B-170242, AUG. 20, 1970

B-170242: Aug 20, 1970

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ALTHOUGH THE SHORT PERIOD OF TIME (7 & 8 DAYS) BETWEEN SOLICITATION AND OPENING OF BIDS WAS INADVERTENT DUE TO FACT THAT EXISTING CONTRACTS WERE TO EXPIRE AND NEED WAS URGENT. THE RECORD SHOWS THAT FAIR AND REASONABLE PRICES WERE OBTAINED AND THAT THE GOVERNMENT WAS NOT DEPRIVED OF BENEFITS OF COMPETITION. THEREFORE PROTEST IS DENIED. THESE SOLICITATIONS WERE FORMALLY ADVERTISED INVITATIONS FOR BIDS TO SUPPLY THE NATIONAL BUREAU OF STANDARDS ANNUAL REQUIREMENTS FOR VARIOUS GASES USED IN LABORATORY WORK. THREE OF THE INVITATIONS FOR BIDS WERE ISSUED ON JUNE 22. NBS-5-71 AND 7-71 WERE ISSUED ON JUNE 23. BIDS UNDER ALL SOLICITATIONS WERE TO BE OPENED ON JUNE 30. UNION CARBIDE WAS UNABLE TO SUBMIT TIMELY BIDS FOR THESE GASES.

B-170242, AUG. 20, 1970

BID PROTEST -- SUBMISSION TIME DENIAL OF PROTEST AGAINST SHORT PERIOD OF TIME ALLOWED FOR SUBMISSION OF BIDS FOR ANNUAL REQUIREMENTS FOR VARIOUS GASES USED IN LABORATORY WORK AT NATIONAL BUREAU OF STANDARDS. ALTHOUGH THE SHORT PERIOD OF TIME (7 & 8 DAYS) BETWEEN SOLICITATION AND OPENING OF BIDS WAS INADVERTENT DUE TO FACT THAT EXISTING CONTRACTS WERE TO EXPIRE AND NEED WAS URGENT, THE RECORD SHOWS THAT FAIR AND REASONABLE PRICES WERE OBTAINED AND THAT THE GOVERNMENT WAS NOT DEPRIVED OF BENEFITS OF COMPETITION. THEREFORE PROTEST IS DENIED.

TO UNION CARBIDE CORPORATION:

THIS CONCERNS YOUR LETTER OF JULY 7, 1970, PROTESTING ANY CONTRACT AWARDS UNDER SOLICITATIONS NOS. NBS-3-71, 4-71, 5-71, 6-71, AND 7-71 ISSUED BY THE NATIONAL BUREAU OF STANDARDS ON JUNE 22 AND 23, 1970.

THESE SOLICITATIONS WERE FORMALLY ADVERTISED INVITATIONS FOR BIDS TO SUPPLY THE NATIONAL BUREAU OF STANDARDS ANNUAL REQUIREMENTS FOR VARIOUS GASES USED IN LABORATORY WORK. EACH OF THE FIVE INVITATIONS FOR BIDS REPRESENTED A PROCUREMENT FOR A SEPARATE GAS. THREE OF THE INVITATIONS FOR BIDS WERE ISSUED ON JUNE 22, 1970. NOS. NBS-5-71 AND 7-71 WERE ISSUED ON JUNE 23, 1970. BIDS UNDER ALL SOLICITATIONS WERE TO BE OPENED ON JUNE 30, 1970. BECAUSE OF THE SHORT PERIOD OF TIME BETWEEN ISSUANCE OF THE SOLICITATIONS AND THE OPENING OF BIDS, UNION CARBIDE WAS UNABLE TO SUBMIT TIMELY BIDS FOR THESE GASES. ESSENTIALLY YOUR PROTEST IS THAT THE SHORT PERIOD OF TIME FOR SUBMITTING BIDS UNREASONABLY RESTRICTED COMPETITION AND THE MINIMAL PERIOD OF FIFTEEN DAYS AS PROVIDED BY FEDERAL PROCUREMENT REGULATION (FPR) 1-2.202-1 SHOULD HAVE BEEN ALLOWED.

THE NATIONAL BUREAU OF STANDARDS ADVISED THAT THESE GASES REPRESENTED AN ANNUAL REQUIREMENT AND A REQUISITION FOR THE GASES WAS MADE ON MAY 14, 1970, FOR THE USING ACTIVITY. HOWEVER, DUE TO AN OVERSIGHT ON THE PART OF THE PROCUREMENT OFFICE, THE REQUIREMENT FOR THESE GASES WAS NOT ACTED UPON. IMMEDIATELY BEFORE THE ISSUANCE OF THE SOLICITATIONS THIS OVERSIGHT WAS RECOGNIZED AND THE SHORT PERIOD FOR SUBMISSION OF BIDS WAS NECESSITATED DUE TO THE FACT THE EXISTING CONTRACTS FOR THE GASES EXPIRED AT THE END OF JUNE 1970. WHILE REGRETTABLE AND THE NATIONAL BUREAU OF STANDARDS HAS ADVISED THAT ACTION WILL BE TAKEN TO AVOID ANY REOCCURRENCE, THE URGENT NEED FOR A CONTINUING SUPPLY OF THESE GASES WARRANTS AN EXCEPTION TO THE MINIMUM TIME FOR SUBMISSION OF BIDS. SEE FEDERAL PROCUREMENT REGULATION 1-2.202-1(C).

WE ALSO NOTE FROM A COMPARISON OF THE BIDS RECEIVED FOR THESE GASES FOR THE IMMEDIATE PAST FISCAL YEAR AND THOSE RECEIVED THIS YEAR THAT THE LOW BIDS RECEIVED THIS YEAR WERE EITHER THE SAME AS LAST YEAR'S CONTRACT PRICES OR LOWER THAN THE SECOND LOW BID SUBMITTED IN THE PRIOR FISCAL YEAR. SINCE THE CONTRACT AWARDS, WHICH WERE MADE PRIOR TO RECEIPT OF YOUR PROTEST, UNDER SOLICITATIONS NOS. NBS-3-71, 4-71, 6-71, AND 7-71 WERE MADE AT FAIR AND REASONABLE PRICES, WE MUST CONCLUDE THAT THE SHORT TIME FOR SUBMISSION OF BIDS DID NOT DEPRIVE THE GOVERNMENT OF THE BENEFITS REALIZED THROUGH COMPETITION.

INVITATION FOR BIDS NO. NBS-5-71, THE GAS WHICH YOU SUPPLIED UNDER THE PRIOR FISCAL CONTRACT AND FOR WHICH YOU SUBMITTED A LATE BID THIS YEAR, IS BEING READVERTISED SINCE NO ACCEPTABLE BIDS WERE RECEIVED.

ACCORDINGLY, YOUR PROTEST IS DENIED.