B-149174, B-149354, AUG. 17, 1962

B-149174,B-149354: Aug 17, 1962

Additional Materials:

Contact:

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

 

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

TO SUNROC CORPORATION: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTERS OF JUNE 11. THE ONLY MATTERS PRESENTED DIRECTLY TO OUR OFFICE ARE THOSE CONTAINED IN THE LETTER OF JULY 6. YOU WERE ADVISED THAT BIDS WERE BEING EVALUATED AND THAT AWARD WOULD BE MADE TO THE LOWEST RESPONSIBLE AND RESPONSIVE BIDDER. YOU WIRED THE CONTRACTING OFFICE THAT YOU WERE QUESTIONING THE RESPONSIVENESS OF THE BID OF THE LOW BIDDER AND THAT YOU HAD BEEN DENIED EXCEPTIONS TO THE SPECIFICATIONS THAT WERE BEING PERMITTED THE LOW BIDDER ALTHOUGH YOU FAILED TO POINT OUT ANY DETAILS IN THIS MATTER. THE CONTRACTING OFFICE REPLIED ON APRIL 19 THAT THEY WERE UNAWARE OF ANYTHING WHICH COULD BE CONSIDERED AS PREFERENTIAL TREATMENT OF OTHER BIDDERS.

B-149174, B-149354, AUG. 17, 1962

TO SUNROC CORPORATION:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTERS OF JUNE 11, JULY 3 AND JULY 6, 1962, PROTESTING THE AWARD OF CONTRACTS TO OTHER BIDDERS BY THE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION UNDER CERTAIN INVITATIONS FOR BIDS AS DISCUSSED HEREINAFTER. THE ONLY MATTERS PRESENTED DIRECTLY TO OUR OFFICE ARE THOSE CONTAINED IN THE LETTER OF JULY 6, 1962.

BY INVITATION FOR BIDS NO. FNVH-D-40928/2/-A-4-4-62 GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION SOLICITED BIDS FOR FURNISHING CERTAIN QUANTITIES OF ELECTRIC WATER COOLERS. AFTER OPENING OF BIDS, OR ON APRIL 9, 1962, YOU WIRED THE CONTRACTING OFFICE AND PROTESTED THE ANTICIPATED AWARD TO THE LOW BIDDER BECAUSE YOU FELT THAT HE DID NOT OFFER EQUIPMENT WHICH MET THE SPECIFICATIONS. ON APRIL 13, 1962, YOU WERE ADVISED THAT BIDS WERE BEING EVALUATED AND THAT AWARD WOULD BE MADE TO THE LOWEST RESPONSIBLE AND RESPONSIVE BIDDER. ON APRIL 17, 1962, YOU WIRED THE CONTRACTING OFFICE THAT YOU WERE QUESTIONING THE RESPONSIVENESS OF THE BID OF THE LOW BIDDER AND THAT YOU HAD BEEN DENIED EXCEPTIONS TO THE SPECIFICATIONS THAT WERE BEING PERMITTED THE LOW BIDDER ALTHOUGH YOU FAILED TO POINT OUT ANY DETAILS IN THIS MATTER. THE CONTRACTING OFFICE REPLIED ON APRIL 19 THAT THEY WERE UNAWARE OF ANYTHING WHICH COULD BE CONSIDERED AS PREFERENTIAL TREATMENT OF OTHER BIDDERS. IN YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 20 TO THE CONTRACTING OFFICE YOU REQUESTED THE OPPORTUNITY OF ,SEEING THE INVOLVED COMPETITIVE EQUIPMENT IN ONE OF YOUR WAREHOUSES SO THAT WE CAN POINT OUT SPECIFICALLY AND UNMISTAKABLY THE AREAS OF UNEQUAL TREATMENT.' ALSO, IN THIS LETTER YOU ALLEGED THAT YOUR COMPETITORS HAD BEEN ACCORDED AN OPPORTUNITY TO OBSERVE YOUR EQUIPMENT. YOU WERE INFORMED ON APRIL 27 BY THE CONTRACTING OFFICE AS FOLLOWS:

"AS STATED IN COMMISSIONER BEAN'S LETTER TO YOU DATED APRIL 26, 1961, WE DO NOT FOLLOW THE PRACTICE OF ALLOWING COMPETITORS TO INSPECT MERCHANDISE IN OUR SUPPLY SYSTEM. HOWEVER, IF YOU WILL ADVISE WHEREIN YOU FEEL SPECIFICATIONS ARE NOT MET IN ANY INSTANCE, AN IMMEDIATE REVIEW WILL BE MADE.

"WE WANT TO ASSURE YOU THAT DELIVERIES UNDER ANY CONTRACT AWARDED WILL BE CAREFULLY INSPECTED FOR COMPLIANCE WITH CONTRACT SPECIFICATION REQUIREMENTS. THIS POLICY HAS CONSISTENTLY BEEN FOLLOWED REGARDLESS OF THE SIZE OF THE SUCCESSFUL AWARDEE.

"IN VIEW OF THE ABOVE, AND PARTICULARLY IN THE ABSENCE OF ANY SPECIFIC QUESTION, WE DO NOT FEEL THAT THERE IS ANY VALID REQUIREMENT FOR THE SUBMISSION OF PROPOSED AWARDS TO THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE.'

