B-166626, JUL. 10, 1969

B-166626: Jul 10, 1969

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TO OAK POINT DAIRIES OF N.J.: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR TELEGRAM OF APRIL 8. THE CONTRACT WAS TO BE AWARDED ON AN INDEFINITE QUANTITY BASIS. DELIVERIES WERE TO BE MADE TO TWO ZONES. TWO BIDS WERE RECEIVED IN RESPONSE TO THE INVITATION. YOUR BID WAS IN THE TOTAL SUM OF $4. 951.35 AND THE TOTAL BID OF ABBOTTS DAIRIES DIVISION OF FAIRMONT FOODS COMPANY WAS $5. IT APPEARS TO BE YOUR POSITION THAT YOU WERE THE LOWEST BIDDER AND SHOULD HAVE RECEIVED AWARD OF THE CONTRACT. IN VIEW OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE REPORT WE CANNOT AGREE WITH YOU THAT AWARD PROPERLY SHOULD HAVE BEEN MADE TO YOU. IT IS REPORTED THAT THE METHOD OF ORDERING UNDER ANY CONTRACT AWARDED IS THAT EACH OF THE ACTIVITIES SERVED PLACE TELEPHONE CALLS TO THE CONTRACTOR EACH DAY ORDERING ITS NEXT DAY'S REQUIREMENTS.

B-166626, JUL. 10, 1969

TO OAK POINT DAIRIES OF N.J.:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR TELEGRAM OF APRIL 8, 1969, PROTESTING AGAINST THE REJECTION OF YOUR BID UNDER INVITATION FOR BIDS NO. N00151-69- B-1248 ISSUED BY THE PHILADELPHIA NAVAL SHIPYARD ON MARCH 6, 1969.

THE SUBJECT INVITATION REQUESTED BIDS FOR FURNISHING VARIOUS ITEMS OF ICE CREAM TO BE DELIVERED DURING THE PERIOD APRIL 1, 1969, THROUGH JUNE 30, 1969, AND THE CONTRACT WAS TO BE AWARDED ON AN INDEFINITE QUANTITY BASIS. DELIVERIES WERE TO BE MADE TO TWO ZONES. ZONE 1 CONSISTED OF VARIOUS NAVAL ACTIVITIES IN THE PHILADELPHIA AREA AND ZONE 2 CONSISTED OF THE NAVAL AIR STATIONS AT WILLOW GROVE AND JOHNSVILLE, PENNSYLVANIA, AND VESSELS STATIONED AT THE MARINE TERMINAL, TRENTON, NEW JERSEY. ITEMS 3 AND 6 OF THE INVITATION REQUIRED THE SUBMISSION OF A BID PRICE FOR ASSORTED FLAVORS OF ICE CREAM PACKED IN 3-FLUID-OUNCE CUPS. PARAGRAPH 4.15 OF THE SPECIFICATIONS REQUIRED THE BIDDERS TO SUBMIT WITH THEIR BIDS THE NAME, ADDRESS AND TELEPHONE NUMBER OF THE PHILADELPHIA OFFICE DESIGNATED TO RECEIVE ORDERS PLACED UNDER ANY CONTRACT AWARDED. TWO BIDS WERE RECEIVED IN RESPONSE TO THE INVITATION. YOUR BID WAS IN THE TOTAL SUM OF $4,951.35 AND THE TOTAL BID OF ABBOTTS DAIRIES DIVISION OF FAIRMONT FOODS COMPANY WAS $5,233.25. IN YOUR BID YOU OFFERED TO SUPPLY 3-1/2- OUNCE CUPS OF ICE CREAM FOR ITEMS 3 AND 6 IN LIEU OF THE 3-OUNCE CUPS REQUESTED. ALSO, YOU DID NOT SUBMIT ANY INFORMATION CONCERNING A LOCAL PHILADELPHIA OFFICE AS REQUIRED BY PARAGRAPH 4.15 OF THE SPECIFICATIONS. YOU INSERTED IN YOUR BID IN RESPONSE TO THIS REQUIREMENT "OAK POINT DAIRIES OF N.J. - 120 ROME STREET - NEWARK, N.J. 07105 - 201-622-0330.'

