B-160602, MAR. 7, 1967

B-160602: Mar 7, 1967

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TO A-1 SERVICE COMPANY: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 20. THE REQUEST FOR QUOTATIONS WAS ISSUED ON THE FOLLOWING ITEM. " THREE QUOTATIONS WERE RECEIVED BY MARINE CORPS SCHOOLS. THE LOWEST QUOTATION WAS SUBMITTED BY SCOTSMAN. 223.00 NET PAYABLE IN 30 DAYS WAS THE NEXT LOW QUOTATION. THE ITEM OFFERED WAS A SCOTSMAN MODEL SF-2WSH. THE TECHNICAL PERSONNEL OF THE PROCURING ACTIVITY DETERMINED THAT THE MACHINE OFFERED BY SCOTSMAN WAS "ADEQUATE AND DESIRABLE. A PURCHASE ORDER WAS THEREUPON ISSUED TO SCOTSMAN BY THE CONTRACTING OFFICER. YOU CLAIM THAT THE MACHINE OFFERED BY SCOTSMAN WAS NONRESPONSIVE TO THE RFQ AND THAT SINCE YOURS WAS THE LOWEST RESPONSIVE QUOTATION YOU SHOULD HAVE BEEN AWARDED THE CONTRACT.

B-160602, MAR. 7, 1967

TO A-1 SERVICE COMPANY:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 20, 1966, WHEREIN YOU PROTEST THE AWARD OF A CONTRACT FOR AN ICE MAKING MACHINE TO SCOTSMAN- REED, INC. (HEREINAFTER REFERRED TO AS SCOTSMAN"), BY MARINE CORPS SCHOOLS, QUANTICO, VIRGINIA, PURSUANT TO REQUEST FOR QUOTATIONS (RFQ) NO. MOO26H-67-Q-C318 ISSUED ON OCTOBER 6, 1966.

THE REQUEST FOR QUOTATIONS WAS ISSUED ON THE FOLLOWING ITEM, ALONG WITH THE COST OF INSTALLATION:

"MACHINE, ICE MAKING, POUND, AIR COOLED CRYSTAL TIPS, PRODUCE NOT LESS THAN 555 LBS. ICE DAILY WITH 300 LB. CAPACITY STORAGE BIN, ELECTRIC, 230 V, 60 CYCLE, SINGLE PHASE, AC, NEUTRAL GRAY BAKED ENAMEL, FINISH ON BENDERIZED GALVENIZED STEEL, STAINLESS STEEL, CORROSION RESISTING STEEL, NOT LESS THAN 3 INCHES INSULATION, LEGS OR BASE NOT LESS THAN 6 INCHES OVERALL DIMENSIONS 36-1/2 INCHES WIDTH, 29 5/8 INCHES DEPTH, 62 INCHES HEIGHT, MODEL B-500-BW, AMERICAN AUTOMATIC ICE MAKING MACHINE CO., OR EQUAL; "

THREE QUOTATIONS WERE RECEIVED BY MARINE CORPS SCHOOLS. THE LOWEST QUOTATION WAS SUBMITTED BY SCOTSMAN, WHICH OFFERED A PRICE OF $833.00 PLUS $112.50 FOR INSTALLATION, WITH A 2 PERCENT DISCOUNT IF PAID WITHIN 20 DAYS, OR A TOTAL PRICE, LESS THE DISCOUNT, OF $926.59. YOUR PRICE OF $1,138.00 PLUS $85.00 FOR INSTALLATION, OR A TOTAL PRICE OF $1,223.00 NET PAYABLE IN 30 DAYS WAS THE NEXT LOW QUOTATION. HOWEVER, SCOTSMAN TOOK EXCEPTION TO THE SPECIFIED STORAGE BIN CAPACITY, VOLTAGE, FINISH AND OVERALL DIMENSIONS. IT OFFERED A MACHINE WITH A 350 POUND STORAGE BIN CAPACITY, 115 VOLTS, HAMMERLOID GRAY BAKED ENAMEL IN COLOR, AND WITH OVERALL DIMENSIONS OF 48 1/2 INCHES WIDTH, 24 1/2 INCHES DEPTH AND 43 INCHES HEIGHT. THE ITEM OFFERED WAS A SCOTSMAN MODEL SF-2WSH. THE TECHNICAL PERSONNEL OF THE PROCURING ACTIVITY DETERMINED THAT THE MACHINE OFFERED BY SCOTSMAN WAS "ADEQUATE AND DESIRABLE," NOTWITHSTANDING THE DISCREPANCIES BETWEEN THE ITEM REQUESTED AND THE ITEM OFFERED. A PURCHASE ORDER WAS THEREUPON ISSUED TO SCOTSMAN BY THE CONTRACTING OFFICER, AND THE MACHINE HAS SINCE BEEN INSTALLED AND PAID FOR.

