A TIME FOR COMPLETION LATER THAN 45 DAYS FROM DATE OF RECEIPT OF FORMAL PURCHASE ORDER WILL NOT BE CONSIDERED IN THE AWARD.'. THE NEXT LOWEST BID WAS SUBMITTED BY THE CHEMICAL FIREPROOFING CORPORATION. YOUR BID WAS REJECTED BECAUSE OF YOUR FAILURE TO SPECIFY IN YOUR BID THE TIME REQUIRED FOR COMPLETION OF THE WORK TO BE PERFORMED UNDER THE CONTRACT.

B-148431, APR. 12, 1962

TO DODSON SERVICE CO.:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 14, 1962, PROTESTING AGAINST THE ACTION OF THE BUREAU OF ENGRAVING AND PRINTING, DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY, IN AWARDING A CONTRACT TO ANOTHER BIDDER UNDER INVITATION NO. BEP-66.

THE INVITATION REQUESTED BIDS FOR FURNISHING ALL LABOR AND MATERIAL NECESSARY FOR CLEANING EXHAUST VENTS, PIPE SHAFTS AND REGISTERS IN SIX SPECIFIED AREAS IN THE MAIN BUILDING OF THE BUREAU OF ENGRAVING AND PRINTING. ON PAGE 4 OF THE INVITATION BIDDERS WERE REQUESTED TO STATE IN THE SPACE PROVIDED THE TIME REQUIRED TO COMPLETE THE SPECIFIED WORK. PROSPECTIVE BIDDERS WERE ADVISED ON PAGE 4 OF THE INVITATION THAT "TIME FOR COMPLETION QUOTED MAY BE CONSIDERED A DETERMINING FACTOR IN THE AWARD OF CONTRACT" AND THAT "BIDS OFFERING A TIME FOR COMPLETION LATER THAN 45 DAYS FROM DATE OF RECEIPT OF FORMAL PURCHASE ORDER WILL NOT BE CONSIDERED IN THE AWARD.' YOUR FIRM SUBMITTED THE LOWEST BID FOR THE SPECIFIED WORK. THE NEXT LOWEST BID WAS SUBMITTED BY THE CHEMICAL FIREPROOFING CORPORATION. YOUR BID WAS REJECTED BECAUSE OF YOUR FAILURE TO SPECIFY IN YOUR BID THE TIME REQUIRED FOR COMPLETION OF THE WORK TO BE PERFORMED UNDER THE CONTRACT. ON MARCH 8, 1962, A CONTRACT FOR THE WORK WAS AWARDED TO THE CHEMICAL FIREPROOFING CORPORATION.

IN YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 14, 1962, YOU STATE THAT ON THE FIRST PAGE OF THE BID FORM YOU CERTIFIED THAT YOU WOULD COMPLETE THE JOB WITHIN 30 DAYS AFTER AWARD AND THIS SAME ANSWER APPLIES TO THE QUESTION PRESENTED TO PROSPECTIVE BIDDERS ON PAGE 4 OF THE INVITATION RELATIVE TO THE PROPOSED COMPLETION DATE OF THE CONTRACT WORK. AN EXAMINATION OF THE FACE SHEET OF YOUR BID INDICATES THAT THE "30 DAYS" TO WHICH YOU REFER PERTAINS TO THE TIME FOR THE ACCEPTANCE OF YOUR BID RATHER THAN THE TIME WITHIN WHICH YOU PROPOSED TO COMPLETE THE CONTRACT WORK. YOUR FAILURE TO INDICATE THE TIME WITHIN WHICH YOU PROPOSED TO COMPLETE THE CONTRACT WORK MAY NOT BE REGARDED AS INDICATING THAT YOU HAD AGREED TO PERFORM THE WORK WITHIN THE MAXIMUM COMPLETION TIME OF 45 DAYS SPECIFIED IN THE INVITATION.

UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 303 OF THE FEDERAL PROPERTY AND ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES ACT OF 1949, 41 U.S.C. 253, BIDS ARE REQUIRED TO BE COMPLETE AND RESPONSIVE TO THE INVITATION IN ALL MATERIAL RESPECTS AT THE TIME FIXED IN THE INVITATION FOR THE OPENING OF BIDS. AFTER THE OPENING, BIDS MAY NOT BE CHANGED OR MODIFIED. THE GOVERNMENT PURCHASING OFFICERS ARE REQUIRED TO GIVE ALL INTERESTED BIDDERS AN EQUAL OPPORTUNITY TO BID AND THE GOVERNMENT IS DESIROUS OF OBTAINING THE BEST PRICE POSSIBLE. IT IS FOR THESE REASONS THAT THE INVITATION FOR BIDS SHOULD BE DRAWN IN SUCH A MANNER TO FACILITATE BIDDERS IN GIVING THE REQUIRED INFORMATION SO THAT THERE MAY BE NO QUESTION OF FAVORITISM OR FRAUD AND THAT ALL BIDS MAY BE CONSIDERED FOR AWARD.

WE HAVE REPEATEDLY HELD THAT DEVIATIONS IN A BID FROM THE ADVERTISED SPECIFICATIONS RELATIVE TO DELIVERY, AS WELL AS OTHER FACTORS AFFECTING PRICE, QUANTITY OR QUALITY, GO TO THE SUBSTANCE OF THE BID SO AS TO BE PREJUDICIAL TO THE RIGHTS OF OTHER BIDDERS AND THEREFORE MAY NOT BE WAIVED AS MERE INFORMALITIES. 30 COMP. GEN. 179; 36 ID. 181; 38 ID. 98; ID. 612; ID. 876. THE INVITATION SPECIFICALLY PROVIDED THAT BIDDERS MUST STATE IN THE SPACE PROVIDED THEREIN THE TIME REQUIRED TO COMPLETE THE SPECIFIED WORK. THIS INFORMATION IS ESSENTIAL FOR EVALUATION OF BIDS AND, THEREFORE, THE FAILURE TO FURNISH THE COMPLETION TIME MAY NOT BE REGARDED AS A MINOR DEVIATION IN THE BID WHICH MAY BE WAIVED AS AN INFORMALITY, NOR MAY SUCH INFORMATION BE SUPPLIED AFTER THE BID OPENING. 38 COMP. GEN. 819; 40 ID. 160. THE REASON WHY THE CONTRACTING OFFICER DID NOT TAKE ADVANTAGE OF YOUR LOWER PRICE WAS DUE ENTIRELY TO YOUR OWN ACTIONS IN FAILING TO GIVE THE REQUIRED INFORMATION AS SPECIFICALLY REQUIRED BY THE INVITATION.

ACCORDINGLY, WE FIND NO BASIS TO QUESTION THE ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION TAKEN IN REJECTING THE BID AND, THEREFORE, YOUR PROTEST MUST BE DENIED.