B-171213, DEC. 31, 1970

B-171213: Dec 31, 1970

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WHERE PROTESTANT WAS ADDED TO A LIST OF POSSIBLE SUPPLIERS FOR KEYPUNCH AND KEY VERIFYING SERVICES. WAS NOT SENT A COPY OF THE SOLICITATION UNTIL IT WAS TOO LATE TO SUBMIT A BID. IT HAS BEEN HELD THAT THE PROPRIETY OF A PARTICULAR PROCUREMENT MUST BE DETERMINED FROM THE GOVERNMENT'S POINT OF VIEW ON THE BASIS OF WHETHER ADEQUATE COMPETITION AND REASONABLE PRICES WERE OBTAINED. NOT ON WHETHER EVERY POSSIBLE BIDDER WAS AFFORDED AN OPPORTUNITY TO BID. TO BUSINESS COMPUTER SERVICES: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED OCTOBER 22. IN YOUR LETTER YOU INQUIRE IF IT IS POSSIBLE TO STILL SUBMIT A BID. IT ALSO ADVISED THAT ITS RATE FOR THE SERVICE WAS $5.75 PER HOUR FOR EACH OPERATION. THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE REPORTS THAT IT RECEIVED YOUR LETTER AND BECAUSE A LARGE VOLUME OF LETTERS OFFERING SPECIAL SERVICES IN CONNECTION WITH COMPUTER EQUIPMENT WAS BEING RECEIVED AT THAT TIME.

B-171213, DEC. 31, 1970

BID PROTEST - FAILURE TO RECEIVE SOLICITATION DENIAL OF PROTEST BY BUSINESS COMPUTER SERVICES AGAINST THE AWARD OF A CONTRACT TO PROVIDE KEYPUNCHING AND KEY VERIFYING SERVICES ISSUED BY GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION TO LOW BIDDER, BRYANT DATA SERVICE. WHERE PROTESTANT WAS ADDED TO A LIST OF POSSIBLE SUPPLIERS FOR KEYPUNCH AND KEY VERIFYING SERVICES, BUT WAS NOT SENT A COPY OF THE SOLICITATION UNTIL IT WAS TOO LATE TO SUBMIT A BID, IT HAS BEEN HELD THAT THE PROPRIETY OF A PARTICULAR PROCUREMENT MUST BE DETERMINED FROM THE GOVERNMENT'S POINT OF VIEW ON THE BASIS OF WHETHER ADEQUATE COMPETITION AND REASONABLE PRICES WERE OBTAINED, AND NOT ON WHETHER EVERY POSSIBLE BIDDER WAS AFFORDED AN OPPORTUNITY TO BID, AND IN THE ABSENCE OF ANY CONSCIOUS OR DELIBERATE INTENTION TO EXCLUDE PROTESTANT FROM PARTICIPATING IN THE PROCUREMENT, THE PROTEST MUST BE DENIED.

TO BUSINESS COMPUTER SERVICES:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED OCTOBER 22, 1970, WITH ENCLOSURE, PROTESTING THE FAILURE OF THE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION, FEDERAL SUPPLY SERVICE, TO CONSIDER BUSINESS COMPUTER SERVICES FOR KEYPUNCHING AND KEY VERIFYING SERVICES, ALTHOUGH YOU HAD REQUESTED BY LETTER DATED JULY 23, 1970, THAT YOUR NAME BE ADDED TO THE LIST OF POSSIBLE SUPPLIERS FOR THIS TYPE OF SERVICE.

IN YOUR LETTER YOU INQUIRE IF IT IS POSSIBLE TO STILL SUBMIT A BID.

IN THE JULY 23, 1970, LETTER TO THE CHIEF, FEDERAL ADP RESOURCES STAFF, BOSTON, BUSINESS COMPUTER SERVICES STATED THAT IT HAD PROVIDED KEYPUNCHING AND KEY VERIFYING SERVICES TO ANOTHER GOVERNMENT AGENCY AND WISHED TO BE ADDED TO THE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION, FEDERAL SUPPLY SERVICE LIST OF POSSIBLE SUPPLIERS OF THIS TYPE OF SERVICE. IT ALSO ADVISED THAT ITS RATE FOR THE SERVICE WAS $5.75 PER HOUR FOR EACH OPERATION.

THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE REPORTS THAT IT RECEIVED YOUR LETTER AND BECAUSE A LARGE VOLUME OF LETTERS OFFERING SPECIAL SERVICES IN CONNECTION WITH COMPUTER EQUIPMENT WAS BEING RECEIVED AT THAT TIME, YOUR OFFER WAS FILED WITH OTHER SIMILAR CORRESPONDENCE IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE POLICY OF THE REGIONAL OFFICE. ON OCTOBER 2, 1970, THE BOSTON REGIONAL OFFICE ISSUED A SOLICITATION COVERING KEYPUNCHING AND KEY VERIFYING SERVICES FOR THE PERIOD OCTOBER 1, 1970, OR DATE OF AWARD, WHICHEVER IS LATER, THROUGH SEPTEMBER 30, 1971, WITH BID OPENING DATE OF OCTOBER 22, 1970.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT ON THE BID OPENING DATE BUSINESS COMPUTER SERVICE WAS IN TOUCH BY TELEPHONE WITH THE BOSTON REGIONAL OFFICE AND WAS INFORMED THAT THE BIDS FOR THE SOLICITATION HAD BEEN OPENED. THE BOSTON REGIONAL OFFICE OF THE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION FORWARDED A COPY OF THE SOLICITATION ON OCTOBER 22, 1970, BUT IT WAS TOO LATE FOR FILING BEFORE BID OPENING.

THE SOLICITATION WAS FURNISHED TO APPROXIMATELY 310 PROSPECTIVE SUPPLIERS AND 13 BIDS WERE RECEIVED. ADDITIONALLY, THE PROCUREMENT WAS SYNOPSIZED AND ADVERTISED BY PUBLICATION IN THE COMMERCE BUSINESS DAILY EDITIONS OF SEPTEMBER 23, 1970, AND SEPTEMBER 29, 1970.

AWARD WAS MADE TO THE LOW BIDDER, BRYANT DATA SERVICE OF LYNN, MASSACHUSETTS, ON NOVEMBER 2, 1970, WHOSE BID WAS 50 CENTS PER PUNCHED AND VERIFIED COLUMN PER THOUSAND CARDS, IN COMBINATION, ALPHABETICAL AND NUMERICAL.

WE HAVE HELD THAT THE PROPRIETY OF A PARTICULAR PROCUREMENT MUST BE DETERMINED FROM THE GOVERNMENT'S POINT OF VIEW UPON THE BASIS OF WHETHER ADEQUATE COMPETITION AND REASONABLE PRICES WERE OBTAINED, NOT UPON WHETHER EVERY POSSIBLE BIDDER WAS AFFORDED AN OPPORTUNITY TO BID. B-164047, JUNE 10, 1968; B-147515, JANUARY 12, 1962.

ALTHOUGH IT IS REGRETTABLE THAT YOUR FIRM DID NOT RECEIVE A BID SET IN TIME TO PREPARE AND SUBMIT A BID PURSUANT TO THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF THE INVITATION, THERE IS NO INDICATION IN THE RECORD THAT THERE WAS ANY CONSCIOUS OR DELIBERATE INTENTION TO EXCLUDE YOU OR ANY OTHER INTERESTED FIRM FROM PARTICIPATING IN THE PROCUREMENT. IN THE ABSENCE OF SUCH INTENT OR PURPOSE, AN INADVERTENT FAILURE TO FURNISH TIMELY A COPY OF AN INVITATION TO A PARTICULAR CONTRACTOR DOES NOT CONSTITUTE, IN OUR OPINION, A SUFFICIENT BASIS TO CANCEL THE INVITATION OR TO QUESTION AN OTHERWISE PROPER AWARD UNDER THE INVITATION. CF. 34 COMP. GEN. 684; B-164047, SUPRA; B-161241, MAY 8, 1967.

IN ANSWER TO YOUR SPECIFIC QUESTION, IT IS NOT POSSIBLE AFTER BID OPENING TO SUBMIT A BID. IT IS REGRETTABLE THAT YOUR COMPANY WAS NOT SOLICITED, BUT WE MUST ADVISE THAT YOUR PROTEST IS DENIED.