B-153270, APR. 7, 1964

B-153270: Apr 7, 1964

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BIDS WERE OPENED ON DECEMBER 31. IT IS REPORTED THAT THE LOW BID OF EFIRD'S REFLECTED A DIFFERENCE IN PRICES IN EXCESS OF 10 PERCENT BETWEEN ITS BID ON THE GROUP SUBJECT TO FEDERAL EXCISE TAX AND THAT NOT SUBJECT TO TAX. IT IS REPORTED THAT POLAN'S BIDS ON A TAX EXCLUSIVE AND TAX INCLUSIVE BASIS WERE EVIDENTLY IN ERROR SINCE SUCH BIDS WERE IDENTICAL IN AMOUNT. SINCE WE WERE UNABLE TO DETERMINE FROM THE ADMINISTRATIVE REPORT OF FEBRUARY 19. OR WAS ANTICIPATED. SUPPLEMENTAL INFORMATION WAS INFORMALLY REQUESTED. WE ARE ADVISED THAT EFIRD'S RECEIVED A NEGATIVE PREAWARD SURVEY AND THAT IT WILL NOT REQUEST A CERTIFICATE OF COMPETENCY FROM THE SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION. IT IS REPORTED THAT IT HAS ALLEGED AN ERROR IN BID.

B-153270, APR. 7, 1964

TO THE SECRETARY OF THE ARMY:

BY LETTERS DATED FEBRUARY 19 AND MARCH 26, 1964, THE EXECUTIVE OFFICER, DIRECTORATE OF PROCUREMENT AND PRODUCTION, UNITED STATES ARMY MATERIEL COMMAND, FORWARDED THE ADMINISTRATIVE REPORTS RELATIVE TO THE PROTEST OF UTILITY TOOL AND BODY COMPANY, INC., AGAINST ANY AWARD UNDER INVITATION FOR BIDS NO. AMC-20-113-64-0324 (T) TO A BIDDER OTHER THAN ITSELF.

THE INVITATION, ISSUED ON NOVEMBER 26, 1963, REQUESTED BIDS ON A SMALL BUSINESS SET-ASIDE BASIS FOR 152 AND 547 EACH "CHASSIS, TRAILER, GENERATOR, 2 1/2 TON, 2 WHEEL * * *" ON A TAX EXCLUSIVE BASIS AND ON A TAX INCLUSIVE BASIS, RESPECTIVELY. THE INVITATION PROVIDED FOR AWARD ON AN "ALL OR NONE" BASIS. BIDS WERE OPENED ON DECEMBER 31, 1963, AND IT APPEARED THAT EFIRD'S ERECTORS SUBMITTED THE LOWEST BID, FOLLOWED BY THOSE SUBMITTED BY POLAN INDUSTRIES, INC., AND UTILITY TOOL AND BODY COMPANY.

IT IS REPORTED THAT THE LOW BID OF EFIRD'S REFLECTED A DIFFERENCE IN PRICES IN EXCESS OF 10 PERCENT BETWEEN ITS BID ON THE GROUP SUBJECT TO FEDERAL EXCISE TAX AND THAT NOT SUBJECT TO TAX. ALSO, IT IS REPORTED THAT POLAN'S BIDS ON A TAX EXCLUSIVE AND TAX INCLUSIVE BASIS WERE EVIDENTLY IN ERROR SINCE SUCH BIDS WERE IDENTICAL IN AMOUNT. SINCE WE WERE UNABLE TO DETERMINE FROM THE ADMINISTRATIVE REPORT OF FEBRUARY 19, 1964, WHAT DISPOSITION WOULD BE MADE OF POLAN'S APPARENT ERROR IN BID OR WHETHER AN AWARD HAD BEEN MADE, OR WAS ANTICIPATED, TO ONE OF THE TWO LOW BIDDERS, SUPPLEMENTAL INFORMATION WAS INFORMALLY REQUESTED. BY SUPPLEMENTAL REPORT DATED MARCH 26, 1964, WE ARE ADVISED THAT EFIRD'S RECEIVED A NEGATIVE PREAWARD SURVEY AND THAT IT WILL NOT REQUEST A CERTIFICATE OF COMPETENCY FROM THE SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION. WITH RESPECT TO POLAN, IT IS REPORTED THAT IT HAS ALLEGED AN ERROR IN BID; THAT IT ALSO RECEIVED A NEGATIVE PREAWARD SURVEY, AND THAT THE SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION HAS ADVISED THAT POLAN WILL NOT REQUEST A CERTIFICATE OF COMPETENCY AND NOW CONSIDERS THE MATTER CLOSED. IN VIEW THEREOF, IT NOW APPEARS THAT THE PROTEST OF UTILITY TOOL AND BODY, AS THIRD LOW BIDDER, HAS BECOME ACADEMIC.

ACCORDINGLY, ON THE BASIS OF THE RECORD BEFORE US, WE WOULD HAVE NO OBJECTION IF AWARD UNDER THE INVITATION WERE MADE TO THE LOWEST RESPONSIVE, RESPONSIBLE BIDDER.