B-164742, SEP. 30, 1968

B-164742: Sep 30, 1968

Additional Materials:

Contact:

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

 

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

ESQUIRE: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 24. THE ABOVE INVITATION FOR BIDS WAS ISSUED ON MARCH 14. TRADE-IN ALLOWANCES AND/OR CASH OFFERS WERE REQUESTED FOR THREE USED VEHICLES PRESENTLY OWNED BY THE FAA. THE FOLLOWING BIDS WERE RECEIVED FOR THE USED VEHICLES. FA-4037 (KT-4) WAS AWARDED TO DENNISON AT $750.00 CASH. THE OTHER TWO VEHICLES WERE AWARDED TO THIOKOL ON THE BASIS OF TRADE-IN ALLOWANCES OFFERED IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE PURCHASE OF THE THREE NEW SNOW VEHICLES. THE DATE SUCCESSFUL OFFERORS WERE NOTIFIED OF AWARDS. A PROTEST ON BEHALF OF KRISTI WAS MADE AGAINST THE AWARD OF VEHICLE NO. THIS ACTION WAS DEFENDED UPON THE BASIS THAT A SEPARATE AWARD FOR VEHICLE NO. FA-3760 (KT-3) WAS NOT JUSTIFIED BY A SAVING OF $1.00.

B-164742, SEP. 30, 1968

TO C. B. MESSENGER, ESQUIRE:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 24, 1968, PROTESTING ON BEHALF OF YOUR CLIENT, KRISTI COMPANY, THE AWARD MADE TO THIOKOL CHEMICAL CORPORATION UNDER INVITATION FOR BIDS NO. WE50-8-5020 ISSUED BY THE FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION AT DENVER, COLORADO.

THE ABOVE INVITATION FOR BIDS WAS ISSUED ON MARCH 14, 1968, FOR THREE SELF-PROPELLED, TRACK-TYPE, OVER-SNOW VEHICLES. IN ADDITION TO THE REQUIREMENT FOR NEW VEHICLES, TRADE-IN ALLOWANCES AND/OR CASH OFFERS WERE REQUESTED FOR THREE USED VEHICLES PRESENTLY OWNED BY THE FAA. THE FOLLOWING BIDS WERE RECEIVED FOR THE USED VEHICLES. VEHICLE NO. FA-3760 (KT-3) --------------------------

THIOKOL $375.00 TRADE-IN OR CASH

KRISTI 376.00 CASH

PETERSON EQUIPMENT CO. 500.00 TRADE-IN

C. A. DENNISON, JR. NO BID VEHICLE NO. FA-3722 (KT-3) -------------------

THIOKOL $375.00 TRADE-IN OR CASH

KRISTI 350.00 CASH

PETERSON EQUIPMENT CO. 600.00 TRADE-IN

C. A. DENNISON, JR. NO BID VEHICLE NO. FA-4037 (KT-4) -------------------

THIOKOL $375.00 TRADE-IN OR CASH

KRISTI 406.00 CASH

PETERSON EQUIPMENT CO. 500.00 TRADE-IN

C. A. DENNISON, JR. 750.00 CASH ONLY THIOKOL AND PETERSON SUBMITTED BIDS FOR THE THREE NEW VEHICLES. VEHICLE NO. FA-4037 (KT-4) WAS AWARDED TO DENNISON AT $750.00 CASH. THE OTHER TWO VEHICLES WERE AWARDED TO THIOKOL ON THE BASIS OF TRADE-IN ALLOWANCES OFFERED IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE PURCHASE OF THE THREE NEW SNOW VEHICLES. ON JUNE 12, 1968, THE DATE SUCCESSFUL OFFERORS WERE NOTIFIED OF AWARDS, A PROTEST ON BEHALF OF KRISTI WAS MADE AGAINST THE AWARD OF VEHICLE NO. FA-3760 (KT-3) TO THIOKOL AT THE $375.00 TRADE-IN OFFER IN VIEW OF THE $376.00 CASH OFFER BY KRISTI. THIS ACTION WAS DEFENDED UPON THE BASIS THAT A SEPARATE AWARD FOR VEHICLE NO. FA-3760 (KT-3) WAS NOT JUSTIFIED BY A SAVING OF $1.00.

FOLLOWING YOUR PROTEST TO THIS OFFICE, THE FAA REVIEWED THE PROPRIETY OF THE CONTRACTING OFFICER'S ACTION AND CONCLUDED: "IN THE ABSENCE OF SPECIFIC CRITERIA SET FORTH IN THE INVITATION FOR BIDS, THE COST OF ADDITIONAL ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSE TO THE GOVERNMENT IS TOO INDEFINITE AND SPECULATIVE TO BE CONSIDERED AN EVALUATION FACTOR. FURTHER, THE ABSENCE OF THIS CRITERIA WOULD LEAD BIDDERS TO CONCLUDE THAT AWARD WOULD BE MADE ON THE BASIS OF THE HIGHEST PRICE OFFERED ON A SALE ITEM, REGARDLESS OF THE MAGNITUDE OF THE PRICE DIFFERENCE CONTAINED IN VARIOUS BIDS.'

THIS OFFICE CONCURS IN THAT CONCLUSION AND IN THE ABSENCE OF A PROVISION FOR EVALUATION OF ADMINISTRATIVE COST UNDERSTANDS AWARD TO BE REQUIRED TO BE MADE TO THE LOW BIDDER. SEE 47 COMP. GEN. 233, 234. THE FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION PROCUREMENT MANUAL PROVIDES THAT A PROVISION SHOULD BE INCLUDED IN THE INVITATION, WHEN THE RIGHT IS RESERVED TO MAKE MULTIPLE AWARDS, ADVISING BIDDERS THAT $50.00 IS CONSIDERED THE COST OF ADMINISTERING SEPARATE CONTRACTS AND WILL BE USED IN EVALUATING BIDS. UNFORTUNATELY, THE PROVISION WAS INADVERTANTLY OMITTED IN THIS INVITATION AND BIDDERS WERE NOT ADVISED THAT OFFERS WOULD BE EVALUATED ON SUCH A BASIS.

INASMUCH AS THIS CONTRACT HAS BEEN FULLY PERFORMED, IT WOULD NOT NOW BE IN THE GOVERNMENT'S BEST INTEREST TO CANCEL THE CONTRACT. HOWEVER, WE HAVE BEEN ADVISED THAT THIS OMISSION HAS BEEN BROUGHT TO THE CONTRACTING OFFICER'S ATTENTION AND THAT FUTURE INVITATIONS MUST INCORPORATE THIS REQUIRED PROVISION.