B-156821, AUG. 24, 1965

B-156821: Aug 24, 1965

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TO FLIGHT EQUIPMENT AND ENGINEERING CORPORATION: REFERENCE IS MADE AGAIN TO YOUR LETTER OF MAY 27. YOU STATED THAT AWARD WAS MADE ON APRIL 30. NO NOTIFICATION WAS GIVEN TO THE SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION UNTIL MAY 4. YOU STATED THAT THE CONTRACT FOR 346 UNITS REQUIRED ON INVITATION FOR BIDS AMC -/W/-19-058-65-231 WAS AWARDED ON APRIL 30. WE FEEL THAT A BRIEF EXPLANATION WILL CLARIFY THE MATTER. AMC-/W/-19-058-65-231 (HEREINAFTER REFERRED TO AS IFB 231) WAS ISSUED ON FEBRUARY 18. REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS C E5-02 WAS ISSUED BY THE SPRINGFIELD ARMORY FOR THE MANUFACTURE OF 600 OF THE SAME TYPE AMMUNITION BOXES. AFTER YOUR PROPOSAL WAS OPENED ON MARCH 24. THE BIRMINGHAM PROCUREMENT DISTRICT WAS REQUESTED ON MARCH 30.

B-156821, AUG. 24, 1965

TO FLIGHT EQUIPMENT AND ENGINEERING CORPORATION:

REFERENCE IS MADE AGAIN TO YOUR LETTER OF MAY 27, 1965, IN WHICH YOU PROTESTED THE AWARD BY THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY OF CONTRACT NO. DA-19- 058-AMC-1009 (W) TO AMERICAN ALUMINUM COMPANY.

YOU STATED THAT AWARD WAS MADE ON APRIL 30, 1965, BUT NO NOTIFICATION WAS GIVEN TO THE SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION UNTIL MAY 4, 1965. IN YOUR LETTER DATED MAY 14, 1965, TO THE SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION, YOU STATED THAT THE CONTRACT FOR 346 UNITS REQUIRED ON INVITATION FOR BIDS AMC -/W/-19-058-65-231 WAS AWARDED ON APRIL 30, 1965. SINCE THESE STATEMENTS INDICATE SOME MISUNDERSTANDING ON YOUR PART AS TO THE FACTS, WE FEEL THAT A BRIEF EXPLANATION WILL CLARIFY THE MATTER.

INVITATION FOR BIDS NO. AMC-/W/-19-058-65-231 (HEREINAFTER REFERRED TO AS IFB 231) WAS ISSUED ON FEBRUARY 18, 1965, BY THE CONTRACTING OFFICER, SPRINGFIELD ARMORY, AND CALLED FOR THE MANUFACTURE OF 209 AMMUNITION BOXES. A SUBSEQUENT AMENDMENT ON MARCH 18, 1965, INCREASED THAT NUMBER TO 346 BOXES. ON MARCH 10, 1965, REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS C E5-02 WAS ISSUED BY THE SPRINGFIELD ARMORY FOR THE MANUFACTURE OF 600 OF THE SAME TYPE AMMUNITION BOXES. IN RESPONSE TO IFB 231 (346 UNITS), YOU SUBMITTED A BID OF $20,292.90 ON APRIL 2, 1965, AND IN RESPONSE TO RFP C-E5-02 (600 UNITS), YOU SUBMITTED A PROPOSAL OF $34,206 ON MARCH 22, 1965.

AFTER YOUR PROPOSAL WAS OPENED ON MARCH 24, 1965, THE BIRMINGHAM PROCUREMENT DISTRICT WAS REQUESTED ON MARCH 30, 1965, TO SUBMIT A REPORT AS TO YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO THE SPRINGFIELD ARMORY, PURSUANT TO ARMED SERVICES PROCUREMENT REGULATION 1-905.4. SUBSEQUENTLY, AFTER THE OPENING OF YOUR BID ON APRIL 6, 1965, A SIMILAR REQUEST WAS MADE TO THE BIRMINGHAM PROCUREMENT DISTRICT ON APRIL 7, 1965. APPARENTLY BECAUSE OF THE PROXIMITY IN TIME OF THE RECEIPT OF THESE REQUESTS, THE SAME PRE-AWARD SURVEY WAS UTILIZED AND WAS RETURNED TO THE ARMORY ON APRIL 20, 1965, RECOMMENDING AGAINST AWARD OF THE CONTRACTS TO YOUR COMPANY DUE TO THE ABSENCE OF DEMONSTRATED FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY.