AWARD UNDER THIS INVITATION WAS MADE ON MAY 1, 1962. ON JUNE 11, 1962, YOU WIRED THE CONTRACTING OFFICE CONCERNING THE AWARD AS WELL AS CONCERNING A PENDING REQUEST FOR QUOTATIONS AND INDICATED THAT YOU DESIRED THE APPROVAL OF OUR OFFICE IN THIS MATTER.

THE THEN PENDING REQUEST FOR QUOTATIONS WAS ONE ISSUED MAY 3 FOR SEVEN WATER COOLERS TO BE IN ACCORDANCE WITH FEDERAL SPECIFICATION 00 C-566C, DATED JANUARY 18, 1954, TYPE I, EXCEPT THAT THE WATER COOLERS WERE TO BE WALL-HUNG IN LIEU OF FLOOR MODELS. HOWEVER, SINCE THE CAPACITIES OF THE COOLERS AS MENTIONED IN THE REQUEST WERE NOT IN CONFORMANCE WITH THOSE CITED IN THE SPECIFICATION, THE DESCRIPTION WAS AMBIGUOUS, AND NO AWARD WAS MADE. A NEW REQUEST FOR QUOTATIONS NUMBERED 41566 WAS ISSUBD ON JUNE 12 FOR TYPE I, SIZE 10 WATER COOLERS, TO BE FURNISHED IN ACCORDANCE WITH FEDERAL SPECIFICATION OO-C-566C, EXCEPT THAT THE COOLERS WERE TO BE WALL- HUNG MODELS. FIVE BIDS WERE RECEIVED AND AWARD WAS MADE ON JUNE 27 TO THE LOW BIDDER, WESTINGHOUSE ELECTRIC CORPORATION. THE BROCHURES ATTACHED TO YOUR QUOTATION INDICATED THAT YOU HAD INTENDED TO FURNISH FLOOR MODELS.

ON JUNE 7, 1962, TELEGRAPHIC INVITATION FOR BIDS NO. FNVH-D-41686/2/ A-6- 18-62, TO BE OPENED JUNE 18, 1962, FOR FURNISHING 29 WATER COOLERS, WAS ISSUED. THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF INVITATION FOR BIDS NO. FNVH-D- 40928/2/-A-4-4-62 WERE INCORPORATED IN AND APPLIED TO THIS TELEGRAPHIC INVITATION. SIX BIDS WERE RECEIVED. AWARD WAS MADE ON JUNE 27, 1962, TO THE LOW BIDDER, THE WESTINGHOUSE ELECTRIC CORPORATION.

IN YOUR LETTER OF JULY 6, 1962, YOU REAER SPECIFICALLY TO TELEGRAPHIC INVITATION FOR BIDS NO. 41686 AND STATE THAT WHILE THE INVITATION CALLS FOR SIZE 10, WALL-HUNG WATER COOLERS, TO BE IN ACCORDANCE WITH FEDERAL SPECIFICATION 00-C-566C, THE PLUMBING ARRANGEMENTS FOR WALL-HUNG WATER COOLERS MUST BE DIFFERENT THAN THAT MENTIONED IN THE SPECIFICATION WHICH CALLS FOR THE PLUMBING TO BE BETWEEN THE COOLER AND THE WALL. ALSO, YOU ASK THE QUESTION WHETHER THE HANGER PLATES FOR THE COOLERS MUST BE SUPPLIED BY THE BIDDERS. FINALLY, YOU INQUIRE WHETHER THE PERFORMANCE TEST FOR WALL-HUNG COOLERS MAY BE MADE IN THE OPEN AS A FLOOR MODEL IS TESTED OR WHETHER THE COOLER MUST BE TESTED WHEN MOUNTED FLUSH AGAINST THE WALL.

THE CONTRACTING OFFICE REPORTS THAT YOU WERE NOT LOW BIDDER ON INVITATION FOR BIDS NO. 41686 AND THEREFORE NOT ENTITLED TO AWARD. ALSO, YOU HAD OFFERED YOUR MODEL SO-8 WHICH ACCORDING TO YOUR PREVIOUSLY FURNISHED BROCHURE HAD A CAPACITY OF 7.8 GALLONS PER HOUR INSTEAD OF 9.5 GALLONS PER HOUR AS REQUIRED BY THE SPECIFICATION FOR SIZE 10 WATER COOLER. THE CONTRACTING OFFICE AGREES WITH YOUR THAT SINCE IT IS NOT POSSIBLE TO HAVE THE PLUMBING BETWEEN THE BACK OF THE COOLER AND THE WALL, THE REQUIREMENT IN THE SPECIFICATION IN THIS MATTER IS NOT APPLICABLE. AS TO THE HANGER PLATES IT IS REPORTED THAT EACH MANUFACTURER NORMALLY SUPPLIES HANGER PLATES WITH HIS WATER COOLERS AND FOR THAT REASON IT WAS INTENDED THAT BIDDERS WOULD EXERCISE GOOD COMMERCIAL PRACTICES IN PROVIDING FOR WALL MOUNTING. WITH RESPECT TO THE POSITION OF THE COOLER WHEN SUBJECTED TO A TEST, THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE REPORTS THAT THE TEST WILL BE MADE WITH THE COOLERS IN THE POSITION MOST FAVORABLE TO THE SUPPLIER.

IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING WE DO NOT FIND ANY BASIS FOR OBJECTING TO THE INVOLVED AWARDS.