B-168518, MARCH 10, 1970, 49 COMP. GEN. 553

B-168518: Mar 10, 1970

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THE INFORMATION INTENDED FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE GOVERNMENT AND NOT AS A BID CONDITION THEREFORE PROPERLY WAS ACCEPTED AFTER THE BIDS WERE OPENED. A CONTRACT AWARD COULD NOT LEGALLY BE REFUSED BY THE BIDDER ON THE BASIS THAT THE BID WAS DEFECTIVE FOR FAILURE TO FURNISH THE REQUIRED INFORMATION WITH THE BID. SUBMISSION TIME SPECIFIED NONCOMPLIANCE AT THE TIME OF BID SUBMISSION WITH THE PROVISION OF AN INVITATION FOR STEEL PIPE REQUIREMENTS THAT STATED "WHEN PIPE IS FURNISHED" FROM A SUPPLIER'S WAREHOUSE. WHETHER THE SUPPLIER IS A MANUFACTURER OR A JOBBER. EVIDENCE SHOULD BE SHOWN THAT THE PIPE WAS MANUFACTURED IN ACCORDANCE WITH AMERICAN SOCIETY FOR TESTING MATERIALS REQUIREMENTS. AS NO EXCEPTION WAS TAKEN TO THE TESTING STANDARD THE CONTRACTOR IS OBLIGATED TO MEET THE REQUIRED PROCEDURE "WHEN PIPE IS FURNISHED.

B-168518, MARCH 10, 1970, 49 COMP. GEN. 553

CONTRACTS -- SPECIFICATIONS -- FAILURE TO FURNISH SOMETHING REQUIRED -- INFORMATION -- POINTS OF PRODUCTION AND INSPECTION TO PERMIT THE LOW BIDDER UNDER AN INVITATION FOR STEEL PIPE REQUIREMENTS TO FURNISH PRODUCTION POINT AND SOURCE INSPECTION POINT INFORMATION AFTER THE OPENING OF BIDS DID NOT GIVE THE BIDDER "TWO BITES AT THE APPLE" AS SUCH INFORMATION CONCERNS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE BIDDER RATHER THAN THE RESPONSIVENESS OF THE BID, AND THE INFORMATION INTENDED FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE GOVERNMENT AND NOT AS A BID CONDITION THEREFORE PROPERLY WAS ACCEPTED AFTER THE BIDS WERE OPENED. THE BIDDER UNQUALIFIEDLY OFFERED TO MEET ALL THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE INVITATION, AND AS NOTHING ON THE FACE OF THE BID LIMITED, REDUCED, OR MODIFIED THE OBLIGATION TO PERFORM IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE TERMS OF THE INVITATION, A CONTRACT AWARD COULD NOT LEGALLY BE REFUSED BY THE BIDDER ON THE BASIS THAT THE BID WAS DEFECTIVE FOR FAILURE TO FURNISH THE REQUIRED INFORMATION WITH THE BID. CONTRACTS -- SPECIFICATIONS -- FAILURE TO FURNISH SOMETHING REQUIRED -- INFORMATION -- SUBMISSION TIME SPECIFIED NONCOMPLIANCE AT THE TIME OF BID SUBMISSION WITH THE PROVISION OF AN INVITATION FOR STEEL PIPE REQUIREMENTS THAT STATED "WHEN PIPE IS FURNISHED" FROM A SUPPLIER'S WAREHOUSE, WHETHER THE SUPPLIER IS A MANUFACTURER OR A JOBBER, EVIDENCE SHOULD BE SHOWN THAT THE PIPE WAS MANUFACTURED IN ACCORDANCE WITH AMERICAN SOCIETY FOR TESTING MATERIALS REQUIREMENTS, DOES NOT AFFECT BID RESPONSIVENESS. AS NO EXCEPTION WAS TAKEN TO THE TESTING STANDARD THE CONTRACTOR IS OBLIGATED TO MEET THE REQUIRED PROCEDURE "WHEN PIPE IS FURNISHED," AND A FAILURE TO DO SO WOULD BE A BREACH OF CONTRACT RATHER THAN EVIDENCE OF CONTRACT INVALIDITY. EVEN IF IT WERE POSSIBLE TO DETERMINE IN ADVANCE THAT PERFORMANCE BY THE CONTRACTOR WOULD BE ABSOLUTELY AND UNQUESTIONABLY IMPOSSIBLE, ANY REJECTION OF THE BID FOR THAT REASON WOULD REST UPON A DETERMINATION OF NONRESPONSIBILITY RATHER THAN NONRESPONSIVENESS OF THE BID. BIDS -- DELIVERY PROVISIONS -- PROOF OF ABILITY TO MEET WHETHER THE LOW BIDDER OFFERING JAPANESE STEEL CAN MEET ITS DELIVERY OBLIGATIONS UNDER A REQUIREMENTS CONTRACT FOR STEEL PIPE IS A QUESTION OF RESPONSIBILITY AND, THEREFORE, THE FACT THAT THE BIDDER DID NOT FURNISH A FIRM WRITTEN COMMITMENT FROM THE JAPANESE MANUFACTURER DID NOT REQUIRE REJECTION OF THE BID. THE BIDDER WITH FULL KNOWLEDGE OF THE CIRCUMSTANCES CONCERNING ITS ABILITY TO MEET THE DELIVERY SCHEDULE AGREED TO BE BOUND BY THE SPECIFIED DELIVERY SCHEDULE, AND THE GOVERNMENT IS ENTITLED TO RELY ON THIS PROMISE. BIDDERS -- RESPONSIBILITY V BID RESPONSIVENESS IN MATTERS OF RESPONSIBILITY, QUESTIONS CONCERNING THE QUALIFICATIONS OF A PROSPECTIVE CONTRACTOR ARE PRIMARILY FOR RESOLUTION BY THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICERS CONCERNED, AND IN THE ABSENCE OF A SHOWING OF BAD FAITH OR LACK OF ANY REASONABLE BASIS FOR THE DETERMINATION THAT THE PROSPECTIVE CONTRACTOR IS RESPONSIBLE, THE UNITED STATES GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE IS NOT JUSTIFIED IN OBJECTING TO A DETERMINATION MADE ON THE QUESTION OF BIDDER RESPONSIBILITY BY AN ADMINISTRATIVE AGENCY.

