B-162257, SEP. 13, 1967

B-162257: Sep 13, 1967

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A BIDDER WHO WAS NOT GIVEN A NEW INVITATION FOR BID SET TO MODIFY HIS BID IN ACCORDANCE WITH AN AMENDMENT RECEIVED AFTER HE HAD SUBMITTED HIS ORIGINAL BID AND WHO WAS ADVISED THAT THE BID COULD BE MODIFIED BY LETTER AND THAT THE BID COULD BE RETURNED ONLY UPON WRITTEN REQUEST MAY NOT HAVE ACTIONS OF PROCURING AGENCY CONSIDERED TO HAVE BEEN PREJUDICIAL SINCE NEITHER INVITATION NOR REGULATIONS REQUIRE THAT NEW BID SETS BE ISSUED TO ENABLE BIDDER TO MODIFY THEIR BIDS AFTER ISSUANCE OF AN AMENDMENT BUT BOTH SPECIFY THE METHOD FOR MODIFICATION OF BIDS AND FOR RETURN OF BID AS ADVISED BY THE PROCURING PERSONNEL. THE SUBJECT INVITATION COVERS CABLE ASSEMBLIES AND WAS ORIGINALLY SCHEDULED FOR OPENING ON AUGUST 10.

B-162257, SEP. 13, 1967

BIDS - AMENDMENTS, ETC. DECISION TO MIDWEST TECHNOLOGY, INC., PROTESTING THE FAILURE OF THE NAVAL SUPPLY CENTER, NEWPORT, R.I. TO FURNISH A NEW INVITATION FOR BIDS SET FOR BID MODIFICATION PURPOSES. A BIDDER WHO WAS NOT GIVEN A NEW INVITATION FOR BID SET TO MODIFY HIS BID IN ACCORDANCE WITH AN AMENDMENT RECEIVED AFTER HE HAD SUBMITTED HIS ORIGINAL BID AND WHO WAS ADVISED THAT THE BID COULD BE MODIFIED BY LETTER AND THAT THE BID COULD BE RETURNED ONLY UPON WRITTEN REQUEST MAY NOT HAVE ACTIONS OF PROCURING AGENCY CONSIDERED TO HAVE BEEN PREJUDICIAL SINCE NEITHER INVITATION NOR REGULATIONS REQUIRE THAT NEW BID SETS BE ISSUED TO ENABLE BIDDER TO MODIFY THEIR BIDS AFTER ISSUANCE OF AN AMENDMENT BUT BOTH SPECIFY THE METHOD FOR MODIFICATION OF BIDS AND FOR RETURN OF BID AS ADVISED BY THE PROCURING PERSONNEL.

TO MIDWEST TECHNOLOGY INCORPORATED:

BY LETTER OF AUGUST 10, 1967, YOU PROTESTED AGAINST THE FAILURE OF THE PROCUREMENT AGENCY TO FURNISH YOUR FIRM WITH A NEW INVITATION FOR BIDS SET SO AS TO ENABLE YOUR FIRM TO MODIFY A BID IN ACCORDANCE WITH AN AMENDMENT TO INVITATION FOR BIDS NO. N00298-68-B-0001, ISSUED BY THE NAVAL SUPPLY CENTER, NEWPORT, RHODE ISLAND.

THE SUBJECT INVITATION COVERS CABLE ASSEMBLIES AND WAS ORIGINALLY SCHEDULED FOR OPENING ON AUGUST 10, 1967. ON AUGUST 7, 1967, A TELEGRAM WAS SENT TO ALL PROSPECTIVE BIDDERS NOTIFYING THEM OF A PENDING AMENDMENT TO THE INVITATION AND, ON AUGUST 10, 1967, THE AMENDMENT, WHICH MODIFIED THE SPECIFICATION DRAWINGS AND EXTENDED THE SCHEDULED BID OPENING TO AUGUST 24, 1967, WAS MAILED TO ALL PROSPECTIVE BIDDERS. WE ARE ADVISED THAT BIDS WERE OPENED AS SCHEDULED ON AUGUST 24, BUT THAT NO AWARD HAS BEEN MADE TO DATE.