THE RECORD REVEALS THAT THE PROCUREMENT UNDER RFP C-E5-02 HAD BEEN DETERMINED TO BE URGENT, THUS NECESSITATING AWARD WITHOUT INCURRING THE DELAY OF SUBMISSION TO THE SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION FOR THE ISSUANCE OF A CERTIFICATE OF COMPETENCY. THEREFORE, THE AWARD OF CONTRACT NO. DA- 19-058-AMC-1009/W) WAS MADE TO THE SECOND LOWEST BIDDER, AMERICAN ALUMINUM COMPANY, ON APRIL 30, 1965.

WITH REFERENCE TO IFB 231, HOWEVER, NO SUCH URGENCY EXISTED, AND THE MATTER WAS REFERRED TO THE SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION ON MAY 3, 1965, FOR A DETERMINATION AS TO WHETHER OR NOT A CERTIFICATE OF COMPETENCY WOULD BE ISSUED. APPARENTLY, THE SBA FORWARDED AN APPLICATION FOR CERTIFICATE OF COMPETENCY TO YOU, AND YOU FAILED TO COMPLETE IT WITHIN THE ALLOTTED TIME. FROM YOUR CORRESPONDENCE IN THE MATTER, IT APPEARS THAT DUE TO YOUR MISTAKEN IMPRESSION THAT THE AWARD OF APRIL 30, 1965, RESULTED FROM IFB 231, YOU DECIDED THAT COMPLETION OF THE APPLICATION WOULD SERVE NO USEFUL PURPOSE. IN ANY EVENT, UPON RECEIVING NOTIFICATION FROM THE SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION ON MAY 27, 1965, THAT A CERTIFICATE OF COMPETENCY WOULD NOT BE ISSUED, THE PROCUREMENT AGENCY AWARDED CONTRACT DA-19-058-AMC -1068/W) TO THE SECOND LOW BIDDER, ALSO AMERICAN ALUMINUM COMPANY ON JUNE 14, 1965.

THE AWARD OF CONTRACT DA-19-058-AMC-1009/W), THE SUBJECT OF YOUR PROTEST, WAS PROPER UNDER THE EXISTING CIRCUMSTANCES. THE PRE-AWARD SURVEY OF THE BIRMINGHAM PROCUREMENT DISTRICT DISCLOSED THAT YOUR COMPANY WAS NOT RESPONSIBLE WITH RESPECT TO CAPACITY OR CREDIT. THE CONTRACTING OFFICER ACCEPTED THE SURVEY AND THEREFORE DETERMINED TO REJECT YOUR PROPOSAL. A GENERAL RULE SUCH A DECISION IS PURELY AN ADMINISTRATIVE MATTER AND WILL NOT BE QUESTIONED BY OUR OFFICE WHERE, AS HERE,THERE IS NO CLEAR SHOWING OF BAD FAITH OR LACK OF A REASONABLE BASIS THEREFOR. 37 COMP. GEN. 430; ID. 676; ID. 798; 36 ID. 42. WHILE SECTION 1-705.4 (B) OF THE ARMED SERVICES PROCUREMENT REGULATION PROVIDES THAT IF A BID OR PROPOSAL OF A SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN IS TO BE REJECTED BECAUSE THE CONTRACTING OFFICER HAS FOUND THE BIDDER TO BE NONRESPONSIBLE AS TO CAPACITY OR CREDIT, THE SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION SHALL BE NOTIFIED IN ORDER FOR THEM TO MAKE A DETERMINATION AS TO WHETHER OR NOT A CERTIFICATE OF COMPETENCY SHALL BE ISSUED TO THE BIDDER ON THE PARTICULAR PROCUREMENT, SUBSECTION (I) PROVIDES THAT SUCH PROCEDURE IS NOT MANDATORY WHERE THE CONTRACTING OFFICER CERTIFIES IN WRITING THAT THE AWARD MUST BE MADE WITHOUT DELAY. THE FILE CONTAINS SUCH A CERTIFICATE, DATED APRIL 29, 1965; THEREFORE, THE DECISION OF THE CONTRACTING OFFICER TO AWARD THE CONTRACT WITHOUT SUBMISSION OF THE MATTER TO THE SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION WAS NOT IMPROPER. SEE IN THIS CONNECTION 38 COMP. GEN. 248.