B-152669, NOV. 4, 1963

B-152669: Nov 4, 1963

Additional Materials:

Contact:

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

 

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

BIDS WERE OPENED. WERE RECEIVED. WHILE THE NEXT LOW BID WAS AT $211. THE INVITATION PROVIDED THAT BID SAMPLES WERE REQUIRED FROM BIDDERS IN ACCORDANCE WITH PARAGRAPH 4 OF THE REFERENCED SPECIFICATION (POD SPECIFICATION HEAT SEAL PATCHES. SAMPLES WILL BE EVALUATED TO DETERMINE COMPLIANCE WITH THE SPECIFICATIONS OR OTHER REQUIREMENTS OF THE INVITATION FOR BIDS. (B) FAILURE OF SAMPLES TO CONFORM TO THE REQUIREMENTS OF INVITATION FOR BIDS WILL REQUIRE REJECTION OF THE BID. YOUR SUPPLIER WAS LATE IN SUBMITTING THE BASIC CLOTH SAMPLE. THE POST OFFICE REPORTS THAT IT IS NECESSARY TO TEST BASE CLOTH "PRIOR TO COATING. SINCE SUCH COATING ALTERS THE BASE CLOTH AND IT IS NOT POSSIBLE TO THEN ACCURATELY PERFORM CERTAIN TESTS.'.

B-152669, NOV. 4, 1963

TO TRENTON TEXTILE ENGINEERING AND MANUFACTURING COMPANY, INC.:

BY LETTER OF OCTOBER 14, 1963 YOU PROTEST AGAINST THE REJECTION OF YOUR BID UNDER POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT INVITATION FOR BIDS NO. 129, ISSUED ON SEPTEMBER 30, 1963.

THE INVITATION CALLED FOR A QUANTITY OF HEAT SEAL PATCHES, FOR USE IN THE REPAIR OF SOILED CANVAS MAIL BAGS. BIDS WERE OPENED, AS SCHEDULED, ON OCTOBER 2, 1963, AND SEVEN BIDS, RANGING IN PRICE FROM $189,598.21 TO $257,565, WERE RECEIVED. YOU SUBMITTED THE LOW BID, WHILE THE NEXT LOW BID WAS AT $211,484.76.

THE INVITATION PROVIDED THAT BID SAMPLES WERE REQUIRED FROM BIDDERS IN ACCORDANCE WITH PARAGRAPH 4 OF THE REFERENCED SPECIFICATION (POD SPECIFICATION HEAT SEAL PATCHES, ITEM O-28, DATED OCTOBER 1, 1962), WHICH PROVIDES IN PERTINENT PART AS FOLLOWS:

"4.2.1 BID SAMPLES. (A) BID SAMPLES, IN THE QUANTITIES, SIZES, ETC. REQUIRED FOR ITEMS SO INDICATED IN THE INVITATION FOR BIDS, MUST BE FURNISHED AS A PART OF THE BID AND MUST BE RECEIVED BEFORE THE TIME SET FOR OPENING BIDS. SAMPLES WILL BE EVALUATED TO DETERMINE COMPLIANCE WITH THE SPECIFICATIONS OR OTHER REQUIREMENTS OF THE INVITATION FOR BIDS. (B) FAILURE OF SAMPLES TO CONFORM TO THE REQUIREMENTS OF INVITATION FOR BIDS WILL REQUIRE REJECTION OF THE BID, * * *.

"4.2.2 SAMPLES REQUIRED.

A. UNBLEACHED COTTON CLOTH, PLAIN WITHOUT TOP OR ADHESIVE COATING * * *.

"B. HEAT SEAL PATCHES 6 INCHES BY 14 INCHES WITH TOP AND ADHESIVE COATINGS, * * *.'

IT APPEARS THAT YOU FAILED TO SUBMIT A BASE CLOTH SAMPLE (PARA. 4.2.2A) BY THE TIME OF THE BID OPENING. IN THIS CONNECTION, YOU REPORT THAT WHILE YOU SUBMITTED THE COATED FABRIC SAMPLES ON TIME, YOUR SUPPLIER WAS LATE IN SUBMITTING THE BASIC CLOTH SAMPLE.

