B-153504, APR. 2, 1964

B-153504: Apr 2, 1964

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INCORPORATED: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 12. YOUR QUESTION IS PRIMARILY DIRECTED TO THE ALLEGEDLY SHORT PERIOD OF TIME ALLOWED FOR SUBMISSION OF BIDS BY THE INVOLVED INVITATIONS. YOU IMPLY THAT THERE WERE "OBVIOUS IRREGULARITIES" IN THIS PROCUREMENT. WITH PARTICULAR REFERENCE TO THE FACT THAT YOU WERE NOT ON THE BIDDERS' LIST. THE BIDS RECEIVED WERE REJECTED BECAUSE OF CHANGED REQUIREMENTS AND A REVISION OF THE SPECIFICATIONS. 500 METERS WAS ISSUED ON MARCH 20. THE SUCCESSFUL BIDDER IN THIS CASE WAS MAGEE HALE PARK-O-METER COMPANY. THE CONTRACTOR WAS COMMITTED TO DELIVER 1. METERS WERE DELIVERED IN INSTALLMENTS AND INSTALLATION OF 1. 338 METERS WAS MADE DURING THE PERIOD FROM JULY 13 TO AUGUST 2.

B-153504, APR. 2, 1964

TO M. H. RHODES, INCORPORATED:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 12, 1964, REQUESTING TO BE ADVISED AS TO WHETHER THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA FOLLOWED PROPER PROCEDURES IN A RECENT PROCUREMENT OF PARKING METERS FROM THE DUNCAN PARKING METER DIVISION OF NAUTEC CORPORATION.

YOUR QUESTION IS PRIMARILY DIRECTED TO THE ALLEGEDLY SHORT PERIOD OF TIME ALLOWED FOR SUBMISSION OF BIDS BY THE INVOLVED INVITATIONS. ALSO, YOU IMPLY THAT THERE WERE "OBVIOUS IRREGULARITIES" IN THIS PROCUREMENT, WITH PARTICULAR REFERENCE TO THE FACT THAT YOU WERE NOT ON THE BIDDERS' LIST.

BY INVITATION FOR BIDS, ISSUED JANUARY 3, 1963, THE PROCUREMENT OFFICE FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA SOLICITED BIDS--- TO BE OPENED JANUARY 17, 1963--- FOR FURNISHING 2,500 PARKING METERS, AUTOMATIC OR MANUAL. HOWEVER, THE BIDS RECEIVED WERE REJECTED BECAUSE OF CHANGED REQUIREMENTS AND A REVISION OF THE SPECIFICATIONS. A SECOND INVITATION FOR 1,500 METERS WAS ISSUED ON MARCH 20, 1963, SOLICITING BIDS--- TO BE OPENED APRIL 5, 1963. THE SUCCESSFUL BIDDER IN THIS CASE WAS MAGEE HALE PARK-O-METER COMPANY. BY PURCHASE ORDER DATED APRIL 24, 1963, AND CHANGE ORDER THERETO DATED APRIL 29, 1963, THE CONTRACTOR WAS COMMITTED TO DELIVER 1,700 AUTOMATIC VENDAL RESISTANT METERS. METERS WERE DELIVERED IN INSTALLMENTS AND INSTALLATION OF 1,338 METERS WAS MADE DURING THE PERIOD FROM JULY 13 TO AUGUST 2, 1963. HOWEVER, DUE TO VARIOUS OPERATING DEFECTS THE CONTRACTING OFFICER TERMINATED THE CONTRACTOR'S RIGHT TO PROCEED BY HIS LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 12, 1963. ON THAT DAY A NEW INVITATION FOR BIDS WAS ISSUED SOLICITING BIDS--- TO BE OPENED SEPTEMBER 19, 1963--- FOR FURNISHING 1,700 METERS. THE CONTRACT WAS AWARDED TO THE DUNCAN PARKING METER DIVISION OF NAUTEC CORPORATION ON SEPTEMBER 19, 1963. THE ORIGINAL NET CONTRACT UNIT PRICE WITH MAGEE-HALE WAS $51.60 AND THE NET UNIT PRICE UNDER THE REPLACING CONTRACT WAS $57.15. THE DIFFERENCE OF $5.55 PER UNIT IS CHARGEABLE AS EXCESS COST AGAINST MAGEE-HALE.

INSOFAR AS THE RECORD SHOWS, YOUR FIRST CORRESPONDENCE WITH THE DISTRICT PROCUREMENT OFFICER WAS THAT CONTAINED IN YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 3, 1963, WHEN YOU STATED THAT YOU HAD NOTICED AN ARTICLE IN A NEWSPAPER ON SEPTEMBER 19, 1963, REGARDING THE PURCHASE OF THE DUNCAN METERS. ALSO, ON OCTOBER 3, 1963, YOU ADDRESSED A LETTER TO THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA MOTOR VEHICLE PARKING AGENCY, IN WHICH YOU REQUESTED INFORMATION AS TO WHY YOU WERE NOT AFFORDED AN OPPORTUNITY TO SUBMIT A BID. THEREAFTER, ON OCTOBER 10, 1963, YOU WERE FURNISHED AN APPLICATION TO BE PLACED ON THE BIDDERS' MAILING LIST FOR FUTURE PROCUREMENTS BUT AS OF MARCH 13, 1964, YOU HAVE NOT RETURNED AN EXECUTED COPY OF SUCH APPLICATION TO THE DISTRICT PROCUREMENT OFFICER.

