B-159595, SEP. 20, 1966

B-159595: Sep 20, 1966

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UNITED STATES INFORMATION AGENCY: REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER DATED SEPTEMBER 1. ALSO INCLUDED WILL BE A PORTABLE JOB BUTTON. LATERAL AND CIRCUMFERENTIAL REGISTER ADJUSTMENTS TO BE MADE ON ALL PLATE CYLINDERS WHILE THE PRESS IS RUNNING. "INK AND DAMPENING CONTROLS - EACH PERFECTING UNIT TO HAVE TWO SEPARATE INK AND DAMPENING SYSTEMS FOR COMPLETE INK AND MOISTURE CONTROL ON BOTH SIDES OF THE WEB. INK FOUNTAINS TO BE LEAKPROOF AND HAVE INDIVIDUAL KEY ADJUSTMENTS. HAVE HARDENED STEEL JOURNALS. "WEB FEED - TO HAVE HORIZONTAL WEB FEED. THE IFB CONTAINED THE CLAUSE REQUIRED BY FEDERAL PROCUREMENT REGULATION (FPR) 1-1.307-6 INFORMING BIDDERS THAT THE "BRAND NAME OR EQUAL" DESCRIPTION WAS INTENDED TO BE DESCRIPTIVE BUT NOT RESTRICTIVE.

B-159595, SEP. 20, 1966

TO THE DIRECTOR, UNITED STATES INFORMATION AGENCY:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER DATED SEPTEMBER 1, 1966, FROM YOUR ASSISTANT GENERAL COUNSEL, RELATIVE TO A PROTEST FILED WITH OUR OFFICE BY FAIRCHILD GRAPHIC EQUIPMENT (FAIRCHILD), A DIVISION OF FAIRCHILD CAMERA AND INSTRUMENT CORPORATION, AGAINST THE AWARD OF A CONTRACT TO MIEHLE-GOSS- DEXTER INTERNATIONAL COMPANY (MIEHLE) UNDER INVITATION FOR BIDS (IFB) NO. 66-289-23-P, ISSUED JUNE 17, 1966, BY YOUR CONTRACT AND PROCUREMENT DIVISION.

THE IFB, SOLICITED BIDS TO FURNISH ONE WEB OFFSET PRESS, FOR DELIVERY AND INSTALLATION AT SAIGON, VIET NAM, DESCRIBED AS FOLLOWS:

"MACHINE, WEB OFFSET PRESS, 2 PERFECTING UNITS 22 3/4 IN. CYLINDER CIRCUMFERENCE BY 36 IN. MAXIMUM ROLL WIDTH, COMPLETE W/SHEETER, FOLDER AND ROLL STAND, WITH ELECTRICAL DRIVE AND OPERATORS CONTROLS, TO THE FOLLOWING SPECIFICATIONS; 220 VOLT, 50 CYCLE; FAIRCHILD COLOR KING OR EQUAL: "

THE SPECIFICATIONS SET FORTH IN THE IFB READ, IN PERTINENT PART, AS FOLLOWS:

"ROLL STAND-WEB TENSION TO BE SET BY A DIAL READING AND AUTOMATICALLY MAINTAINED BY A PNEUMATICALLY CONTROLLED FLOATING ROLLER. TIMED FEEDING BELTS TO REGULATE THE INFEED OF THE PAPER WITH SIDE GUIDE SYSTEM TO MAINTAIN MARGINAL CONTROL.

"PRESS CONTROLS - PRESS TO BE EQUIPPED WITH A WEB BREACH DETECTOR AND CONTROLS WHICH AUTOMATICALLY GOVERN OPERATION OF INK AND WATER ROLLERS AND IMPRESSION CYLINDER, ALSO INCLUDED WILL BE A PORTABLE JOB BUTTON. LATERAL AND CIRCUMFERENTIAL REGISTER ADJUSTMENTS TO BE MADE ON ALL PLATE CYLINDERS WHILE THE PRESS IS RUNNING.