TO EUGENE DREXLER, MARCH 10, 1970:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTERS OF DECEMBER 9, 1969, AND JANUARY 20, 1970, IN BEHALF OF THE R. H. PINES CORPORATION (R. H. PINES) AND A LETTER DATED NOVEMBER 25, 1969, WITH ENCLOSURES, SENT TO THIS OFFICE BY R. H. PINES, PROTESTING AGAINST THE AWARD OF A CONTRACT TO ANOTHER FIRM UNDER INVITATION FOR BIDS (IFB) SFE-4R-307-70, ISSUED BY THE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION (GSA), FEDERAL SUPPLY SERVICE, REGION 9, SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA.

THE ABOVE INVITATION, ISSUED SEPTEMBER 9, 1969, WAS FOR A REQUIREMENTS CONTRACT FOR VARIOUS ITEMS OF STEEL PIPE FOR THE PERIOD NOVEMBER 1, 1969, OR DATE OF AWARD, WHICHEVER IS LATER, THROUGH OCTOBER 31, 1970. BIDS WERE OPENED ON SEPTEMBER 29, 1969, AND HEIECK SUPPLY OF SAN FRANCISCO (HEIECK) WAS THE LOW BIDDER. HEIECK WAS AWARDED A CONTRACT FOR THE ABOVE REQUIREMENTS ON NOVEMBER 10, 1969.

IT IS YOUR CONTENTION THAT HEIECK'S BID IS NONRESPONSIVE. IN SUPPORT OF THIS CONTENTION YOU REFER TO ARTICLES 31 AND 32 OF THE INVITATION. ARTICLE 32 STATES: PRODUCTION POINT: OFFERORS SHALL FURNISH NAME OF MANUFACTURERS AND LOCATIONS OF PLANTS OF ITEMS TO BE FURNISHED UNDER THIS SOLICITATION IF OTHER THAN INSPECTION POINTS LISTED ABOVE.

ITEM NO. MANUFACTURER ADDRESS

ARTICLE 31 OF THE INVITATION STATES: SOURCE INSPECTION:

(A) SUPPLIES TO BE FURNISHED UNDER THIS CONTRACT WILL BE INSPECTED AT SOURCE BY THE GOVERNMENT PRIOR TO SHIPMENT FROM THE MANUFACTURING PLANT OR OTHER FACILITY DESIGNATED BY THE CONTRACTOR, UNLESS (1) THE CONTRACTOR IS NOTIFIED OTHERWISE IN WRITING BY THE CONTRACTING OFFICER OR HIS DESIGNATED REPRESENTATIVE, OR (2) THE CONTRACTOR OR HIS SUBCONTRACTOR, PURSUANT TO A QUALITY ASSURANCE AGREEMENT WITH THE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION, IS AUTHORIZED TO ISSUE A QUALITY ASSURANCE CERTIFICATE COVERING SUCH SUPPLIES AT THE TIME OF SHIPMENT.

