B-154359, AUG. 4, 1964

B-154359: Aug 4, 1964

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TO BARTON MANUFACTURING COMPANY: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR TELEGRAM DATED JUNE 3. WHICH WAS ISSUED ON FEBRUARY 27. SINCE NO BIDS WERE RECEIVED FOR ITEM NO. 9. OFFERS WERE SOLICITED FOR THIS ITEM. THREE BIDS WERE RECEIVED AS FOLLOWS: TABLE BARTON MANUFACTURING COMPANY $174.00 EACH DESKS. INCORPORATED 175.90 EACH DREXEL FURNITURE COMPANY 187.00 EACH THE FOREGOING PRICES WERE CONSIDERED TO BE TOO HIGH AND. ALL THREE FIRMS WERE CONTACTED AND ADVISED THAT FURTHER OFFERS THAT INVOLVED A PRICE REDUCTION WOULD CONTINUE TO BE RECEIVED AND CONSIDERED UNTIL A SUBSEQUENT GIVEN DATE BASED ON QUOTATIONS SET FORTH IN THE SPECIFIED SCHEDULE AND IN ACCORDANCE WITH CERTAIN DELIVERY REQUIREMENTS.

B-154359, AUG. 4, 1964

TO BARTON MANUFACTURING COMPANY:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR TELEGRAM DATED JUNE 3, 1964, PROTESTING THE AWARD OF A CONTRACT TO DESKS, INCORPORATED, UNDER GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION INVITATION NO. 43732-A.

ORIGINAL INVITATION NO. 43732, WHICH WAS ISSUED ON FEBRUARY 27, 1964, BY THE FEDERAL SUPPLY SERVICE, DENVER FEDERAL CENTER, SOLICITED BIDS FOR NINE ITEMS OF VARIOUS KINDS OF FURNITURE FOR THE UNITED STATES AIR FORCE ACADEMY. SINCE NO BIDS WERE RECEIVED FOR ITEM NO. 9, COVERING 200 AND 400 DESKS, ALUMINUM FRAME, ETC., UNDER RESPECTIVE SCHEDULES NOS. 1 AND 1A, THE FEDERAL SUPPLY SERVICE DECIDED TO NEGOTIATE THIS PART OF THE REQUIREMENT AND, ACCORDINGLY, OFFERS WERE SOLICITED FOR THIS ITEM. IN RESPONSE THERETO, THREE BIDS WERE RECEIVED AS FOLLOWS:

TABLE

BARTON MANUFACTURING COMPANY $174.00 EACH

DESKS, INCORPORATED 175.90 EACH

DREXEL FURNITURE COMPANY 187.00 EACH

THE FOREGOING PRICES WERE CONSIDERED TO BE TOO HIGH AND, THEREFORE, ALL THREE FIRMS WERE CONTACTED AND ADVISED THAT FURTHER OFFERS THAT INVOLVED A PRICE REDUCTION WOULD CONTINUE TO BE RECEIVED AND CONSIDERED UNTIL A SUBSEQUENT GIVEN DATE BASED ON QUOTATIONS SET FORTH IN THE SPECIFIED SCHEDULE AND IN ACCORDANCE WITH CERTAIN DELIVERY REQUIREMENTS. IT IS REPORTED THAT SUBSEQUENTLY YOU ADVISED THAT YOU WERE UNABLE TO REDUCE YOUR PRICE OF $174 EACH FOR THE DESKS; THAT DESKS, INCORPORATED, REDUCED ITS PRICE FROM $175.90 TO $172.90; AND THAT DREXEL FURNITURE COMPANY ALSO REDUCED ITS UNIT PRICE FROM $187 TO $181.39. ON THE BASIS OF THE LOWEST REDUCED BID OF $172.90 EACH, AN AWARD OF CONTRACT WAS MADE ON MAY 25, 1964, BY THE FEDERAL SUPPLY SERVICE FOR ITEM NO. 9 TO DESKS, INCORPORATED. THIS AWARD PROMPTED THE PROTEST FROM YOU.

YOU DO NOT APPEAR TO QUESTION IN ANY WAY THE PROCEDURE FOLLOWED BY THE FEDERAL SUPPLY SERVICE IN SOLICITING BIDS FOR THE PROCUREMENT BUT RATHER YOUR PROTEST IS BASED ON THE SOLE PREMISE THAT YOU SUBMITTED A TIMELY REDUCED VERBAL BID OF $171 EACH FOR THE DESKS WHICH WAS THE LOWEST BID.

WITH RESPECT TO YOUR CONTENTION THAT ON MAY 22, 1964, YOU CONTACTED A MR. J. A. WALKER, THE GOVERNMENT PURCHASING OFFICER, BY TELEPHONE AND REDUCED YOUR BID FOR THE DESKS FROM $174 TO $171 EACH, THE FEDERAL SUPPLY SERVICE REPORTS THAT ITS RECORDS INDICATE, AND MR. WALKER STATES, THAT NO ADVICE, EITHER VERBAL OR OTHERWISE, WAS TIMELY RECEIVED FROM YOU BY THAT SERVICE, THAT YOU WERE REDUCING YOUR PRICE TO $171 EACH. THERE IS NOTED FURTHER IN THIS REGARD A COPY OF YOUR LETTER DATED MAY 21, 1964--- THE DAY BEFORE YOUR ALLEGED OFFER OF A REDUCTION IN PRICE--- ADVISING THE DIRECTOR OF THE BUSINESS SERVICE CENTER THAT YOU WERE UNABLE TO MAKE ANY REDUCTION IN YOUR ORIGINAL QUOTATION OF $174 EACH FOR THE DESKS. WHILE THERE MAY HAVE BEEN SOME MISUNDERSTANDING IN THIS REGARD, SINCE IT IS YOUR CONTENTION THAT THE BID WAS ORALLY REDUCED BY TELEPHONE BUT THE FEDERAL SUPPLY SERVICE ADVISES THAT IT HAS NO RECORD OR KNOWLEDGE OF SUCH A TIMELY REDUCTION IN ANY FORM, THERE CLEARLY EXISTS IN THE RECORD BEFORE US A DISPUTED QUESTION OF FACT. IN SUCH SITUATIONS IT IS THE LONG-ESTABLISHED RULE OF OUR OFFICE, WHEN THERE IS A COMPLETE DISAGREEMENT, AS HERE, BETWEEN THE FACTS AS REPORTED BY THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICERS AND THOSE STATED BY A CLAIMANT OR PROTESTANT, TO ACCEPT THE FACTS ADMINISTRATIVELY REPORTED AS CONTROLLING THE DISPOSITION OF THE MATTER IN THE ABSENCE OF EVIDENCE LEGALLY SUFFICIENT TO OVERCOME THE PRESUMPTION OF THEIR CORRECTNESS. SEE 16 COMP. GEN. 325; 18 ID. 799, 800; 31 ID. 288; AND 37 ID. 568, 570.

ACCORDINGLY, WE FIND NO LEGAL BASIS FOR OBJECTING TO THE ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION TAKEN BY THE FEDERAL SUPPLY SERVICE IN AWARDING THE CONTRACT TO DESKS, INCORPORATED, UNDER INVITATION NO. 43732-A. ..END :