B-158429, APR. 20, 1966

B-158429: Apr 20, 1966

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TO MARKET IRON AND METAL COMPANY: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED JANUARY 24. WAS IN VIOLATION OF 40 U.S.C. 484/I). WAS ISSUED ON DECEMBER 3. THREE BIDS WERE SUBMITTED IN RESPONSE TO THE INVITATION AND IT WAS DETERMINED THAT CONSTRUCTION AGGREGATES CORPORATION. AWARD WAS MADE TO THAT FIRM ON JANUARY 11. MARKET IRON PROTESTS THAT THE SALE SHOULD HAVE BEEN CONDUCTED BY THE MARITIME ADMINISTRATION PURSUANT TO TITLE 40 U.S.C. WHICH IS IDENTICAL TO 40 U.S.C. 484/I). THE FUNCTIONS DELEGATED TO THE COMMISSION UNDER THE ABOVE SECTION WERE TRANSFERRED TO THE FEDERAL MARITIME ADMINISTRATION. IT IS SEEN FROM THE ABOVE THAT SALES OF VESSELS WEIGHING IN EXCESS OF ONE THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED GROSS TONS NEED BE CONDUCTED BY THE MARITIME ADMINISTRATION ONLY IN INSTANCES WHERE THE SHIP BEING SOLD IS A MERCHANT VESSEL OR ONE CAPABLE OF CONVERSION TO MERCHANT USE.

B-158429, APR. 20, 1966

TO MARKET IRON AND METAL COMPANY:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED JANUARY 24, 1966, PROTESTING THAT SALE CIVENG-36-109-S-66-5 ON JANUARY 5, 1966, CONDUCTED BY THE U.S. ARMY ENGINEER DISTRICT, PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA, WAS IN VIOLATION OF 40 U.S.C. 484/I), PUBLIC LAW 81-152, AND THE MERCHANT MARINE ACT OF 1936, AS AMENDED.

THE ABOVE-REFERENCED INVITATION SUBSEQUENTLY TWICE AMENDED, WAS ISSUED ON DECEMBER 3, 1965, REQUESTING BIDS FOR THE PURCHASE OF THE SURPLUS SUMP REHANDLER NEW ORLEANS, LESS CERTAIN EQUIPMENT RESERVED FOR FURTHER GOVERNMENT USE. THREE BIDS WERE SUBMITTED IN RESPONSE TO THE INVITATION AND IT WAS DETERMINED THAT CONSTRUCTION AGGREGATES CORPORATION, CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, HAD SUBMITTED THE HIGHEST RESPONSIBLE AND RESPONSIVE BID. ACCORDINGLY, AWARD WAS MADE TO THAT FIRM ON JANUARY 11, 1966, UNDER CONTRACT NO. DA-/S/-36-109-CIVENG-66-21. AS OF THIS DATE THE CONTRACTOR HAS TAKEN POSSESSION OF THE VESSEL AND HAS TRANSFERRED IT TO THE SUN SHIPBUILDING AND DRY DOCK COMPANY, CHESTER, PENNSYLVANIA, FOR THE REMOVAL OF GOVERNMENT EQUIPMENT. IT SHOULD BE NOTED THAT THE PROTESTANT, MARKET IRON AND METAL COMPANY, DID NOT SUBMIT A BID FOR THE PURCHASE OF THE NEW ORLEANS.

SPECIFICALLY, MARKET IRON PROTESTS THAT THE SALE SHOULD HAVE BEEN CONDUCTED BY THE MARITIME ADMINISTRATION PURSUANT TO TITLE 40 U.S.C., SECTION 484/I) AND IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF THE MERCHANT MARINE ACT OF 1936, AS AMENDED. THE INVITATION CITED AS AUTHORITY FOR THE SALE THE FEDERAL PROPERTY AND ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES ACT OF 1949, AS AMENDED. SECTION 203 (I) OF THE ACT, WHICH IS IDENTICAL TO 40 U.S.C. 484/I), PROVIDES:

"THE UNITED STATES MARITIME COMMISSION SHALL DISPOSE OF SURPLUS VESSELS OF ONE THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED GROSS TONS OR MORE WHICH THE COMMISSION DETERMINES TO BE MERCHANT VESSELS OR CAPABLE OF CONVERSION TO MERCHANT USE, AND SUCH VESSELS SHALL DISPOSED OF ONLY IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF THE MERCHANT MARINE ACT, 1936, AS AMENDED, AND OTHER LAWS AUTHORIZING THE SALE OF SUCH VESSELS.'

PURSUANT TO REORGANIZATION PLAN NO. 21, 1950, 64 STAT. 1273, THE FUNCTIONS DELEGATED TO THE COMMISSION UNDER THE ABOVE SECTION WERE TRANSFERRED TO THE FEDERAL MARITIME ADMINISTRATION.

IT IS SEEN FROM THE ABOVE THAT SALES OF VESSELS WEIGHING IN EXCESS OF ONE THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED GROSS TONS NEED BE CONDUCTED BY THE MARITIME ADMINISTRATION ONLY IN INSTANCES WHERE THE SHIP BEING SOLD IS A MERCHANT VESSEL OR ONE CAPABLE OF CONVERSION TO MERCHANT USE. IN THIS REGARD, THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE HAS BEEN INFORMED BY THE FEDERAL MARITIME ADMINISTRATION THAT DREDGES GENERALLY ARE NOT CONSIDERED MERCHANT VESSELS OR VESSELS CAPABLE OF CONVERSION TO MERCHANT USE WITHIN THE MEANING OF SECTION 203/I) AND, SPECIFICALLY, THIS IS THE CASE WITH THE SUBJECT VESSEL.

IN VIEW OF THE FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES INVOLVED HEREIN, YOUR PROTEST IS DENIED.