B-156318, APR. 30, 1965

B-156318: Apr 30, 1965

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TO INDUSTRIAL DISTRIBUTING COMPANY: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 8. THE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION ADVISED THAT AWARD WAS NOT MADE TO THE CONTRACTORS COMPANY AND THAT THE SUBJECT INVITATION HAS BEEN CANCELLED. THIS DECISION TO CANCEL WAS MADE AFTER IT WAS FOUND THAT THE PACKING SPECIFICATIONS IN PARAGRAPHS 2 AND 3 OF ATTACHMENT H WERE AMBIGUOUS. IT IS NOTED THAT FIVE OF THE SIX BIDDERS CONSIDERED IT WAS NECESSARY TO MAKE COMMENTS IN THEIR BIDS WITH RESPECT TO THE PACKING. INDICATING THAT THE SPECIFICATIONS WERE NOT CLEAR. THE FACTS SHOW THAT THE INVITATION WAS MATERIALLY DEFECTIVE AND MISLEADING. THE CONTRACTING OFFICER APPARENTLY WOULD HAVE REFUSED TO CONSIDER YOUR BID FOR AWARD FOR THE FOLLOWING REASONS: "IT SHOULD BE NOTED THAT INDUSTRIAL'S BID WAS ON A BASIS OF $21.40 PER ONE UNIT FOR ITEM 1.

B-156318, APR. 30, 1965

TO INDUSTRIAL DISTRIBUTING COMPANY:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 8, 1965, PROTESTING AWARD OF A CONTRACT TO THE CONTRACTORS TRADING AND EQUIPMENT COMPANY UNDER INVITATION FOR BIDS NO. GSA-BY-ID-F-12937 A/DD2.

IN THEIR REPORT DATED APRIL 14, 1965, THE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION ADVISED THAT AWARD WAS NOT MADE TO THE CONTRACTORS COMPANY AND THAT THE SUBJECT INVITATION HAS BEEN CANCELLED. THIS DECISION TO CANCEL WAS MADE AFTER IT WAS FOUND THAT THE PACKING SPECIFICATIONS IN PARAGRAPHS 2 AND 3 OF ATTACHMENT H WERE AMBIGUOUS, INCONSISTENT, AND DID NOT CORRECTLY EXPRESS THE ACTUAL PACKING REQUIREMENTS. IT IS NOTED THAT FIVE OF THE SIX BIDDERS CONSIDERED IT WAS NECESSARY TO MAKE COMMENTS IN THEIR BIDS WITH RESPECT TO THE PACKING, INDICATING THAT THE SPECIFICATIONS WERE NOT CLEAR.

ALTHOUGH WE VIEW CANCELLATION OF AN INVITATION AFTER OPENING AS A SERIOUS MATTER, WHERE, AS HERE, THE FACTS SHOW THAT THE INVITATION WAS MATERIALLY DEFECTIVE AND MISLEADING, THE AGENCY GENERALLY HAS NO CHOICE BUT TO REJECT ALL BIDS AND CANCEL THE INVITATION. B-154476, SEPTEMBER 18, 1964.

IN ANY EVENT, HOWEVER, THE CONTRACTING OFFICER APPARENTLY WOULD HAVE REFUSED TO CONSIDER YOUR BID FOR AWARD FOR THE FOLLOWING REASONS:

"IT SHOULD BE NOTED THAT INDUSTRIAL'S BID WAS ON A BASIS OF $21.40 PER ONE UNIT FOR ITEM 1, AND $22.31 FOR ITEM 2. THE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION STORES STOCK CATALOG PRICES FOR SIMILAR ITEMS ARE $16.00 AND $22.00 RESPECTIVELY. INDUSTRIAL'S PRICES WERE QUOTED DELIVERED AT WEST COAST PORTS FROM WHICH OVERSEAS TRANSPORTATION BY SURFACE VESSELS TO AFRICA IS NOT REASONABLY AVAILABLE. THE WHEELBARROWS ARE SIMILAR TO ITEMS REGULARLY CARRIED IN OUR STORES STOCK SYSTEM AND PURCHASED IN SUBSTANTIALLY SMALLER VOLUME. IN VIEW OF OUR PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE WITH THE COMMODITY, THE LOW PRICE QUOTED BY CONTRACTORS TRADING AND EQUIPMENT COMPANY, THE LARGE VOLUME INVOLVED IN THIS CASE, AND THE EXCESSIVE AMOUNT OF OVERSEAS TRANSPORTATION WHICH WOULD HAVE BEEN NECESSARY IN THE CASE OF AN AWARD TO INDUSTRIAL, IT COULD REASONABLY HAVE BEEN CONCLUDED THAT THE INDUSTRIAL PRICES WERE NOT REASONABLE.'

BASED ON THE FOREGOING, WE HAVE NO ALTERNATIVE BUT TO DENY YOUR PROTEST.