B-152984, MAR. 16, 1964

B-152984: Mar 16, 1964

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FOUR BIDS WERE RECEIVED AND OPENED ON OCTOBER 28. THE LOWEST BID WAS RECEIVED FROM THE GEORGE E. THE LATTER BID WAS REJECTED ON THE BASIS THAT IT WAS SUBMITTED SUBSEQUENT TO THE DATE AND TIME SET FOR BID OPENING. IT WAS DETERMINED THAT FAILING SUBMITTED THE LOWEST RESPONSIVE BID IN THE AMOUNT OF $257. IT IS YOUR CONTENTION THAT THE EQUIPMENT OFFERED BY FAILING DOES NOT MEET THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE SPECIFICATIONS. INASMUCH AS THE PROCUREMENT AGENCY HAS FINALLY DETERMINED THAT THE LOW BID OF FAILING IS RESPONSIVE TO THE ADVERTISED SPECIFICATIONS AND HAS PROPOSED TO MAKE AWARD TO THAT FIRM AS THE LOWEST RESPONSIVE BIDDER UNDER THE INVITATION. THE MATTER OF THE RESPONSIVENESS OF THE WINTER WEISS BID IS ACADEMIC AND WILL NOT BE FURTHER DISCUSSED.

B-152984, MAR. 16, 1964

TO DAVEY COMPRESSOR CO.:

BY LETTER DATED DECEMBER 2, 1963, AND JANUARY 20, 1964, YOU PROTESTED AGAINST ANY CONTEMPLATED AWARD TO ANOTHER BIDDER UNDER INVITATION FOR BIDS NO. AMC/X/-04-200-64-98, AS AMENDED, ISSUED ON SEPTEMBER 13, 1963, BY THE SAN FRANCISCO PROCUREMENT DISTRICT, UNITED STATES ARMY, FOR THREE ROTARY DRILLING RIGS, TRUCK MOUNTED, WITH OPERATING EQUIPMENT, ACCESSORIES, AND SUPPORTING EQUIPMENT IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE ATTACHED SPECIFICATIONS.

FOUR BIDS WERE RECEIVED AND OPENED ON OCTOBER 28, 1963. THE LOWEST BID WAS RECEIVED FROM THE GEORGE E. FAILING COMPANY, FOLLOWED BY THE BIDS RECEIVED FROM THE WINTER-WEISS COMPANY, DAVEY COMPRESSOR, AND THE BUCYRUS- ERIE COMPANY. THE LATTER BID WAS REJECTED ON THE BASIS THAT IT WAS SUBMITTED SUBSEQUENT TO THE DATE AND TIME SET FOR BID OPENING. AFTER A THOROUGH EVALUATION OF BIDS BY TECHNICAL PERSONNEL OF THE DISTRICT, INCLUDING ANALYSIS BY THE OVERSEAS REQUISITION AGENCY TO DETERMINE THE ADAPTABILITY OF THE EQUIPMENT TO THE USE INTENDED, IT WAS DETERMINED THAT FAILING SUBMITTED THE LOWEST RESPONSIVE BID IN THE AMOUNT OF $257,587.89, AS COMPARED TO YOUR BID IN THE AMOUNT OF $287,874.

IT IS YOUR CONTENTION THAT THE EQUIPMENT OFFERED BY FAILING DOES NOT MEET THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE SPECIFICATIONS, AND THAT FAILING DEVIATED FROM PARAGRAPH 3.5 OF THE SPECIFICATIONS IN THAT IT ADVISED THAT A M-225 TRAVELING BLOCK WITH A CAPACITY OF 7,500 POUNDS WOULD BE SUPPLIED, WHEREAS THE SPECIFICATIONS CONTEMPLATED A BLOCK WHICH WOULD BEAR ESSENTIALLY ALL OF THE RATED CAPACITY LOAD OF THE MAST (30,000 POUNDS) EXCEPT FOR THOSE ITEMS DIRECTLY FIXED TO THE MAST. INASMUCH AS THE PROCUREMENT AGENCY HAS FINALLY DETERMINED THAT THE LOW BID OF FAILING IS RESPONSIVE TO THE ADVERTISED SPECIFICATIONS AND HAS PROPOSED TO MAKE AWARD TO THAT FIRM AS THE LOWEST RESPONSIVE BIDDER UNDER THE INVITATION, THE MATTER OF THE RESPONSIVENESS OF THE WINTER WEISS BID IS ACADEMIC AND WILL NOT BE FURTHER DISCUSSED.

