B-159554, SEP. 2, 1966

B-159554: Sep 2, 1966

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CHRISMAN AND ASSOCIATES: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 23. YOUR LETTER READS AS FOLLOWS: "SHORTLY AFTER THE ABOVE REFERENCED INVITATION FOR BID WAS RECEIVED. AFTER OUR BID WAS PREPARED AND MAILED. OUR BID GUARANTEE WAS IN THE FORM OF INDIVIDUAL SURETIES DATED 8 JUNE 1966. AS OF THIS DATE ARE NOT FINANCIALLY OBLIGATED TO THE U.S. THE INDIVIDUAL SURETIES WERE WORTH THE AMOUNT OF THE BID GUARANTEE. "THE BID GUARANTEE MERELY GUARANTEES THAT WE CAN AND WILL EXECUTE SUCH FURTHER CONTRACTUAL DOCUMENTS AND BONDS AS MAY BE REQUIRED BY THE BID AS ACCEPTED. "THE FULL AMOUNT OF THE BID GUARANTEE IS AVAILABLE TOWARD OFFSETTING SUCH DIFFERENCE. "FAILURE TO AWARD THIS CONTRACT TO US WILL COST THE GOVERNMENT AT LEAST $21.

B-159554, SEP. 2, 1966

TO JOHN R. CHRISMAN AND ASSOCIATES:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 23, 1966, ADDRESSED TO THE DIRECTOR OF PROCUREMENT, FORT BELVOIR, VIRGINIA, PROTESTING AGAINST THE REJECTION OF A BID SUBMITTED BY YOU UNDER INVITATION FOR BIDS NO. DABB19- 66-B-0080, ISSUED MAY 19, 1966, BY THE PROCUREMENT OFFICE, FORT BELVOIR. YOUR LETTER READS AS FOLLOWS:

"SHORTLY AFTER THE ABOVE REFERENCED INVITATION FOR BID WAS RECEIVED, THE UNDERSIGNED REQUESTED A RULING FROM THE DIRECTOR OF PROCUREMENT, FORT BELVOIR, VIRGINIA TO DETERMINE THE ACCEPTABILITY OF OUR BID GUARANTEE. LATE ON FRIDAY, 17 JUNE 1966, AFTER OUR BID WAS PREPARED AND MAILED, WE RECEIVED A PARTIAL RULING.

"WHEN WE SUBMITTED OUR BID, OUR BID GUARANTEE WAS IN THE FORM OF INDIVIDUAL SURETIES DATED 8 JUNE 1966. THESE TWO INDIVIDUAL SURETIES AS OF THAT DATE, AS OF THE DATE OF THE BID OPENING, AND AS OF THIS DATE ARE NOT FINANCIALLY OBLIGATED TO THE U.S. GOVERNMENT FOR ONE DOLLAR THAT COULD BE DEDUCTED FROM THEIR NET WORTH. THE INDIVIDUAL SURETIES WERE WORTH THE AMOUNT OF THE BID GUARANTEE, DULY CERTIFIED BY THE BANK PRESIDENT AND NOTARIZED.

"THE BID GUARANTEE MERELY GUARANTEES THAT WE CAN AND WILL EXECUTE SUCH FURTHER CONTRACTUAL DOCUMENTS AND BONDS AS MAY BE REQUIRED BY THE BID AS ACCEPTED. WE STAND READY, WILLING, AND ABLE TO FURNISH PERFORMANCE BOND AND PAYMENT BOND WITH GOOD AND SUFFICIENT SURETY OR SURETIES ACCEPTABLE TO THE GOVERNMENT.

"THE FULL AMOUNT OF THE BID GUARANTEE IS AVAILABLE TOWARD OFFSETTING SUCH DIFFERENCE, AS OF THIS DATE, FOR ANY COST FOR PROCURING THE WORK WHICH EXCEEDS THE AMOUNT OF OUR BID.

"FAILURE TO AWARD THIS CONTRACT TO US WILL COST THE GOVERNMENT AT LEAST $21,000.00.

