B-159422, AUG. 15, 1966

B-159422: Aug 15, 1966

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TO TRENTON WINDOW CLEANING COMPANY: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR TELEGRAM OF JUNE 13 AND LETTER DATED JUNE 14. THE BUILDINGS WERE GROUPED UNDER THREE SEPARATE ITEMS AND BIDDERS WERE REQUESTED TO BID A SEPARATE MONTHLY CHARGE FOR EACH ITEM. THREE BIDS WERE RECEIVED AS FOLLOWS: TABLE TOTAL ITEM 1 ITEM 2 ITEM 3 FOR YEAR KLEEN-RITE JANITORIAL SERVICE. AN AWARD WAS MADE TO KLEEN-RITE JANITORIAL SERVICE. YOU PROTESTED THE MAKING OF ANY AWARD TO EITHER OF THE TWO OTHER BIDDERS ON THE GROUND THAT "WE THINK ALL OTHER BIDDERS DON-T KNOW WHAT THEY ARE BIDDING ON AND CANNOT PERFORM SATISFACTORILY AT THE PRICES THEY BID.'. HAS QUOTED PRICES WHICH ARE 7 PERCENT HIGHER THAN THE PRICES QUOTED BY IT THE PREVIOUS YEAR.

B-159422, AUG. 15, 1966

TO TRENTON WINDOW CLEANING COMPANY:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR TELEGRAM OF JUNE 13 AND LETTER DATED JUNE 14, 1966, PROTESTING THE AWARD OF A CONTRACT TO A COMPANY OTHER THAN YOUR FIRM UNDER DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE INVITATION FOR BIDS NO. S AND O 28-609-66-70, ISSUED BY THE BASE PROCUREMENT OFFICE, MCGUIRE AIR FORCE BASE, NEW JERSEY.

THE INVITATION REQUESTED BIDS FOR FURNISHING CERTAIN SPECIFIED CUSTODIAL SERVICES FOR A NUMBER OF BUILDINGS AT THE MCGUIRE AIR FORCE BASE DURING THE PERIOD BEGINNING JULY 1, 1966, AND ENDING JUNE 30, 1967. THE BUILDINGS WERE GROUPED UNDER THREE SEPARATE ITEMS AND BIDDERS WERE REQUESTED TO BID A SEPARATE MONTHLY CHARGE FOR EACH ITEM. THREE BIDS WERE RECEIVED AS FOLLOWS:

TABLE

TOTAL

ITEM 1 ITEM 2 ITEM 3 FOR YEAR

KLEEN-RITE JANITORIAL

SERVICE, INC. $ 6,800 $ 940 $ 2,530 $123,240

MANPOWER, INC. 7,675 1,197 3,163 144,420

TRENTON WINDOW CLEANING

COMPANY 99,330 NO BID 90,288 --

PER YEAR PER YEAR

ON JUNE 30, 1966, AN AWARD WAS MADE TO KLEEN-RITE JANITORIAL SERVICE, INC.

YOU PROTESTED THE MAKING OF ANY AWARD TO EITHER OF THE TWO OTHER BIDDERS ON THE GROUND THAT "WE THINK ALL OTHER BIDDERS DON-T KNOW WHAT THEY ARE BIDDING ON AND CANNOT PERFORM SATISFACTORILY AT THE PRICES THEY BID.' YOU STATE THAT THE SERVICE CONTRACT ACT OF 1965, 79 STAT. 1034, 41 U.S.C. 351- 357, APPLIES TO THIS CONTRACT AND THAT PURSUANT TO THE PROVISIONS OF THIS ACT, THE CONTRACTOR MUST PAY A MINIMUM WAGE OF $2.01 PER HOUR TO ITS WORKERS. YOU ALLEGE THAT FOR THE BUILDINGS COVERED BY ITEM 3 THE APPARENT LOW BIDDER, KLEEN-RITE, HAS QUOTED PRICES WHICH ARE 7 PERCENT HIGHER THAN THE PRICES QUOTED BY IT THE PREVIOUS YEAR, WHEREAS THE SERVICE CONTRACT ACT OF 1965 REQUIRES A MINIMUM WAGE INCREASE OF 61 PERCENT ON THESE BUILDINGS. YOU CONTEND THAT ON THE BASES OF THE MINIMUM WAGES TO BE PAID UNDER THAT ACT AND THE WORK TO BE PERFORMED, IT IS NOT POSSIBLE FOR ANY CONTRACTOR TO PERFORM THE WORK AT PRICES LOWER THAN YOUR PRESENT BID PRICES.