(B) OFFERORS ARE REQUESTED TO INSERT BELOW THE NAME AND ADDRESS OF EACH MANUFACTURING PLANT OR OTHER FACILITY WHERE SUPPLIES WILL BE AVAILABLE FOR INSPECTION, INDICATING THE ITEM NUMBERS TO WHICH EACH APPLIES:

ITEM NO. NAME OF FACILITY ADDRESS

(C) THE NAME AND ADDRESS OF THE GOVERNMENT OFFICE WHICH WILL ARRANGE FOR INSPECTION OF THE SUPPLIES WILL BE FURNISHED TO SUCCESSFUL OFFERORS AT THE TIME AWARD IS MADE. THE CONTRACTOR SHALL NOTIFY, OR ARRANGE FOR HIS SUBCONTRACTOR TO NOTIFY, THAT OFFICE AT LEAST 10 DAYS PRIOR TO THE DATE WHEN SUPPLIES WILL BE READY FOR INSPECTION.

YOU STATE THAT HEIECK, PURSUANT TO ARTICLE 32, INSERTED THE NAME OF KAISER STEEL CORPORATION (KAISER) AS THE PRODUCTION POINT FOR ITEMS 1 AND 12, COVERING 1/4 INCH PIPE, AS WELL AS THE SOURCE INSPECTION UNDER ARTICLE 31. YOU POINT OUT THE FACT THAT KAISER IS NOT THE MANUFACTURER OF THESE ITEMS, BUT THAT SHARON STEEL CORPORATION (SHARON) IS THE MANUFACTURER. REVIEW OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE RECORD INDICATES THAT HEIECK DID NOT INSERT THE NAME OF KAISER AS THE PRODUCTION POINT FOR ITEMS 1 AND 12 UNDER ARTICLE 32, BUT DID INSERT KAISER'S NAME UNDER ARTICLE 31 AS THE INSPECTION POINT FOR THESE ITEMS. THIS RESULTED IN CONVEYING THE IMPRESSION THAT KAISER WAS THE MANUFACTURER OF ITEMS 1 AND 12 SINCE ARTICLE 32 REQUIRES THE FURNISHING OF THE NAMES OF MANUFACTURERS AND LOCATION OF PLANTS MANUFACTURING ITEMS, IF THEY ARE DIFFERENT FROM THE INSPECTION POINTS LISTED IN ARTICLE 31. HEIECK ADMITTED THAT KAISER WOULD PURCHASE THESE ITEMS FROM SHARON, BUT STATED THAT IT (HEIECK) WOULD PURCHASE THESE ITEMS FROM KAISER AND THAT INSPECTION WOULD TAKE PLACE WITH KAISER. THIS APPEARS TO BE ENTIRELY CONSISTENT WITH THE INFORMATION ON THE BID FORM, SINCE ARTICLE 31 PROVIDES FOR INSPECTION OF THE SUPPLIES TO BE FURNISHED PRIOR TO SHIPMENT FROM THE MANUFACTURING PLANT OR OTHER FACILITY DESIGNATED BY THE CONTRACTOR. HEIECK INDICATED THAT KAISER STEEL CORPORATION WAS THE LOCATION WHERE ITEMS 1 AND 12 COULD BE INSPECTED. WOULD APPEAR THAT HEIECK'S ONLY MISTAKE WAS ITS FAILURE TO INDICATE, UNDER ARTICLE 32, THAT SHARON WAS THE MANUFACTURER OF ITEMS 1 AND 12. YOU ALLEGE THAT HEIECK CANNOT POSSIBLY HAVE LESS THAN CARLOAD QUANTITIES OF 1/4 INCH PIPE INSPECTED AT KAISER'S PLANT IN ACCORDANCE WITH SPECIFICATIONS.