"IT IS THEREFORE REQUESTED THAT IMMEDIATE ACTION BE TAKEN TO INSURE THE PROPER AWARD OF THIS CONTRACT TO THE LOWEST RESPONSIVE, RESPONSIBLE BIDDER, NAMELY: JOHN R. CHRISMAN AND ASSOCIATES.'

THE IFB, WHICH WAS MAILED TO 46 FIRMS, SOLICITED BIDS TO FURNISH MESS ATTENDANT SERVICES DURING THE PERIOD JULY 1, 1966, TO JUNE 30, 1967, INCLUSIVE, TO 17 MESS HALLS SERVING THE OFFICER'S CANDIDATE REGIMENT, FORT BELVOIR. NINE OF THE MESS HALLS WERE SCHEDULED TO COMMENCE OPERATION ON JULY 1, 1966, AND THE OTHER EIGHT MESS HALLS WERE SCHEDULED TO BE PHASED IN ON VARIOUS SUBSEQUENT DATES DURING THE CONTRACT PERIOD. BIDDERS WERE REQUESTED TO QUOTE A BASE UNIT PRICE PER MESS HALL AND A UNIT PRICE PER INCREMENT. EACH INCREMENT CONSISTED OF 25 RATIONS PER MONTH OR MAJOR FRACTION THEREOF, AND EACH RATION CONSISTED OF 3 MEALS PER DAY (BREAKFAST, DINNER AND SUPPER). FOR EACH MESS HALL, AN ESTIMATED NUMBER OF RATIONS SERVED PER DAY WAS STATED TOGETHER WITH AN AVERAGE NUMBER OF INCREMENTS ON WHICH BIDS WERE TO BE BASED.

ON PAGE 9 OF THE IFB, SPECIAL PROVISION 24 INCLUDED THE FOLLOWING PERTINENT LANGUAGE:

"A. BID GUARANTEE SHALL BE SUBMITTED WITH ANY BID IN EXCESS OF $2,000.00. BID GUARANTEE SHALL BE 20 PERCENT OF TOTAL AMOUNT OF ESTIMATED BID.

"WHERE A BID GUARANTEE IS REQUIRED BY THE INVITATION FOR BIDS, FAILURE TO FURNISH A BID GUARANTEE IN THE PROPER FORM AND AMOUNT, BY THE TIME SET FOR OPENING OF BIDS, MAY BE CAUSE FOR REJECTION OF THE BID.'

ON JUNE 21, THE EXTENDED DATE OF BID OPENING, ONLY TWO BIDS, YOUR BID, IN AN ESTIMATED TOTAL AMOUNT OF $856,778.93, AND A BID FROM MANPOWER, INC. (MANPOWER), IN AN ESTIMATED TOTAL AMOUNT OF $885,904.05, HAD BEEN RECEIVED BY THE PROCURING ACTIVITY. YOUR BID WAS ACCOMPANIED BY A BID BOND IN THE AMOUNT OF $175,000 BEARING THE SIGNATURES OF SAM J. FERTITTA AND ROSE J. FERTITTA, AS INDIVIDUAL SURETIES, AND STATING THAT EACH SURETY WAS JOINTLY AND SEVERALLY LIABLE FOR THE FULL AMOUNT OF THE PENAL SUM OF THE BOND. THE FINANCIAL INFORMATION FURNISHED BY THE SURETIES ON STANDARD FORMS 28, AFFIDAVIT OF INDIVIDUAL SURETY, READS, IN ESSENCE, AS FOLLOWS:

CHART

SAM J. FERTITTA ROSE J. FERTITTA

GROSS ASSETS $315,000.00 $285,000.00

(*/LESS OTHER BONDS 133,634.76 133,634.76

NET WORTH $181,365.24 $151,365.24

(OR MINUS LIABILITIES

NOT DEDUCTED FROM

GROSS ASSETS) 15,000.00 10,000.00

NET WORTH $166,365.24 $141,365.24

(*/$61,661.58, PAYMENT AND PERFORMANCE BONDS UNDER FORT BELVOIR CONTRACT NO. DABB19-66-C-4240, AND $71,973.18, PAYMENT AND PERFORMANCE BONDS UNDER FORT BELVOIR CONTRACT NO. DABB19-66-C-4255.