THE REASON ASSIGNED FOR THE FAILURE OF THE DISTRICT PROCUREMENT OFFICER TO NOTIFY YOU OF THE INVITATION FOR BIDS IN EACH OF THESE CASES MENTIONED ABOVE IS THE FACT THAT YOU HAD BEEN FURNISHED WITH INVITATIONS TO BID AT THREE SEPARATE TIMES, NAMELY, IN CONNECTION WITH THE BID OPENINGS SCHEDULED JANUARY 16, 1959, APRIL 5, 1960, AND FEBRUARY 16, 1961, AND YOU FAILED TO RESPOND AT ANY TIME. THEREFORE YOU WERE REMOVED FROM THE BIDDERS' LIST AFTER FEBRUARY 16, 1961. THIS ACTION IS IN LINE WITH PARAGRAPH 2 OF INSTRUCTIONS TO BIDDERS FURNISHED AS PART OF THE INVITATIONS WHICH PROVIDES AS FOLLOWS:

"RESPONSE TO INVITATIONS:--- IN THE EVENT YOU CANNOT SUBMIT A BID ON OUR REQUIREMENTS, AS SET FORTH IN THE "INVITATION, BID, AND CONTRACT" ATTACHED HERETO, PLEASE RETURN THE INVITATION, BID AND CONTRACT FORM WITH AN EXPLANATION AS TO WHY YOU ARE UNABLE TO BID ON THESE REQUIREMENTS. BECAUSE OF THE LARGE NUMBER OF FIRMS LISTED ON THE DISTRICT'S QUALIFIED LISTS OF BIDDERS, IT IS NECESSARY TO DELETE FROM THESE LISTS THE NAMES OF THOSE PERSONS, FIRMS OR CORPORATIONS WHO FAIL TO RESPOND AFTER HAVING BEEN INVITED TO BID ON A COMMODITY OR COMMODITIES FOR THREE SUCCESSIVE BID OPENINGS.'

ALSO, IT HAS BEEN INFORMALLY ASCERTAINED FROM A REPRESENTATIVE OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA GOVERNMENT THAT IT HAS BEEN THE PRACTICE TO FURNISH THE UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE WITH A SYNOPSIS OF THE INVITATIONS FOR BIDS FOR PUBLICATION IN THE COMMERCE BUSINESS DAILY WHICH FURNISHES INFORMATION TO THE BUSINESS WORLD OF CONTEMPLATED PROCUREMENTS.

ALTHOUGH YOU COMPLAIN ABOUT THE SHORT TIME ALLOWED FOR SUBMISSION OF BIDS, IT APPEARS CLEAR FROM THE RECORD THAT THE MATTER IS PRIMARILY ONE OF THE FAILURE OF THE DISTRICT GOVERNMENT TO HAVE YOUR NAME ON THE BIDDERS' LIST AND THIS IS DUE AT LEAST IN PART TO YOUR FAILURE TO RESPOND TO THE INVITATIONS SENT TO YOU IN 1959, 1960 AND 1961. IF, FOR SOME REASON, YOU WERE UNABLE TO BID ON THOSE INVITATIONS YOU SHOULD HAVE SO ADVISED THE PROCUREMENT OFFICER SO THAT YOUR NAME WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN REMOVED FROM THE BIDDERS' LIST.

IN REGARD TO THE TIME ALLOWED FOR SUBMISSION OF BIDS, WE KNOW OF NO STATUTORY REQUIREMENT SPECIFYING THE AMOUNT OF TIME THAT SHOULD BE SO ALLOWED. HOWEVER, ALL INVITATIONS FOR BIDS SHOULD ALLOW SUFFICIENT BIDDING TIME TO PERMIT BIDDERS TO PREPARE AND SUBMIT BIDS, EXCEPT IN EMERGENCY CASES. IF A PROSPECTIVE BIDDER FEELS THAT THE TIME ALLOWED FOR PREPARATION AND SUBMISSION OF BIDS IS INSUFFICIENT, IT SHOULD IMMEDIATELY ADDRESS A REQUEST FOR THE EXTENSION OF THE BID OPENING TIME TO THE PROCUREMENT OFFICER WHO WILL THEN GRANT SUCH ADDITIONAL TIME, BY AN ADDENDUM TO THE INVITATION, AS THE FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES MAY WARRANT.

WITH REGARD TO YOUR REQUEST FOR CANCELLATION OF THE CONTRACT FOR THE DUNCAN METERS AS CONTAINED IN YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 3, 1963, IT WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN PRACTICAL TO DO SO SINCE 500 METERS HAD ALREADY BEEN DELIVERED ON SEPTEMBER 30, 1963, AND THE BALANCE OF 1,200 METERS WAS IN THE COURSE OF DELIVERY, HAVING BEEN ACTUALLY DELIVERED ON OCTOBER 7, 1963.