B-154589, SEP. 10, 1964

B-154589: Sep 10, 1964

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Edda Emmanuelli Perez
(202) 512-2853
EmmanuelliPerezE@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

ON PAGE 4 OF THE SUBJECT INVITATION THIS SAME SNAP HOOK WAS REFERENCED TO DWG. GAR-LET PROTESTED AWARD OF A CONTRACT TO THE LOW BIDDER STATING THAT THE HOOK OFFERED WAS NOT THE EQUIVALENT OF GAR-LET SNAP HOOK NO. 247. STATED THAT TECHNICAL DATA ON THE REQUIRED HOOK WAS NOT AVAILABLE EITHER FROM THE PROCUREMENT OFFICE OR FROM GAR-LET. THE PRINCIPAL PURPOSE OF COMPETITIVE BIDDING STATUTES IS TO OBTAIN FOR THE GOVERNMENT THE BENEFITS OF FULL AND FREE COMPETITION. 40 COMP. IN THE CASE UNDER DISCUSSION THE RECORD IS ABUNDANTLY CLEAR THAT NECESSARY TECHNICAL INFORMATION ON ONE OF THE MAJOR COMPONENTS WAS NOT AVAILABLE TO ANY BIDDER OTHER THAN GAR-LET AND THEREFORE. THE "OR EQUAL" PROVISION WAS MEANINGLESS.

B-154589, SEP. 10, 1964

TO GAR-LET MANUFACTURING COMPANY, INC.:

WE REFER TO YOUR LETTER DATED JUNE 26, 1964, PROTESTING THE CANCELLATION OF INVITATION FOR BIDS NO. AMC-11-022-64-1555 (E), AS AMENDED.

ON DECEMBER 30, 1963, THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY, CHICAGO PROCUREMENT DISTRICT, ISSUED THE ABOVE INVITATION SOLICITING BIDS FOR SPECIFIED QUANTITIES OF A "MULTIPLE LEG SLING.' REFERENCE DRAWING SC C-36424 CALLED FOR THE USE OF GAR-LET MANUFACTURING COMPANY SNAP HOOK NO. 247 OR EQUAL. ON PAGE 4 OF THE SUBJECT INVITATION THIS SAME SNAP HOOK WAS REFERENCED TO DWG. GROUP 172, SECTION L, WHICH BRIEFLY SKETCHES THE REQUIRED HOOK. NEITHER DRAWING HOWEVER GIVES ANY TECHNICAL DATA ON THE PROPOSED HOOK.

BY LETTER DATED FEBRUARY 24, 1964, ADDRESSED TO THE PROCUREMENT OFFICE, GAR-LET PROTESTED AWARD OF A CONTRACT TO THE LOW BIDDER STATING THAT THE HOOK OFFERED WAS NOT THE EQUIVALENT OF GAR-LET SNAP HOOK NO. 247. THEIR LETTER OF MARCH 25, 1964, C AND J SUPPLY COMPANY, INC., THE LOW BIDDER, STATED THAT TECHNICAL DATA ON THE REQUIRED HOOK WAS NOT AVAILABLE EITHER FROM THE PROCUREMENT OFFICE OR FROM GAR-LET. WE UNDERSTAND THAT GAR-LET HAS SINCE CHANGED THEIR PREVIOUS POSITION AND HAS NOW AUTHORIZED USE OF THEIR DETAILED DRAWINGS FOR PROCUREMENT PURPOSES.

THE PRINCIPAL PURPOSE OF COMPETITIVE BIDDING STATUTES IS TO OBTAIN FOR THE GOVERNMENT THE BENEFITS OF FULL AND FREE COMPETITION. 40 COMP. GEN. 348. THIS REQUIRES THAT THE PROCUREMENT BE ADVERTISED ON AS BROAD A BASIS AS POSSIBLE CONSISTENT WITH THE LEGITIMATE NEEDS OF THE PROCURING ACTIVITY. IN THE CASE UNDER DISCUSSION THE RECORD IS ABUNDANTLY CLEAR THAT NECESSARY TECHNICAL INFORMATION ON ONE OF THE MAJOR COMPONENTS WAS NOT AVAILABLE TO ANY BIDDER OTHER THAN GAR-LET AND THEREFORE, THE "OR EQUAL" PROVISION WAS MEANINGLESS, AND PROCUREMENT ON THAT BASIS MIGHT WELL BE REGARDED AS SO RESTRICTIVE OF COMPETITION AS TO FAIL TO COMPLY WITH THE BIDDING STATUTES. 41 COMP. GEN. 76. IN VIEW THEREOF WE FIND NO BASIS TO QUESTION THE ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION. SEE 41 COMP. GEN. 242; 38 COMP. GEN. 636.

IT SHOULD BE NOTED THAT NEW SPECIFICATIONS ARE BEING PREPARED WHICH WILL DETAIL THE SAFETY HOOK REQUIREMENTS.