B-166012, APR. 3, 1969

B-166012: Apr 3, 1969

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TO MARINE INSTRUMENT CO.: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO COPY OF YOUR LETTER OF JANUARY 25. THE INVITATION WAS ISSUED ON DECEMBER 10. SIX BIDS WERE OPENED AND TABULATED AT 2:15 P.M. CHALOUX AND CO. 5.00 THE BASIS OF YOUR PROTEST IS THAT STAFFORD IS NOT A QUALIFIED MANUFACTURER OF GLASS TUBES IN ACCORDANCE WITH MILITARY SPECIFICATION MIL- C-20061C AND THAT IN ORDER TO FULFILL THE REQUIREMENT OF THIS SOLICITATION IT WILL HAVE TO SEEK A PRINCIPAL MANUFACTURER OF THESE TUBES. YOU FURTHER PROTEST THAT THE PRICE QUOTED BY STAFFORD IS. AT WHICH TIME THE PRICE WAS $7.75 FROM JOHN J. THE CURRENT PRICE BID BY STAFFORD IS CONSIDERED BY THE CONTRACTING OFFICER TO BE FAIR AND REASONABLE. IT HAS BEEN HELD BY OUR OFFICE THAT THE CONTRACTING AGENCY HAS THE PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITY TO DETERMINE WHETHER A BID PRICE IS REASONABLE.

B-166012, APR. 3, 1969

TO MARINE INSTRUMENT CO.:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO COPY OF YOUR LETTER OF JANUARY 25, 1969, PROTESTING AN AWARD TO ANY BIDDER OTHER THAN YOURSELF UNDER NAVY SOLICITATION NO. N00104-69-B-1218, ISSUED BY NAVY SHIPS PARTS CONTROL CENTER, MECHANICSBURG, PENNSYLVANIA.

THE INVITATION WAS ISSUED ON DECEMBER 10, 1968, TO 16 PROSPECTIVE BIDDERS AND SOLICITED BIDS FOR A QUANTITY OF 445 SHIP CLINOMETER BUBBLE TUBES. SIX BIDS WERE OPENED AND TABULATED AT 2:15 P.M., E.S.T., ON DECEMBER 30, 1968, THE THREE LOWEST BIDS BEING AS FOLLOWS:

BIDDER UNIT PRICE

STAFFORD MFG. CO. $4.98

MARINE INSTRUMENT CO. 6.30

JOHN J. CHALOUX AND CO. 5.00

THE BASIS OF YOUR PROTEST IS THAT STAFFORD IS NOT A QUALIFIED MANUFACTURER OF GLASS TUBES IN ACCORDANCE WITH MILITARY SPECIFICATION MIL- C-20061C AND THAT IN ORDER TO FULFILL THE REQUIREMENT OF THIS SOLICITATION IT WILL HAVE TO SEEK A PRINCIPAL MANUFACTURER OF THESE TUBES. YOU FURTHER PROTEST THAT THE PRICE QUOTED BY STAFFORD IS, IN YOUR OPINION, NOT CONSISTENT WITH QUOTED PRICES FROM RELIABLE MANUFACTURING SOURCES AND REQUEST THE NAME OF THE GLASS TUBE SUPPLIER FOR STAFFORD. YOU ALSO MAKE CERTAIN ALLEGATIONS CONCERNING A PREVIOUS INVITATION FOR THE SAME ITEM UNDER INVITATION NO. N00104-69-B-0406.

THE THREE LOW BIDDERS UNDER INVITATION -1218 INDICATED IN ARTICLE 7.16, ENTITLED "INSPECTION AND ACCEPTANCE," THE NAME AND ADDRESS OF PRINCIPAL MANUFACTURER OF SUPPLIES AS FOLLOWS:

BIDDER PRINCIPAL MANUFACTURER OF SUPPLIES

STAFFORD MFG. CO. STAFFORD MFG. CO.

MARINE INSTRUMENT CO. PHILADELPHIA SCIENTIFIC GLASS CO.

JOHN J. CHALOUX AND CO. JOHN J. CHALOUX AND CO.

THE PRICE HISTORY REPORTED FOR THE SHIP CLINOMETER BUBBLE TUBES SPECIFIED IN INVITATION -1218 INDICATES THE ITEM HAS NOT BEEN PURCHASED SINCE 1966, AT WHICH TIME THE PRICE WAS $7.75 FROM JOHN J. CHALOUX AND CO. PRIOR TO 1966, THE PRICE RANGED BETWEEN $4.80 FROM JOHN J. CHALOUX AND CO. AND $5.99 FROM STAFFORD. THE CURRENT PRICE BID BY STAFFORD IS CONSIDERED BY THE CONTRACTING OFFICER TO BE FAIR AND REASONABLE. IT HAS BEEN HELD BY OUR OFFICE THAT THE CONTRACTING AGENCY HAS THE PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITY TO DETERMINE WHETHER A BID PRICE IS REASONABLE. IN VIEW OF THE PRICE HISTORY DISCLOSED, WE FIND NO BASIS FOR LEGAL OBJECTION TO THE DETERMINATION OF PRICE REASONABLENESS IN THIS INSTANCE. 44 COMP. GEN. 27.

REGARDING YOUR SIMILAR CONTENTIONS UNDER INVITATION FOR BIDS NO. 0406, THAT PROCUREMENT REQUESTED BIDS ON 834 SHIP CLINOMETERS. THE RECOMMENDATION FOR A COMPLETE AWARD TO STAFFORD WAS BASED ON A PREAWARD SURVEY OF ITS CAPABILITIES. CONTRACT NO. N00104-69-C-5890 WAS AWARDED ON DECEMBER 6, 1968, TO STAFFORD AS THE LOW RESPONSIVE, RESPONSIBLE BIDDER UNDER THAT INVITATION AND, ON THE RECORD, SUCH AWARD IS NOT SUBJECT TO QUESTION. MOREOVER, THE CLINOMETERS SPECIFIED IN -0406 INCLUDED AS A COMPONENT THE IDENTICAL GLASS TUBES REQUIRED BY -1218.

YOU NEXT CONTEND THAT STAFFORD IS NOT A QUALIFIED MANUFACTURER OF GLASS TUBES IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE SPECIFICATIONS. THE REQUIREMENT IN THE ACCEPTANCE AND INSPECTION CLAUSE, ARTICLE 7.16, FOR THE NAME OF THE PRINCIPAL MANUFACTURER OF THE SUPPLIES IS FOR INFORMATION PURPOSES. THE STATUTORY REQUIREMENT IN 41 U.S.C. 35 THAT A BIDDER BE A MANUFACTURER OR DEALER APPLIES TO SUPPLY CONTRACTS EXCEEDING $10,000 IN AMOUNT. THE PROCUREMENT HERE INVOLVED IS IN THE AMOUNT OF $2,216.10. HENCE, THE QUESTION WHETHER STAFFORD IS A MANUFACTURER OF THE END ITEM WAS NOT A MATERIAL FACTOR TO BE CONSIDERED IN DETERMINING STAFFORD'S RESPONSIBILITY AS A PROSPECTIVE CONTRACTOR. HOWEVER, FOR THE RECORD, STAFFORD HAS BEEN DETERMINED TO BE A MANUFACTURER OF THE SUPPLIES BID UPON AND WAS DETERMINED TO BE A RESPONSIBLE BIDDER UNDER THE CRITERIA SET OUT IN ASPR 1 -903. SEE 36 COMP. GEN. 42.

IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, WE FIND NO BASIS FOR QUESTIONING THE AWARD MADE TO STAFFORD AND YOUR PROTEST IS THEREFORE DENIED.