YOU COMPLAIN THAT YOU DID NOT RECEIVE THE INVITATION AMENDMENT UNTIL AFTER YOUR BID HAD BEEN SUBMITTED TO THE PROCUREMENT AGENCY, AND THAT THE GOVERNMENT BUYER WOULD NOT HONOR YOUR REQUEST FOR A NEW BID SET; EXPLAINING INSTEAD THAT YOUR BID COULD BE MOFIFIED BY LETTER WITHOUT THE NECESSITY OF SUBMITTING NEW BID FORMS. YOU ALSO COMPLAIN THAT THE GOVERNMENT BUYER ADVISED YOU THAT YOUR BID COULD NOT BE RETURNED IN THE ABSENCE OF A FORMAL LETTER REQUESTING ITS RETURN. YOU PROTEST THESE ACTIONS "ON THE GROUNDS THAT OUR COMPANY IS BEING DEPRIVED OF SUBMITTING A BID IN THE NORMAL MANNER.'

WE ARE ADVISED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY THAT IT AGREES WITH YOUR RECITATION OF THE INCIDENTS LEADING UP TO YOUR PROTEST IN ALL IMPORTANT PARTICULARS, EXCEPT THAT YOU WERE ADVISED THAT, IN ADDITION TO SECURING THE RETURN OF YOUR BID BY MEANS OF A FORMAL LETTER REQUEST, IT ALSO WOULD BE PERMISSIBLE TO HAVE THE BID PICKED UP IN PERSON BY AN AUTHORIZED AGENT OF YOUR FIRM. THE PROCUREMENT AGENCY HAS REPORTED THAT THERE WERE NO EXTRA BID SETS ON HAND WHEN YOUR REQUEST WAS MADE SINCE ALL BID SETS HAD BEEN SENT TO PROSPECTIVE BIDDERS.

STANDARD FORM 33A, JULY 1966 EDITION, WHICH WAS INCLUDED IN THE INSTANT INVITATION, SETS OUT THE REQUIRED STEPS FOR MODIFICATION OR WITHDRAWAL OF BIDS; NAMELY, THAT BIDS MAY BE MODIFIED OR WITHDRAWN BEFORE BID OPENING BY WRITTEN OR TELEGRAPHIC NOTICE AND THAT BIDS MAY ALSO BE WITHDRAWN BEFORE OPENING IN PERSON BY AN OFFEROR OR HIS AUTHORIZED REPRESENTATIVE. THE ADVICE GIVEN TO YOU BY THE GOVERNMENT BUYER APPEARS TO HAVE BEEN IN ACCORD WITH THESE REQUIREMENTS. IF IT WAS YOUR OPINION THAT MODIFICATION OF YOUR BID WAS MADE NECESSARY BY THE INVITATION AMENDMENT, THE INVITATION SET OUT THE MEANS FOR ACCOMPLISHING IT. SIMILARLY, IF YOUR FIRM NO LONGER WISHED TO SUBMIT A BID AS A RESULT OF THE INVITATION AMENDMENT, THE INVITATION ALSO PROVIDED THE MEANS FOR WITHDRAWAL OF YOUR BID. HOWEVER, NEITHER THE INVITATION NOR THE PROCUREMENT REGULATIONS REQUIRE THAT NEW BID SETS BE ISSUED TO BIDDERS TO ENABLE THEM TO MODIFY THEIR BIDS AFTER ISSUANCE OF AN INVITATION AMENDMENT. FURTHER, IN OUR OPINION, SUCH A REQUIREMENT WOULD BE A NEEDLESS COMPLICATION OF THE BIDDING PROCESS BECAUSE IT WOULD RESULT IN AN INCREASE IN THE ADMINISTRATIVE COST OF PRINTING AND DISTRIBUTING EXTRA BID SETS WITH NO CORRESPONDING INCREASE IN THE EFFICIENCY WITH WHICH BID MODIFICATIONS ARE HANDLED. ACCORDINGLY, WE CANNOT CONCLUDE THAT THE ACTIONS OF THE GOVERNMENT BUYER WERE PREJUDICIAL TO YOUR INTERESTS.