B-162921, JAN. 19, 1968

B-162921: Jan 19, 1968

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C. RICHARD MULLEN: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR TELEGRAM OF NOVEMBER 14. ONE OF THE SPECIFICATION REQUIREMENTS FOR THE EQUIPMENT WAS THAT THE SCINTILLATION WELL BE SHIELDED ADEQUATELY WITH AT LEAST 8 INCHES OF LEAD. EACH BIDDER WAS REQUIRED BY THE INVITATION TO FURNISH WITH ITS BID DESCRIPTIVE LITERATURE SHOWING THAT THE OFFERED PRODUCT MET THE SPECIFICATIONS. THE DESCRIPTIVE LITERATURE IS REQUIRED TO ESTABLISH. ETC. "/B) FAILURE OF DESCRIPTIVE LITERATURE TO SHOW THAT THE PRODUCT OFFERED CONFORMS TO THE SPECIFICATIONS AND OTHER REQUIREMENTS OF THIS INVITATION FOR BIDS WILL REQUIRE REJECTION OF THE BID. FAILURE TO FURNISH THE DESCRIPTIVE LITERATURE BY THE TIME SPECIFIED IN THE INVITATION FOR BIDS WILL REQUIRE REJECTION OF THE BID.

B-162921, JAN. 19, 1968

BIDS - DESCRIPTIVE DATA, ETC. DECISION TO TRACERLAB DENYING PROTEST AGAINST REJECTION OF LOW BID FOR AUTOMATIC DUAL CHANNEL GAMMA COUNTING SYSTEM FOR WALTER REED ARMY MEDICAL CENTER. LOW BIDDER WHO FURNISHED DESCRIPTIVE DATA DESCRIBING DETAILS OF EQUIPMENT THAT DID NOT CONFORM TO THE SPECIFICATIONS HAD BID PROPERLY REJECTED AS NONRESPONSIVE AND AN ATTEMPT AFTER BID OPENING TO CLARIFY BY PROPRIETARY DRAWINGS THE EQUIPMENT OFFERED DID NOT CURE THE CAUSE OF BID REJECTION.

TO MR. C. RICHARD MULLEN:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR TELEGRAM OF NOVEMBER 14, 1967, AND TO THE COPY OF A LETTER DATED NOVEMBER 17, 1967, TO THE WALTER REED ARMY MEDICAL CENTER, PROTESTING THE REJECTION OF YOUR COMPANY'S LOW BID UNDER INVITATION FOR BIDS DADA15-68B-0043.

THE INVITATION SOLICITED BIDS FOR FURNISHING AN AUTOMATIC DUAL CHANNEL GAMMA COUNTING SYSTEM. ONE OF THE SPECIFICATION REQUIREMENTS FOR THE EQUIPMENT WAS THAT THE SCINTILLATION WELL BE SHIELDED ADEQUATELY WITH AT LEAST 8 INCHES OF LEAD. EACH BIDDER WAS REQUIRED BY THE INVITATION TO FURNISH WITH ITS BID DESCRIPTIVE LITERATURE SHOWING THAT THE OFFERED PRODUCT MET THE SPECIFICATIONS. THE "REQUIREMENT FOR DESCRIPTIVE LITERATURE" CLAUSES PROVIDED:

"/A) DESCRIPTIVE LITERATURE MUST BE FURNISHED AS A PART OF THIS INVITATION FOR BIDS AND MUST BE RECEIVED BEFORE THE TIME SET FOR OPENING BIDS. THE LITERATURE FURNISHED MUST BE IDENTIFIED TO SHOW THE ITEM IN THE BID TO WHICH IT PERTAINS. THE DESCRIPTIVE LITERATURE IS REQUIRED TO ESTABLISH, FOR THE PURPOSES OF BID EVALUATION AND AWARD, DETAILS OF THE PRODUCTS THE BIDDER PROPOSES TO FURNISH AS TO DESIGN, MATERIALS, PERFORMANCE CHARACTERISTICS, OPERATION, ETC.