THE SPECIFIC POINTS OF PROTEST SET OUT IN YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 2, 1963, WERE CONSIDERED BY TECHNICAL PERSONNEL OF THE PROCUREMENT AGENCY AND THE VIEWS AND COMMENTS OF THE AGENCY THEREON ARE AS FOLLOWS:

"A. THE FIRST AND SECOND SENTENCES OF THE LAST PARAGRAPH, PAGE 1 ARE SOMEWHAT DISTORTED AND PARTIALLY BASED ON ASSUMPTION, IN REGARD TO THE INTENT OF THE SPECIFICATION. THE PROTESTANT INTERPRETS THE THIRD SENTENCE OF SPECIFICATION, PARAGRAPH 3.11, TO MEAN A PERCUSSION 6-INCH DOWN-THE- HOLE TOOL, AND THAT THIS TOOL WOULD BE OPERATED WITH THE 2 7/8-INCH DRILL PIPE. THE AFOREMENTIONED THIRD SENTENCE IS ONLY GENERAL AND OF A BACKGROUND NATURE. IT IS EMPHASIZED THAT THE SPECIFICATIONS CITED NO PERCUSSION DOWN-THE-HOLE TOOLS NOR ANY DRILL PIPE SIZE WHICH WOULD BE USED IF DOWN-THE-HOLE TOOLS WERE EMPLOYED.

"B. TO INSURE THAT THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE USER ARE FULFILLED, SPECIFIC DETAILED SPECIFICATIONS WERE INCLUDED WITH THE OVERALL GENERAL SPECIFICATIONS STATED IN PARAGRAPH 3.1, PAGE 13. THE SPECIFICATIONS ARE WRITTEN SO AS NOT TO BE RESTRICTIVE IN NATURE AND THUS LIMIT THE PROCUREMENT OF THE DRILL RIG TO A SOLE SOURCE. RATHER THEY ARE A GUIDE TO INDICATE THE MINIMUM SIZE REQUIRED FOR PROPER FUNCTION AND YET BE COMPATIBLE TO PROVIDE MOUNTING THE DRILL RIG SPECIFIED, IN THIS CASE ON A FOUR-WHEEL DRIVE TRUCK.

"C. THE THIRD SENTENCE OF THE PROTESTANT'S LETTER, TOP OF PAGE 2, IS KNOWN TO BE TRUE FOR ONE PARTICULAR PERCUSSION DOWN-THE-HOLE TOOL, THE MISSION MANUFACTURING COMPANY "HAMMERDRIL" A51-10, WHICH DRILLS A 6-INCH DIAMETER HOLE. IT IS NOT TRUE FOR THE SMALLER "HAMMERDRIL" A42 10 WHICH REQUIRED ONLY 150-275 CFM AIR VOLUME. AGAIN IT IS EMPHASIZED, NO DOWN-THE -HOLE TOOLS ARE SPECIFIED.

