B-160552, FEB. 10, 1967

B-160552: Feb 10, 1967

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LTD.: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 29. WAS CIRCULARIZED TO ALL PROSPECTIVE SUPPLIERS ON GPO'S BID LIST. YOUR FIRM IS NOT REGISTERED WITH THE GPO AS A PROSPECTIVE BIDDER. AN INVITATION TO BID WAS FORWARDED TO YOUR WASHINGTON. THE ADVERTISEMENT IN THIS INSTANCE WAS FOR A HIGHLY SPECIALIZED PRODUCT AND ALL PROSPECTIVE SUPPLIERS ON GPO'S BID LIST WERE CIRCULARIZED. A TELEPHONE CALL WAS RECEIVED FROM ONE OF THE PROSPECTIVE BIDDERS REQUESTING AN EXTENSION OF THE SHIPPING DATE DUE TO THE DIFFICULTY OF OBTAINING THE NECESSARY MANUFACTURING MATERIALS FROM HIS SUPPLIERS IN THE EVENT HE SHOULD BE THE SUCCESSFUL BIDDER. WAS REGISTERED WITH GPO AS A PROSPECTIVE BIDDER. THE ORIGINAL IFB AND THE SUBSEQUENT AMENDMENT WERE SENT TO IT.

B-160552, FEB. 10, 1967

TO ANGLER'S CO., LTD.:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 29, 1966, FORWARDED TO OUR OFFICE BY THE HONORABLE ROBERT F. KENNEDY, UNITED STATES SENATE, PROTESTING AGAINST THE AWARD OF A CONTRACT BY THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE (GPO) UNDER PROPOSAL NO. 88014 BECAUSE YOUR FIRM DID NOT RECEIVE A COPY OF A BID AMENDMENT NOTICE.

THE REPORT OF THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE STATES THAT THE INVITATION, WHICH CALLED FOR BIDS ON RETIREMENT CERTIFICATE HOLDERS, JACKET NO. 235- 579, WAS CIRCULARIZED TO ALL PROSPECTIVE SUPPLIERS ON GPO'S BID LIST. YOUR FIRM IS NOT REGISTERED WITH THE GPO AS A PROSPECTIVE BIDDER. HOWEVER, AN INVITATION TO BID WAS FORWARDED TO YOUR WASHINGTON, D.C. REPRESENTATIVE, MARSDEN, NC., WHO FORWARDED IT TO YOUR COMPANY. THE ADVERTISEMENT IN THIS INSTANCE WAS FOR A HIGHLY SPECIALIZED PRODUCT AND ALL PROSPECTIVE SUPPLIERS ON GPO'S BID LIST WERE CIRCULARIZED. BEFORE THE BID OPENING DATE, A TELEPHONE CALL WAS RECEIVED FROM ONE OF THE PROSPECTIVE BIDDERS REQUESTING AN EXTENSION OF THE SHIPPING DATE DUE TO THE DIFFICULTY OF OBTAINING THE NECESSARY MANUFACTURING MATERIALS FROM HIS SUPPLIERS IN THE EVENT HE SHOULD BE THE SUCCESSFUL BIDDER. BY LETTER DATED NOVEMBER 3, 1966, GPO AMENDED THE SPECIFICATIONS TO EXTEND THE SHIPPING DATE AND IMMEDIATELY SENT BID AMENDMENT NOTICES TO ALL OF THE PROSPECTIVE BIDDERS CIRCULARIZED ON THE ORIGINAL ADVERTISEMENT. SINCE MARSDEN, INC. WAS REGISTERED WITH GPO AS A PROSPECTIVE BIDDER, THE ORIGINAL IFB AND THE SUBSEQUENT AMENDMENT WERE SENT TO IT.

YOU STATE THAT YOU NEVER RECEIVED A COPY OF THE BID AMENDMENT NOTICE. A RESULT, YOUR BID WAS BASED ON THE SHIPPING DATE SPECIFIED IN THE ORIGINAL IFB AND REFLECTED A PRICE IN EXCESS OF THE LOW BID. YOU CONTEND THAT YOUR UNIT PRICE INCLUDED AN OVERTIME FACTOR THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN ALLEVIATED HAD YOU BEEN APPRISED OF THE BID AMENDMENT NOTICE. AS YOUR FIRM WAS NOT REGISTERED WITH GPO AS A PROSPECTIVE BIDDER, ANY RESPONSIBILITY FOR FORWARDING THE AMENDMENT TO YOUR FIRM RESTED WITH MARSDEN, INC. IT SHOULD ALSO BE NOTED THAT SINCE ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF RECEIPT OF THE AMENDMENT IS USUALLY INDICATED ON THE BID, GPO HAD NO WAY OF KNOWING UNTIL THE BIDS WERE OPENED THAT THE MARSDEN COMPANY HAD NOT FORWARDED THE AMENDMENT TO YOUR FIRM. EVEN IF YOUR FIRM HAD BEEN ON GPO'S BIDDERS MAILING LIST AND HAD NOT RECEIVED A COPY OF AN IFB, OUR OFFICE HAS CONSISTENTLY HELD THAT THE FAILURE TO FURNISH A PROSPECTIVE BIDDER A COPY OF AN INVITATION DOES NOT CONSTITUTE A SUFFICIENT BASIS ON WHICH TO QUESTION AN OTHERWISE PROPER AWARD IN THE ABSENCE OF ANY INTENT OR PURPOSE ON THE PART OF THE PERSONNEL INVOLVED TO PRECLUDE A PROSPECTIVE BIDDER FROM BIDDING. 34 COMP. GEN. 684; B-155319, NOVEMBER 20, 1964.

IN OUR OPINION, THE AWARD OF THE CONTRACT WAS MADE IN GOOD FAITH TO THE LOWEST RESPONSIVE BIDDER. THE ACTION OF THE GPO IN SENDING THE BID AMENDMENT NOTICES ONLY TO PROSPECTIVE BIDDERS CIRCULARIZED ON THE ORIGINAL ADVERTISEMENT WAS PROPER. SINCE YOUR FIRM HAD NOT SUBMITTED AN APPLICATION FOR PLACEMENT ON THE BIDDERS MAILING LIST PRIOR TO THE PROCUREMENT, THERE WAS NO REQUIREMENT THAT GPO SEND YOU A COPY OF AN INVITATION OR ANY AMENDMENT THERETO.

ACCORDINGLY, WE FIND NO PROPER LEGAL BASIS FOR OBJECTION TO THE ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEDURE FOLLOWED IN THIS CASE. YOUR PROTEST MUST THEREFORE BE DENIED.