B-154462, AUG. 21, 1964

B-154462: Aug 21, 1964

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AWARD WAS MADE PURSUANT TO THE ABOVE INVITATION ON JUNE 30. E. A BLEND OF 70 PERCENT WOOL AND 30 PERCENT NYLON) IS NOT COMMON IN THE INDUSTRY AND THAT THE BID OPENING SHOULD HAVE BEEN EXTENDED TO ALLOW PROSPECTIVE BIDDERS MORE TIME TO PERFORM RESEARCH AND TESTING. YOU ALSO CONTEND THAT THIS BLEND OF YARN WILL NOT RENDER SATISFACTORY SERVICE. THE POST OFFICE DISPUTES THIS CONTENTION AND REPORTS THAT NOT ONLY HAVE THEY PREVIOUSLY PROCURED THIS SAME FLOOR COVERING. THAT OTHER GOVERNMENT AGENCIES HAVE ALSO PROCURED RUGS OF SIMILAR TYPE AND CONSTRUCTION. WE UNDERSTAND THAT SEVERAL OTHER TYPES OF FLOOR COVERING HAVE BEEN TRIED IN THE PAST. YOUR REQUEST TO EXTEND THE BID OPENING WAS NOT CONSIDERED PRACTICAL IN VIEW OF THE THEN PRESENT NEED FOR CARPETING.

B-154462, AUG. 21, 1964

TO CARPET DISTRIBUTORS CORPORATION:

WE REFER TO YOUR LETTERS DATED JUNE 15 AND JULY 3, 1964, PROTESTING THE MANNER IN WHICH THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT HANDLED INVITATION FOR BIDS NO. 1518.

THE ABOVE INVITATION ISSUED ON JUNE 4, 1964, SOLICITED BIDS FOR 25,000 LINEAR FEET (54 INCHES WIDE) OF NON-SLIP CARPET AND RUGS IN ACCORDANCE WITH AN ATTACHED PURCHASE DESCRIPTION DATED MAY 20, 1964. AWARD WAS MADE PURSUANT TO THE ABOVE INVITATION ON JUNE 30, 1964.

YOU CONTEND THAT THE YARN SPECIFIED FOR THIS PROCUREMENT (I. E. A BLEND OF 70 PERCENT WOOL AND 30 PERCENT NYLON) IS NOT COMMON IN THE INDUSTRY AND THAT THE BID OPENING SHOULD HAVE BEEN EXTENDED TO ALLOW PROSPECTIVE BIDDERS MORE TIME TO PERFORM RESEARCH AND TESTING. YOU ALSO CONTEND THAT THIS BLEND OF YARN WILL NOT RENDER SATISFACTORY SERVICE. THE POST OFFICE DISPUTES THIS CONTENTION AND REPORTS THAT NOT ONLY HAVE THEY PREVIOUSLY PROCURED THIS SAME FLOOR COVERING, BUT THAT OTHER GOVERNMENT AGENCIES HAVE ALSO PROCURED RUGS OF SIMILAR TYPE AND CONSTRUCTION. WE UNDERSTAND THAT SEVERAL OTHER TYPES OF FLOOR COVERING HAVE BEEN TRIED IN THE PAST. AFTER TESTING, HOWEVER, THE POST OFFICE HAS FOUND THAT FLOOR COVERING OF THE TYPE SPECIFIED NOT ONLY PREVENTS TRACKING OF WATER AND FILTH, BUT REDUCES THE NUMBER OF PERSONAL INJURIES. YOUR REQUEST TO EXTEND THE BID OPENING WAS NOT CONSIDERED PRACTICAL IN VIEW OF THE THEN PRESENT NEED FOR CARPETING.

APPARENTLY THE POST OFFICE AGREED THAT THE SPECIFICATIONS WERE UNCLEAR INSOFAR AS PRICING OF THE BONDING TAPE WAS CONCERNED SINCE AN AMENDMENT WAS ISSUED ON JUNE 17, 1964, CLARIFYING THIS SPECIFIC POINT. WHETHER TAPE AND SERGING SHOULD HAVE BEEN PRICED SEPARATELY IS GENERALLY A MATTER FOR CONSIDERATION BY THE PARTICULAR PROCURING ACTIVITY. ASSUMING, ARGUENDO, THAT SEPARATE PRICING IS DESIRABLE WE DO NOT AGREE THAT CANCELLATION IS NOW REQUIRED.

NOR DO WE AGREE THAT THERE WAS ANY IMPROPRIETY IN NOT REQUESTING A BID SAMPLE. AS A MATTER OF FACT SECTION 1-2.202-4/B) OF THE FEDERAL PROCUREMENT REGULATIONS SPECIFICALLY STATES THAT BIDDERS SHALL NOT BE REQUIRED TO FURNISH A BID SAMPLE OF A PRODUCT THEY PROPOSE TO FURNISH UNLESS THERE ARE CERTAIN CHARACTERISTICS OF THE PRODUCT WHICH CANNOT BE ADEQUATELY DESCRIBED IN THE APPLICABLE SPECIFICATION OR PURCHASE DESCRIPTION.

AS YOU ARE NO DOUBT WELL AWARE THE ADMINISTRATIVE DEPARTMENT AND AGENCIES OF THE GOVERNMENT, AND NOT THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE BEAR COMPLETE RESPONSIBILITY FOR DRAFTING PROPER SPECIFICATIONS AND FOR DETERMINING WHETHER ARTICLES OFFERED THEREUNDER ARE RESPONSIVE THERETO. 17 COMP. GEN. 554. ON THE OTHER HAND, A SPECIFICATION WHICH IS ARBITRARILY DRAWN AROUND THE PRODUCT OF ONE MANUFACTURER MAY NOT BE ALLOWED TO STAND. SEE B- 152238, OCTOBER 29, 1963. ON THE BASIS OF THE RECORD BEFORE US, WE ARE UNABLE TO CONCLUDE THAT SUCH A SITUATION EXISTS IN THE CASE UNDER DISCUSSION.

WITH RESPECT TO FUTURE CARPET PURCHASES, HOWEVER, WE ARE ADVISING THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT TO REVIEW ITS SPECIFICATIONS AND CONSIDER WHETHER A MODIFICATION OF THE PRESENT REQUIREMENTS, NOT INCONSISTENT WITH THEIR NEEDS, MIGHT NOT BROADEN COMPETITION.