EXAMINATION OF THE RECORDS OF THE TWO CONTRACTS CITED ON THE STANDARD FORMS 28 REVEALED THAT THE ACTUAL BOND LIABILITY OF EACH SURETY WAS DOUBLE THE AMOUNT REPORTED FOR EACH CONTRACT; THAT IS, EACH SURETY WAS LIABLE IN THE AMOUNT OF $61,661.58 ON A PAYMENT BOND AND IN AN EQUAL AMOUNT OF A PERFORMANCE BOND, TOTAL $123,323.16, UNDER CONTRACT NO. DABB19-66-C-4240, AND IN THE AMOUNT OF $71,973.18 ON A PAYMENT BOND AND IN AN EQUAL AMOUNT ON A PERFORMANCE BOND, TOTAL $143,946.36, UNDER CONTRACT NO. DABB19-66-C- 4255, MAKING A TOTAL "OTHER BONDS" LIABILITY OF $267, 269.52 EACH. ACCORDINGLY, THE NET WORTH OF THE SURETIES WAS RECOMPUTED BY THE CONTRACTING OFFICER, AS FOLLOWS:

CHART

SAM J. FERTITTA ROSE J. FERTITTA

GROSS ASSETS $315,000.00 $285,000.00

LESS OTHER BONDS 267,269.52 267,269.52

NET WORTH $ 47,430.48 $ 17,730.48

(OR MINUS LIABILITIES NOT

DEDUCTED FROM GROSS ASSETS) 15,000.00 10,000.00

NET WORTH $ 32,730.48 $ 7,730.48

IN THE LIGHT OF THE FOREGOING, THE JOINT AND SEVERAL LIABILITY OF THE SURETIES COULD NOT EXCEED $7,730.48, THE AMOUNT OF ROSE J. FERITTA'S NET WORTH. IN VIEW OF THE PROVISIONS OF ARMED SERVICES PROCUREMENT REGULATION (ASPR) 10-201.2/C), WHICH STATE THAT THE LIABILITY OF EACH INDIVIDUAL SURETY SHALL EXTEND TO THE ENTIRE PENAL AMOUNT OF THE BOND, AND ASPR 10- 201.2/D), WHICH STATES, AMONG OTHER THINGS, THAT EACH INDIVIDUAL SURETY WILL BE JOINTLY AND SEVERALLY LIABLE IN THE EVENT OF DEFAULT BY THE PRINCIPAL AND MUST LIST ON STANDARD FORM 28 A NET WORTH AT LEAST EQUAL TO THE TOTAL PENAL AMOUNT OF THE BOND OR CONSENT OF SURETY, THE CONTRACTING OFFICER DETERMINED THAT YOUR BID BOND WAS INADEQUATE. FURTHER, INASMUCH AS THE DIFFERENCE OF $29,609.20 BETWEEN YOUR LOW BID AND MANPOWER'S BID EXCEEDED THE $7,730.48 NET WORTH OF ROSE J. FERTITTA, IT WAS ALSO DETERMINED THAT THE EXCEPTION IN ASPR 10-102.5/II) PERMITTING ACCEPTANCE OF A DEFICIENT BID GUARANTEE WHICH IS EQUAL TO OR IN EXCESS OF THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE AMOUNT STATED IN THE BID AND THE AMOUNT OF THE NEXT HIGHER ACCEPTABLE BID WAS NOT APPLICABLE. ACCORDINGLY, IN A TELEPHONE CONVERSATION OF JUNE 23, THE CONTRACTING OFFICER NOTIFIED YOU OF THE INADEQUACY OF YOUR BID BOND AND THE NECESSITY FOR REJECTION OF YOUR BID, PURSUANT TO ASPR 2-404.2, RELATING TO REJECTION OF INDIVIDUAL BIDS, AND 10 -102.5, RELATING TO NONCOMPLIANCE WITH BID GUARANTEE REQUIREMENTS, AS NONRESPONSIVE. BY LETTER DATED JUNE 24, CONFIRMING SUCH CONVERSATION, THE CONTRACTING OFFICER ALSO SET FORTH THE FINANCIAL ANALYSIS OF THE ACTUAL NET WORTH OF EACH OF THE SURETIES ON YOUR BID BOND.