"INK AND DAMPENING CONTROLS - EACH PERFECTING UNIT TO HAVE TWO SEPARATE INK AND DAMPENING SYSTEMS FOR COMPLETE INK AND MOISTURE CONTROL ON BOTH SIDES OF THE WEB. INK FOUNTAINS TO BE LEAKPROOF AND HAVE INDIVIDUAL KEY ADJUSTMENTS. THE INK FOUNTAIN BLADE TO BE BUCKLE PROOF. EACH ROLLER TO BE CONTROLLED BY A MECHANISM PROVIDING ADJUSTMENT OF THE AMOUNT OF ROTATION ON EACH CYCLE OF THE PRESS. WATER FOUNTAIN ROLLERS TO BE INDEPENDENTLY DRIVEN BY VARIABLE SPEED MOTORS TO PROVIDE MAXIMUM CONTROL OF THE DAMPENING SYSTEM.

"CYLINDERS - TO BE OF SOLID ALUMINUM ALLOY, HAVE HARDENED STEEL JOURNALS, SUPPORTED BY STEEL BEARINGS AND RUN ON HARDENED STEEL BEARERS.

"WEB FEED - TO HAVE HORIZONTAL WEB FEED, AND CAPABLE OF HANDLING 2 WEBS AT ONE TIME.'

IN ADDITION, THE IFB CONTAINED THE CLAUSE REQUIRED BY FEDERAL PROCUREMENT REGULATION (FPR) 1-1.307-6 INFORMING BIDDERS THAT THE "BRAND NAME OR EQUAL" DESCRIPTION WAS INTENDED TO BE DESCRIPTIVE BUT NOT RESTRICTIVE, AND WAS TO INDICATE THE QUALITY AND CHARACTERISTICS OF PRODUCTS THAT WOULD BE SATISFACTORY AND THAT BIDS OFFERING "EQUAL" PRODUCTS WOULD BE CONSIDERED IF IT WAS DETERMINED THAT SUCH PRODUCTS WERE EQUAL IN ALL "MATERIAL" RESPECTS TO THE REFERENCED BRAND NAME PRODUCT.

TWO BIDS WERE RECEIVED UNDER THE IFB AND OPENED ON JUNE 27, 1966, AS SCHEDULED. MIEHLE WAS LOW WITH A BID OF $58,285, EVALUATED AT $58,935 WITH ADDITION OF $650 FOR OVERLAND FREIGHT CHARGES. FAIRCHILD QUOTED A PRICE OF $76,695.20. MIEHLE'S BID WAS APPARENTLY ACCOMPANIED BY A COVERING LETTER READING, IN PART, AS FOLLOWS:

"EACH OF THE PRESSES IN OUR WEB OFFSET LINE: THE SUBURBAN, URBANITE, SIGNATURE AND METRO OFFSET, AS WELL AS THE COMMUNITY, HAVE THEIR RESPECTIVE FIELDS OF APPLICATION TO SUIT THE CIRCULATION, QUALITY STANDARDS AND TYPE OF LABOR MARKET SKILLS AVAILABLE TO OPERATE THEM. THE PRESENT INSTANCE WE SINCERELY BELIEVE THAT THE GOSSCOMMUNITY WOULD WELL SUIT YOUR REQUIREMENTS FOR A SIMPLE, RUGGED, DEPENDABLE MEANS OF PRODUCING MASS MEDIA ON SOFT PAPER FOR YOUR SAIGON OPERATION WITH A MINIMUM INVESTMENT IN EQUIPMENT AND TIME TO TRAIN A DEPENDABLE OPERATING STAFF.

"THE WRITER WILL BE GLAD TO DISCUSS WITH YOU IN DETAIL THE CAPABILITIES AND LIMITATIONS OF THE GOSS COMMUNITY AS RELATED TO THE REQUIREMENTS LAID DOWN IN YOUR BID SPECIFICATIONS, I.E. THE RANGE OF PAPER STOCKS TO BE ACCOMMODATED THROUGH THE FOLDER AND SHEETER DELIVERY AS WELL AS THE TECHNICAL CONSTRUCTION FEATURES AND PRESS INSTALLATION FACILITIES NEEDED.'

