B-151894, AUG. 16, 1963

B-151894: Aug 16, 1963

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WAS OPENED ON APRIL 22. FOUR BIDS WERE RECEIVED AS FOLLOWS: TABLE TOTAL BID GENERAL ELECTRIC COMPANY $19. WHICH WEIGHT WAS COMPATIBLE WITH A SHIPMENT OF A SINGLE UNIT RATHER THAN 8 UNITS. IT WAS CONSIDERED THAT THE GOVERNMENT WOULD HAVE TO ABSORB A SUBSTANTIAL AMOUNT OF FREIGHT. IT WAS FOUND. THAT THE OTHER 2 BIDS WERE NONRESPONSIVE TO SUBPARAGRAPH 1A (3). YOUR OFFICE DETERMINED THAT IT WAS IN THE BEST INTERESTS OF THE GOVERNMENT TO REJECT ALL BIDS UNDER THE INVITATION AND TO READVERTISE THE REQUIREMENT. 657 B WAS ISSUED ON MAY 15. EXCEPT THAT THE PRIOR CUBICLE REQUIREMENT "* * * AND OF SUFFICIENT SIZE TO COMPLETELY COVER THE TRENCH UNDER EACH CUBICLE * * *" WAS ELIMINATED. ALTHOUGH THE TRENCH WAS NOT SPECIFICALLY DIMENSIONED.

B-151894, AUG. 16, 1963

TO MR. J. C. KIMBALL:

THIS REFERS TO YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 25, 1963, (D-289A) WITH ENCLOSURES, REQUESTING OUR DECISION RELATIVE TO A PROTEST RECEIVED FROM GENERAL ELECTRIC COMPANY AGAINST AN AWARD UNDER READVERTISED INVITATION FOR BIDS NO. (D) 90,657-B, ISSUED BY THE BUREAU OF RECLAMATION.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT AN ORIGINAL INVITATION (INVITATION FOR BIDS NO. (D) 90,657-A), WHICH COVERED EIGHT UNITS OF GENERATOR NEUTRAL GROUNDING EQUIPMENT FOR GLEN CANYON POWERPLANT, COLORADO POWER STORAGE PROJECT, DELIVERED FOB FLAGSTAFF, ARIZONA, OR PAGE, ARIZONA (THE JOB SITE), EACH UNIT CONSISTING OF ONE TRANSFORMER, ONE RESISTOR UNIT, AND A CUBICLE-TYPE METAL ENCLOSURE, WAS OPENED ON APRIL 22, 1963. FOUR BIDS WERE RECEIVED AS FOLLOWS:

TABLE

TOTAL BID

GENERAL ELECTRIC COMPANY $19,064.00

WESTINGHOUSE ELECTRIC CORPORATION 19,217.40

STANDARD TRANSFORMER COMPANY 20,720.00

ESCO MANUFACTURING COMPANY 23,200.00

ALL THE BIDDERS QUOTED PRICES FOB PAGE, ARIZONA, EXCEPT FOR WESTINGHOUSE, WHICH QUOTED FOB FLAGSTAFF, ARIZONA.

GENERAL ELECTRIC SPECIFIED IN ITS BID THAT IT WOULD FURNISH A CUBICLE HAVING A DEPTH OF 33 INCHES. SUBPARAGRAPH 1A (3) OF THE CUBICLE SPECIFICATION (ITEM 1C) PROVIDED THAT THE CUBICLE SHALL BE "* * * OF SUFFICIENT SIZE TO COMPLETELY COVER THE TRENCH UNDER EACH CUBICLE.' THE SPECIFICATIONS ALSO INCLUDED A DRAWING COVERING THE ELECTRICAL INSTALLATION OF THE GENERATOR NEUTRAL GROUNDING SCHEME.

YOUR TECHNICAL EVALUATORS DETERMINED THAT THE 33 INCH CUBICLE DEPTH OFFERED BY GENERAL ELECTRIC DID NOT APPEAR TO MEET THE SUBPARAGRAPH 1A (3) REQUIREMENT THAT THE CUBICLE SHOULD BE OF A SIZE TO COVER THE TRENCH; BUT THAT THE CUBICLES PROPOSED BY GENERAL ELECTRIC COULD BE READILY USED IN THE INSTALLATION. THEY CONSIDERED THE DEVIATION TO BE ONLY A MINOR ONE AND RECOMMENDED AWARD TO GENERAL ELECTRIC. YOUR OFFICE CONCLUDED, HOWEVER, THAT IT WOULD BE IMPROPER TO AWARD A CONTRACT ,* * * NECESSITATING SUCH A CHANGE IN THE EQUIPMENT ARRANGEMENT.'

EVALUATION OF THE SECOND LOW BID (WESTINGHOUSE'S BID) DISCLOSED THAT THE BIDDER INDICATED A GUARANTEED SHIPPING WEIGHT FOR THE COMPLETE SCHEDULE OF 2,000 POUNDS, WHICH WEIGHT WAS COMPATIBLE WITH A SHIPMENT OF A SINGLE UNIT RATHER THAN 8 UNITS. SINCE THIS BIDDER INDICATED A SHIPMENT FOB FLAGSTAFF, INSTEAD OF THE JOB SITE, IT WAS CONSIDERED THAT THE GOVERNMENT WOULD HAVE TO ABSORB A SUBSTANTIAL AMOUNT OF FREIGHT, MAKING ITS COST CONSIDERABLY HIGHER. IT WAS FOUND, ALSO, THAT THE OTHER 2 BIDS WERE NONRESPONSIVE TO SUBPARAGRAPH 1A (3).