FOLLOWING IS A SUMMARY OF THE VARIOUS ISSUES RAISED IN YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 23 AND THE COMMENTS THEREON BY THE CONTRACTING OFFICER:

1. PREBID REQUEST BY YOUR REPRESENTATIVE FOR A RULING REGARDING ACCEPTABILITY OF BID GUARANTEE.

APPROXIMATELY THE LAST WEEK OF MAY 1966, YOUR REPRESENTATIVE AT FORT BELVOIR ON THE TWO CONTRACTS CITED ON THE AFFIDAVITS EXECUTED BY YOUR BID BOND SURETIES VISITED THE PROCUREMENT OFFICE, FORT BELVOIR, AND INQUIRED OF THE CONTRACT ADMINISTRATOR WHETHER THE PENAL SUM OF THE PERFORMANCE AND PAYMENT BONDS ON SUCH CONTRACTS COULD BE REDUCED IN PROPORTION TO THE REMAINING CONTRACT PERIOD OF APPROXIMATELY SIX AND ONE-HALF MONTHS. THE CONTRACT ADMINISTRATOR REFERRED YOUR REPRESENTATIVE TO THE STAFF JUDGE ADVOCATE OFFICE, WASHINGTON, D.C., WHICH, IN TURN, APPARENTLY ADVISED YOUR REPRESENTATIVE THAT THE DECISION IN THE MATTER RESTED WITH THE CONTRACTING OFFICER.

APPROXIMATELY THE FIRST WEEK OF JUNE 1966, YOUR REPRESENTATIVE TELEPHONED THE CONTRACTING OFFICER AND INQUIRED WHETHER A PORTION OF THE SURETIES NOW APPLICABLE TO YOUR TWO JANITORIAL CONTRACTS COULD BE REDUCED TO COVER THE AMOUNT OF CONTRACTS YET TO BE PERFORMED (AS OF ABOUT JULY 1) AND WHETHER THE AMOUNT THEREBY RELEASED COULD BE APPLIED TO PERFORMANCE COVERAGE IF YOU WERE A SUCCESSFUL BIDDER ON ONE OF THE NEW MESS CONTRACTS. THE INQUIRY WAS RELATED ONLY TO PERFORMANCE BOND COVERAGE, WITH NO TIE-IN BEING MADE TO BID BONDS, A FACT WHICH IS CONSIDERED TO BE SUBSTANTIATED BY THE FACT THAT THE BID BOND AND SUPPORTING AFFIDAVITS OF YOUR SURETIES WERE EXECUTED ON JUNE 8, 1966, WHEREAS THE PREBID INQUIRY WAS RELATED TO PERFORMANCE BONDS EFFECTIVE AT A SUBSEQUENT DATE. THE CONTRACTING OFFICER ADVISED YOUR REPRESENTATIVE BY TELEPHONE ON JUNE 17 THAT, BASED ON LEGAL OPINION, THE SURETIES ON EXISTING CONTRACTS COULD NOT BE REDUCED AND RECOMMENDED CONSIDERATION OF CORPORATE SURETIES.

