B-155628, MAY 24, 1965

B-155628: May 24, 1965

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INCORPORATED: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED NOVEMBER 17. YOU ADVISE THAT UPON RECEIPT OF REQUEST FOR QUOTATIONS NO. 777-65 YOU VISITED THE JOB SITE AND WERE INFORMED THAT THE WORK ALREADY HAD BEEN COMPLETED AND THAT YOU THEN CONTACTED THE CONTRACTING OFFICE AT FORT EUSTIS. BY TELEPHONE AND WERE FURTHER INFORMED THAT SOME UNETHICAL AND UNAUTHORIZED PROCEDURES HAD TAKEN PLACE WHICH RESULTED IN THE AWARD OF A CONTRACT WITHOUT PROPER AUTHORIZATION. THE RECORD BEFORE US SHOWS THAT A PURCHASE ORDER NO. 65-5314 WAS ISSUED ON OCTOBER 7. THAT THE INNER 3-INCH LAYER OF THE CORK INSULATION WAS DETERIORATED AND BREAKING AWAY FROM THE WALL TO THE EXTENT THAT THE OUTER 3-INCH LAYER. - COULD NOT BE INSTALLED UNTIL THE INNER 3-INCH LAYER WAS REPLACED.

B-155628, MAY 24, 1965

TO C. C. FOREMAN AND SON, INCORPORATED:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED NOVEMBER 17, 1964, WITH ENCLOSURE, PROTESTING CERTAIN ALLEGED PROCEDURES FOLLOWED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY IN CONNECTION WITH REQUEST FOR QUOTATIONS NO. 777 65, DATED NOVEMBER 5, 1964, ISSUED BY FORT EUSTIS, VIRGINIA.

YOU ADVISE THAT UPON RECEIPT OF REQUEST FOR QUOTATIONS NO. 777-65 YOU VISITED THE JOB SITE AND WERE INFORMED THAT THE WORK ALREADY HAD BEEN COMPLETED AND THAT YOU THEN CONTACTED THE CONTRACTING OFFICE AT FORT EUSTIS, VIRGINIA, BY TELEPHONE AND WERE FURTHER INFORMED THAT SOME UNETHICAL AND UNAUTHORIZED PROCEDURES HAD TAKEN PLACE WHICH RESULTED IN THE AWARD OF A CONTRACT WITHOUT PROPER AUTHORIZATION. YOU CONTEND THAT SUCH PROCEDURES RESULT IN DISCRIMINATION AGAINST VARIOUS CONTRACTORS.

THE RECORD BEFORE US SHOWS THAT A PURCHASE ORDER NO. 65-5314 WAS ISSUED ON OCTOBER 7, 1964, BY THE PURCHASING AND CONTRACTING OFFICE, FORT EUSTIS, VIRGINIA, TO THE C. E. THURSTON AND SONS, NC., NORFOLK, VIRGINIA, FOR PERFORMING CERTAIN RENOVATION WORK COVERING THE INSULATION OF A WALK-IN REFRIGERATOR IN A BUILDING AT FORT STORY, VIRGINIA, FOR A TOTAL PRICE OF $480. DURING THE PROGRESS OF THE WORK THE THURSTON COMPANY FOUND, UPON REMOVAL OF THE 3-INCH OUTER LAYER OF CORK INSULATION ON A CONCRETE EXTERIOR WALL, THAT THE INNER 3-INCH LAYER OF THE CORK INSULATION WAS DETERIORATED AND BREAKING AWAY FROM THE WALL TO THE EXTENT THAT THE OUTER 3-INCH LAYER--- THE BASIC WORK COVERED BY THE PURCHASE ORDER--- COULD NOT BE INSTALLED UNTIL THE INNER 3-INCH LAYER WAS REPLACED. IT APPEARS FURTHER THAT THE THURSTON COMPANY COORDINATED THE ADDITIONAL WORK THUS REQUIRED WITH GOVERNMENT REPRESENTATIVES AT FORT STORY AND, IN GOOD FAITH, PROCEEDED TO CORRECT THE LATENT CONDITION IN ORDER TO AVOID ANY DELAY IN THE WORK ORIGINALLY REQUIRED. IN THE MEANTIME, OR ON OR ABOUT OCTOBER 27, 1964, ANOTHER PURCHASE REQUEST AND COMMITMENT NO. FS-ENG-309-65 WAS INITIATED BY THE FORT STORY ENGINEER DIVISION IN THE AMOUNT OF $213.68 TO COVER THE ADDITIONAL CORRECTIVE WORK IN QUESTION. UPON RECEIPT OF THE PURCHASE REQUEST AND COMMITMENT ON NOVEMBER 3, 1964, THE PURCHASING AND CONTRACTING OFFICE AT FORT EUSTIS DID NOT RECOGNIZE IT AS AN ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENT APPLYING TO THE ORIGINAL PURCHASE ORDER NO. 65-5314 AND PROMPTLY PROCESSED IT IN ACCORDANCE WITH EXISTING PROCUREMENT POLICY BY SOLICITING BIDS FROM THREE FIRMS, INCLUDING YOUR COMPANY.