THE FILE MADE AVAILABLE TO OUR OFFICE INCLUDES A MEMORANDUM TO FILE DATED JUNE 29, SIGNED BY THE CONTRACTING OFFICER, STATING THAT EVALUATION OF MIEHLE'S BID INDICATED IT TECHNICALLY MET THE MINIMUM SPECIFICATIONS AND THE AGENCY'S REQUIREMENTS AND THAT THE PRESS OFFERED WAS CONSIDERED EQUAL TO THE FAIRCHILD COLOR KING. ACCORDINGLY, AND ON THE BASIS THAT MIEHLE'S BID WAS OTHERWISE RESPONSIVE TO THE IFB, AWARD WAS MADE TO MIEHLE ON JUNE 29.

IN A TELEGRAM DATED JUNE 30, FAIRCHILD PROTESTED TO OUR OFFICE AGAINST THE AWARD TO MIEHLE, STATING THAT THE GOSS COMMUNITY PRESS OFFERED BY MIEHLE IS NOT EQUAL TO THE FAIRCHILD COLOR KING PRESS. IN A LETTER DATED JULY 1, SUPPLEMENTING ITS PROTEST, FAIRCHILD HAS LISTED FIVE ALLEGEDLY IMPORTANT AREAS IN WHICH THE COMMUNITY PRESS IS STATED TO DIFFER FROM THE COLOR KING. IN ADDITION, FAIRCHILD HAS LISTED THE FOLLOWING DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE SPECIFICATIONS SET FORTH IN THE IFB AND THE COMMUNITY PRESS:

"/1) PAGE 3 OF INVITATION TO BID NO. 66-289-23-P, STATES: "ROLL STAND WEB TENSION TO BE SET BY A DIAL READING AUTOMATICALLY MAINTAINED BY A PNEUMATICALLY CONTROLLED FLOATING ROLLER. TIMED FEEDING BELTS TO REGULATE THE INFEED OF THE PAPER WITH SIDE GUIDE SYSTEM TO MAINTAIN MARGINAL CONTROL.'

THE COLOR KING PRESS IS EQUIPPED WITH TIMED FEEDING BELTS AND WEB TENSION IS CONTROLLED PNEUMATICALLY BY A FLOATING DANCER ROLLER AND IS SET BY A DIAL.

THE GOSS COMMUNITY ROLL STANDS ARE OF FRICTION BRAKE DESIGN AND DO NOT HAVE TIMED FEEDING BELTS OR A DIAL.

"/2) AGE 3 OF INVITATION TO BID NO. 66-289-23-P STATES:

"PRESS CONTROLS - PRESS TO BE EQUIPPED WITH WEB BREAK DETECTOR AND CONTROLS WHICH AUTOMATICALLY GOVERN OPERATION OF INK AND WATER ROLLERS AND IMPRESSION CYLINDER, ALSO INCLUDED WILL BE A PORTABLE JOB BUTTON. LATERAL AND CIRCUMFERENTIAL REGISTER ADJUSTMENTS TO BE MADE ON ALL PLATE CYLINDERS WHILE THE PRESS IS RUNNING.'

THE COLOR KING PRESS IS EQUIPPED WITH PNEUMATIC CONTROLS WHICH AUTOMATICALLY GOVERN THE OPERATION OF INK, WATER AND IMPRESSION AND IS EQUIPPED WITH A WEB BREAK DETECTOR TO OPERATE THESE CONTROLS AS WELL AS STOP THE PRESS. THE COLOR KING PRESS IS ALSO EQUIPPED WITH A PORTABLE JOB BUTTON TO FACILITATE PRESS MAINTENANCE BY ALLOWING THE PRESSMAN TO JOB THE PRESS FROM ANY POSITION. THE COLOR KING PRESS IS ALSO EQUIPPED WITH RUNNING LATERAL AND CIRCUMFERENTIAL REGISTER CONTROLS.