THE LEGAL OPINION IN QUESTION, RENDERED BY THE JUDGE ADVOCATE GENERAL'S OFFICE, CITED JAGT 1957/1758, FEBRUARY 8, 1957, FOR THE PRINCIPLE THAT THE RELEASE OF THE GOVERNMENT'S RIGHTS UNDER AN EXISTING PERFORMANCE OR PAYMENT BOND PRIOR TO (OR AFTER) COMPLETION OF THE CONTRACT WITHOUT CONSIDERATION IS OUTSIDE THE AUTHORITY OF THE CONTRACTING OFFICER AND JAGT 1954/6673, AUGUST 26, 1954, AND ASPR 10 111.1, RELATING TO ADDITIONAL BOND COVERAGE WHEN CONTRACT MODIFICATION IS EFFECTED, FOR THE PREMISE THAT COMPLETION OF ALL OR A PORTION OF A NONCONSTRUCTION CONTRACT DOES NOT PERMIT RELEASE OF EXISTING BOND COVERAGE SINCE CLAIMS MAY BE PRESENTED UNDER THE BOND AFTER CONTRACT COMPLETION AND ACCEPTANCE. IN ADDITION, THE LEGAL OPINION CITED ASPR 10-104.1/B) FOR THE RULE THAT PREAWARD WAIVER OF PERFORMANCE AND PAYMENT BONDS FOR OTHER THAN CONSTRUCTION CONTRACTS REQUIRED BY A SOLICITATION IS PROHIBITED WHERE PREJUDICIAL TO OTHER BIDDERS AND WHERE THE CONTRACT PRICE IS NOT REDUCED.

2. NEITHER SURETY WAS FINANCIALLY OBLIGATED TO THE GOVERNMENT FOR ONE DOLLAR THAT COULD BE DEDUCTED FROM THEIR NET WORTH AT THE DATE YOUR BID WAS SUBMITTED, THE DATE OF BID OPENING, AND THE DATE OF YOUR PROTEST LETTER; FURTHER, EACH SURETY WAS WORTH THE AMOUNT OF THE BID GUARANTEE AS DULY CERTIFIED BY A BANK PRESIDENT AND NOTARIZED.

EACH SURETY HAS SHOWN LIABILITY ON OTHER BONDS UNDER TWO CURRENT CONTRACTS, ONE OF WHICH EXPIRES DECEMBER 31, 1966, AND THE OTHER ON JANUARY 31, 1967. ON SUCH BONDS, SUCH SURETY IS JOINTLY AND SEVERALLY LIABLE FOR THE PENAL SUMS THEREOF IN ACCORDANCE WITH ASPR 10-201.2/C) AND (D). IN ADDITION, THE CERTIFICATES OF SUFFICIENCY EXECUTED BY THE BANK OFFICIAL FOR EACH SURETY DO NOT EVIDENCE THE MAKING OF THE PERSONAL INVESTIGATION REQUIRED BY INSTRUCTION 4 ON THE REVERSE OF STANDARD FORM 28, IN THAT THE ACCURACY OF THE OTHER SURETY OBLIGATIONS APPARENTLY WAS NOT VERIFIED.

BID GUARANTEE MERELY GUARANTEES THAT BIDDER CAN AND WILL EXECUTE SUCH FURTHER CONTRACTUAL DOCUMENTS AND BONDS AS MAY BE REQUIRED BY THE BID AS ACCEPTED, AND YOU STAND READY, WILLING, AND ABLE TO FURNISH PERFORMANCE AND PAYMENT BONDS WITH GOOD AND SUFFICIENT SURETY OR SURETIES ACCEPTABLE TO THE GOVERNMENT.

THE BID GUARANTEE IS NOT MERELY A GUARANTEE THAT FURTHER CONTRACTUAL DOCUMENTS AND BONDS WILL BE EXECUTED, BUT IS A GUARANTEE THAT THE BID BOND WILL BE IN AN AMOUNT ADEQUATE TO PROTECT THE GOVERNMENT FROM LOSS SHOULD THE SUCCESSFUL BIDDER FAIL TO EXECUTE SUCH FURTHER CONTRACTUAL DOCUMENTS AND BONDS AS MAY BE REQUIRED AFTERWARD. FURTHER, YOUR STATEMENT OF WILLINGNESS AND ABILITY TO FURNISH PERFORMANCE AND PAYMENT BONDS IS IRRELEVANT AND IMMATERIAL SINCE YOU WERE NOT RESPONSIVE TO THE BID GUARANTEE REQUIREMENT, SET FORTH IN ACCORDANCE WITH ASPR 10-102.4, WHICH CONSTITUTES A MATERIAL REQUIREMENT OF THE IFB.

