B-153429, APR. 3, 1964

B-153429: Apr 3, 1964

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FOUR BIDS WERE RECEIVED AND OPENED ON OCTOBER 25. THE LOW BIDDER ON BOTH ITEMS WAS FOUND TO BE NONRESPONSIBLE. THE NEXT TWO LOW BIDS SUBMITTED WERE IN PART AS FOLLOWS: COLUMBUS MILPAR AND MFG. IT DID NOT HAVE THE FINANCIAL CAPACITY TO UNDERTAKE FURTHER WORK. AS IT WAS EXPERIENCING DELINQUENCIES ON SOME OF ITS CURRENT PRODUCTION CONTRACTS. (IT WAS REPORTED. THAT YOUR FIRM WAS NOT DELINQUENT ON A CONTRACT CALLING FOR A BOOBY TRAP CONFORMING TO THE ITEM REQUIRED UNDER THE SUBJECT PROCUREMENT.). THE MATTER WAS THEN REFERRED TO THE CLEVELAND REGIONAL OFFICE OF THE SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION (SBA) FOR POSSIBLE ISSUANCE OF A CERTIFICATE OF COMPETENCY (COC). REPLIED THAT SINCE YOUR WORKING CAPITAL WAS NOT SUFFICIENT TO MEET YOUR CURRENT CONTRACTUAL COMMITMENTS WITH THE GOVERNMENT.

B-153429, APR. 3, 1964

TO COLUMBUS MILPAR AND MANUFACTURING COMPANY, INC.

THIS REFERS TO YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 3, 1964, WITH ENCLOSURES, PROTESTING AGAINST THE REJECTION OF YOUR BID UNDER INVITATION FOR BIDS NO. AMC/A/-11-173-64-35, ISSUED BY THE U.S. ARMY AMMUNITION PROCUREMENT AND SUPPLY AGENCY.

THE INVITATION COVERED ITEM NO. 1: A QUANTITY OF 296,620 EACH SIMULATOR, BOOBY TRAP, FLASH, M117 (F.O.B. ORIGIN); AND ITEM NO. 2: 118,000 EACH SIMULATOR, BOOBY TRAP, WHISTLING, M119 (F.O.B. ORIGIN AND F.O.B. DESTINATION). FOUR BIDS WERE RECEIVED AND OPENED ON OCTOBER 25, 1963. THE LOW BIDDER ON BOTH ITEMS WAS FOUND TO BE NONRESPONSIBLE. THE NEXT TWO LOW BIDS SUBMITTED WERE IN PART AS FOLLOWS:

COLUMBUS MILPAR AND MFG. CO. PACE CORPORATION

ITEM NO. 1 - MOTOR .6095.6437

(UNIT)

ITEM NO. 2 (UNIT)

ORIGIN - RAIL .6555 .6512

MOTOR .6555 .6482

DEST. RAIL .6998 .7162

MOTOR .6998 .7432

THE PRE-AWARD SURVEY REPORT ON YOUR FIRM INDICATED THAT WHILE YOUR FIRM HAD SATISFACTORY FACILITIES AND TECHNICAL ABILITY, IT DID NOT HAVE THE FINANCIAL CAPACITY TO UNDERTAKE FURTHER WORK, AS IT WAS EXPERIENCING DELINQUENCIES ON SOME OF ITS CURRENT PRODUCTION CONTRACTS. (IT WAS REPORTED, HOWEVER, THAT YOUR FIRM WAS NOT DELINQUENT ON A CONTRACT CALLING FOR A BOOBY TRAP CONFORMING TO THE ITEM REQUIRED UNDER THE SUBJECT PROCUREMENT.)

THE MATTER WAS THEN REFERRED TO THE CLEVELAND REGIONAL OFFICE OF THE SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION (SBA) FOR POSSIBLE ISSUANCE OF A CERTIFICATE OF COMPETENCY (COC). SBA, HOWEVER, DECLINED TO ISSUE A COC TO YOUR FIRM. THE RECORD FURTHER SHOWS THAT IN RESPONSE TO YOUR PROTEST TO THE SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATOR AGAINST THE COC DENIAL, THE SMALL BUSINESS DEPUTY ADMINISTRATOR, BY LETTER OF JANUARY 31, 1964, REPLIED THAT SINCE YOUR WORKING CAPITAL WAS NOT SUFFICIENT TO MEET YOUR CURRENT CONTRACTUAL COMMITMENTS WITH THE GOVERNMENT, SBA DID NOT FEEL THAT YOU COULD UNDERTAKE THE ADDITIONAL WORK.

ON JANUARY 31, 1964 AWARD WAS MADE TO PACE CORPORATION ON BOTH ITEMS. (THE AWARD INCLUDED AN OPTION QUANTITY OF 62,162 ADDITIONAL UNITS ON ITEM NO. 1.)

YOU SAY THAT YOUR CONTRACT DELINQUENCIES WERE IN CONSIDERABLE PART DUE TO FACTORS BEYOND YOUR CONTROL. BE THAT AS IT MAY, YOUR BID WAS REJECTED ON THE BASIS OF A DETERMINATION THAT YOU LACKED THE FINANCIAL CAPACITY TO PERFORM THIS CONTRACT. THE DELINQUENCIES INDICATED TO THE CONTRACTING OFFICER THAT YOUR FIRM WAS NOT IN A FINANCIAL POSITION TO UNDERTAKE ADDITIONAL WORK. FURTHERMORE, THE SBA AFFIRMED THE CONTRACTING OFFICER'S FINDING BY REFUSING TO ISSUE A COC TO YOUR FIRM. IN THIS CONNECTION, WE HAVE RECOGNIZED THAT THE REFUSAL BY SBA TO ISSUE A COC TO A SMALL BUSINESS BIDDER IS PERSUASIVE AS TO THE COMPETENCY OF THE BIDDER TO PERFORM THE PARTICULAR CONTRACT INVOLVED, AND THE DENIAL CONSTITUTES AN AFFIRMATION OF THE CONTRACTING OFFICER'SDETERMINATION THAT THE BIDDER IS NONRESPONSIBLE. SEE B 152791, JANUARY 9, 1964.

IN VIEW THEREOF, WE DO NOT FIND THAT YOUR BID WAS IMPROPERLY REJECTED. WE NOTE, HOWEVER, THAT YOU ANTICIPATE MAKING TIMELY COMPLETION ON YOUR CURRENT GOVERNMENT CONTRACTS; AND WE TRUST THAT YOU WILL BE IN A POSITION TO BE CONSIDERED FOR FUTURE PROCUREMENTS.