"/B) FAILURE OF DESCRIPTIVE LITERATURE TO SHOW THAT THE PRODUCT OFFERED CONFORMS TO THE SPECIFICATIONS AND OTHER REQUIREMENTS OF THIS INVITATION FOR BIDS WILL REQUIRE REJECTION OF THE BID. FAILURE TO FURNISH THE DESCRIPTIVE LITERATURE BY THE TIME SPECIFIED IN THE INVITATION FOR BIDS WILL REQUIRE REJECTION OF THE BID, EXCEPT THAT IF THE MATERIAL IS TRANSMITTED BY MAIL AND IS RECEIVED LATE, IT MAY BE CONSIDERED UNDER THE PROVISIONS FOR CONSIDERING LATE BIDS, AS SET FORTH ELSEWHERE IN THIS INVITATION FOR BIDS.'

YOUR COMPANY'S LOW BID WAS REJECTED BECAUSE THE DESCRIPTIVE DATA FURNISHED WITH YOUR BID (BULLETIN F-2) LISTED 4.25 INCHES OF LEAD OVER THE TOP OF THE CRYSTAL (SCINTILLATION) WHEREAS THE INVITATION REQUIRED 8 INCHES OF LEAD SHIELDING. YOU PROTEST THE REJECTION BECAUSE YOU POINT OUT THAT IN ANOTHER PLACE IN THE DESCRIPTIVE DATA, FOLLOWING "SHIELDING," IT IS STATED "8" MIN. BETWEEN CRYSTAL AND SAMPLES.' HOWEVER, THE LAST STATED QUOTATION IS PRECEDED BY WORDS "/SEE DETAILS BELOW)" AND AT THE PLACE REFERENCED, AFTER THE WORD "SHIELD," IT IS STATED: "TOP: 4.25 INCHES OF LEAD SIDE: 3 INCHES ALL AROUND, EXTRA LEAD BETWEEN SAMPLE HOLDERS AND DETECTOR (UP TO 4 INCHES) BOTTOM: 3 INCHES FOR 2 INCH DIA. DETECTORS, 1 INCH FOR 3 INCH DIA. DETECTORS.'

THUS, THE DETAILS DESCRIBED IN YOUR BULLETIN F-2 DID NOT SUPPORT THE GENERAL STATEMENT THAT THERE ARE 8 INCHES OF SHIELDING, AND IT WAS NOT CLEAR FROM THE DATA THAT THE EQUIPMENT CONFORMED TO THE SPECIFICATIONS. AS STATED IN PARAGRAPH (B) OF THE DESCRIPTIVE LITERATURE CLAUSE OVE,"FAILURE OF DESCRIPTIVE LITERATURE TO SHOW THAT THE PRODUCT OFFERED CONFORMS TO THE SPECIFICATIONS AND OTHER REQUIREMENTS OF THIS INVITATION FOR BIDS WILL REQUIRE REJECTION OF THE BID.' ACCORDINGLY, THE REJECTION OF YOUR COMPANY'S BID DOES NOT APPEAR TO HAVE BEEN IMPROPER UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES. THE ATTEMPT BY YOUR COMPANY AFTER BID OPENING TO CLARIFY BY PROPRIETARY DRAWINGS THAT THERE IS AT LEAST 8 INCHES OF LEAD WHERE REQUIRED DID NOT CURE THE CAUSE OF BID REJECTION. OUR OFFICE HAS HELD THAT CONSIDERATION OF INFORMATION AFFECTING THE RESPONSIVENESS OF A BID, WHICH INFORMATION IS SUBMITTED AFTER BID OPENING, IS UNAUTHORIZED UNDER FORMALLY ADVERTISED PROCUREMENT PROCEDURES. SEE 40 COMP. GEN. 132; 36 ID. 415, 418; AND 17 ID. 554, 558.

IT HAS ALSO BEEN REPORTED TO OUR OFFICE THAT, SINCE THE FAILURE TO MEET THE LEAD SHIELDING SPECIFICATION WAS CONSIDERED TO BE AN ADEQUATE REASON FOR REJECTION OF THE BID, OTHER REASONS WERE NOT CITED AT THE TIME. HOWEVER, THE BID IS REPORTED TO BE FURTHER NONRESPONSIVE BECAUSE IT FAILED TO MEET SPECIFICATION REQUIREMENTS THAT THE SAMPLE NOT BE DIRECTLY MANIPULATED AND THAT THE COUNTING SYSTEM SHOULD BE CAPABLE OF WIDE (100- PERCENT FULL RANGE) AND NARROW (10-PERCENT FULL RANGE) WINDOW OPERATIONS.