YOU ALSO STATE THAT KAISER WILL BE UNABLE TO FURNISH THE DOCUMENTATION REQUIRED UNDER PARAGRAPH 4.1.1 OF SPECIFICATION WW-P 406B, WHICH STATES: 4.1.1 WAREHOUSE PROCUREMENT. WHEN PIPE IS FURNISHED FROM SUPPLIER'S WAREHOUSE (WHETHER SUPPLIER IS A MANUFACTURER OR A JOBBER) EVIDENCE SHALL BE SHOWN THAT THE PIPE HAS BEEN MANUFACTURED IN ACCORDANCE WITH ASTM (AMERICAN SOCIETY FOR TESTING MATERIALS) A120. SUCH EVIDENCE SHALL INCLUDE THE IDENTIFICATION MARKING OUTLINED IN 3.10 AND THE SUBMISSION OF CERTIFIED COPIES OF THE MANUFACTURER'S INSPECTION RECORDS OF THE EXAMINATION AND TESTS MADE ON THE PIPE BEING SUBMITTED FOR ACCEPTANCE APPROVAL. THE INSPECTION REQUIREMENTS OF 4.2 TO 4.5, INCLUSIVE, TOGETHER WITH ALL THE INSPECTION PROCEDURES (INCLUDING EXAMINATIONS AND TESTS (OUTLINED IN ASTM A120, SHALL APPLY ONLY TO THE MANUFACTURER, PROVIDING THE MANUFACTURER'S INSPECTION RECORDS CLEARLY INDICATE COMPLIANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SPECIFICATION. THE REQUIREMENTS OF 4.6 ARE THE SUPPLIER'S RESPONSIBILITY.

YOU STATE THAT SHARON CUSTOMARILY SHIPS TO KAISER WITHOUT THE DOCUMENTATION REQUIRED BY SECTION 4.1.1 AND THAT KAISER DOES NOT PERFORM INDEPENDENT ASTM A120 TESTING ON SHARON'S MATERIAL, THUS PRECLUDING A QUALITY ASSURANCE AGREEMENT WITH GSA.

YOU HAVE STRESSED THE PRINCIPLE APPEARING IN OUR DECISION OF AUGUST 10, HEIECK IN THE CONSIDERATION OF ITS BID, THAT IS TO SAY, HEIECK HAS BEEN 1961, 41 COMP. GEN. 106, THAT AN UNFAIR ADVANTAGE HAS BEEN GIVEN TO GIVEN "TWO BITES AT THE APPLE." IT APPEARS TO BE YOUR POSITION THAT HEIECK COULD HAVE AVOIDED AWARD BY REFUSING TO FURNISH THE ABOVE INFORMATION AFTER BID OPENING IF, AT THE TIME, SUCH ACTION HAD BEEN TO ITS ADVANTAGE. WE DO NOT BELIEVE THAT HEIECK HAS SUCH AN OPTION IN THE PRESENT INSTANCE. WE HAVE HELD ON NUMEROUS OCCASIONS THAT THE TEST TO BE APPLIED IN DETERMINING THE RESPONSIVENESS OF A BID IS WHETHER THE BID AS SUBMITTED IS AN OFFER TO PERFORM, WITHOUT EXCEPTION, THE EXACT THING CALLED FOR IN THE INVITATION, AND UPON ACCEPTANCE WILL BIND THE CONTRACTOR TO PERFORM IN ACCORDANCE WITH ALL THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS THEREOF. UNLESS SOMETHING ON THE FACE OF THE BID, OR SPECIFICALLY A PART THEREOF, EITHER LIMITS, REDUCES OR MODIFIES THE OBLIGATION OF THE PROSPECTIVE CONTRACTOR TO PERFORM IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE TERMS OF THE INVITATION, IT IS RESPONSIVE. 48 COMP. GEN. 685, APRIL 23, 1969; B 160318, FEBRUARY 16, 1967. IN THE PRESENT CASE HEIECK UNQUALIFIEDLY OFFERED TO MEET ALL THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE INVITATION AND THERE WAS NOTHING ON THE FACE OF THE BID LIMITING, REDUCING OR MODIFYING HEIECK'S OBLIGATION TO PERFORM IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE TERMS OF THE INVITATION. WE FAIL TO SEE HOW HEIECK COULD HAVE LEGALLY REFUSED TO ACCEPT THE AWARD ON THE BASIS THAT ITS BID WAS DEFECTIVE BECAUSE IT DID NOT INITIALLY FURNISH THE REQUIRED INFORMATION. MOREOVER, THIS OFFICE HAS HELD THAT MATTERS CONCERNING POINTS OF PRODUCTION AND INSPECTION CONCERN THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE BIDDER, RATHER THAN RESPONSIVENESS OF THE BID. SEE B-167110, NOVEMBER 4, 1969. IN OUR DECISION OF FEBRUARY 25, 1965, B-155600, INVOLVING A SIMILAR SITUATION AND CLAUSES SUBSTANTIALLY THE SAME AS ARTICLES 31 AND 32, WE STATED:

IT SEEMS CLEAR THAT THE REQUEST FOR ADVICE AS TO THE POINT OF PRODUCTION AND THE ORIGIN AND INSPECTION POINTS WAS SOLICITED AS A MATTER OF INFORMATION FOR THE BENEFIT AND CONVENIENCE OF THE GOVERNMENT RATHER THAN AS A CONDITION OF THE BID. OBVIOUSLY, THE FURNISHING OF SUCH INFORMATION COULD NOT AFFECT THE OBLIGATION OF THE BIDDER, IN THE EVENT OF AN AWARD, TO FURNISH SUPPLIES ACCEPTABLE TO THE GOVERNMENT. FURTHERMORE, THE AMERICAN EQUIPMENT COMPANY LEGALLY COULD NOT REFUSE TO ACCEPT AN AWARD ON THE GROUND THAT ITS BID WAS DEFECTIVE BECAUSE IT DID NOT INITIALLY FURNISH THE REQUIRED INFORMATION ACCURATELY. CONSEQUENTLY, WE FAIL TO SEE HOW ANY BIDDER COULD BE PREJUDICED BY CONSIDERATION OF THE BID OF THE AMERICAN EQUIPMENT COMPANY.

WE HAVE CONSISTENTLY HELD THAT WHERE THE REQUIREMENT FOR THE SUBMISSION OF DATA IS FOR THE PURPOSE OF DETERMINING THE CAPACITY OR RESPONSIBILITY OF THE OFFEROR RATHER THAN WHETHER THE PROPERTY OR SERVICES OFFERED CONFORMS TO THE GOVERNMENT'S NEEDS AS STATED IN THE SOLICITATION, THE FAILURE OF THE BIDDER TO SUBMIT ADEQUATE DATA WITH HIS BID FOR SUCH USE IS NOT FATAL TO CONSIDERATION OF THE BID, INASMUCH AS A BIDDER'S CAPACITY OR RESPONSIBILITY MAY BE DETERMINED ON THE BASIS OF INFORMATION SUBMITTED AFTER THE BID OPENING. 39 COMP. GEN. 247 (1959); 39 ID. 881 (1960); 41 ID. 555 (1962). CONSEQUENTLY, SINCE IT HAS BEEN DETERMINED THAT THE QUESTIONS OF PRODUCTION POINTS AND SOURCE INSPECTION ARE MATTERS OF RESPONSIBILITY, DATA CONCERNING THESE MATTERS CAN BE SUBMITTED AFTER BID OPENING. CONCERNING THE DOCUMENTATION UNDER PARAGRAPH 4.1.1 OF THE SPECIFICATIONS, IT IS NOTED THAT THE EVIDENCE THAT THE PIPE HAS BEEN MANUFACTURED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE DESIGNATED STANDARD IS TO BE SHOWN "WHEN PIPE IS FURNISHED." SINCE NO EXCEPTION WAS TAKEN TO THIS REQUIREMENT, THE CONTRACTOR IS OBLIGATED TO MEET IT AND A FAILURE TO DO SO WOULD BE A BREACH OF THE CONTRACT, RATHER THAN EVIDENCE OF ITS INVALIDITY. EVEN IF IT WERE POSSIBLE TO DETERMINE IN ADVANCE THAT PERFORMANCE BY THE CONTRACTOR WOULD BE ABSOLUTELY AND UNQUESTIONABLY IMPOSSIBLE, ANY REJECTION OF THE BID FOR THAT REASON WOULD REST UPON A DETERMINATION OF NONRESPONSIBILITY RATHER THAN NONRESPONSIVENESS OF THE BID.

