B-155025, MAR. 3, 1965

B-155025: Mar 3, 1965

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INVITATION -64-62 WAS ISSUED ON APRIL 29. THE ENTIRE PROCUREMENT WAS SET ASIDE FOR AWARD TO SMALL BUSINESS CONCERNS. BIDS WERE OPENED ON JUNE 1. IT WAS ADMINISTRATIVELY DETERMINED THAT MAINTENANCE'S PROPOSED STAFFING OF 75 PERSONNEL WAS FAR BELOW THE MINIMUM STAFFING REQUIREMENTS OF THE INVITATION FIXED AT 81 PERSONNEL. MAINTENANCE WAS ADVISED THAT ITS BID WAS NONRESPONSIVE TO THE ADVERTISED REQUIREMENTS OF THE INVITATION. THE EVALUATION CRITERIA UTILIZED WERE FULLY EXPLAINED BY THE CONTRACTING OFFICER IN A LETTER DATED AUGUST 26. SINCE THE METHOD OF APPLICATION OF EVALUATION CRITERIA IS A MATTER OF JUDGMENT RESERVED TO THE PROCUREMENT AGENCY. WE WILL NOT ATTEMPT TO RESTATE OR REEVALUATE THE CONTEXT OF THE LETTER OF AUGUST 26.

B-155025, MAR. 3, 1965

TO SCRIBNER, HALL AND CASEY:

BY LETTER DATED AUGUST 25, 1964, YOU PROTESTED AGAINST ANY AWARD UNDER INVITATION FOR BIDS NO. AIII-01-044-65-2 AND REQUESTED THAT INVITATION NO. AIII-01-044-64-62 WHICH HAD BEEN CANCELED BE REINSTATED WITH AWARD THEREUNDER TO MAINTENANCE INCORPORATED AS THE LOWEST BIDDER.

INVITATION -64-62 WAS ISSUED ON APRIL 29, 1964, BY THE PURCHASING AND CONTRACTING OFFICE, FORT RUCKER, ALABAMA, AND REQUESTED BIDS FOR FURNISHING CUSTODIAL SERVICES DURING FISCAL YEAR 1965. PURSUANT TO PARAGRAPH 1-706.5 OF THE ARMED SERVICES PROCUREMENT REGULATIONS (ASPR), THE ENTIRE PROCUREMENT WAS SET ASIDE FOR AWARD TO SMALL BUSINESS CONCERNS. BIDS WERE OPENED ON JUNE 1, 1964, AND IT APPEARED THAT MAINTENANCE SUBMITTED THE LOWEST BID. HOWEVER, IN APPLYING EVALUATION CRITERIA RESPECTING STAFFING REQUIREMENTS UNDER ANY METHOD OF COMPUTATION, IT WAS ADMINISTRATIVELY DETERMINED THAT MAINTENANCE'S PROPOSED STAFFING OF 75 PERSONNEL WAS FAR BELOW THE MINIMUM STAFFING REQUIREMENTS OF THE INVITATION FIXED AT 81 PERSONNEL. UNDER SUCH CIRCUMSTANCES, MAINTENANCE WAS ADVISED THAT ITS BID WAS NONRESPONSIVE TO THE ADVERTISED REQUIREMENTS OF THE INVITATION. THE EVALUATION CRITERIA UTILIZED WERE FULLY EXPLAINED BY THE CONTRACTING OFFICER IN A LETTER DATED AUGUST 26, 1964, TO THE PRESIDENT OF MAINTENANCE. SINCE THE METHOD OF APPLICATION OF EVALUATION CRITERIA IS A MATTER OF JUDGMENT RESERVED TO THE PROCUREMENT AGENCY, WE WILL NOT ATTEMPT TO RESTATE OR REEVALUATE THE CONTEXT OF THE LETTER OF AUGUST 26, 1964. HOWEVER, WE NOTE THAT THE PROCUREMENT AGENCY DETERMINED, AFTER EVALUATING BIDS AS TO THE MINIMUM PERSONNEL STAFFING REQUIREMENTS OF THE INVITATION, THAT VARYING METHODS OF COMPUTATION WERE POSSIBLE THOUGH NOT SPECIFICALLY SPELLED OUT IN THE INVITATION. THUS, THE AGENCY PROPERLY CONCLUDED THAT THE INVITATION IN THIS RESPECT WAS AMBIGUOUS AND MISLEADING AND THAT ALL BIDS SHOULD BE REJECTED. THIS ACTION IS SPECIFICALLY AUTHORIZED AND REQUIRED BY ASPR 2-404.1/B) (I). SEE B-154415, AUGUST 4, 1964. THEREFORE, WE FIND NO LEGAL OR FACTUAL BASIS FOR DIRECTING REINSTATEMENT OF INVITATION -64-62. SEE 41 COMP. GEN. 76. CONSIDERING THAT MAINTENANCE WAS NONRESPONSIVE TO THE INVITATION, IT COULD NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES BE REGARDED AS ELIGIBLE FOR AWARD EVEN IF INVITATION -64 -62 WAS REINSTATED.

THIS PROCUREMENT WAS RESOLICITED UNDER INVITATION NO. AIII-01-044-65 2 ON JULY 17, 1964, ON A RESTRICTED SMALL BUSINESS BASIS. NO BID WAS RECEIVED FROM MAINTENANCE SINCE IT NO LONGER HAD THE STATUS OF A SMALL BUSINESS FIRM. SUBSEQUENT TO BID EVALUATION, AWARD WAS MADE TO ROYAL SERVICES, INC., AS THE LOWEST, RESPONSIVE BIDDER UNDER THE INVITATION FOR THE PERIOD SEPTEMBER 1, 1964, THROUGH JUNE 30, 1965. WE FIND NO BASIS IN THE RECORD TO SUPPORT THE ALLEGATION THAT ROYAL SERVICES WAS NOT A RESPONSIBLE BIDDER. ON THE CONTRARY THE FILE BEFORE US AMPLY JUSTIFIES THE AWARD MADE TO THAT BIDDER.