B-153904, JUN. 15, 1964

B-153904: Jun 15, 1964

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INC.: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR TELEFAX DATED APRIL 7. WITH ENCLOSURES (SOME OF WHICH ARE HEREIN RETURNED). WE HAVE NOT BEEN ABLE TO FIND ANY BASIS FOR YOUR ALLEGATION THAT THE SPECIFICATIONS UTILIZED IN THE PROCUREMENT WERE DRAFTED BY THE LOW BIDDER AND THE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION HAS INFORMED US THAT THE SPECIFICATIONS WERE FURNISHED BY THE AGENCY FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT SINCE THE FINISHED PRODUCT WAS TO BE SHIPPED TO CHILE AS PART OF THE GOVERNMENT'S PROGRAM OF ECONOMIC ASSISTANCE TO FOREIGN GOVERNMENTS. 146 SHOULD HAVE BEEN DISQUALIFIED AS NONRESPONSIVE TO THE SPECIFICATIONS BECAUSE: A 52 AMPERE ALTERNATOR WAS OFFERED IN LIEU OF A 40 AMPERE ALTERNATOR (THE LATTER BEING REQUIRED BY THE SPECIFICATIONS "IF AVAILABLE").

B-153904, JUN. 15, 1964

TO LYNCOACH AND TRUCK CO., INC.:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR TELEFAX DATED APRIL 7, 1964, AND TO YOUR LETTER DATED APRIL 13, 1964, WITH ENCLOSURES (SOME OF WHICH ARE HEREIN RETURNED), PROTESTING AGAINST THE AWARD ON APRIL 10, 1964, BY THE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION OF A CONTRACT FOR 11 MOBILE HEALTH, DENTAL AND X-RAY CLINICS TO MEDICAL COACHES, INCORPORATED, UNDER INVITATION FOR BIDS NO. FPNMV-C-29806-A, ISSUED ON JANUARY 23, 1964.

WE HAVE NOT BEEN ABLE TO FIND ANY BASIS FOR YOUR ALLEGATION THAT THE SPECIFICATIONS UTILIZED IN THE PROCUREMENT WERE DRAFTED BY THE LOW BIDDER AND THE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION HAS INFORMED US THAT THE SPECIFICATIONS WERE FURNISHED BY THE AGENCY FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT SINCE THE FINISHED PRODUCT WAS TO BE SHIPPED TO CHILE AS PART OF THE GOVERNMENT'S PROGRAM OF ECONOMIC ASSISTANCE TO FOREIGN GOVERNMENTS.

YOU CONTEND THAT THE BID OF MEDICAL COACHES, INCORPORATED, IN THE AMOUNT OF $111,146 SHOULD HAVE BEEN DISQUALIFIED AS NONRESPONSIVE TO THE SPECIFICATIONS BECAUSE: A 52 AMPERE ALTERNATOR WAS OFFERED IN LIEU OF A 40 AMPERE ALTERNATOR (THE LATTER BEING REQUIRED BY THE SPECIFICATIONS "IF AVAILABLE"); A 19 GALLON FUEL TANK PLUS ONE SIDEMOUNTED 31 GALLON TANK ARE TENDERED IN PLACE OF TWO 20 GALLON TANKS; AND, BECAUSE THE BIDDER STATED THAT A NO. 2195 MACHLETT DYNAMAX 21 ROTATING ANODE TUBE "WITH 1.5 AND 1.5 MM FOCAL SPOTS" IS TO BE INSTALLED IN THE X-RAY CLINICS AND THE TUBE REFERRED TO, ACCORDING TO THE MANUFACTURER'S OWN CATALOGUE, HAS FOCAL SPOTS OF .8 AND 1.8 MM.

A 52 AMPERE ALTERNATOR IS ADMITTEDLY SUPERIOR TO A 40 AMPERE ALTERNATOR. THE STATEMENT IN THE SPECIFICATIONS THAT A 40 AMPERE ALTERNATOR WAS REQUIRED "IF AVAILABLE" WAS INTERPRETED BY YOU TO MEAN THAT A SUPERIOR 52 AMPERE ALTERNATOR COULD NOT BE OFFERED SO LONG AS A 40 AMPERE ALTERNATOR WAS AVAILABLE. IT SEEMS TO US THAT THE MORE REASONABLE MEANING OF THE PHRASE "IF AVAILABLE" IS THAT AN ALTERNATOR OF LESSER CAPACITY THAN 40 AMPERES MIGHT HAVE TO BE ACCEPTED IF THE 40 AMPERE ALTERNATOR WERE NOT AVAILABLE. IF THE SUPERIOR 52 AMPERE ALTERNATOR HAD NOT BEEN CONSIDERED ACCEPTABLE, IT SEEMS TO US THAT THE SPECIFICATION REQUIREMENT WOULD HAVE STATED THAT A 40 AMPERE ALTERNATOR ONLY SHOULD BE FURNISHED, IF AVAILABLE.

GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION STATES THAT THE SPECIFICATION FOR DUAL 20 -GALLON FUEL TANKS WAS INTENDED TO INDICATE MERELY THE MINIMUM FUEL CAPACITY DESIRED. WE AGREE THAT THIS IS THE MOST REASONABLE INTERPRETATION OF THE SPECIFICATION. SO FAR AS CONCERNS THE QUESTION OF WEIGHT BALANCE, GSA POINTS OUT THAT PARAGRAPHS 3.6 AND 3.17 OF FEDERAL SPECIFICATION KKK-T-720 REQUIRE A BALANCED VEHICLE WEIGHT DISTRIBUTION, WHICH CAN BE ACCOMPLISHED BY PLACEMENT OF OTHER VEHICLE EQUIPMENT EVEN WITH DIFFERENT SIZE FUEL TANKS.

FURTHERMORE, EXAMINATION OF THE QUESTIONAIRE SUBMITTED AS PART OF THE BID SHOWS THAT YOUR BID OFFERED THE IDENTICAL DEVIATIONS AS TO THE ALTERNATOR AND FUEL TANKS AS DID THE BID OF MEDICAL COACHES. YOU CONTEND THAT THOSE DEVIATIONS IN YOUR BID ARE OVERCOME BY YOUR INSERTION OF THE WORD "NONE" IN THE SPACE PROVIDED IN PARAGRAPH 20 OF THE INVITATION WHICH REQUIRED ALL DEVIATIONS TO BE LISTED. THE VALIDITY OF YOUR CONTENTION IS EXTREMELY DOUBTFUL, SINCE MORE SPECIFIC LANGUAGE IS USUALLY CONSIDERED TO TAKE PRECEDENCE OVER GENERAL LANGUAGE. WE SUGGEST, AS TO THE ALTERNATOR AND FUEL TANKS, THAT YOU SHOULD HAVE SOUGHT CLARIFICATION OF THE SPECIFICATIONS FROM THE CONTRACTING OFFICER BEFORE YOU SUBMITTED YOUR BID.

WITH RESPECT TO THE X-RAY TUBE OFFERED BY MEDICAL COACHES, IT MUST BE NOTED THAT THE INVITATION DID NOT ASK FOR A BRAND NAME DESCRIPTION OF THE TUBE. ARTICLE 3 OF GSA FORM 1424, WHICH WAS INCORPORATED IN THE INVITATION, PROVIDES THAT SUCH A VOLUNTARY INSERTION OF A BRAND NAME WILL BE UNDERSTOOD TO MEAN THAT THE OFFERED ARTICLE FULLY COMPLIES WITH THE SPECIFICATIONS, UNLESS THE BIDDER STATES OTHERWISE. MEDICAL COACHES' BID STATED IT WOULD FURNISH A TUBE "WITH 1.5 AND 1.5 MM FOCAL SPOTS.' THIS CERTAINLY IS A CLEAR INDICATION THAT MEDICAL COACHES INTENDED TO COMPLY WITH THIS REQUIREMENT OF THE SPECIFICATIONS, AND, IN OUR OPINION, WOULD OBLIGATE MEDICAL COACHES TO FURNISH SUCH A TUBE REGARDLESS OF THE BRAND NAME IT MENTIONED. ADMITTEDLY, THE DYNAMAX 21 TUBE DOES NOT HAVE FOCAL SPOTS OF 1.5 AND 1.5 MM ALTHOUGH APPARENTLY THE DYNAMAX 25 HD TUBE DOES. IN SUCH CIRCUMSTANCES, WE BELIEVE THE PROVISIONS OF ARTICLE 3 OF GSA FORM 1424 ARE SUFFICIENT TO OVERCOME THE UNSOLICITED MENTION OF THE DYNAMAX 21 TUBE BY MEDICAL COACHES.

FOR THE ABOVE REASONS, WE ARE OF THE OPINION THAT GSA ACTED PROPERLY IN CONSIDERING MEDICAL COACHES' BID RESPONSIVE, AND YOUR PROTEST IS DENIED.