THE GOSS COMMUNITY HAS MANUAL CONTROLS ON INK, WATER AND IMPRESSION AND THEREBY CANNOT BE AUTOMATICALLY OPERATED BY A WEB BREAK DETECTOR. THE COMMUNITY DOES NOT HAVE A PORTABLE JOB BUTTON. THE COMMUNITY IS EQUIPPED WITH RUNNING LATERAL REGISTER, BUT CIRCUMFERENTIAL REGISTER IS ACCOMPLISHED BY STOPPING THE PRESS AND MOVING THE PLATE.

"/3) PAGE NO. 4 OF INVITATION TO BID STATES: "CYLINDERS - TO BE OF SOLID ALUMINUM ALLOY, HAVE HARDENED STEEL JOURNALS, SUPPORTED BY STEEL BEARINGS AND RUN ON HARDENED STEEL BEARERS.'

THE COLOR KING PRESS IS SO EQUIPPED. THE GOSS COMMUNITY PRESS HAS CHROME PLATED STEEL CYLINDERS AND HAS NO HARDENED STEEL BEARERS TO RUN ON.

"/4) PAGE NO. 4 OF SUBJECT BID STATES: WEB FEED - "TO HAVE HORIZONTAL WEB FEED AND CAPABLE OF HANDLING TWO WEBS AT ONE TIME.'

THE COLOR KING PRESS IS A HORIZONTAL WEB PRESS AND CAN HANDLE 2 WEBS AT ONE TIME.

THE GOSS COMMUNITY PRESS IS A VERTICAL WEB PRESS.

"/5) PAGE NO. 4 OF SUBJECT BID STATES: "ROLL WIDTH - MINIMUM 14 IN., MAXIMUM 36 IN.'"

THE COLOR KING PRESS WILL HANDLE WEBS FROM 14 IN. TO 36 IN. IN WIDTH.

THE COMMUNITY PRESS CAN HANDLE WEBS UP TO A MAXIMUM OF 35 IN.

"/6) PAGE NO. 5 OF SUBJECT BID ARTICLE I - DESIGN. "THE PRESS COVERED BY THIS INVITATION SHALL BE OF THE LATEST IMPROVED DESIGN AND OF RUGGED, SUBSTANTIAL CONSTRUCTION. THE PRESS SHALL BE DESIGNED SPECIFICALLY FOR DEPENDABLE, EFFICIENT PRODUCTION OF HIGH QUALITY TWO COLOR OFFSET LITHOGRAPHY, WITH SHARPLY DETAILED FINE LINE WORK AND SMOOTH EVEN IMPRESSIONS THROUGHOUT THE RUN. ALL PARTS OF THE PRESS SHALL BE NEW AND OF FIRST CLASS COMMERCIAL QUALITY. SIZE, MATERIAL AND STRENGTH OF PARTS SHALL BE SUITABLE FOR THE PURPOSE INTENDED AND WITH AN ADEQUATE SAFETY FACTOR AND MAXIMUM WORKING EFFICIENCY FREE FROM EXCESSIVE VIBRATION, AND WITH MINIMUM WEAR. ALL PARTS SHALL BE READILY ACCESSIBLE FOR INSPECTION ADJUSTMENT OR REPLACEMENT.

THE COLOR KING PRESS WAS SPECIFICALLY DESIGNED FOR HIGH QUALITY COLOR AND COMMERCIAL SIGNATURES.

THE GOSS COMMUNITY WAS SPECIFICALLY DESIGNED ACCORDING TO THE PUBLISHED SPECIFICATION ISSUED BY MIEHLE-GOSS-DEXTER FOR NEWSPAPER WORK OR SIMILAR PRODUCTS.'