4. THE FULL AMOUNT OF THE BID GUARANTEE IS AVAILABLE TOWARD OFFSETTING DIFFERENCE FOR ANY COST OF PROCURING THE WORK WHICH EXCEEDS THE AMOUNT OF YOUR BID.

THE FULL AMOUNT OF THE BID GUARANTEE IS NOT AVAILABLE FOR THE REASON STATED IN REPLY TO 2. ABOVE (THAT IS, THE NET WORTH OF EACH SURETY IS NOT EQUAL TO THE FULL PENAL SUM OF THE BID GUARANTEE). ALSO, THE DIFFERENCE OF $29,125.12 BETWEEN THE TWO BIDS RECEIVED IS GREATER THAN THE NET WORTH OF THE SURETIES JOINTLY AND SEVERALLY, THUS RENDERING THE EXCEPTION IN ASPR 10-102.5/II) INAPPLICABLE.

5. FAILURE TO AWARD THE CONTRACT TO YOU WILL COST THE GOVERNMENT AT LEAST $21,000.

ACCEPTANCE BY THE GOVERNMENT OF A NONRESPONSIVE BID IS PREJUDICIAL AND UNJUST TO OTHER BIDDERS; THEREFORE, ACCEPTANCE WOULD COMPROMISE THE INTEGRITY OF THE COMPETITIVE BID SYSTEM AND WOULD BE CONTRARY TO THE PUBLIC LAWS ENACTED BY CONGRESS AND DEFENSE PROCUREMENT REGULATIONS GOVERNING THE GOVERNMENT'S PREFERRED METHOD OF COMPETITIVE BIDDING PRACTICE, NAMELY FORMAL ADVERTISEMENT. 6. THAT YOU ARE THE LOWEST, RESPONSIVE, RESPONSIBLE BIDDER AND, THEREFORE, AWARD SHOULD BE MADE TO YOU.

THAT, IN VIEW OF THE ANSWERS TO 1 THROUGH 5 ABOVE, YOU CANNOT BE CONSIDERED THE LOWEST RESPONSIVE, RESPONSIBLE BIDDER AND, THEREFORE, AWARD MAY NOT BE MADE TO YOU.

IN LINE WITH THE ABOVE COMMENTS, IT IS THE POSITION OF THE CONTRACTING OFFICER THAT YOUR BID BOND HAS PROPERLY BEEN FOUND INADEQUATE IN ACCORDANCE WITH ASPR 10-102.5, 10-201.2/C) AND (D), AND ASPR 10-101.11 AND, THEREFORE, YOUR BID SHOULD BE REJECTED AS NONRESPONSIVE PURSUANT TO ASPR 2-404.2/B), WHICH REQUIRES REJECTION OF BIDS WHICH FAIL TO CONFORM TO THE ESSENTIAL REQUIREMENTS OF THE INVITATION FOR BIDS. IN SUPPORT OF HIS POSITION, THE CONTRACTING OFFICER CITES SEVERAL DECISION OF OUR OFFICE, INCLUDING 38 COMP. GEN. 532, TO THE EFFECT THAT WHERE AN ADMINISTRATIVE DETERMINATION HAS BEEN MADE THAT A BID BOND IS REQUIRED AND THE INVITATION REQUIRES SUCH A BOND, THE REQUIREMENT IS A MATERIAL PART OF THE INVITATION AND NONCOMPLIANCE THEREWITH RENDERS A BID NONRESPONSIVE.

