B-173470, MAR 2, 1972

B-173470: Mar 2, 1972

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GAO HAS BEEN INFORMED BY THE GSA ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER FOR STANDARDS AND QUALITY CONTROL THAT TERMINOLOGY IN THE HOUSEHOLD FURNITURE INDUSTRY IS FAR FROM STANDARDIZED. IT IS THE OPINION OF THE COMP. THAT SO LONG AS THE PROPOSED DIMENSIONS ARE UNAMBIGUOUS AND CONFORM TO THE GOVERNMENT'S SPECIFICATIONS. " IS OF NO IMPORTANCE. SINCE THE SUBJECT BID WAS FULLY RESPONSIVE AND DID NOT PLACE OTHER BIDDERS AT A COMPETITIVE DISADVANTAGE. THE PROTEST IS DENIED. INC.: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 24. YOU STATE THAT THE BASIS OF YOUR PROTEST IS THAT B. INCHES DEPTH WIDTH HEIGHT THE SPECIFICATION (AA-H-00600BGSA-FSS) REFERENCED IN THE IFB PROVIDED ON PAGE 1 THAT "ALL DIMENSIONS ARE OVERALL AND ARE MINIMUM (SEE 3.2.1.1).".

B-173470, MAR 2, 1972

BID PROTEST - NONRESPONSIVENESS - ALLEGED DEVIATION FROM THE SPECIFICATIONS DECISION DENYING PROTEST OF STYLANEZE FURNITURE INDUSTRIES, INC., AGAINST AWARD OF A CONTRACT TO B. P. JOHN FURNITURE COMPANY UNDER AN IFB ISSUED BY THE FEDERAL SUPPLY SERVICE OF THE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION. GAO HAS BEEN INFORMED BY THE GSA ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER FOR STANDARDS AND QUALITY CONTROL THAT TERMINOLOGY IN THE HOUSEHOLD FURNITURE INDUSTRY IS FAR FROM STANDARDIZED. IN VIEW OF THIS FACT, IT IS THE OPINION OF THE COMP. GEN. THAT SO LONG AS THE PROPOSED DIMENSIONS ARE UNAMBIGUOUS AND CONFORM TO THE GOVERNMENT'S SPECIFICATIONS, THEIR DESIGNATION AS "LENGTH," "WIDTH," OR "DEPTH," IS OF NO IMPORTANCE. ACCORDINGLY, SINCE THE SUBJECT BID WAS FULLY RESPONSIVE AND DID NOT PLACE OTHER BIDDERS AT A COMPETITIVE DISADVANTAGE, THE PROTEST IS DENIED.

TO STYLANEZE FURNITURE INDUSTRIES, INC.:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 24, 1971, PROTESTING ANY AWARD TO THE B. P. JOHN FURNITURE COMPANY, UNDER GROUP 1 OF INVITATION FOR BID (IFB) FPNFH-J3-28164-A-4-19-71, ISSUED BY THE FEDERAL SUPPLY SERVICE OF THE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION.

YOU STATE THAT THE BASIS OF YOUR PROTEST IS THAT B. P. JOHN'S BID DID NOT CONFORM TO THE MINIMAL DIMENSIONAL REQUIREMENTS OF THE INVITATION, SINCE THE APPLICABLE FEDERAL SPECIFICATION FOR ITEM 26-27, BENCHES, VANITY DRESSER, REQUIRES A WIDTH OF 16 INCHES, A "DEPTH" OR "LENGTH" OF 19 INCHES, AND A HEIGHT OF 17 INCHES. ADDITIONALLY, THE SOLICITATION SPECIFICALLY REQUIRES THE BIDDER TO INSERT DIMENSIONS IN SPACES PROVIDED, AND B. P. JOHN'S BID SHOWED THE "DEPTH" OF ITS BENCH AS ONLY 16 INCHES.

EXAMINATION OF THE IFB DISCLOSES THAT THE SCHEDULE, AT PAGE 19, LISTED ITEM NO. 26-27, AS BENCHES; VANITY DRESSER, AND ASKED BIDDERS TO SUPPLY INFORMATION AS FOLLOWS:

SIZE, INCHES

DEPTH WIDTH HEIGHT

THE SPECIFICATION (AA-H-00600BGSA-FSS) REFERENCED IN THE IFB PROVIDED ON PAGE 1 THAT "ALL DIMENSIONS ARE OVERALL AND ARE MINIMUM (SEE 3.2.1.1).", AND ON PAGE 2 SPECIFIED THE BENCHES IN QUESTION AS:

"LENGTH 19 INCHES, WIDTH 16 INCHES, HEIGHT 17 INCHES"

WE THEREFORE FIND THE DIMENSIONS DESCRIBED IN THE TWO DOCUMENTS IN THE FOLLOWING TERMS:

SPECIFICATION - LENGTH - WIDTH - HEIGHT

SOLICITATION (IFB) - DEPTH - WIDTH - HEIGHT

ALSO, IN THE SCHEDULE INCLUDED WITH THE SOLICITATION IS A SERIES OF PHOTOGRAPHS. ON PAGE 42, ITEM 26-27 IS SHOWN AS A BENCH TYPE ITEM WITH A RECTANGULAR TOP.

THE ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER FOR STANDARDS AND QUALITY CONTROL, GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION, MADE THE FOLLOWING OBSERVATIONS IN A REPORT TO US FROM THAT AGENCY:

"WHILE THERE IS SOME ATTEMPT AT STANDARDIZING TERMS IN THE HOUSEHOLD FURNITURE INDUSTRY, THERE IS STILL INTERMIXING OF TERMINOLOGY IN MANY INSTANCES. LENGTH VS WIDTH AND DEPTH VS WIDTH ARE THE PARTICULAR TERMS INVOLVED IN THIS INSTANCE. THE LONG TOP DIMENSION OF A PIECE OF FURNITURE IS REFERRED TO AS EITHER THE 'LENGTH' OR THE 'WIDTH'. THE SHORTER TOP DIMENSION IS REFERRED TO AS EITHER THE 'DEPTH' OR THE 'WIDTH'. IN A CASE *** WHERE 'LENGTH' AND 'WIDTH' ARE THE TWO TOP DIMENSIONS CALLED FOR, 'LENGTH' WOULD AUTOMATICALLY BECOME THE LONGER DIMENSION AND 'WIDTH' THE SHORTER DIMENSION. IN A CASE *** WHERE 'DEPTH' AND 'WIDTH' ARE THE TWO TOP DIMENSIONS CALLED FOR, 'WIDTH' WOULD AUTOMATICALLY BECOME THE LONGER DIMENSION AND 'DEPTH' THE SHORTER DIMENSION.

"THE GENERAL SEQUENCE OF GIVING DIMENSIONS IS THE LONGER TOP DIMENSION BY THE SHORTER TOP DIMENSION BY THE HEIGHT. HOWEVER, THIS SEQUENCE IS NOT ALWAYS FOLLOWED, AND A FURNITURE MANUFACTURER, FACED WITH TERMINOLOGY WHICH CONFLICTS WITH THIS ORDINARY SEQUENCE, COULD LOGICALLY INSERT DIMENSIONS TO CORRESPOND WITH THE TERMINOLOGY RATHER THAN THE SEQUENCE."

THIS DESCRIPTION OF THE STATUS OF STANDARD MEANINGS AND DEFINITIONS WITHIN THE HOUSEHOLD FURNITURE INDUSTRY WAS INDEPENDENTLY VERIFIED BY US WITH TWO FURNITURE MANUFACTURING ASSOCIATIONS.

THE B. P. JOHN FURNITURE COMPANY INSERTED IN ITS BID THE FOLLOWING DIMENSIONS FOR ITEM NO. 26-27:

SIZE

DEPTH WIDTH HEIGHT

16 19 17

BECAUSE OF THE SIMPLICITY OF THE SHAPE OF THE TOP IT IS OBVIOUSLY OF NO IMPORTANCE WHETHER THE LONGER DIMENSION IS TERMED "LENGTH" OR "WIDTH", AND EQUALLY UNIMPORTANT WHETHER THE SHORT DIMENSION IS TERMED "DEPTH" OR "WIDTH", SO LONG AS ONE OF THE DIMENSIONS IS 19 INCHES OR MORE IN LENGTH AND THE OTHER DIMENSION IS 16 INCHES OR MORE IN LENGTH. SINCE THAT IS THE CASE WITH THE B. P. JOHN FURNITURE COMPANY BID, IT IS OUR OPINION THAT THE BID ON ITEM 26-27 AS SUBMITTED WAS FULLY RESPONSIVE TO THE SOLICITATION, IN CONFORMANCE WITH THE REFERENCED SPECIFICATION, AND DID NOT IN ANY MANNER PLACE OTHER BIDDERS AT A DISADVANTAGE.

IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, YOUR PROTEST IS WITHOUT MERIT, AND MUST THEREFORE BE DENIED.