B-163294, MAR. 27, 1968

B-163294: Mar 27, 1968

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Edda Emmanuelli Perez
(202) 512-2853
EmmanuelliPerezE@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

INCORPORATED: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR TELEGRAM AND LETTER DATED JANUARY 11. ON THE GROUND THAT YOUR BID WAS RESPONSIVE AND THE INVITATION WAS AMBIGUOUS IN NATURE. WHICH WAS STEP TWO IN THE TWO-STEP FORMAL ADVERTISING METHOD OF PROCUREMENT. FOUR BIDS WERE RECEIVED ON OPENING DATE. A NOTE UNDER THE SCHEDULE STATED: "AWARD WILL BE MADE TO THE LOW BIDDER ON THE BASE SCHEDULE. WHICHEVER IS IN THE BEST INTEREST OF THE GOVERNMENT. THE AWARD WILL BE MADE UNDER ONE CONTRACT TO ONE BIDDER. BIDS MADE ON OTHER THAN FULL QUANTITIES FOR ALL ITEMS WILL BE REJECTED AS NONRESPONSIVE.'. THE INVITATION WAS SOLICITED ON THE BASIS OF "F.O.B. ORIGIN PRICE THE COST OF TRANSPORTATION FROM THE POINT OF ORIGIN TO THE POINT OF DESTINATION WHICH WAS SPECIFIED AS KWAJALEIN ISLAND.

B-163294, MAR. 27, 1968

TO AURORA MOBILE HOMES, INCORPORATED:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR TELEGRAM AND LETTER DATED JANUARY 11, 1968, PROTESTING THE AWARD OF CONTRACT TO ANY OTHER BIDDER UNDER INVITATION FOR BIDS NO. DACA-83-68-B-0008, ISSUED BY THE UNITED STATES ARMY ENGINEER DISTRICT, HONOLULU, HAWAII, ON THE GROUND THAT YOUR BID WAS RESPONSIVE AND THE INVITATION WAS AMBIGUOUS IN NATURE.

THE SUBJECT INVITATION FOR BIDS (IFB), ISSUED DECEMBER 19, 1967, WHICH WAS STEP TWO IN THE TWO-STEP FORMAL ADVERTISING METHOD OF PROCUREMENT, SOLICITED BIDS FOR 191 TRAILERS AS BASE ITEM 1, AND FIVE SEPARATE ADDITIVES AS ITEMS 2 THROUGH 6. FOUR BIDS WERE RECEIVED ON OPENING DATE, JANUARY 8, 1968. THE BIDDING SCHEDULE CALLED FOR UNIT PRICES ON ALL ITEMS EXCEPT ADDITIVE ITEM 6 WHICH HAD UNDER THE UNIT PRICE COLUMN THE LETTERS "L.S.' , AND HAD NO DOLLAR SIGN UNDER THE TOTAL AMOUNT COLUMN. A NOTE UNDER THE SCHEDULE STATED:

"AWARD WILL BE MADE TO THE LOW BIDDER ON THE BASE SCHEDULE, OR TO THE LOW BIDDER ON THE BASE SCHEDULE AND ANY ADDITIVE OR COMBINATION OF ADDITIVES, WHICHEVER IS IN THE BEST INTEREST OF THE GOVERNMENT. THE AWARD WILL BE MADE UNDER ONE CONTRACT TO ONE BIDDER. BIDS MADE ON OTHER THAN FULL QUANTITIES FOR ALL ITEMS WILL BE REJECTED AS NONRESPONSIVE.'

IN ADDITION TO THE ABOVE FACTORS, THE INVITATION WAS SOLICITED ON THE BASIS OF "F.O.B. ORIGIN" AND CONTAINED A STATEMENT REQUIRED BY ARMED SERVICES PROCUREMENT REGULATION (ASPR) 1-1305.4 THAT EACH BID WOULD BE EVALUATED BY ADDING TO THE F.O.B. ORIGIN PRICE THE COST OF TRANSPORTATION FROM THE POINT OF ORIGIN TO THE POINT OF DESTINATION WHICH WAS SPECIFIED AS KWAJALEIN ISLAND, MARSHALL ISLANDS.

