B-154058, OCT. 12, 1964

B-154058: Oct 12, 1964

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INC.: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR TELEGRAM OF AUGUST 24. AFTER THE BIDS WERE OPENED THE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION INSPECTED THE PREMISES OF VARIOUS BIDDERS. REPORTED THAT THE PLANT AND FACILITIES INDICATED BY YOU AS THE PLACE OF MANUFACTURE WERE THE SAME AS INDICATED FOR PAL PRECISION PRODUCTS AND THAT THOSE FACILITIES WERE DETERMINED TO BE . THE RECORD FURTHER SHOWS THAT SINCE YOU ARE A SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN. THE MATTER WAS REFERRED TO THE PHILADELPHIA OFFICE OF THE SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION FOR CONSIDERATION. WHICH FIRM IS A SUBSIDIARY OF THE UNITED STATES TOBACCO COMPANY. SUCH DETERMINATIONS ARE PRIMARILY THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE PROCURING AGENCY. OUR OFFICE MAY NOT PROPERLY TAKE EXCEPTION TO THEM UNLESS THEY ARE CLEARLY ARBITRARY OR NOT SUPPORTED BY SUBSTANTIAL GROUNDS.

B-154058, OCT. 12, 1964

TO THE LOUIS A. AMY COMPANY, INC.:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR TELEGRAM OF AUGUST 24, 1964, PROTESTING THE AWARD OF A CONTRACT TO U.S. TOBACCO COMPANY UNDER INVITATION FOR BIDS NO. FPNSO-9R-1980A-6-12-64, ISSUED BY THE FEDERAL SUPPLY SERVICE, GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION, COVERING REQUIREMENTS OF THE GOVERNMENT FOR BALL POINT PENS AND CARTRIDGES DURING A SPECIFIED PERIOD OF TIME.

AFTER THE BIDS WERE OPENED THE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION INSPECTED THE PREMISES OF VARIOUS BIDDERS, INCLUDING YOURS, TO DETERMINE THE ABILITY OF THE BIDDERS TO PERFORM IN ACCORDANCE WITH CONTRACT REQUIREMENTS. THE CHIEF, QUALITY CONTROL DIVISION, FEDERAL SUPPLY SERVICE, REPORTED THAT THE PLANT AND FACILITIES INDICATED BY YOU AS THE PLACE OF MANUFACTURE WERE THE SAME AS INDICATED FOR PAL PRECISION PRODUCTS AND THAT THOSE FACILITIES WERE DETERMINED TO BE ,INCAPABLE OF PRODUCING REQUIRED ITEM/S.' ON THAT BASIS THE CONTRACTING OFFICER DETERMINED THAT YOUR FIRM COULD NOT BE CONSIDERED A RESPONSIBLE BIDDER WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE APPLICABLE FEDERAL PROCUREMENT REGULATIONS.

THE RECORD FURTHER SHOWS THAT SINCE YOU ARE A SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN, THE MATTER WAS REFERRED TO THE PHILADELPHIA OFFICE OF THE SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION FOR CONSIDERATION, AND THAT THE SBA DECLINED TO ISSUE A CERTIFICATE OF COMPETENCY. ACCORDINGLY, GSA MADE AWARD TO THE NEXT LOW BIDDER, THE TUCKERSHARPE PEN COMPANY, INC., OF RICHMOND, VIRGINIA, WHICH FIRM IS A SUBSIDIARY OF THE UNITED STATES TOBACCO COMPANY.

IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, WE CANNOT DISREGARD THE ADMINISTRATIVE DETERMINATION THAT YOU DO NOT MEET THE CRITERIA OF FEDERAL PROCUREMENT REGULATIONS 1-1.310.5 AND THEREFORE MAY NOT BE REGARDED AS A RESPONSIBLE BIDDER. SUCH DETERMINATIONS ARE PRIMARILY THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE PROCURING AGENCY, AND OUR OFFICE MAY NOT PROPERLY TAKE EXCEPTION TO THEM UNLESS THEY ARE CLEARLY ARBITRARY OR NOT SUPPORTED BY SUBSTANTIAL GROUNDS. THE RECORD DOES INDICATE SUCH TO BE THE CASE IN THE INSTANT PROCUREMENT; ON THE CONTRARY, THE REFUSAL OF THE SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION TO ISSUE A CERTIFICATE OF COMPETENCE TENDS STRONGLY TO SUPPORT THE GSA DETERMINATION.

SINCE WE FIND NO LEGAL BASIS FOR OBJECTION TO THE ACTION TAKEN, YOUR PROTEST MUST BE DENIED.