"D. REFERENCE FIRST PARAGRAPH, PAGE 2, OF THE PROTESTANT'S LETTER, THE SPECIFICATION REQUIRED A COMPRESSOR WITH A RATED CAPACITY OF AT LEAST 300 CFM AT 125 PSI AND 445 CFM AT 40 PSI. IT SHOULD BE UNDERSTOOD THAT CAPACITY OF THE COMPRESSOR MAY BE VARIED BY CHANGING THE PRESSURE AGAINST WHICH THE COMPRESSOR OPERATES. FOR EXAMPLE, IF THE PRESSURE IS DROPPED TO 100 PSI TO OPERATE THE MISSION "HAMMERDRILS" OUTPUT OF THE COMPRESSOR IS INCREASED TO 315-335 CFM. THE INFORMATION CONCERNING THE COMPRESSOR CAPACITY WAS OBTAINED FROM THE ORIGINAL BIDS RECEIVED AND FROM THE DATA OF LEROI COMPRESSOR CATALOG. NEITHER THE BIDDERS NOR LEROI COMPRESSOR COMPANY WERE ALLOWED ANY CHANGES IN STATING THEIR COMPRESSOR CAPACITY.

"E. THE PROTESTANT STATED IN REFERENCED LETTER THAT OUR LAST SENTENCE OF PARAGRAPH A, REFERENCE C (SAN FRANCISCO PROCUREMENT DISTRICT LETTER OF NOVEMBER 26, 1963) IS INCORRECT. AGAIN, HE IS ASSUMING THAT A PERCUSSION 6-INCH DOWN-THE-HOLE TOOL IS BEING USED WITH A 2 7/8-INCH DRILL PIPE. ONLY IN THIS CASE WOULD HIS STATEMENTS BE TRUE. HOWEVER, SINCE NO PERCUSSION DOWN-THE-HOLE TOOLS OF ANY SIZE ARE SPECIFIED OR REQUIRED TO BE FURNISHED HEREIN, THE SIZE OF THE COMPRESSOR OFFERED BY THE TWO LOW BIDDERS CONFORMS TO THE SPECIFICATIONS.

"F. THE DESIRED CAPACITIES FOR THE COMPRESSOR CITED IN THE SPECIFICATIONS ARE JUSTIFIED BECAUSE:

"/1) IF USED WITH A 4 3/4-5-INCH "HAMMERDRIL" (A42-10 WITH THE 2 7/8-INCH DRILL PIPE, A VELOCITY OF 3000-4000 FPM OF AIR UP-THE-HOLE IS ACHIEVED. THIS IS MORE THAN AMPLE TO CLEAN THE HOLE AND OPERATE THE TOOL, ITEM 1.

"/2) IF THE 6-INCH "HAMMERDRIL" IS USED WITH A 4-INCH DRILL PIPE, AS RECOMMENDED BY MISSION MANUFACTURING COMPANY, A VELOCITY OF 2980 FPM OF AIR UP-THE-HOLE IS ACHIEVED. IN THIS CASE THE COMPRESSOR OUTPUT IS APPROXIMATELY 325 CFM AS THE PRESSURE REQUIRED TO OPERATE THE TOOL IS ONLY 1OO PSI, AND THE AIR VELOCITY IS AMPLE TO CLEAN THE HOLE.

"/3) WHEN USING THE 6-INCH DRILL BITS (NOTE: THIS IS A ROCK BIT AND NOT A PERCUSSION HAMMER DRILL.) WHICH ARE REQUIRED TO BE FURNISHED HEREIN, ONLY THE HIGH VOLUME STAGE OF THE COMPRESSOR IS USED (445 CFM). THIS VOLUME IS ADEQUATE TO CLEAN THE HOLE AS THE VELOCITY ACHIEVED IS 2940 FPM. THE SMALL DIFFERENCE BETWEEN 445 CFM REQUIRED BY THE SPECIFICATIONS AND 452 CFM STATED BY THE PROTESTANT IS NOT A DEVIATION, BECAUSE THE 3000 FPM HE CITES IS NOT A REQUIREMENT OF THE SPECIFICATIONS NOR IS IT AN ABSOLUTE FIGURE AS STATED IN THE LITERATURE SUBMITTED BY THE PROTESTANT.

