B-154385, JUL. 30, 1964

B-154385: Jul 30, 1964

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INCORPORATED: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 5. SEVEN BIDS WERE RECEIVED IN RESPONSE TO THE INVITATION. FOR FURNISHING THE WASHER-EXTRACTORS "COMPLETE PER SPECIFICATIONS" WAS THE LOWEST RECEIVED. YOU WERE REQUESTED TO CONFIRM THAT YOUR BID COVERED SIDE LOADING EQUIPMENT INASMUCH AS THE CATALOG DATA INCLUDED WITH YOUR BID COVERED A MACHINE WHICH DOES NOT MEET SPECIFICATIONS. SINCE THAT SPECIFICATION WAS NOT REFERENCED IN THE INVITATION AND SINCE THE LOWEST BID BASED ON SPECIFICATION NO. 60176/64. WAS SUBMITTED BY MCMANN BROS. THE CONTRACT WAS AWARDED TO THAT FIRM IN THE AMOUNT OF $47. IT IS YOUR CONTENTION THAT THE BID SPECIFICATIONS ARE RESTRICTIVE IN THAT ONLY ONE MACHINE.

B-154385, JUL. 30, 1964

TO G. A. BRAUN, INCORPORATED:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 5, 1964, PROTESTING AGAINST THE AWARD OF CONTRACT NO. NBY-60176 BY SOUTHWESTERN DIVISION, BUREAU OF YARDS AND DOCKS, SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA.

THE INVITATION, DATED MARCH 31, 1964, FOR OPENING APRIL 29, 1964, REQUESTED BIDS UNDER ITEM 1 FOR FURNISHING AND INSTALLING TWO WASHER EXTRACTORS AT MARINE CORPS BASE, CAMP PENDLETON, CALIFORNIA, IN ACCORDANCE WITH SPECIFICATION 60176/64, PARAGRAPH 2.4 OF WHICH SPECIFIED "SIDE LOADING" MACHINES. SEVEN BIDS WERE RECEIVED IN RESPONSE TO THE INVITATION. YOUR BID DATED APRIL 27, 1964, IN THE AMOUNT OF $41,500 (REDUCED TO $40,500 BY TELEGRAM OF APRIL 29, 1964), FOR FURNISHING THE WASHER-EXTRACTORS "COMPLETE PER SPECIFICATIONS" WAS THE LOWEST RECEIVED. HOWEVER, BY TELEGRAM OF APRIL 29, 1964, YOU WERE REQUESTED TO CONFIRM THAT YOUR BID COVERED SIDE LOADING EQUIPMENT INASMUCH AS THE CATALOG DATA INCLUDED WITH YOUR BID COVERED A MACHINE WHICH DOES NOT MEET SPECIFICATIONS. BY TELEGRAM OF APRIL 30, 1964, YOU REPLIED THAT THE WASHER-EXTRACTORS YOU OFFERED MEET MILITARY SPECIFICATION MIL-W-43001A WHICH CALLS FOR AN END LOADING MACHINE. SINCE THAT SPECIFICATION WAS NOT REFERENCED IN THE INVITATION AND SINCE THE LOWEST BID BASED ON SPECIFICATION NO. 60176/64, WAS SUBMITTED BY MCMANN BROS. CONSTRUCTION COMPANY, THE CONTRACT WAS AWARDED TO THAT FIRM IN THE AMOUNT OF $47,265.

IT IS YOUR CONTENTION THAT THE BID SPECIFICATIONS ARE RESTRICTIVE IN THAT ONLY ONE MACHINE, THE WASHER, MANUFACTURED BY THE WASHEX LAUNDRY MACHINERY COMPANY, IS A SIDE LOADING MACHINE; THAT OTHERS MAY BE IN A TESTING STAGE BUT HAVE NOT BEEN RELEASED FOR PRODUCTIVE USE; AND THAT THE UNIT YOU OFFERED MEETS ALL THE REQUIREMENTS OF SPECIFICATION MIL-W 43001A WHICH YOU ASSUMED TO BE MANDATORY FOR ALL GOVERNMENT ACTIVITY PROCUREMENTS.

THE ADMINISTRATIVE FILE SHOWS THAT IN ADDITION TO WASHEX LAUNDRY MACHINERY COMPANY, AMERICAN LAUNDRY MACHINE INDUSTRIES STATES THAT IT HAS A SIDE LOADING MACHINE IN PRODUCTION. THE BUREAU OF YARDS AND DOCKS CONSIDERS THAT EITHER THE WASHEX OR THE AMERICAN LAUNDRY MACHINE INDUSTRIES' EQUIPMENT WOULD MEET SPECIFICATION NO. 60176/64. IN ANY EVENT, THE SPECIFICATIONS INCLUDED IN THE INVITATION CLEARLY STATED THAT A SIDE LOADING MACHINE WAS REQUIRED, AND IF SUCH REQUIREMENT WAS NECESSARY TO MEET THE GOVERNMENT'S NEEDS, THE FACT THAT ONLY ONE SOURCE WAS AVAILABLE WOULD NOT HAVE MADE PROCUREMENT FROM THAT SOURCE ILLEGAL.

WHILE MILITARY SPECIFICATION MIL-W-43001A PROVIDES FOR THE USE OF END LOADING WASHER-EXTRACTORS, IT IS REPORTED THAT AN ENGINEERING DETERMINATION WAS MADE THAT A SIDE LOADING MACHINE WAS NECESSARY FOR USE IN BASE LAUNDRY BUILDING 2665, MARINE CORPS BASE, CAMP PENDLETON, AND THAT IT WAS FOR THIS REASON THAT SPECIFICATION MIL-W-43001A WAS NOT USED IN THE INVITATION. SINCE EQUIPMENT OFFERED BY YOU DID NOT MEET THE DESIGNATED SPECIFICATION, WE FIND NO PROPER GROUND FOR OBJECTING TO THE REJECTION OF YOUR BID. YOUR PROTEST AGAINST THE SPECIFICATION USED MIGHT MORE PROPERLY HAVE BEEN MADE PRIOR TO THE BID OPENING, BUT SINCE IT WAS NOT, AND SINCE THE AWARD WAS MADE BY THE CONTRACTING OFFICER IN STRICT ACCORDANCE WITH THE TERMS OF THE INVITATION, WE DO NOT FEEL THAT WE WOULD BE JUSTIFIED IN DISTURBING IT. ..END :