YOU CLAIM THAT THE MACHINE OFFERED BY SCOTSMAN WAS NONRESPONSIVE TO THE RFQ AND THAT SINCE YOURS WAS THE LOWEST RESPONSIVE QUOTATION YOU SHOULD HAVE BEEN AWARDED THE CONTRACT. YOU POINT OUT THAT THE PRODUCT REFERENCED IN THE RFQ PRODUCES ICE CUBES AND USES A ONE HORSE-POWER CONDENSING UNIT, WHILE THE PRODUCT PURCHASED PRODUCES ICE FLAKES AND USES A ONE-HALF HORSEPOWER CONDENSING UNIT. YOU STATE FURTHER THAT IF YOU HAD BEEN GIVEN AN OPPORTUNITY TO BID ON THE TYPE OF MACHINE WHICH WAS PURCHASED, YOU COULD HAVE OFFERED ONE OF YOUR MODELS AT A SUBSTANTIALLY LOWER PRICE; ALSO THAT SCOTSMAN MAKES A HIGHER PRICED MACHINE WHICH WOULD HAVE MET THE PURCHASE DESCRIPTION OF THE RFQ.

MATERIAL DEVIATIONS FROM THE SALIENT FEATURES STATED IN A PURCHASE DESCRIPTION, WHICH WOULD AFFECT THE PRICE, QUALITY, QUANTITY OR DELIVERY TIME OF THE ITEM REQUESTED, CANNOT BE WAIVED. IN THIS INSTANCE THE MACHINE PURCHASED FROM SCOTSMAN DID NOT MEET THE STATE REQUIREMENT FOR 230 VOLT OPERATION, AND IN SIZE IT WAS SLIGHTLY LESS THAN 70 PERCENT OF THE OVERALL DIMENSIONS WHICH THE PROCURING ACTIVITY HAD STATED. WE ALSO NOTE THE ABSENCE OF ANY INDICATION IN THE SCOTSMAN DESCRIPTIVE LITERATURE THAT ITS MACHINE MEETS THE APPLICABLE STANDARDS ESTABLISHED BY THE NATIONAL SANITATION FOUNDATION, ANN ARBOR, MICHIGAN, AS REQUIRED BY THE RFQ. THE CLEAR PRESUMPTION IS THAT THESE DEVIATIONS AFFECTED EITHER THE QUALITY OF THE MACHINE OR THE PRICE AT WHICH IT WAS OFFERED TO THE GOVERNMENT. CONSEQUENTLY, THE DEVIATIONS WERE MATERIAL AND THE OFFER SHOULD HAVE BEEN CONSIDERED NONRESPONSIVE TO THE RFQ. UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES, AND SINCE THE PROVISIONS OF ASPR 3-603 REQUIRE REASONABLE SOLICITATION OF QUOTATIONS, GENERALLY FROM MORE THAN ONE SOURCE OF SUPPLY, WE MUST AGREE WITH YOUR CONTENTION THAT WHEN IT WAS DISCOVERED THE GOVERNMENT REQUIREMENTS COULD BE SATISFIED BY EQUIPMENT MEETING LESS EXACTING STANDARDS THAN THOSE ON WHICH QUOTATIONS HAD BEEN REQUESTED, YOU AND OTHER SUPPLIERS WHO HAD QUOTED PRICES SHOULD HAVE BEEN AFFORDED AN OPPORTUNITY TO QUOTE ON THE LESS EXACTING REQUIREMENTS. HOWEVER, SINCE THE MACHINE IN QUESTION WAS FOUND TO MEET THE NEEDS OF THE PROCURING AGENCY AND HAS BEEN INSTALLED AND PAID FOR, IT IS OUR OPINION THAT THE BEST INTERESTS OF THE GOVERNMENT WOULD NOT BE SERVED BY CANCELLING THE CONTRACT.

WE HAVE BEEN ADVISED, HOWEVER, THAT APPROPRIATE STEPS HAVE BEEN TAKEN TO PRECLUDE FUTURE OCCURRENCES OF THIS KIND AT MARINE CORPS SCHOOLS, AND IT IS CONTEMPLATED THAT OUR DECISION IN THIS CASE WILL BE CALLED TO THE ATTENTION OF ALL MARINE CORPS PROCURING ACTIVITIES.