B-153060, JAN. 31, 1964

B-153060: Jan 31, 1964

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ESQUIRE: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 11. THE BID OF WOLF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION WAS REJECTED FOR THE STATED REASON THAT IT PROPOSED TO PERFORM THE SERVICES IN MASSACHUSETTS RATHER THAN IN THE WASHINGTON. THE METROPOLITAN AREA IS DEFINED AS DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA. IT IS STATED IN YOUR LETTER THAT WOLF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION WAS LOW BIDDER AT $13. THAT THE OTHER BID RECEIVED WAS IN THE AMOUNT OF $13. 343.40 AND THAT WOLF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION SHOULD HAVE BEEN AWARDED THE CONTRACT AS THE LOW BIDDER. IS CONTENDED THAT WOLF'S BID WAS RESPONSIVE SINCE ITEM 6 QUOTED ABOVE PERMITTED TWO ALTERNATIVES: 1. THE REPORT FURNISHED BY THE SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION SHOWS THAT UNDER OPTION 1 THE TOTAL AMOUNT OF WOLF'S BID ACTUALLY WAS NOT $13.

B-153060, JAN. 31, 1964

TO JAMES J. BIERBOWER, ESQUIRE:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 11, 1963, PROTESTING ON BEHALF OF WOLF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION THE REJECTION OF ITS BID UNDER INVITATION FOR BIDS NO. SBA 1179-F AND A-64 1 ISSUED BY THE SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION, WASHINGTON, D.C., FOR ADP PROGRAMMING AND SERVICES.

THE BID OF WOLF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION WAS REJECTED FOR THE STATED REASON THAT IT PROPOSED TO PERFORM THE SERVICES IN MASSACHUSETTS RATHER THAN IN THE WASHINGTON, D.C. METROPOLITAN AREA AS REQUIRED BY THE SPECIFICATIONS. IN THIS CONNECTION ITEM 6, PAGE 3, AND ITEM 14 IN PART, PAGE 8 OF THE INVITATION PROVIDE AS FOLLOWS:

"6. PLACE OF PERFORMANCE:

THE CONTRACTOR SHALL PERFORM ALL WORK UNDER THIS CONTRACT ON HIS PREMISES OR IN PREMISES ACCEPTABLE TO SBA IN THE WASHINGTON, D.C. METROPOLITAN AREA. THE METROPOLITAN AREA IS DEFINED AS DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, ARLINGTON AND FAIRFAX COUNTIES, VIRGINIA, FALLS CHURCH AND ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA AND MONTGOMERY AND PRINCE GEORGES COUNTIES, MARYLAND.

"14. SUBCONTRACTING:

* * * IN NO EVENT SHALL A SUBCONTRACT FOR SERVICES BE AWARDED OUTSIDE THE AREA DESCRIBED IN ITEM 6 OF THIS SCHEDULE. THIS DOES NOT APPLY TO A SUBCONTRACT FOR SUPPLIES.'

IT IS STATED IN YOUR LETTER THAT WOLF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION WAS LOW BIDDER AT $13,150, THAT THE OTHER BID RECEIVED WAS IN THE AMOUNT OF $13,343.40 AND THAT WOLF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION SHOULD HAVE BEEN AWARDED THE CONTRACT AS THE LOW BIDDER. IS CONTENDED THAT WOLF'S BID WAS RESPONSIVE SINCE ITEM 6 QUOTED ABOVE PERMITTED TWO ALTERNATIVES:

1. THE CONTRACTOR MAY PERFORM ALL OF THE WORK ON HIS PREMISES.

2. THE CONTRACTOR MAY PERFORM ALL OF THE WORK ON PREMISES ACCEPTABLE TO THE SBA IN THE WASHINGTON AREA.

THE REPORT FURNISHED BY THE SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION SHOWS THAT UNDER OPTION 1 THE TOTAL AMOUNT OF WOLF'S BID ACTUALLY WAS NOT $13,150 BUT $14,862 MADE UP OF (A) $10,925 (B) $695 (C) $248 (D) $700 (E) $1,088 AND (F) $1,206. THE LOW BID WAS SUBMITTED BY COMPUTER USAGE COMPANY, INCORPORATED IN THE TOTAL AMOUNT OF $13,827.60. WOLF'S OPTION 2 BID WAS IN EXCESS OF $17,000. FURTHERMORE, WOLF'S BID UNDER OPTION 1 WAS CONDITIONED UPON THE ISSUANCE OF A PURCHASE ORDER BY THE SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION FOR A HONEYWELL 400 COMPUTER AND SBA REPORTS THAT THEY DO NOT INTEND TO PURCHASE SUCH A COMPUTER AT THIS TIME. THEREFORE, WOLF'S BID UNDER OPTION 1 WAS NONRESPONSIVE AND NOT ACCEPTABLE.

WHILE THE LANGUAGE USED IN ITEM 6 ABOVE IS NONE TOO CLEAR, WE BELIEVE THAT THE REASONABLE INTERPRETATION THEREOF REQUIRES PERFORMANCE IN THE WASHINGTON, D.C. METROPOLITAN AREA. THERE WOULD APPEAR TO BE LITTLE PURPOSE IN LIMITING THE LOCATION OF THE WORK SITE ON OTHER THAN THE CONTRACTOR'S PREMISES WITHOUT ANY LIMITATION ON SITE LOCATION IF THE PREMISES BELONGED TO THE CONTRACTOR. THE INTENT OF THE PROVISION WAS TO LIMIT ACCEPTABLE LOCATIONS WHETHER OR NOT THEY BELONGED TO THE BIDDER AND PURSUANT TO SUCH INTENT INVITATIONS FOR BIDS WERE SENT ONLY TO FIRMS IN THE D.C. METROPOLITAN AREA. THE RECORD SHOWS THAT WOLF WAS NOT ORIGINALLY SENT AN INVITATION FOR BIDS, AND APPARENTLY REQUESTED ONE LATER.

AWARD UNDER THE INVITATION FOR BIDS WAS RESTRICTED TO SMALL BUSINESS CONCERNS. THE DIVISION OF SIZE STANDARDS, SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION, HAS ADVISED THE CONTRACTING OFFICER THAT WOLF IS NOT A SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN. THEREFORE, WOLF WOULD NOT IN ANY EVENT HAVE BEEN ELIGIBLE FOR AWARD.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT THE BID OF COMPUTER USAGE COMPANY, THE ONLY OTHER BID RECEIVED, WAS ALSO REJECTED FOR FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH ITEM 6 OF THE SPECIFICATIONS AND THAT THE INVITATION HAS BEEN CANCELLED AND THE REQUIREMENT HAS BEEN READVERTISED. THE PROCURING AGENCY HAS BEEN INVESTED WITH BROAD AUTHORITY TO REJECT ALL BIDS AND READVERTISE. SEE 39 COMP. GEN. 396, 399.

FOR THE FOREGOING REASONS WE FIND NO BASIS TO QUESTION THE ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION TAKEN IN THE MATTER. ACCORDINGLY, YOUR PROTEST AGAINST THE FAILURE OF THE SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION TO MAKE AWARD TO WOLF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION MUST BE DENIED.