"G. IF THE USER EVER HAS THE REQUIREMENT TO UTILIZE A 6-INCH PERCUSSION, DOWN-THE-HOLE TOOL WITH SUBJECT DRILL RIG, A 4 OR 4 1/2 INCH DRILL PIPE CAN BE USED IN LIEU OF 2 7/8-INCH PIPE. THE USE OF THIS LARGER SIZE DRILL PIPE WILL PERMIT THE SATISFACTORY OPERATION OF A 6-INCH DOWN-THE-HOLE TOOL MISSION A51-10), AS WELL AS CLEANING THE HOLE WITH THE COMPRESSOR STATED IN THE SPECIFICATIONS.

"H. THE LOW BIDDER, GEORGE E. FAILING COMPANY LISTED IN HIS QUOTATION, PAGE 54, AN M-225 TRAVELING BLOCK WITH A CAPACITY OF 7,500 POUNDS. THE SPECIFICATIONS, PARAGRAPH 3.5, REQUIRE THE MAST TO HAVE A 30,000 POUNDS GROSS CAPACITY. THEREFORE, THE TRAVELING BLOCK MUST BEAR ESSENTIALLY ALL OF THE RATED CAPACITY LOAD OF THE MAST EXCEPT FOR THOSE ITEMS DIRECTLY FIXED TO THE MAST. THE GEORGE E. FAILING COMPANY BID AND LETTER SUBSTANTIATE THE FACT THAT HE PROPOSES TO FURNISH THE PROPOSED 30,000 POUNDS CAPACITY MAST. THEREFORE, IT WAS DETERMINED DURING EVALUATION THAT THE M-225 TRAVELING BLOCK WAS GROSSLY MISMATCHED TO OTHER RELATED COMPONENTS IN ADDITION TO THE MAST. FOR EXAMPLE, THE SINGLE LINE CAPACITY OF THE WINCH IS 15,000 POUNDS REQUIRED BY THE SPECIFICATIONS AND FURNISHED BY THE LOW BIDDER. SINGLE WINCH LINE BECOMES 3-PART LINE AT TRAVELING BLOCK, THUS MATCHING MAST CAPACITY. IN ADDITION, THE MINIMUM LIFT LOAD TO BE IMPOSED ON THE BLOCK AS A RESULT OF THE DRILL PIPE AND ATTACHMENTS IS IN EXCESS OF 13,000 POUNDS.

"I. THIS OBVIOUS DISCREPANCY OF THE M-225 TRAVELING BLOCK WAS CALLED TO THE BIDDER'S ATTENTION. HE ATTRIBUTED THE DISCREPANCY TO A TYPOGRAPHICAL ERROR RESULTING FROM READING THE WRONG LINE FROM HIS CATALOG AT THE TIME HE PREPARED HIS BID. THE LOW BIDDER IS REQUIRED AND HAS ACKNOWLEDGED TO FURNISH THE CORRECT BLOCK AT THE PRICE OF HIS BID. THE CORRECT BLOCK WAS VERIFIED BY THE BIDDER'S LITERATURE AND WAS CORRECTED TO M-25 CAPACITY 25,000 POUNDS, AS AN OBVIOUS CLERICAL ERROR IN ACCORDANCE WITH ASPR 2- 405.'

WE ARE OF THE OPINION THAT FAILING'S BID, AS SUBMITTED AND EVALUATED, WAS RESPONSIVE TO THE ADVERTISED SPECIFICATIONS AND THAT ACCEPTANCE OF THE BID WOULD OBLIGATE THE COMPANY TO FURNISH A ROTARY DRILL RIG MEETING THOSE SPECIFICATIONS. SECTION 3.5 OF THE SPECIFICATIONS PROVIDES AS FOLLOWS:

"3.5 MAST: THE MAST SHALL BE OF STEEL CONSTRUCTION WITH RIGID STRUCTURAL SECTIONS HAVING DESIGNED CAPACITY OF NOT LESS THAN 30,000 POUNDS, AND HAVING SUFFICIENT MINIMUM CLEARANCE ABOVE ROTARY TABLE. THE MAST SHALL BE EQUIPPED WITH A HEAVY DUTY CROWN BLOCK, DEAD END ANCHOR LOCATED BELOW CROWN BLOCK OR OTHER PROVISION FOR USING TRAVELING BLOCK AND STAND PIPE. MECHANICAL TYPE JACKS FOR RIG STABILIZING SHALL BE PROVIDED, EITHER AFFIXED TO REAR LEGS OF MAST OR AFFIXED TO MAST SUPPORTING STRUCTURE. MAST SHALL BE RAISED AND LOWERED BY TWO HYDRAULIC CYLINDERS EQUIPPED WITH DEVICES TO PREVENT DROPPING THE MAST IN THE EVENT OF HYDRAULIC LINE FAILURE.' THE ONLY OTHER REFERENCE TO "TRAVELING BLOCKS" IN THE ADVERTISED SPECIFICATIONS IS CONTAINED IN SECTION 3.23--- OPERATION EQUIPMENT--- WHICH PROVIDES IN SUBSECTION "K" THEREOF THAT "TRAVELING BLOCKS TO PERMIT 3-PART LINE OPERATION SHALL BE PROVIDED--- 2 EACH.' THE INVITATION REQUESTED LUMP SUM BIDS FOR THE FOLLOWING EQUIPMENT:

"ROTARY DRILLING RIG, COMBINATION AIR-WATER, TRUCK MOUNTED, COMPLETE WITH OPERATING EQUIPMENT, ACCESSORIES, SUPPORTING EQUIPMENT, AND IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE ATTACHED SPECIFICATIONS.'

A RESPONSIVE BID UNDER THIS INVITATION IS ONE WHICH OFFERED TRUCK MOUNTED ROTARY DRILLING RIGS MEETING THE ADVERTISED SPECIFICATIONS. ANY BID WHICH OFFERED EQUIPMENT DIFFERENT FROM THAT SPECIFIED, THAT IS, EQUIPMENT WHICH WOULD NOT MEET THE GOVERNMENT'S ADVERTISED REQUIREMENTS, IS NONRESPONSIVE AND MUST BE REJECTED.

WE NOTE THAT FAILING'S BID OFFERED TO FURNISH ITS MODEL 1250 ROTARY DRILLING RIG "IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE SPECIFICATIONS OF INVITATION NO. IFB AMC (X/-04-200-64-98.' THERE IS NO DOUBT THAT FAILING'S MODEL 1250 MEETS THOSE SPECIFICATIONS. THE ONLY SPECIFICATION REQUIREMENT RESPECTING TRAVELING BLOCKS IS THAT SUCH BLOCKS BE FURNISHED TO PERMIT 3-PART LINE OPERATION FOR USE WITH A MAST OF 30,000-POUND DESIGNED CAPACITY. CONSIDERING THAT FAILING OBLIGATED ITSELF TO FURNISH ROTARY DRILL RIGS IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE ADVERTISED SPECIFICATIONS, AND THAT IT TOOK NO EXCEPTION TO THE MAST SPECIFICATIONS, IT IS REASONABLE TO CONCLUDE THAT OTHER THAN FOR THE INADVERTENT REFERENCE TO THE M-225 TRAVELING BLOCKS IN FAILING'S UNSOLICITED INFORMATION ACCOMPANYING ITS BID, FAILING'S BID WAS RESPONSIVE. WE CANNOT ASCRIBE TO THE PROPOSITION THAT SUCH UNSOLICITED INFORMATION CONSTITUTED A MATERIAL DEVIATION FROM THE ADVERTISED SPECIFICATIONS SINCE THE INADVERTENT REFERENCE TO THE M-225 TRAVELING BLOCKS COULD NOT CONSTITUTE A DEVIATION FROM THE ADVERTISED SPECIFICATIONS WHICH WERE SILENT AS TO THE CAPACITY OF THE TRAVELING BLOCKS.

IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING AND SINCE FAILING'S DESCRIPTIVE LITERATURE SUBMITTED PURSUANT TO THE PROVISIONS ON PAGE 5 OF THE INVITATION DID NOT REFERENCE ANY EXCEPTIONS OR DEVIATIONS FROM THE ADVERTISED SPECIFICATIONS, WE MUST CONCLUDE THAT ITS BID SHOULD BE CONSIDERED AS OTHERWISE RESPONSIVE TO THE INVITATION.

AS REQUESTED IN YOUR LETTER OF JANUARY 20, 1964, YOUR FURTHER ARGUMENTS IN SUPPORT OF YOUR PROTEST WERE FURNISHED TO THE PROCUREMENT AGENCY FOR THEIR COMMENT. WE ARE ADVISED THAT YOUR REMARKS RESPECTING PARAGRAPH 3.1 OF THE SPECIFICATIONS WERE DISCUSSED IN DETAIL IN PARAGRAPHS ," "B," AND "C," QUOTED ABOVE.

CONCERNING PARAGRAPH 3.4 OF THE SPECIFICATIONS, POWER TRANSMISSION, WE ARE ADVISED THAT THIS PARAGRAPH PERMITTING PROPER RPM FOR DOWN-THE HOLE TOOLS IS APPLICABLE TO THE UNIT REGARDLESS OF THE SIZE OF THE PERCUSSION DOWN-THE-HOLE TOOLS OR DRILL PIPE UTILIZED, AND THAT THIS UNIT MERELY PROVIDES A LOW SPEED ROTARY MOTION REQUIRED FOR SUBJECT TOOLS.

THERE IS QUOTED BELOW THE PROCUREMENT AGENCY'S REPLY TO THE REMAINING CONTENTIONS OF YOUR JANUARY 20 LETTER.

"4. PARAGRAPH 4 OF THE 20 JANUARY LETTER REFERENCES THE HIGH PRESSURE AIR PROVIDED BY THE AIR COMPRESSOR. THIS PRESSURE (100 PSI) IS REQUIRED FOR OPERATING DOWN-THE-HOLE TOOLS REGARDLESS OF THE SIZE OF THE TOOL IMPLEMENTED.

"5. REFERENCE PARAGRAPH 5 OF THE 20 JANUARY LETTER, THE PROTESTANT IS BASING HIS STATEMENT ON THE PREMISE THAT A PERCUSSION SIX-INCH DOWN THE- HOLE TOOL IS BEING USED WITH A 2 7/8-INCH DRILL PIPE. ONLY IN THIS CASE WOULD HIS STATEMENT BE TRUE. NO PERCUSSION DOWN-THE-HOLE TOOL SIZES ARE SPECIFIED OR REQUIRED TO BE FURNISHED HEREIN. ROCK BITS ARE THE ONLY TOOLS OF A SIX-INCH SIZE REQUIRED TO BE FURNISHED BY THE SPECIFICATIONS. THESE ARE NOT PERCUSSION DOWN-THE-HOLE TOOLS, AND DO NOT REQUIRE PRESSURE FROM THE COMPRESSOR FOR OPERATION. IT REQUIRES AIR FOR CLEANING PURPOSE FOR WHICH THE SPECIFIED SIZE OF COMPRESSOR IS ADEQUATE. SINCE THE USER HAS NO REQUIREMENT TO UTILIZE SIX-INCH DOWN THE-HOLE TOOLS WITH A 2 7/8- INCH DRILL PIPE, HE OMITTED THE REQUIREMENT FOR SUCH TOOLS AND ALSO THE NEED FOR THE DRILL RIG TO HAVE THIS CAPABILITY IN THE SPECIFICATIONS. THIS RESTRICTION WAS ACCOMPLISHED IN SEVERAL WAYS IN THE SPECIFICATIONS. THE MOST SIGNIFICANT RE: "A. THE MINIMUM SIZE OF THE COMPRESSOR WAS STATED AT 300 CFM AT 125 PSI TO SATISFACTORILY OPERATE A SMALLER THAN SIX INCH DOWN-THE-HOLE AND/OR A SIX-INCH ROCK BIT TOOL, 445 CFM AT 40 PSI.

