B-149588, OCT. 31, 1962

B-149588: Oct 31, 1962

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TO PHILADELPHIA ELEVATOR COMPANY: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JULY 27. PROSPECTIVE BIDDERS WERE REQUESTED TO QUOTE A PER ANNUM PRICE FOR SERVICING EACH GROUP OF ELEVATORS LISTED UNDER ITEMS 1 THROUGH 4. FOUR BIDS WERE RECEIVED AND OPENED ON JULY 20. YOUR BID WAS REJECTED BECAUSE IT WAS DETERMINED TO BE NONRESPONSIVE IN THAT YOUR BID WAS QUALIFIED SO AS TO OFFER THE REQUIRED SERVICES FOR ONLY 11 MONTHS RATHER THAN FOR 12 MONTHS AS REQUIRED BY THE INVITATION. " THAT THERE IS A DIFFERENCE OF APPROXIMATELY $15. THAT IT APPEARS TO YOU THAT THE CONTRACTING OFFICER IS "SPLITTING HAIRS" IN THIS CASE. 4 WERE AWARDED TO MILLER ELEVATOR INDUSTRIES. 708 FOR THESE ITEMS AND THAT ITEM 2 WAS AWARDED TO PATTEN-BROWN COMPANY ON THE BASIS OF ITS BID PRICE OF $9.

B-149588, OCT. 31, 1962

TO PHILADELPHIA ELEVATOR COMPANY:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JULY 27, 1962, PROTESTING AGAINST THE ACTION OF THE PUBLIC BUILDINGS SERVICE, GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION, NEW YORK, NEW YORK, IN REJECTING YOUR BID SUBMITTED IN RESPONSE TO INVITATION NO. 2PBO-RC-130.

THE PUBLIC BUILDINGS SERVICE BY THAT INVITATION REQUESTED BIDS FOR FURNISHING ELEVATOR MAINTENANCE SERVICE FOR 34 ELEVATORS LISTED UNDER ITEMS 1 THROUGH 4 DURING THE PERIOD BEGINNING AUGUST 1, 1962, AND ENDING JULY 31, 1963. PROSPECTIVE BIDDERS WERE REQUESTED TO QUOTE A PER ANNUM PRICE FOR SERVICING EACH GROUP OF ELEVATORS LISTED UNDER ITEMS 1 THROUGH 4. IN RESPONSE YOU SUBMITTED A BID DATED JULY 20, 1962, OFFERING TO PERFORM THE REQUIRED SERVICES AT THE PRICES SET FORTH OPPOSITE EACH ITEM. NEAR THE TOP OF PAGE 3 OF THE INVITATION, IN THE QUANTITY, UNIT, AND UNIT PRICE COLUMNS, APPEARED THE FOLLOWING NOTATION "/12 MONTHS) (PAYABLE IN ARREARS).' IN YOUR BID YOU CHANGED THE ABOVE NOTATION TO READ "/11 MONTHS) (PAYABLE IN ARREARS).' YOU ALSO CHANGED THE PHRASE "COST PER ANNUM" APPEARING UNDER THE DESCRIPTION OF EACH GROUP OF ELEVATORS TO READ ,COST PER 11 MONTHS.'

FOUR BIDS WERE RECEIVED AND OPENED ON JULY 20, 1962. YOUR BID WAS REJECTED BECAUSE IT WAS DETERMINED TO BE NONRESPONSIVE IN THAT YOUR BID WAS QUALIFIED SO AS TO OFFER THE REQUIRED SERVICES FOR ONLY 11 MONTHS RATHER THAN FOR 12 MONTHS AS REQUIRED BY THE INVITATION.

YOU STATE THAT WHEN YOU MADE YOUR CALCULATIONS TO DETERMINE THE PRICE OF THE CONTRACT WORK YOU MADE AN ERROR AND CROSSED OUT THE WORDS "PER ANNUM" IN THE INVITATION AND INSERTED "11 MONTHS; " THAT THERE IS A DIFFERENCE OF APPROXIMATELY $15,000 BETWEEN YOUR AGGREGATE BID PRICE FOR ITEMS 1 THROUGH 4 AND THE AGGREGATE BID PRICE QUOTED BY THE ONLY OTHER BIDDER QUOTING ON ALL 4 ITEMS; AND THAT IT APPEARS TO YOU THAT THE CONTRACTING OFFICER IS "SPLITTING HAIRS" IN THIS CASE.

THE RECORD INDICATES THAT ITEMS 1, 3, AND 4 WERE AWARDED TO MILLER ELEVATOR INDUSTRIES, INC., ON THE BASIS OF ITS AGGREGATE TOTAL PRICE OF $33,708 FOR THESE ITEMS AND THAT ITEM 2 WAS AWARDED TO PATTEN-BROWN COMPANY ON THE BASIS OF ITS BID PRICE OF $9,000 PER ANNUM FOR THAT ITEM. THE AGGREGATE TOTAL OF THE TWO CONTRACT PRICES IS $42,708, APPROXIMATELY $7,000 MORE THAN YOUR BID PRICE, COMPUTED ON A 12-MONTH BASIS.

THE INVITATION CLEARLY PROVIDED FOR THE SUBMISSION OF BIDS ON A PER ANNUM BASIS. 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 CONFORM TO THE TERMS OF THE ADVERTISED INVITATION TO BE ELIGIBLE FOR AWARD. PURSUANT THERETO SECTION 1-2.404-2 (A) OF THE FEDERAL PROCUREMENT REGULATIONS PROVIDES FOR THE REJECTION OF A BID WHICH FAILS TO CONFORM TO THE ESSENTIAL REQUIREMENTS OF THE INVITATION FOR BIDS. A BIDDER MAY NOT BE PERMITTED TO ADD TO OR MODIFY ITS BID AFTER THE OPENING TO MAKE THE BID COMPLY WITH THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE INVITATION, AND IT DOES NOT MATTER WHETHER THE FAILURE TO COMPLY WAS DUE TO INADVERTENCE, MISTAKE, OR OTHERWISE. 38 COMP. GEN. 819 AND 40 ID. 432.

FOR THE FOREGOING REASONS, WE MUST CONCUR WITH THE ACTION TAKEN BY THE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION IN REJECTING YOUR BID AS NOT BEING RESPONSIVE TO THE INVITATION.