IN REGARD TO YOUR ALLEGATIONS, THE CONTRACTING OFFICER STATES IN HIS REPORT OF JUNE 20, 1966, AS FOLLOWS:

"INASMUCH AS THIS IS A FORMALLY ADVERTISED PROCUREMENT WITH A CONTEMPLATED FIXED PRICE CONTRACT TO BE AWARDED, A COST ANALYSIS IS NOT REQUIRED FROM BIDDERS AND IT CANNOT BE DETERMINED HOW THE TWO LOW BIDDERS, WHOSE BIDS ARE COMPETITIVE, ARRIVED AT THEIR BID PRICES. HOWEVER, INASMUCH AS THE LOW BIDDER, KLEEN-RITE JANITORIAL SERVICE, INC. IS THE PRESENT CONTRACTOR; THAT THIS COMPANY HAS PERFORMED ON THE PRESENT CONTRACT FOR THE PAST YEAR IN AN EXCELLENT MANNER WITH NO COMPLAINTS PERTAINING TO ITS PERFORMANCE; THAT THE WORK AREAS, BUILDINGS, REQUIREMENTS AND SPECIFICATIONS FOR S AND O 28-609-66-70 ARE IDENTICAL IN ALL RESPECTS AS THE CURRENT CONTRACT; AND THAT THE TOTAL CONTRACT PRICE OF THE CURRENT CONTRACT IS $82,200.00 COMPARED TO THE CONTRACTOR'S TOTAL BID OF $123,240.00 ON S AND O 28-609-66-70, WHICH OBVIOUSLY REFLECTS THE INCLUSION OF INCREASED COSTS GENERATED BY THE MINIMUM HOURLY WAGE INCREASE FROM $1.25 PER HOUR TO $2.01 PER HOUR RESULTING FROM THE APPLICABILITY OF THE SERVICE CONTRACT ACT OF 1965 AND WHICH THE LOW BIDDER VERIFIES AS HAVING BEEN INCLUDED IN HIS BID; IT IS THE CONCLUSION OF THE UNDERSIGNED THAT NO BASIS IN FACT EXISTS TO SUPPORT THE PROTEST.'

IN CIRCUMSTANCES WHERE, AS HERE, AN APPARENTLY RESPONSIBLE BIDDER HAS VERIFIED ITS BID PRICES, THIS OFFICE WOULD NOT BE LEGALLY JUSTIFIED IN QUESTIONING THE VALIDITY OF THE BID ON THE GROUND THAT IT IS SUBSTANTIALLY LOWER THAN OTHER BIDS. FURTHER, IN RESPECT TO YOUR COMPLAINT AS TO THE MANNER IN WHICH KLEEN-RITE WILL PERFORM ITS CONTRACT, THIS OFFICE DOES NOT OVERSEE THE PERFORMANCE OF GOVERNMENT CONTRACTS. THAT IS THE FUNCTION OF THE COGNIZABLE PROCUREMENT AGENCY WHICH IS CHARGED WITH THE RESPONSIBILITY OF ADMINISTERING ITS CONTRACTS IN ACCORDANCE WITH THEIR TERMS AND CONDITIONS.

ACCORDINGLY, WE FIND NO BASIS FOR QUESTIONING THE ACTION TAKEN BY THE MCGUIRE AIR FORCE BASE IN AWARDING THE CONTRACT INVOLVED TO KLEEN-RITE JANITORIAL SERVICE, INC., AND YOUR PROTEST MUST THEREFORE BE DENIED.