IT IS THE POSITION OF FAIRCHILD THAT MIEHLE WAS NOT RESPONSIVE TO THE IFB. FURTHER, FAIRCHILD STATES THAT FAIRCHILD MANUFACTURES A "NEWS KING" PRESS, WHICH, IT ALLEGES, IS COMPETITIVE WITH THE COMMUNITY PRESS OFFERED BY MIEHLE AND THE SELLING PRICE OF WHICH IS LOWER THAN THE PRICE OF THE COLOR KING PRESS AND, THEREFORE, FAIRCHILD WAS IN A POSITION TO COMPETE WITH THE COMMUNITY PRESS HAD THE GOVERNMENT INDICATED ITS DESIRE TO PROCURE SUCH A PRESS. ACCORDINGLY,FAIRCHILD REQUESTS THAT THE AWARD TO MIEHLE BE CANCELLED AND THAT AWARD BE MADE TO FAIRCHILD AS THE ONLY RESPONSIVE BIDDER.

THE RECORD FURTHER SHOWS THAT IN VIEW OF FAIRCHILD'S STATEMENTS, THE CONTRACTING OFFICER ADDRESSED A TELEGRAM TO MIEHLE ON JULY 12 STATING THAT NO ADDITIONAL EXPENSE SHOULD BE INCURRED UNDER THE CONTRACT PENDING FURTHER ADVICE FROM YOUR AGENCY. FURTHER, ON AUGUST 17, MIEHLE WAS FURNISHED A COPY OF FAIRCHILD'S PROTEST AND AFFORDED AN OPPORTUNITY TO MAKE COMMENTS THEREON. IN A REPLY BY LETTER DATED AUGUST 26, MIEHLE CONCEDED THAT ITS COMMUNITY PRESS DIFFERS FROM THE FAIRCHILD COLOR KING PRESS BUT STATES THAT ITS FIRST CONSIDERATION IN RESPONDING TO THE IFB WAS THE DESIRE TO FURNISH THE RIGHT MACHINE TO PRODUCE THE END PRODUCTS REQUIRED, I.E., MASS MEDIA ON NEWSPRINT AND UNCOATED OFFSET BOOK STOCK USING NON-HEAT SET INKS, A FACT WHICH, IT CLAIMS, WAS DISCLOSED IN THE LETTER OF JUNE 23 ACCOMPANYING ITS BID. MIEHLE CONTENDS THAT THE COMMUNITY PRESS WILL DO THE WORK DESCRIBED IN THE IFB. FURTHER, MIEHLE STATES ITS GOSS SUBURBAN PRESS HAS THE EMBELLISHMENTS OR NONESSENTIAL ITEMS WHICH ARE GENERALLY AVAILABLE ON THE COLOR KING, SUCH AS PNEUMATIC OR ELECTRIC SOLENOIDS TO THROW ON AND OFF IMPRESSION, INK AND WATER FEED, BUT CONTENDS THAT IT PURPOSELY DID NOT BID ON SUCH EQUIPMENT IN ORDER TO ELIMINATE HIGHER INITIAL COSTS AND THE ADDITIONAL SOPHISTICATED MAINTENANCE AND OPERATIONAL SKILLS.

WITH RESPECT TO THE DIFFERENCES LISTED BY FAIRCHILD, AND SET OUT ABOVE, BETWEEN THE COMMUNITY PRESS AND THE IFB REQUIREMENTS, MIEHLE ALSO CONCEDES THAT FAIRCHILD'S STATEMENTS ARE CORRECT, BUT AGAIN CONTENDS THAT ITS COMMUNITY PRESS WILL PRODUCE THE RANGE OF WORK SPECIFIED IN THE BID ,WHICH IS THE MAIN POINT.'