THE PRIMARY PURPOSE OF A BID BOND OR SURETY DEPOSIT IS TO PROTECT THE GOVERNMENT AGAINST IRRESPONSIBLE OR IMPROVIDENT BIDDERS. THE BASIC OBJECTIVES OF THE REQUIREMENT FOR REJECTION OF A BID SUBMITTED WITHOUT THE EXACT SECURITY REQUIRED BY THE INVITATION ARE TO AVOID ANY POSSIBILITY OF DISCRIMINATION BETWEEN BIDDERS, TO PREVENT THE POSSIBILITY OF ATTEMPTS BY BIDDERS TO LEAVE THEMSELVES AN OPTION TO CORRECT THE DEFECTIVE SECURITIES, AND TO ELIMINATE THE ADMINISTRATIVE BURDEN OF DETERMINING AND EVALUATING THE FACTS INVOLVED IN EXCUSES ALLEGED BY NONCONFORMING BIDDERS. ASPR 10- 102.5 AND THE RULE SET FORTH IN OUR DECISION 38 COMP. GEN. 532, WHICH OUR OFFICE HAS OBSERVED SINCE 1959, ARE CONSISTENT WITH SUCH PRINCIPLES. FURTHER, WE HAVE HELD THAT EVEN WHEN THE BID BOND DEFICIENCY IS DUE TO INADVERTENCE AND DOES NOT REFLECT ON THE BIDDER'S ABILITY TO QUALIFY FOR THE REQUIRED BOND, THE REQUIREMENT NORMALLY SHOULD NOT BE WAIVED. COMP. GEN. 827. MOREOVER, THE FACT THAT THE GOVERNMENT MIGHT REALIZE A SUBSTANTIAL SAVING BY ACCEPTING A BID ACCOMPANIED BY A DEFICIENT BID BOND IN A PARTICULAR CASE IN WHICH THE CIRCUMSTANCES ARE SUCH THAT AN EXCEPTION IS NOT WARRANTED UNDER THE APPLICABLE REGULATIONS DOES NOT WARRANT A WAIVER OF THE REQUIREMENT SINCE THE MAINTENANCE OF THE INTEGRITY OF THE COMPETITIVE BID SYSTEM IS INFINITELY MORE IN THE PUBLIC INTEREST THAN A FINANCIAL SAVING IN AN INDIVIDUAL CASE. 38 COMP. GEN. 532, 536.

IN VIEW OF THE PROVISIONS OF THE CITED REGULATIONS AND DECISIONS OF OUR OFFICE, IT IS OUR VIEW THAT THE CONTRACTING OFFICER HAD NO ALTERNATIVE BUT TO REJECT YOUR BID AS NONRESPONSIVE. ACCORDINGLY, WE FIND NO LEGAL BASIS TO QUESTION THE ACTION OF THE CONTRACTING OFFICER. FOR THE SAME REASON, AND IN VIEW OF THE PROVISION IN 10 U.S.C. 2305/C) THAT AWARD IN AN ADVERTISED PROCUREMENT BE MADE WITH REASONABLE PROMPTNESS TO THE RESPONSIBLE BIDDER WHOSE BID CONFORMS TO THE INVITATION, WE FIND NO LEGAL BASIS TO QUESTION THE AWARD WHICH WAS MADE TO MANPOWER, PRIOR TO OUR DECISION ON YOUR PROTEST, THE AWARD BEING SUBSTANTIATED BY A FINDING THAT MANPOWER WAS BOTH RESPONSIVE AND RESPONSIBLE, AND BY A PREAWARD WRITTEN DETERMINATION BY THE CONTRACTING OFFICER, AS REQUIRED BY ASPR 2-407.9/B) (3), STATING THAT THERE WAS AN URGENT NEED FOR THE SERVICES IN QUESTION AND THAT THE COST OF SUCH SERVICES FOR THE MONTH OF JULY 1966 UNDER AN EXTENSION OF THE EXISTING CONTRACT (YOUR CONTRACT NO. DABB19-66-C-4277) WOULD BE $4,122 PER MONTH IN EXCESS OF THE ..END :