IN YOUR BID DATED JANUARY 4, 1968, YOU SUBMITTED UNIT PRICES AND TOTAL AMOUNTS ON ALL ITEMS EXCEPT ADDITIVE ITEM 6 WHICH WAS LEFT BLANK IN THE TOTAL AMOUNT COLUMN. ALL OF THE OTHER THREE CONCERNS SUBMITTING BIDS IN RESPONSE TO THE INVITATION QUOTED A TOTAL PRICE FOR ADDITIVE ITEM 6. THE CONTRACTING OFFICER, RELYING ON THE ABOVE PROVISION THAT BIDS MADE ON OTHER THAN FULL QUANTITIES FOR ALL ITEMS WOULD BE REJECTED AS NONRESPONSIVE, NOTIFIED YOU BY TELEGRAM DATED JANUARY 9, 1968, THAT YOUR BID WAS REJECTED AS NONRESPONSIVE. SUBSEQUENT TO THE BID OPENING,THE USING SERVICE DETERMINED THAT AWARD WOULD BE MADE ON BASE ITEM 1 AND ADDITIVE ITEM 5. ACCORDINGLY, ADDITIVE ITEMS 2, 3, 4 AND 6 WERE CANCELLED AND NOT CONSIDERED IN EVALUATING THE BIDS RECEIVED FOR AWARD.

IN YOUR LETTER OF JANUARY 11, 1968, YOU PROMISE YOUR PROTEST ON THE BASIS THAT YOUR BID WAS NOT CONSIDERED IN EVALUATION FOR AWARD BECAUSE OF YOUR OMISSION OF THE TOTAL PRICE ON ADDITIVE ITEM 6. IN THIS REGARD, YOU INTERPRET THE LETTERS "L.S.' IN THE UNIT PRICE COLUMN TO MEAN "LIST SUBMITTED" SINCE YOU WERE REQUIRED TO RESUBMIT A LIST OF ITEMS UNDER ITEM 6 PRIOR TO BID OPENING. IN VIEW OF THIS, YOU CONTEND THAT THE INTERPRETATION BY THE PROCURING ACTIVITY, THAT THE LETTERS ,L.S.' MEAN "LUMP SUM" , CREATES AN AMBIGUITY IN THE INVITATION.

IN VIEW OF THE FACT THAT ITEM 6 WAS ELIMINATED FOR BID EVALUATION PURPOSES, IT IS UNNECESSARY TO DECIDE WHETHER THE LETTERS "L.S.' CREATED AN AMBIGUITY IN THE INVITATION. WE MUST STATE, HOWEVER, THAT THE USUAL MEANING OF "L.S.' IN A UNIT PRICE COLUMN FOLLOWING A DESCRIPTION OF THE QUANTITY AND UNIT MEASUREMENT OF THE ITEM AS "1 LOT" IS "LUMP SUM". BECAUSE ITEM 6 WAS NOT CONSIDERED FOR EVALUATION PURPOSES, YOUR BID WAS EVALUATED FOR AWARD AS A RESPONSIVE BID, BUT WAS NOT THE LOW BID.

IN ORDER TO EVALUATE THE BIDS, THE CONTRACTING OFFICER REQUESTED TRANSPORTATION COSTS FROM THE MILITARY TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT AND TERMINAL SERVICE (MTMTS) PURSUANT TO THE REQUIREMENTS OF ASPR 1-1313.2. THE INFORMATION WAS FURNISHED TO THE CONTRACTING OFFICER ON JANUARY 23, 1968, AND AWARD WAS MADE TO NORTHLAND CAMPS, INCORPORATED ON FEBRUARY 6, 1968, AS THE LOW RESPONSIBLE BIDDER. THE FOLLOWING BREAKDOWN OF BIDS RECEIVED SHOWS THAT YOU WERE THE THIRD LOW BIDDER BUT MOVED TO SECOND WHEN THE APPARENT LOW BIDDER WAS FOUND TO BE NONRESPONSIVE AS A RESULT OF A PREAWARD SURVEY.

BIDDER ITEM 1 ADDITIVE ITEM 5 TRANSPORTATION TOTAL HUNTINGTON DISTRIBUTORS $2,167,903 $ 53,480 $1,413,799 $3,635,182 NORTHLAND CAMPS, INC. $2,025,746 $ 70,097 $1,662,270 $3,758,113 AURORA MOBILE HOMES, INC. $2,014,095 $103,140 $1,819,229 $3,936,464 DIVCO WAYNE INDUSTRIES, INC. $2,311,100 $143,155 $1,685,548 $4,139,803

SINCE THE RECORD BEFORE US CLEARLY ESTABLISHES THAT THE ACTION OF THE CONTRACTING AGENCY WAS IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE APPLICABLE LAW AND REGULATIONS, WE FIND NO BASIS FOR ANY ACTION BY OUR OFFICE WITH RESPECT THERETO, AND YOUR PROTEST IS DENIED.