AS ABOVE INDICATED, THE CORRECTIVE WORK WHICH BECAME NECESSARY RESULTED SOLELY FROM A LATENT CONDITION THAT WAS DISCOVERED AFTER THE ORIGINAL WORK CALLED FOR BY PURCHASE ORDER NO. 65-5314 HAD COMMENCED, AND SINCE THE THURSTON COMPANY, THE ORIGINAL CONTRACTOR, WAS ON THE SITE OF THE WORK AT THAT TIME THERE WOULD APPEAR TO BE NOTHING IMPROPER IN AUTHORIZING THE PARTICULAR CONTRACTOR TO PERFORM THE WORK. SUCH ADDITIONAL CORRECTIVE WORK SHOULD HAVE BEEN AUTHORIZED BY A MODIFICATION TO PURCHASE ORDER NO. 65-5314 ISSUED TO THE THURSTON COMPANY. THERE CAN BE NO DOUBT THAT HAD THE PURCHASING AND CONTRACTING OFFICE AT FORT EUSTIS RECOGNIZED THE CORRECTIVE WORK SET FORTH ON PURCHASE REQUEST AND COMMITMENT NO. FS-ENG- 309-65, ISSUED BY FORT STORY, AS A SUPPLEMENTAL PURCHASE REQUEST TO PURCHASE ORDER NO. 65 5314, RATHER THAN AS A REQUEST FOR SEPARATE UNRELATED WORK, SUCH ADDITIONAL CORRECTIVE WORK WOULD HAVE BEEN AUTHORIZED AS A MODIFICATION TO THE PURCHASE ORDER WITHOUT ANY SOLICITATION OF BIDS. THUS, THE ACTION TAKEN RESULTED SOLELY FROM AN ERRONEOUS INTERPRETATION OR IDENTIFICATION OF THE REQUIREMENTS OF PURCHASE REQUEST AND COMMITMENT NO. FS-ENG-309-65, WHICH IN TURN MAY HAVE BEEN DUE TO A LACK OF ADMINISTRATIVE COORDINATION BETWEEN THE TWO ARMY INSTALLATIONS. THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY ADVISES THAT CORRECTIVE ACTION HAS BEEN TAKEN TO PRECLUDE A RECURRENCE OF A SIMILAR TYPE OF SITUATION IN THE FUTURE.

IT IS REGRETTABLE THAT YOU WERE INCONVENIENCED BY THIS INADVERTENT ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION BUT WE FIND NOTHING IN THE RECORD TO INDICATE ANY WILFULL INTENT ON THE PART OF THE ARMY TO DISCRIMINATE AGAINST ANY CONTRACTORS IN THIS REGARD.