B-164539, AUG. 15, 1968

B-164539: Aug 15, 1968

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TO TDX CORPORATION: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED JUNE 7. THE SUBJECT INVITATION WAS FOR THE PROCUREMENT OF HIGH FREQUENCY MELTING EQUIPMENT EQUAL TO THAT PRODUCED BY INDUCTOTHERM CORPORATION AND BIDS WERE OPENED ON JUNE 4. 850 WAS LOW. YOU COMPLAIN THAT TDX WAS FORCED TO REVEAL ITS BID PRICES TO INDUCTOTHERM PRIOR TO THE BID OPENING DATE DURING THE COURSE OF A DEPOSITION TAKEN IN CONNECTION WITH AN ACTION FILED BY INDUCTOTHERM IN THE NEW JERSEY SUPERIOR COURT SEEKING AN INJUNCTION AGAINST THE PRODUCTION BY TDX OF THE EQUIPMENT CALLED FOR IN THE INVITATION. THE TECHNICAL CONSULTANT TO THE DIRECTOR OF THE MINT CONTACTED YOU BY PHONE TO DETERMINE WHEN THE ALLEGED FORCED DISCLOSURE TOOK PLACE AND THAT YOU ADVISED THAT THE DEPOSITION IN WHICH THE DISCLOSURE WAS MADE WAS TAKEN ON JUNE 3.

B-164539, AUG. 15, 1968

TO TDX CORPORATION:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED JUNE 7, 1968, PROTESTING AGAINST AWARD TO ANY OTHER BIDDER UNDER INVITATION FOR BIDS NO. B-12, ISSUED BY THE BUREAU OF THE MINT, PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA.

THE SUBJECT INVITATION WAS FOR THE PROCUREMENT OF HIGH FREQUENCY MELTING EQUIPMENT EQUAL TO THAT PRODUCED BY INDUCTOTHERM CORPORATION AND BIDS WERE OPENED ON JUNE 4, 1968. OF THE TWO BIDS RECEIVED, THE BID OF INDUCTOTHERM CORPORATION IN THE AMOUNT OF $27,850 WAS LOW, $130 LESS THAN THE BID OF YOUR COMPANY IN THE AMOUNT OF $27,980.

YOU COMPLAIN THAT TDX WAS FORCED TO REVEAL ITS BID PRICES TO INDUCTOTHERM PRIOR TO THE BID OPENING DATE DURING THE COURSE OF A DEPOSITION TAKEN IN CONNECTION WITH AN ACTION FILED BY INDUCTOTHERM IN THE NEW JERSEY SUPERIOR COURT SEEKING AN INJUNCTION AGAINST THE PRODUCTION BY TDX OF THE EQUIPMENT CALLED FOR IN THE INVITATION. YOU MAINTAIN THAT SUCH FORCED DISCLOSURE OF YOUR BID PRICES VIOLATED THE ANTITRUST LAWS AND GOVERNMENT PROCUREMENT REGULATIONS, AND YOU REQUEST THAT THE INDUCTOTHERM BID BE DISQUALIFIED AND AWARD MADE TO TDX.

THE REPORT SUBMITTED TO OUR OFFICE BY THE BUREAU OF THE MINT STATES THAT UPON RECEIPT OF YOUR PROTEST, THE TECHNICAL CONSULTANT TO THE DIRECTOR OF THE MINT CONTACTED YOU BY PHONE TO DETERMINE WHEN THE ALLEGED FORCED DISCLOSURE TOOK PLACE AND THAT YOU ADVISED THAT THE DEPOSITION IN WHICH THE DISCLOSURE WAS MADE WAS TAKEN ON JUNE 3, 1968, ONE DAY BEFORE THE JUNE 4 SCHEDULED BID OPENING DATE. THE REPORT STATES FURTHER THAT YOU AGREED TO FURNISH A COPY OF THE DEPOSITION IN QUESTION BUT THAT TO DATE IT HAS NOT BEEN RECEIVED. FINALLY, THE REPORT STATES THAT THE INDUCTOTHERM BID WAS RECEIVED AT THE PURCHASING OFFICE BEFORE JUNE 3, 1968, AND THEREFORE CONCLUDES THAT INDUCTOTHERM COULD NOT HAVE BEEN INFLUENCED BY ANY INFORMATION REVEALED BY THE DEPOSITION. BECAUSE THE EQUIPMENT COVERED BY THE INVITATION IS URGENTLY NEEDED, AND BECAUSE THE FUNDS ALLOCATED FOR THIS PROCUREMENT WERE TO EXPIRE ON JUNE 30, 1968, IT WAS DETERMINED THAT DELIVERY OF THE EQUIPMENT WOULD BE UNDULY DELAYED BY FAILURE TO MAKE A PROMPT AWARD. ACCORDINGLY, AWARD WAS MADE TO INDUCTOTHERM ON JUNE 13, 1968.

WHILE YOUR PROTEST ALLEGES THAT YOU WERE FORCED TO DIVULGE YOUR BID PRICES BEFORE OPENING, YOU HAVE SUBMITTED NO SUBSTANTIATION OF YOUR ALLEGATION. FURTHER, THERE IS NO INDICATION OF ANY IMPROPRIETY ON THE PART OF THE CONTRACTING OFFICIALS IN ANY DISCLOSURE OF YOUR BID PRICES AND, AS INDICATED ABOVE, THE SEALED BID OF INDUCTOTHERM WAS SUBMITTED BEFORE THE DATE OF THE ALLEGED BID PRICE DISCLOSURE AND WAS NOT THEREAFTER CHANGED. IN VIEW OF THE ABOVE FACTS AND IN VIEW OF THE REPORTED URGENCY OF THIS PROCUREMENT, WE MUST CONCLUDE THAT THE AWARD TO INDUCTOTHERM IS NOT SUBJECT TO QUESTION BY OUR OFFICE.