B-173102, JUN 29, 1971

B-173102: Jun 29, 1971

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THE AWARD OF THE CONTRACT MUST BE SUSTAINED IN SPITE OF PROTESTANT'S ALLEGATION THAT LOW BIDDER'S PRICE WAS UNREALISTIC AND UNPROFITABLE. A. MILLER ELECTRONICS IS UNREALISTIC. THE PROCUREMENT WAS SET ASIDE FOR SMALL BUSINESS CONCERNS ONLY. BID OPENING WAS ON MAY 10. MILLER ELECTRONICS WAS LOW BIDDER WITH A BID PRICE OF $586. JAY BEE CORPORATION WAS SECOND LOW BIDDER WITH A BID PRICE OF $742. THE CONTRACTING OFFICER INFORMED THE LOW BIDDER THAT ITS BID WAS SO MUCH LOWER THAN THE OTHER BIDS AS TO SUGGEST THE POSSIBILITY OF MISTAKE AND THAT. FOUND THAT THE LOW BIDDER WAS QUALIFIED IN ALL AREAS. CONCURRED IN THE FINDING THAT THE LOW BIDDER WAS RESPONSIBLE AND THAT COMPLETE AWARD SHOULD BE MADE TO THAT FIRM.

B-173102, JUN 29, 1971

BID PROTEST - BIDDER RESPONSIBILITY - UNPROFITABLE BID DENIAL OF PROTEST BY JAY BEE CORPORATION AGAINST THE AWARD OF A CONTRACT TO R. A. MILLER ELECTRONICS CORPORATION UNDER AN INVITATION FOR BIDS ISSUED BY U.S. ARMY MOBILITY EQUIPMENT COMMAND FOR MAGNETIC, UNMOUNTED COMPASSES WITH LENSATIC LUMINOUS DIALS. WHERE THE CONTRACTING OFFICER CONFIRMED THE BID OF THE LOW BIDDER BECAUSE HE SUSPECTED THE POSSIBILITY OF A MISTAKE IN THE BID, AND WHERE THE PRE- AWARD SURVEY SHOWED THE LOW BIDDER TO BE FINANCIALLY RESPONSIBLE, THE AWARD OF THE CONTRACT MUST BE SUSTAINED IN SPITE OF PROTESTANT'S ALLEGATION THAT LOW BIDDER'S PRICE WAS UNREALISTIC AND UNPROFITABLE.

TO JAY BEE CORPORATION:

WE REFER TO YOUR TELEFAX DATED MAY 25, 1971, AND LETTER DATED MAY 27, 1971, PROTESTING ANY AWARD TO THE R. A. MILLER ELECTRONICS CORPORATION OF A CONTRACT FOR MAGNETIC, UNMOUNTED COMPASSES WITH LENSATIC LUMINOUS DIALS UNDER INVITATION FOR BIDS NO. DAAK01-71-B-5994, ISSUED BY THE UNITED STATES ARMY MOBILITY EQUIPMENT COMMAND (USAMEC), ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI. YOU MAINTAIN THAT THE BID PRICE OF R. A. MILLER ELECTRONICS IS UNREALISTIC, FINANCIALLY IRRESPONSIBLE, AND BELOW ITS OUT-OF-POCKET COSTS.

THE PROCUREMENT WAS SET ASIDE FOR SMALL BUSINESS CONCERNS ONLY. BID OPENING WAS ON MAY 10, 1971. R. A. MILLER ELECTRONICS WAS LOW BIDDER WITH A BID PRICE OF $586,559.62. JAY BEE CORPORATION WAS SECOND LOW BIDDER WITH A BID PRICE OF $742,385.28. BECAUSE OF THE GREAT DISPARITY BETWEEN THE LOW BID AND THE OTHER BIDS RECEIVED, THE CONTRACTING OFFICER INFORMED THE LOW BIDDER THAT ITS BID WAS SO MUCH LOWER THAN THE OTHER BIDS AS TO SUGGEST THE POSSIBILITY OF MISTAKE AND THAT, CONSEQUENTLY, VERIFICATION WOULD BE NECESSARY. THE LOW BIDDER CONFIRMED ITS BID BY TELEGRAM ON MAY 25, 1971.

THE CONTRACTING OFFICER, AFTER GIVING CONSIDERATION TO ALL PERTINENT EVALUATION FACTORS, DETERMINED THAT AN AWARD TO THE LOW BIDDER WOULD BE PROPER. FURTHER, A PREAWARD SURVEY CONDUCTED ON THE LOW BIDDER BY THE DEFENSE CONTRACT ADMINISTRATION SERVICES DISTRICT, GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN, FOUND THAT THE LOW BIDDER WAS QUALIFIED IN ALL AREAS, INCLUDING IN ITS CAPABILITY TO MEET ITS FINANCIAL COMMITMENTS UNDER THE CONTRACT. CONCURRENT WITH THE SURVEY, THE CONTRACT ADMINISTRATION OFFICE RECOMMENDED THAT COMPLETE AWARD BE MADE TO THE LOW BIDDER. IN VIEW OF THESE FACTS, THE CONTRACTOR EVALUATION BOARD, USAMEC, CONCURRED IN THE FINDING THAT THE LOW BIDDER WAS RESPONSIBLE AND THAT COMPLETE AWARD SHOULD BE MADE TO THAT FIRM.

UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES, WE SEE NO REASON TO QUESTION AN AWARD TO R. A. MILLER ELECTRONICS AS THE LOW, RESPONSIVE, AND RESPONSIBLE BIDDER. WE ARE AWARE OF NO LEGAL PRINCIPLE ON WHICH AN AWARD MIGHT BE PRECLUDED OR DISTURBED MERELY BECAUSE IT IS MAINTAINED THAT THE LOW BIDDER MAY HAVE SUBMITTED AN UNPROFITABLE PRICE. B-171794, MAY 21, 1971.

ACCORDINGLY, YOUR PROTEST IS DENIED.