B-149606, OCT. 17, 1962

B-149606: Oct 17, 1962

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TO NO-MAR CORPORATION: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 1. QUOTATIONS WERE REQUESTED FOR RECONDITIONING AND REFINISHING GOVERNMENT- OWNED WOOD AND METAL OFFICE FURNITURE. IN ADDITION TO PERMAGRAIN CORPORATION QUOTATIONS WERE SOLICITED FROM COCKSYSVILLE FURNITURE COMPANY AND PRUITT UPHOLSTERING AND MANUFACTURING COMPANY. SOME OF THE FURNITURE HAD BEEN PARTIALLY RECONDITIONED WHEN THE ORIGINAL CONTRACT WAS TERMINATED. SINCE NEITHER THE QUANTITIES NOR THE CONDITION OF THE INDIVIDUAL ITEMS WITHIN THE LOT WERE KNOWN AT THE TIME OF THE REQUEST FOR QUOTATIONS. ALL BIDDERS WERE URGED TO AND DID MAKE A PERSONAL INSPECTION TO DETERMINE THE QUANTITIES AND CONDITION OF THE INVOLVED ITEMS.

B-149606, OCT. 17, 1962

TO NO-MAR CORPORATION:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 1, 1962, PROTESTING AWARD TO ANOTHER BIDDER UNDER REQUEST FOR QUOTATIONS NO. GS-03-U/P/-1 ISSUED JULY 18, 1962, BY THE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION, REGION 3, UTILIZATION AND DISPOSAL SERVICE.

QUOTATIONS WERE REQUESTED FOR RECONDITIONING AND REFINISHING GOVERNMENT- OWNED WOOD AND METAL OFFICE FURNITURE, CONSISTING OF 19 ITEMS AGGREGATING APPROXIMATELY 800 PIECES OF FURNITURE, LOCATED AT THE PLANT OF THE AMERICAN BEAUTY GRAIN CORPORATION, WHOSE RIGHT TO PROCEED UNDER CONTRACT NO. GS-03S-22623, FOR REFINISHING THE ABOVE FURNITURE, HAD BEEN TERMINATED FOR DEFAULT. IN ADDITION TO PERMAGRAIN CORPORATION QUOTATIONS WERE SOLICITED FROM COCKSYSVILLE FURNITURE COMPANY AND PRUITT UPHOLSTERING AND MANUFACTURING COMPANY, BUT THE FORMER DECLINED TO QUOTE.

SOME OF THE FURNITURE HAD BEEN PARTIALLY RECONDITIONED WHEN THE ORIGINAL CONTRACT WAS TERMINATED, AND SINCE NEITHER THE QUANTITIES NOR THE CONDITION OF THE INDIVIDUAL ITEMS WITHIN THE LOT WERE KNOWN AT THE TIME OF THE REQUEST FOR QUOTATIONS, ALL BIDDERS WERE URGED TO AND DID MAKE A PERSONAL INSPECTION TO DETERMINE THE QUANTITIES AND CONDITION OF THE INVOLVED ITEMS.

AN INVENTORY OF THE WORK TO BE DONE, BY ITEM AND QUANTITY, WAS COMPLETED ABOUT JULY 30, 1962, AND IT WAS DETERMINED THAT THERE WERE 15 ITEMS TOTALING 814 PIECES. USING THE UNIT PRICES BID AND THE ITEM QUANTITIES SHOWN IN THE INVENTORY, THE ITEM PRICES OF EACH BIDDER WERE EXTENDED AND IT WAS DETERMINED THAT YOUR TOTAL BID WAS $24,952 AND PRUITT'S BID WAS $20,771.75. AWARD WAS THEREFORE MADE TO PRUITT ON AUGUST 1, 1962, AS THE LOW BIDDER ON A LOT BASIS. YOU PROTEST THIS AWARD ON THE GROUND THAT THE METHOD USED IN DETERMINING THE LOW BIDDER WAS CHANGED AFTER THE BIDS WERE OPENED AND THAT YOU WERE LOW BIDDER IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE FORMULA IN THE ORIGINAL REQUEST FOR QUOTATIONS.