IN HIS LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 1, YOUR ASSISTANT GENERAL COUNSEL REPORTS THAT YOUR PRESS SERVICE, THE USING ACTIVITY, AND YOUR CONTRACTING OFFICIALS ARE SATISFIED THAT THE COMMUNITY PRESS IS SATISFACTORY FOR THE AGENCY'S PURPOSES AND THEREFORE WOULD BE PLEASED IF THE AWARD TO MIEHLE WERE NOT DISTURBED AND THE CONTRACTOR COULD PROCEED TO FILL THE URGENT REQUIREMENT. ACCORDINGLY, AND ON THE BASIS THAT THE COMMUNITY PRESS, WHILE NOT MEETING SOME OF THE SPECIFIC REQUIREMENTS OF THE SPECIFICATIONS, FULFILLS THEM SUBSTANTIALLY AND SATISFIES THE AGENCY'S REQUIREMENTS AS TO PERFORMANCE, THE ASSISTANT GENERAL COUNSEL CONCURS WITH THE VIEW OF BOTH THE USING ACTIVITY AND THE CONTRACTING OFFICIALS.

SECTION 303 OF THE FEDERAL PROPERTY AND ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES ACT OF 1949, 41 U.S.C. 253, THE GOVERNING PROCUREMENT STATUTE, PROVIDES, WITH REGARD TO ADVERTISED PROCUREMENTS, THAT SPECIFICATIONS AND INVITATIONS FOR BIDS SHALL PERMIT SUCH FULL AND FREE COMPETITION AS IS CONSISTENT WITH THE PROCUREMENT NECESSARY TO MEET THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE AGENCY CONCERNED AND THAT AWARD SHALL BE MADE TO THAT RESPONSIBLE BIDDER WHOSE BID, CONFORMING TO THE INVITATION FOR BIDS, WILL BE MOST ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT, PRICE AND OTHER FACTORS CONSIDERED.

CONSISTENT WITH THE STATUTORY PROVISIONS, FPR 1-1.307-2 REQUIRES THAT PURCHASE DESCRIPTIONS CLEARLY AND ACCURATELY SET FORTH THE TECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS OF THE ITEM TO BE PROCURED, AND FPR-1-2.301 (A) PROVIDES THAT TO BE CONSIDERED FOR AWARD, A BID MUST COMPLY IN ALL MATERIAL RESPECTS WITH THE INVITATION FOR BIDS SO THAT, AS TO THE SUBSTANCE OF ANY RESULTING CONTRACT, ALL BIDDERS MAY STAND ON AN EQUAL FOOTING AND THE INTEGRITY OF THE FORMAL ADVERTISING SYSTEM MAY BE MAINTAINED. FURTHER, UNDER FPR 1- 2.404-1 (B) (4), THE CONTRACTING OFFICER HAS THE AUTHORITY TO REJECT ALL BIDS, TO CANCEL THE INVITATION AND TO READVERTISE WHEN THE BIDS RECEIVED INDICATE THAT THE NEEDS OF THE GOVERNMENT CAN BE SATISFIED BY A LESS EXPENSIVE ARTICLE DIFFERING FROM THAT ON WHICH THE BIDS WERE INVITED. WITH RESPECT TO "BRAND NAME OR EQUAL" PROCUREMENTS, FPR 1-1.307-4 (B) PROVIDES THAT SUCH PURCHASE DESCRIPTIONS SHALL SET FORTH THOSE SALIENT PHYSICAL, FUNCTIONAL, OR OTHER CHARACTERISTICS OF THE REFERENCED PRODUCTS WHICH ARE ESSENTIAL TO THE NEEDS OF THE GOVERNMENT, AND FPR 1-1.307-7 (A) PROVIDES THAT BIDS OFFERING PRODUCTS WHICH DIFFER FROM THE REFERENCED BRAND SHALL BE CONSIDERED FOR AWARD WHERE THE CONTRACTING OFFICER DETERMINES IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE TERMS OF THE CLAUSE IN FPR 1-1.307-6 (A) (2) THAT THE OFFERED PRODUCTS ARE EQUAL IN ALL MATERIAL RESPECTS TO THE PRODUCTS REFERENCED AND THAT BIDS SHALL NOT BE REJECTED BECAUSE OF "MINOR DIFFERENCES IN DESIGN, CONSTRUCTION, OR FEATURES WHICH DO NOT AFFECT THE SUITABILITY OF THE PRODUCTS FOR THEIR INTENDED USE.' HOWEVER, WHERE, AS HERE, THE CONTRACTING AGENCY, IN A "BRAND NAME OR EQUAL" PURCHASE DESCRIPTION, GOES BEYOND THE MAKE AND MODEL OF THE BRAND NAME AND SPECIFIES PARTICULAR DESIGN FEATURES, WE HAVE HELD THAT SUCH FEATURES MUST BE PRESUMED TO HAVE BEEN REGARDED AS MATERIAL AND ESSENTIAL TO THE NEEDS OF THE GOVERNMENT, AT LEAST AT THE TIME THE SPECIFICATIONS WERE DRAWN AND BIDS SOLICITED, AND THEREFORE A PRODUCT WHICH DOES NOT CONFORM TO THE PARTICULAR DESIGN FEATURES SPECIFIED IS NOT "EQUAL IN ALL MATERIAL RESPECTS" TO THE REFERENCED BRAND NAME PRODUCT, NOTWITHSTANDING IT MIGHT BE FOUND SUITABLE FOR THE INTENDED USE. ACCORDINGLY, WE HAVE FURTHER HELD THAT AN AWARD MADE ON THE BASIS OF A BID OFFERING SUCH A NONCONFORMING ITEM SHOULD BE CANCELLED, THE PROPER PROCEDURE IN ANY CASE IN WHICH A DETERMINATION IS MADE AFTER BID OPENING THAT THE GOVERNMENT'S NEEDS MIGHT BE MET WITH SPECIFICATIONS OTHER THAN AS ORIGINALLY ADVERTISED BEING TO REPROCURE THE ITEM OR ITEMS UNDER REVISED SPECIFICATIONS. B-149824, OCTOBER 12, 1962; 43 COMP. GEN. 209; 44 ID. 302, 305.

