B-148694, MAY 11, 1962

B-148694: May 11, 1962

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DOTSON: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 16. THE FACTS WITH RESPECT TO THE TRANSACTION ARE REPORTED IN A MEMORANDUM OF MARCH 29. IT IS STATED THEREIN THAT THE EMERGENCY NEED FOR PROMPT DELIVERY OF THE DRAWINGS AROSE FROM A SITUATION BEYOND THE CONTROL OF THE REQUISITIONING OFFICE. COPIES OF WHICH WERE TO BE MADE AVAILABLE TO ALL PROSPECTIVE BIDDERS ON MARCH 23. AVAILABILITY THEREOF FOR REPRODUCTION PURPOSES WAS MATERIALLY DELAYED. WITH THE RESULT THAT DEPARTMENTAL EQUIPMENT AND FACILITIES WERE INADEQUATE TO TIMELY ACCOMPLISH THE WORK. IT IS FURTHER REPORTED THAT. WAS IN LINE WITH THE COSTS OF HAVING THE WORK PERFORMED BY GOVERNMENT FACILITIES IN THE DEPARTMENT * * *.'. A PURCHASE ORDER WAS ISSUED TO THE FIRM ON THE BASIS OF ITS GUARANTEE THAT PERFORMANCE WOULD BE COMPLETED ON MARCH 23.

B-148694, MAY 11, 1962

TO MR. FLOYD E. DOTSON:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 16, 1962, AND ENCLOSURES, REQUESTING AN ADVANCE DECISION AS TO THE PROPRIETY OF CERTIFYING FOR PAYMENT VOUCHER AND SCHEDULE OF PAYMENTS NO. 1514, IN FAVOR OF COOPER TRENT, INCORPORATED, FOR $3,397.50, COVERING THE NEGOTIATED COST TO PRODUCE 150 SETS OF DRAWINGS FOR THE OFFICE OF SALINE WATER, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR.

THE FACTS WITH RESPECT TO THE TRANSACTION ARE REPORTED IN A MEMORANDUM OF MARCH 29, 1962, FROM THE CHIEF, DIVISION OF CONTRACTS AND ADMINISTRATION, WHICH OUTLINES THE CIRCUMSTANCES GIVING RISE TO THE NEGOTIATED PURCHASE WITHOUT FORMAL ADVERTISING. IT IS STATED THEREIN THAT THE EMERGENCY NEED FOR PROMPT DELIVERY OF THE DRAWINGS AROSE FROM A SITUATION BEYOND THE CONTROL OF THE REQUISITIONING OFFICE. THE DRAWINGS COVER THE PROPOSED CONSTRUCTION OF PILOT PLANTS TEST SITES AT WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, NORTH CAROLINA, COPIES OF WHICH WERE TO BE MADE AVAILABLE TO ALL PROSPECTIVE BIDDERS ON MARCH 23, 1962, AS A RESULT OF THE AGENCY'S PRIOR COMMITMENT. IT APPEARS THAT DUE TO NUMEROUS CHANGES REQUIRED TO BE MADE IN THE PLANS, AVAILABILITY THEREOF FOR REPRODUCTION PURPOSES WAS MATERIALLY DELAYED, WITH THE RESULT THAT DEPARTMENTAL EQUIPMENT AND FACILITIES WERE INADEQUATE TO TIMELY ACCOMPLISH THE WORK. IT IS FURTHER REPORTED THAT--- "TELEPHONE INQUIRY MADE TO IDENTIFY AN ENGINEERING PUBLISHING FIRM WITH FACILITIES AVAILABLE DISCLOSED THAT COOPER-TRENT, INCORPORATED, ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA, COULD GUARANTEE PERFORMANCE WITHIN THE TIME LIMITS. THE PRICE NEGOTIATED, $3,397.50, WAS IN LINE WITH THE COSTS OF HAVING THE WORK PERFORMED BY GOVERNMENT FACILITIES IN THE DEPARTMENT * * *.' ACCORDINGLY, ON MARCH 21, 1962, A PURCHASE ORDER WAS ISSUED TO THE FIRM ON THE BASIS OF ITS GUARANTEE THAT PERFORMANCE WOULD BE COMPLETED ON MARCH 23, 1962, TO MEET A PUBLIC EXIGENCY WITHIN THE MEANING AND INTENT OF EXCEPTION (2) OF 3709, REVISED STATUTES, AS AMENDED 41 U.S.C. 5.

WHILE IT IS NOT CLEARLY SHOWN WHY THE DATE (MARCH 23, 1962) PREVIOUSLY FIXED FOR DISTRIBUTION OF THE PLANS AND SPECIFICATIONS COULD NOT HAVE BEEN DEFERRED, IT MAY REASONABLY BE ASSUMED THAT ANY SUBSTANTIAL DELAY WOULD RESULT IN UNNECESSARY AND AVOIDABLE COSTS TO THE GOVERNMENT, AS WELL AS ADDITIONAL EXPENSES TO PROSPECTIVE BIDDERS. THEREFORE, IN VIEW OF THE EMERGENCY CIRCUMSTANCES REPORTED, AND THE REPRESENTATION THAT THE PRICE CHARGED COMPARES FAVORABLY WITH ANTICIPATED COSTS OF PERFORMANCE THROUGH THE USE OF GOVERNMENT EQUIPMENT, THIS OFFICE WILL NOT QUESTION THE FAILURE TO ADVERTISE FORMALLY FOR COMPETITIVE BIDS.

ACCORDINGLY, YOU ARE ADVISED THAT THE SUBJECT VOUCHER MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT, IF OTHERWISE CORRECT. A REFERENCE TO THIS DECISION SHOULD BE MADE ON THE FACE OF THE VOUCHER.