IT APPEARS TO BE YOUR POSITION THAT YOU WERE THE LOWEST BIDDER AND SHOULD HAVE RECEIVED AWARD OF THE CONTRACT. IN VIEW OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE REPORT WE CANNOT AGREE WITH YOU THAT AWARD PROPERLY SHOULD HAVE BEEN MADE TO YOU.

IN THE EVALUATION OF YOUR BID THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE CONSIDERED YOUR BID TO BE NONRESPONSIVE BECAUSE OF YOUR CHANGE IN THE CUP CAPACITY FOR ITEMS 3 AND 6. IN ADDITION, IT IS REPORTED THAT THE METHOD OF ORDERING UNDER ANY CONTRACT AWARDED IS THAT EACH OF THE ACTIVITIES SERVED PLACE TELEPHONE CALLS TO THE CONTRACTOR EACH DAY ORDERING ITS NEXT DAY'S REQUIREMENTS. BY FAILING TO INCLUDE A LOCAL TELEPHONE NUMBER, A BIDDER WOULD PLACE THE ADDITIONAL BURDEN AND COST OF PLACING LONG-DISTANCE TELEPHONE ORDERS ON THE GOVERNMENT. THEREFORE, THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE DETERMINED THAT THE COST OF PLACING ORDERS BY LONG-DISTANCE TELEPHONE CALLS TO THE NUMBER GIVEN BY YOU WOULD BE 50 CENTS. BASED UPON THE NUMBER OF ORDERS PLACED UNDER EACH OF THE FOUR PREVIOUS SIMILAR CONTRACTS IT WAS CONCLUDED THAT THE COST OF LONG DISTANCE TELEPHONE CALLS TO PLACE ORDERS WITH YOU WOULD BE $479. ADDING THIS COST TO YOUR TOTAL BID PRICE YOU WERE NOT LOW BIDDER. HENCE, AWARD WAS MADE TO ABBOTTS DAIRIES DIVISION OF FAIRMONT FOODS COMPANY.

IN THE ABSENCE OF EVIDENCE ESTABLISHING THAT 3-1/2-OUNCE CUPS OF ICE CREAM WOULD NOT MEET THE NEEDS OF THE GOVERNMENT AS READILY AS THE 3 OUNCE CUPS REQUESTED, WE HAVE SERIOUS DOUBTS THAT THIS REASON STANDING ALONE WOULD HAVE BEEN A VALID BASIS FOR DISREGARDING YOUR BID AS BEING NONRESPONSIVE. HOWEVER, IN ADDITION TO YOUR CHANGE IN THE CUP CAPACITY YOU DID NOT FURNISH A LOCAL TELEPHONE NUMBER.

WHILE ORDINARILY THE COST OF AN OCCASIONAL LONG-DISTANCE TELEPHONE CALL WOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED IN DETERMINING THE LOW BID, WHERE, AS HERE, BIDDERS WERE ADVISED THAT ORDERS WOULD BE PLACED DAILY AND WERE REQUESTED TO FURNISH A LOCAL TELEPHONE NUMBER FOR THE PLACING OF SUCH ORDERS, WE THINK THAT SUCH COSTS PROPERLY SHOULD BE CONSIDERED IN DETERMINING WHICH IS IN FACT THE LOWEST BID RECEIVED. IT WOULD, OF COURSE, HAVE BEEN PREFERABLE IF THE INVITATION HAD ADVISED BIDDERS THAT IN THE EVENT A LOCAL TELEPHONE NUMBER WAS NOT FURNISHED THE COST OF PLACING ORDERS BY LONG- DISTANCE CALLS WOULD BE CONSIDERED IN EVALUATION OF THE BIDS. HOWEVER, THE FACT THAT NO PROVISION WAS MADE THEREFOR IN THE SPECIFICATIONS DOES NOT, IN OUR OPINION, PRECLUDE THE CONSIDERATION OF REPETITIVE AND SUBSTANTIAL LONG-DISTANCE TELEPHONE COSTS IN EVALUATING THE BIDS. THINK THAT THE UNUSUAL TELEPHONE COSTS INVOLVED HERE MAY BE EQUATED TO DELIVERY COSTS WHICH WE CONSISTENTLY HAVE HELD MUST BE CONSIDERED IN THE EVALUATION OF BIDS. 10 COMP. GEN. 402.