B-152784, DEC. 11, 1963

B-152784: Dec 11, 1963

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DESPITE THE FACT THAT YOURS WAS THE LOW BID ON THE ITEMS. YOUR BID WAS DECLARED NONRESPONSIVE BECAUSE THE BILL OF MATERIAL. STATED THAT THE RELIEF VALVE ON THE EQUIPMENT OFFERED WAS ADJUSTABLE FROM 10 THROUGH 100 P.S.I. AN ESSENTIAL PART OF THE ADVERTISED SPECIFICATIONS WAS THAT THE LOW PRESSURE SYSTEM BE ABLE TO OPERATE AT ANY PRESSURE UP TO 150 P.S.I. YOU ARGUE THAT YOUR BID WAS NOT QUALIFIED IN ANY WAY. THAT THE RELIEF VALVES WHICH YOU OFFER WILL FUNCTION AND OPERATE AT PRESSURES WELL IN EXCESS OF 150 P.S.I. THAT THE RANGE GIVEN IN THE BILL OF MATERIAL WAS A TYPOGRAPHICAL ERROR AS TO WHICH A QUERY SHOULD HAVE BEEN MADE OF YOU BY PROCUREMENT OFFICIALS. WHICH WOULD HAVE RESULTED IN CORRECTION OF THE ERROR.

B-152784, DEC. 11, 1963

TO THE C.G.S. SCIENTIFIC CORPORATION:

YOUR LETTER DATED OCTOBER 28, 1963, PROTESTING AWARD UNDER ITEM 1A OF INVITATION FOR BIDS NO. 204-4-64 OF A CONTRACT FOR TWO HYDRAULIC PUMP TEST STANDS BY THE U.S. NAVAL AIR STATION, PENSACOLA, FLORIDA,TO ANOTHER BIDDER, HAS BEEN RECEIVED BY THIS OFFICE. DESPITE THE FACT THAT YOURS WAS THE LOW BID ON THE ITEMS, YOUR BID WAS DECLARED NONRESPONSIVE BECAUSE THE BILL OF MATERIAL, WHICH ACCOMPANIED AND FORMED A PART OF YOUR BID, STATED THAT THE RELIEF VALVE ON THE EQUIPMENT OFFERED WAS ADJUSTABLE FROM 10 THROUGH 100 P.S.I. AN ESSENTIAL PART OF THE ADVERTISED SPECIFICATIONS WAS THAT THE LOW PRESSURE SYSTEM BE ABLE TO OPERATE AT ANY PRESSURE UP TO 150 P.S.I.

YOU ARGUE THAT YOUR BID WAS NOT QUALIFIED IN ANY WAY; THAT THE RELIEF VALVES WHICH YOU OFFER WILL FUNCTION AND OPERATE AT PRESSURES WELL IN EXCESS OF 150 P.S.I.; THAT THE RANGE GIVEN IN THE BILL OF MATERIAL WAS A TYPOGRAPHICAL ERROR AS TO WHICH A QUERY SHOULD HAVE BEEN MADE OF YOU BY PROCUREMENT OFFICIALS, WHICH WOULD HAVE RESULTED IN CORRECTION OF THE ERROR.

THE RESPONSIBILITY AND CAPACITY OF YOUR COMPANY TO PERFORM IS NOT HERE AT ISSUE. THE SOLE ISSUE IS THE RESPONSIVENESS OF YOUR BID. WE CANNOT AGREE WITH YOU THAT YOUR BID DID NOT CONTAIN THE 10 TO 100 P.S.I. LIMITATION. NOR DO WE SEE ANY MERIT TO YOUR ARGUMENT THAT CONTRACTING AUTHORITIES SHOULD HAVE DISCLOSED ANY DEFECT IN YOUR BID TO YOU BEFORE AWARDING THE CONTRACT TO ANOTHER BIDDER TO ENABLE ITS CORRECTION. THE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE PREPARATION OF A BID IS UPON THE BIDDER. FRAZIER-DAVIS CONSTRUCTION COMPANY V. UNITED STATES, 100 CT.CL. 120, 163. IN FAIRNESS TO OTHER BIDDERS BIDS MAY NOT BE ALTERED BETWEEN THE TIME SET FOR OPENING AND THE AWARD OF A CONTRACT. NEITHER MAY AN ESSENTIAL REQUIREMENT OF AN INVITATION BE WAIVED AS A MINOR INFORMALITY. 30 COMP. GEN. 179.

A MISTAKE IN A BID MAY NOT BE CORRECTED TO MAKE THE BID RESPONSIBLE. COMP. GEN. 819; 40 COMP. GEN. 132. THE ALLOWANCE OF CORRECTION AFTER OPENING IN ORDER TO MAKE A BID RESPONSIVE WOULD BE TANTAMOUNT TO PERMITTING THE SUBMISSION OF AN ENTIRELY NEW BID AND WOULD BE DETRIMENTAL TO THE COMPETITIVE BIDDING PROCESS.

WE FIND NOTHING IRREGULAR IN THE HANDLING OF THIS PROCUREMENT BY THE UNITED STATES NAVAL AIR STATION.