YOUR OFFICE DETERMINED THAT IT WAS IN THE BEST INTERESTS OF THE GOVERNMENT TO REJECT ALL BIDS UNDER THE INVITATION AND TO READVERTISE THE REQUIREMENT. ACCORDINGLY, READVERTISED INVITATION NO. (D) 90,657 B WAS ISSUED ON MAY 15, 1963, AND OPENED ON MAY 27, 1963. THIS INVITATION CONTAINED THE SAME SPECIFICATIONS, EXCEPT THAT THE PRIOR CUBICLE REQUIREMENT "* * * AND OF SUFFICIENT SIZE TO COMPLETELY COVER THE TRENCH UNDER EACH CUBICLE * * *" WAS ELIMINATED.

MEANWHILE, BY LETTER OF MAY 24, 1963, GENERAL ELECTRIC PROTESTED THE REJECTION OF ITS BID UNDER THE ORIGINAL INVITATION, CONTENDING THAT THE SPECIFICATIONS AND DRAWINGS DID NOT FIX THE EXACT LENGTH OF THE TRENCH,AND THAT THE BIDDER HAD THE RIGHT TO ASSUME THAT THE TRENCH WOULD BE DIMENSIONED FROM THE DEPTH OF THE CUBICLE. YOUR EVALUATORS REPORTED, HOWEVER, THAT THE SPECIFICATION DRAWING DID INDICATE THE LENGTH OF THE TRENCH BY THE "SCALE OF FEET" ON THE DRAWING, ALTHOUGH THE TRENCH WAS NOT SPECIFICALLY DIMENSIONED. THEY POINTED OUT AGAIN, HOWEVER, THAT THE EQUIPMENT PROPOSED BY GENERAL ELECTRIC COULD BE READILY USED IN THE INSTALLATION, AND THAT THEY HAD RECOMMENDED AWARD TO THAT COMPANY, AND STATED FURTHER THAT THEY COULD NOT MAKE A DETAILED ANALYSIS OF THE GENERAL ELECTRIC COMPANY'S STATEMENTS,"* * * SINCE WE CAN FIND NO RECORD OF CORRESPONDENCE TO THE COMPANY, OR WITHIN THIS OFFICE WHICH DEFINES THE REASON FOR REJECTION OF BIDS.'

THE SAME FOUR BIDDERS SUBMITTED BIDS ON THE READVERTISED PROCUREMENT; THIS TIME AS FOLLOWS:

TABLE

WESTINGHOUSE $15,600

STANDARD TRANSFORMER 18,672

GENERAL ELECTRIC 19,064

ESCO MANUFACTURING 23,200

YOU REPORT THAT ALL THE BIDDERS NOW QUOTE FOB PAGE, ARIZONA; THAT THE WESTINGHOUSE BID CONFORMS TO THE SPECIFICATION REQUIREMENTS; AND THAT THE GENERAL ELECTRIC BID IS IN THE SAME TERMS AS THE PRIOR GENERAL ELECTRIC BID.

YOU ASK WHETHER AWARD MAY PROPERLY BE MADE TO WESTINGHOUSE UNDER THIS INVITATION; AND IN THIS CONNECTION, YOU SUGGEST THAT THE GENERAL ELECTRIC PROTEST MAY BE "NULLIFIED" BECAUSE IT SUBMITTED A BID ON THE READVERTISED PROCUREMENT.

AS TO THE GENERAL ELECTRIC PROTEST, WE THINK THAT BY SUBMITTING A BID ON THE SECOND INVITATION IN THE SAME TERMS AS THE ORIGINAL BID, THE BIDDER REAFFIRMED ITS INTENTION TO STAND ON ITS ORIGINAL BID AND TO MAINTAIN ITS PROTEST AGAINST AN AWARD TO ANY OTHER BIDDER.

SPECIFICALLY, GENERAL ELECTRIC CONTENDS THAT WHILE THE SPECIFICATION DIAGRAM INDICATES A MAXIMUM TRENCH LENGTH OF 61 1/2 INCHES, IT DOES NOT FIX ANY MINIMUM BUT LEAVES THE TRENCH LENGTH DEPENDENT UPON THE DIMENSIONS OF THE EQUIPMENT TO BE INSTALLED. READING FROM THE DIAGRAM, WE THINK THAT IT REASONABLY CAN BE INTERPRETED TO MEAN THAT THE LENGTH OF THE TRENCH COULD VARY; THE TRENCH IS NOT SPECIFICALLY DIMENSIONED EXCEPT THAT IT IS TO BE EIGHT INCHES WIDE AND FOUR INCHES DEEP, AND TO START 10 1/2 INCHES FROM THE REAR OF THE GROUNDING EQUIPMENT AND RUN UP TO 12 INCHES FROM THE FRONT. SINCE THE DRAWING GIVES THE MAXIMUM DIMENSION FROM FRONT TO REAR OF THE EQUIPMENT AS SEVEN FEET, WITH NO MINIMUM, WE THINK THE BIDDER COULD ASSUME FROM THE DIAGRAM THAT THE TRENCH LENGTH WOULD BE DIMENSIONED FROM THE DEPTH OF THE EQUIPMENT OFFERED BY THE BIDDER.

WE CONCLUDE THAT GENERAL ELECTRIC'S FIRST BID WAS IMPROPERLY REJECTED, AND THAT THE FIRST INVITATION WAS ERRONEOUSLY CANCELLED. YOU ARE ADVISED, THEREFORE, THAT AWARD SHOULD BE MADE TO THAT COMPANY ON ITS BID AS ORIGINALLY SUBMITTED AND RENEWED BY RESUBMISSION UNDER THE SECOND INVITATION. SEE 40 COMP. GEN. 671; 39 ID. 396; 36 ID. 62, 66.

AS REQUESTED, THE ENCLOSURES WITH YOUR LETTER ARE RETURNED, AND A COPY HEREOF IS BEING FORWARDED TO THE COMMISSIONER.