"B. THE MINIMUM HORSEPOWER OF THE ENGINE FOR THE DRILL RIG IS 160 BHP. "C. THE VEHICLE SIZE FOR MOUNTING THE RIG IS STATED AS A 4 WHEEL DRIVE TRUCK. (FOR DETAILED EXPLANATION, SEE PARAGRAPH F, QUOTED ABOVE).

IT WOULD APPEAR OBVIOUS FROM RESTRICTIONS CITED ABOVE THAT ANY EXPERIENCED DRILL MANUFACTURER WOULD IMMEDIATELY REALIZE THAT THE MINIMUM COMPRESSOR CAPACITIES AS WELL AS OTHER COMPONENT CAPACITIES, AS STATED IN THE SPECIFICATIONS, ARE NOT ADEQUATE FOR OPERATING SIX INCH PERCUSSION DOWN-THE-HOLE TOOLS UTILIZING 2 7/8-INCH DRILL PIPE. THEREFORE, SINCE NO SUCH TOOL WAS REQUIRED OR INTENDED FOR USE WITH 2 7/8-INCH DRILL PIPE, ANY ATTEMPT, ON THE PART OF THE MANUFACTURER, TO PROVIDE THE DRILL RIG FOR THE UTILIZATION OF THE SIX-INCH DOWN-THE-HOLE TOOL WOULD RESULT IN AN INCOMPATIBILITY WITH THE EXISTING SPECIFICATIONS.

"6. HOWEVER, THE PROTESTANT OFFERED UNITS MUCH LARGER THAN REQUIRED BY THE SPECIFICATIONS AND ONLY, AFTER THE BIDS WERE OPENED AND AFTER ASCERTAINING THE FACT THAT HE WAS NOT THE SUCCESSFUL BIDDER, DID HE PRESENT HIS INTERPRETATION OF THE SPECIFICATIONS AS A PROTEST THAT THE COMPETITORS ARE NONRESPONSIVE. IN FACT, IT IS QUESTIONABLE IF THE USER CAN UTILIZE THE PROTESTANT'S PROPOSED DRILL RIG SINCE ITS SIZE EXCEEDS THAT ESTABLISHED IN THE SPECIFICATIONS.

"7. IN REGARD TO PARAGRAPH 6 OF THE JANUARY 20 LETTER, AGAIN THE PROTESTANT IS BASING HIS STATEMENTS IN SUBJECT PARAGRAPH ON THE PREMISE THAT A SIX-INCH PERCUSSION DOWN-THE-HOLE TOOL IS TO BE EMPLOYED WITH A 2 7/8-INCH DRILL PIPE. IT IS ACKNOWLEDGED AND KNOWN THAT THE 325 CFM IS INSUFFICIENT AIR TO SATISFACTORILY OPERATE THE 6-INCH PERCUSSION DOWN-THE- HOLE TOOL AND CLEAN THE HOLE USING A 2 7/8-INCH DRILL PIPE. HOWEVER, NO REQUIREMENT FOR A SIX-INCH PERCUSSION DOWN-THE-HOLE TOOL, UTILIZING A 2 7/8-INCH DRILL PIPE, IS INCLUDED IN THE INVITATION FOR BID. THE COMPRESSOR STATED IN THE SPECIFICATIONS, AND OFFERED BY THE COMPETITORS OF THE PROTESTANT, HAS A RATED CAPACITY SUFFICIENT TO COMPLY WITH THE SPECIFICATIONS.