YOU SAY THAT THE INVITATION DOES NOT SPECIFICALLY STATE THAT BID SAMPLES MUST BE RECEIVED BEFORE BID OPENING; AND YOU CONTEND THAT YOUR FAILURE CONSTITUTES A MINOR ERROR WHICH DOES NOT AFFECT YOUR OBLIGATION TO DELIVER MATERIAL IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE SPECIFICATIONS.

THE POST OFFICE REPORTS THAT IT REQUIRES BID SAMPLES,"AS IT HAS BEEN DEMONSTRATED ON SEVERAL PREVIOUS INVITATIONS THAT MUCH OF THE MATERIAL OFFERED DID NOT MEET SPECIFICATION REQUIREMENTS.' WITH REGARD TO THE BASE CLOTH SAMPLE, THE POST OFFICE REPORTS THAT IT IS NECESSARY TO TEST BASE CLOTH "PRIOR TO COATING, SINCE SUCH COATING ALTERS THE BASE CLOTH AND IT IS NOT POSSIBLE TO THEN ACCURATELY PERFORM CERTAIN TESTS.' THE POST OFFICE CONCLUDES THAT YOUR BID IS NONRESPONSIVE, UNDER THE SPECIFIC LANGUAGE OF THE LAST SENTENCE OF PARAGRAPH 4.2.1.

GENERALLY, THE USE OF BID SAMPLES IS SANCTIONED IN THOSE CASES WHERE, BECAUSE OF THE NATURE OF THE PRODUCT, THE SPECIFICATIONS CANNOT BE STATED WITH SUFFICIENT CERTAINTY TO WARRANT THE ACCEPTANCE OF A BID WITHOUT THE PRIOR SUBMISSION OF A SAMPLE, OR IN OTHER CASES WHERE, DUE TO THE PARTICULAR NEEDS OF THE GOVERNMENT, IT WOULD NOT BE IN THE BEST INTERESTS OF THE GOVERNMENT TO WAIVE THE REQUIREMENT TO SUBMIT A BID SAMPLE. COMP. GEN. 940, 944. IN THIS PROCUREMENT, IT IS THE CONSIDERED JUDGMENT OF THE DEPARTMENT THAT THE FINISHED PRODUCT, THE HEAT SEAL PATCH, MUST CONSIST OF PRECISELY THE RIGHT CLOTH AND CLOTH COATING. HOWEVER, CERTAIN OF THE PHYSICAL PROPERTIES OF THE CLOTH ARE NOT EASILY DESCRIBED IN A SPECIFICATION, ESPECIALLY SUCH FEATURES AS FEEL AND TEXTURE. IT IS ALSO DIFFICULT TO DESCRIBE THE COATING. THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT HAS EXPERIENCED DIFFICULTIES WITH THE CLOTH AND THE COATING FURNISHED IN PAST PROCUREMENTS OF HEAT SEAL PATCHES. IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES, WE THINK THE SPECIFICATION REQUIREMENT FOR BID SAMPLES WAS WARRANTED, IN ORDER TO ASSURE THAT THE BIDDERS UNDERSTOOD THE GOVERNMENT'S REQUIREMENTS AS TO THE CLOTH AND COATING AND THAT THE ARTICLES OFFERED WOULD IN FACT MEET THE STATED NEEDS.

THE INVITATION SPECIFICALLY REQUIRED BIDDERS TO SUBMIT THE SAMPLES REQUIRED BY PARAGRAPH 4.2.2 OF THE SPECIFICATION; AND PARAGRAPH 4.2.1, IN TURN, REQUIRED THAT THE SAMPLES BE RECEIVED BEFORE THE BID OPENING. SINCE YOUR CLOTH SAMPLE WAS NOT TIMELY RECEIVED, YOUR BID MUST BE REJECTED. SEE 34 COMP. GEN. 180.