WE CAN FIND NO MENTION IN THE REQUEST FOR QUOTATIONS OF ANY FORMULA FOR DETERMINING THE LOW BIDDER, BUT YOU HAVE ADVISED US INFORMALLY THAT IT WAS YOUR UNDERSTANDING, BASED ON INFORMATION ALLEGEDLY FURNISHED BY THE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION, THAT AWARD WOULD BE MADE TO THE BIDDER WHOSE UNIT PRICES ADDED UP TO THE LOWEST TOTAL. THE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION HAS REPORTED THAT YOU WERE NOT SO ADVISED AND THAT THERE WAS NEVER ANY INTENTION TO MAKE AN AWARD ON THIS BASIS. THIS METHOD WOULD BE VALID ONLY IF THE NUMBER OF UNITS UNDER EACH ITEM WAS THE SAME, BUT WHERE, AS IN THIS INSTANCE, THE NUMBER OF UNITS VARIES WITH EACH ITEM, THE FALLACY OF THE METHOD SUGGESTED BY YOU IS TOO OBVIOUS TO REQUIRE ANYTHING BUT STATEMENT.

IT APPEARS THAT YOU WERE LOW BIDDER ON 9 ITEMS TOTALING 73 PIECES, AND THAT PRUITT WAS LOW BIDDER ON 6 ITEMS TOTALING 741 PIECES. THE ESTABLISHED RULE IS THAT THE BID WHICH IS MOST ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT, PRICE AND OTHER FACTORS CONSIDERED, IS FOR ACCEPTANCE, AND WHETHER AWARD IS MADE ON AN ITEM OR LOT BASIS DEPENDS ON THE CIRCUMSTANCES.

IN THE PRESENT CASE IT IS REPORTED THAT THE FURNITURE WAS IN A STATE OF CONSIDERABLE DISARRAY, WITH NUMEROUS UNITS BEING KNOCKED DOWN AND THE DRAWERS STACKED IN SUCH A MANNER THAT IT WOULD BE A VERY TIME CONSUMING JOB TO IDENTIFY THE RELATED COMPONENTS AND REASSEMBLE THE UNITS. ALSO, THE EXACT LOCATION OF A GREAT MANY PARTS NEEDED TO COMPLETE THE JOB WAS NOT KNOWN, SOME HAVING BEEN SENT OUT FOR CADMIUM PLATING AND NOT RETURNED. IN THESE CIRCUMSTANCES, AND IN VIEW OF THE FURTHER FACT THAT PRUITT HAD LEASED THE BUILDING WHERE THE FURNITURE WAS LOCATED AND COULD START WORK WITHOUT DELAY, IT WAS DETERMINED BY THE CONTRACTING OFFICER THAT PROMPT AND EFFICIENT COMPLETION OF THE WORK COULD BEST BE ACCOMPLISHED BY ONE CONTRACTOR AT THE EXISTING LOCATION AND THAT AWARD TO PRUITT AS THE LOW BIDDER ON A LOT BASIS WAS IN THE INTEREST OF THE GOVERNMENT.

WITH REFERENCE TO YOUR INFORMAL OBJECTION THAT THE REQUEST FOR QUOTATIONS FAILED TO NOTIFY OFFERORS, AS REQUIRED BY PARAGRAPH 1-3.805 (B) OF THE FEDERAL PROCUREMENT REGULATIONS, THAT AWARD MIGHT BE MADE ON THE BASIS OF THE INITIAL PROPOSALS WITHOUT FURTHER DISCUSSION, WE HAVE BEEN ADVISED BY THE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION THAT PROCUREMENT OFFICIALS WERE IN CONSTANT TOUCH WITH ALL OFFERORS BEFORE AND AFTER ISSUANCE OF THE REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS, THAT ALL OFFERORS WERE URGED TO MAKE A CAREFUL INSPECTION OF THE FURNITURE AND TO GIVE THOROUGH CONSIDERATION TO THE SUBMISSION OF THE BEST POSSIBLE PRICES, AND THAT IT WAS CLEARLY UNDERSTOOD BY ALL PARTIES CONCERNED THAT THE AWARD WOULD BE MADE ON THE BASIS OF THE INITIAL QUOTATION.

FOR THE REASONS STATED WE FIND NO BASIS FOR OBJECTING TO THE AWARD AS MADE AND YOUR PROTEST MUST THEREFORE BE DENIED.