"8.IF THE USER HAD REQUIREMENTS TO UTILIZE A SIX-INCH PERCUSSION DOWN THE -HOLE TOOL WITH 2 7/8-INCH DRILL PIPE THE SPECIFICATIONS WOULD HAVE STATED A MUCH GREATER MINIMUM AIR FLOW FOR THE COMPRESSOR AS WELL AS OTHER COMPONENTS TO INSURE COMPATIBILITY AND MATCHING OF COMPONENTS.

IT IS NOTEWORTHY THAT THE ANSWERS RECEIVED BY THE PROTESTANT FROM THE SIX "EXPERIENCED MANUFACTURERS" INDICATE THAT THESE MANUFACTURERS DID NOT HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO READ THE SPECIFICATIONS, BUT RATHER WERE QUESTIONED AS TO THE VELOCITY OF AIR REQUIRED TO CLEAN A SIX-INCH HOLE USING A PERCUSSION 6-INCH DOWN-THE-HOLE TOOL WITH 2 7/8-INCH DRILL PIPE. THEREFORE, THE ANSWERS WERE GIVEN TO THE DIRECT QUESTION ASKED BY THE PROTESTANT BASED ON HIS INTERPRETATION OF THE SPECIFICATIONS. IF THESE EXPERIENCED MANUFACTURERS HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO EVALUATE THE SPECIFICATIONS IN THEIR ENTIRETY, THE ANSWERS THEY WOULD HAVE PRESENTED WOULD BE BASICALLY THE SAME. AS STATED PREVIOUSLY, THE SPECIFICATIONS FOR THE AIR COMPRESSOR WOULD HAVE BEEN INCREASED TO PROVIDE THE AIR CAPACITY STATED IN THE REFERRED MANUFACTURER'S LETTERS IF A SIX-INCH DOWN-THE-HOLE TOOL WERE INTENDED TO BE USED WITH THE 2 7/8-INCH DRILL PIPE.'

WE HAVE CONSISTENTLY HELD THAT THE ESTABLISHMENT OF SPECIFICATIONS REFLECTING THE ACTUAL NEEDS OF THE GOVERNMENT IS PRIMARILY THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE AGENCY ON WHOSE BEHALF THE PROCUREMENT IS MADE. ALSO HAS BEEN HELD THAT THE ADVERTISING STATUTES REQUIRE EVERY EFFORT TO BE MADE TO DRAW SPECIFICATIONS IN SUCH TERMS AS WILL PERMIT THE BROADEST FIELD OF COMPETITION CONSISTENT WITH THE GOVERNMENT'S ACTUAL NEEDS. COMP. GEN. 384, 387; 17 ID. 789, 790. WHERE DIFFERENCES OF OPINION EXIST AS TO THE GOVERNMENT'S NEEDS, THIS OFFICE WILL NOT SUBSTITUTE ITS JUDGMENT FOR THAT OF THE USING AGENCY UNLESS THERE IS CLEAR AND CONVINCING EVIDENCE THAT THE AGENCY'S OPINION IS IN ERROR AND THAT A CONTRACT AWARDED ON THE BASIS OF SUCH SPECIFICATIONS WOULD, BY UNDULY RESTRICTING COMPETITION OR OTHERWISE, BE A VIOLATION OF LAW. 17 COMP. GEN. 554.

IN THE INSTANT CASE IT HAS NOT BEEN SHOWN THAT THE DISTRICT'S DETERMINATION IS CLEARLY ERRONEOUS AND, THEREFORE, THERE IS NO LEGAL BASIS UPON WHICH WE COULD OBJECT TO AN AWARD UNDER THE INVITATION FOR BIDS HERE INVOLVED TO THE LOWEST RESPONSIVE BIDDER. ACCORDINGLY, YOUR PROTEST MUST BE DENIED.