IN THE PRESENT CASE, MIEHLE ADMITS THAT IT DID NOT BID TO THE PRESS REQUIREMENTS IN THE IFB, BUT TO THE WORK FOR WHICH THE MACHINE IN REQUIRED, AND YOUR REPORT TO OUR OFFICE CONCEDES THAT YOUR AGENCY'SNEEDS WILL BE MET BY LESSER REQUIREMENTS THAN THOSE SET OUT IN THE IFB. FURTHER, MIEHLE ACKNOWLEDGES THAT A MACHINE WITH THE FEATURES OF THE COLOR KING PRESS REQUIRED BY THE IFB, SUCH AS MIEHLE'S GOSS SUBURBAN PRESS, WOULD BE MORE EXPENSIVE THAN THE COMMUNITY PRESS WHICH MIEHLE OFFERS. IS CLEAR, THEREFORE, THAT THE DEVIATIONS IN MIEHLE'S BID, AFFECTING BOTH THE PRICE AND THE QUALITY OF THE PROCUREMENT ITEM, ARE SUBSTANTIAL AND MAY NOT BE WAIVED UNDER THE TERMS OF THE IFB (CLAUSE 8/A), STANDARD FORM 33-A) OR THE APPLICABLE PROCUREMENT REGULATION (FPR 1-2.405). IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES, WE MUST ADVISE YOU THAT THE CONTRACT AWARDED TO MIEHLE SHOULD BE CANCELLED, AND BIDS OR OFFERS SHOULD BE RESOLICITED UNDER SPECIFICATIONS WHICH MORE ACCURATELY REFLECT YOUR AGENCY'S NEEDS. LETTERS OF TODAY WE ARE TRANSMITTING A COPY OF THIS DECISION TO FAIRCHILD GRAPHIC EQUIPMENT AND TO MIEHLE-GOSS-DEXTER INTERNATIONAL CORPORATION.