YOU ALSO CONTEND THAT HEIECK'S BID IS NONRESPONSIVE BECAUSE IT IS OFFERING JAPANESE STEEL FOR MOST SIZES FOR DELIVERY 75 DAYS AFTER RECEIPT OF ORDER. YOU STATE THAT THIS DELIVERY PERIOD IS IMPOSSIBLE TO ACHIEVE WRITTEN COMMITMENT. IT IS YOUR VIEW THAT UNLESS HEIECK CAN PRODUCE SUCH ON OPEN ORDERS UNLESS THE JAPANESE MANUFACTURER GIVES HEIECK A FIRM A WRITTEN COMMITMENT, IT OBVIOUSLY CANNOT MEET THE 75-DAY DELIVERY SCHEDULE AND IS, IN EFFECT, OFFERING DELIVERY LATER THAN SPECIFIED IN THE INVITATION. YOU CITE OUR DECISION B-152866, FEBRUARY 7, 1964, IN SUPPORT OF THIS POSITION. HOWEVER, THE CITED DECISION IS NOT DETERMINATIVE OF THE ISSUES IN THIS CASE SINCE THAT DECISION INVOLVED THE QUESTION OF WHETHER THE PRODUCT OFFERED BY THE PROTESTANT WOULD MEET THE NEEDS OF THE PROCURING ACTIVITY, WHICH IS A QUESTION OF RESPONSIVENESS. IT WAS DECIDED IN THAT CASE THAT COMPONENTS MANUFACTURED BY REVERSE ENGINEERING COULD NOT, BECAUSE OF SUCH FACTORS AS CRITICAL MANUFACTURING TOLERANCES AND QUALITY CONTROL LEVEL, BE ACCEPTED AS IDENTICAL TO COMPONENTS MANUFACTURED BY THE SUCCESSFUL OFFEROR, WHO POSSESSED THE ONLY BLUEPRINTS AND DRAWINGS FOR THE COMPONENTS, WITHOUT EXTENSIVE TESTING, FOR WHICH THERE WAS NO TIME. SEE B-156249, OCTOBER 22, 1965. THE PRESENT CASE INVOLVES A QUESTION OF WHETHER THE BIDDER CAN DELIVER THE ITEMS WITHIN 75 DAYS AFTER RECEIPT OF ORDER, WHICH IS A QUESTION OF RESPONSIBILITY. B-160318, FEBRUARY 16, 1967; B-163979, MAY 24, 1968. WHAT YOU SAY CONCERNING JAPANESE SUPPLIERS MAY WELL BE TRUE, BUT THE FACT REMAINS THAT HEIECK OFFERED TO MAKE DELIVERY IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE SPECIFICATIONS. IN OUR DECISION OF FEBRUARY 16, 1967, IN WHICH WE DISCUSSED THE QUESTION OF WHETHER THE SUCCESSFUL BIDDER, WHO HAD UNQUALIFIEDLY OFFERED TO MEET THE DELIVERY SCHEDULE IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE INVITATION, COULD IN FACT MAKE TIMELY DELIVERY, WE STATED:

IT SHOULD BE NOTED AT THIS POINT THAT WE BELIEVE THE QUESTION OF HART'S ABILITY TO MEET THE DELIVERY SCHEDULE IS A MATTER OF RESPONSIBILITY *** . WITH FULL KNOWLEDGE OF THE CIRCUMSTANCES CONCERNING ITS ABILITY TO MEET THE DELIVERY SCHEDULE HART HAS AGREED TO BE BOUND BY THE SPECIFIED DELIVERY SCHEDULE, AND THE GOVERNMENT IS ENTITLED TO RELY ON THIS PROMISE. THE OBSERVATIONS MADE ABOVE WITH RESPECT TO THE DOCUMENTATION UNDER SPECIFICATION 4.1.1 ARE EQUALLY APPLICABLE HERE.

CONCERNING THE RESPONSIBILITY OF HEIECK, THE PROCURING ACTIVITY STATES THAT IT HAS NO REASON TO BELIEVE THAT HEIECK WILL THAT IT HAS NO REASON TO BELIEVE THAT HEIECK WILL NOT MEET ITS COMMITMENTS UNDER THE CONTRACT AND THAT HEIECK, KAISER AND SHARON ARE ALL CONSIDERED TO BE RESPONSIBLE FIRMS WITH SATISFACTORY PERFORMANCE RECORDS. IN MATTERS OF RESPONSIBILITY WE HAVE HELD THAT QUESTIONS CONCERNING THE QUALIFICATIONS OF A PROSPECTIVE CONTRACTOR ARE PRIMARILY FOR RESOLUTION BY THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICERS CONCERNED. IN THE ABSENCE OF A SHOWING OF BAD FAITH OR LACK OF ANY REASONABLE BASIS FOR THE DETERMINATION, WE ARE NOT JUSTIFIED IN OBJECTING TO A DETERMINATION MADE ON THIS QUESTION BY AN ADMINISTRATIVE AGENCY. COMP. GEN. 430 (1957); 36 ID. 42 (1956).

ON THE RECORD BEFORE US WE FIND NO BASIS FOR DISTURBING THE AWARD MADE, AND YOUR PROTEST IS THEREFORE DENIED.