B-174123, OCT 20, 1971

B-174123: Oct 20, 1971

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SINCE THE INVITATION WAS NOT SENT TO PROTESTANT BECAUSE OF THEIR UNSATISFACTORY PERFORMANCE ON PRIOR CONTRACTS. WAS ADVERTISED IN THE COMMERCE BUSINESS DAILY. MEAGHER & ENOCH: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR TELEGRAM OF SEPTEMBER 17. PROGRAM 311-S IS A REQUIREMENTS TYPE CONTRACT FOR THE PRODUCTION OF NATIONAL PARK SERVICE "MINIFOLDERS" FOR THE TERM COMMENCING OCTOBER 1. THE PROPOSED CONTRACT IS A CONTINUATION OF THE PROGRAM WHICH EXPIRED SEPTEMBER 30. FOR WHICH PUBLICATION PRESS WAS THE CONTRACTOR. INVITATIONS FOR BIDS FOR THE NEW TERM WERE MAILED TO TWENTY-SEVEN FIRMS ON AUGUST 11. ALSO A NOTICE THAT SUCH BIDS WOULD BE REQUESTED WAS PUBLISHED IN THE JUNE 28. PUBLICATION PRESS WAS NOT ONE OF THE FIRMS TO WHOM A COPY OF THE SOLICITATION WAS MAILED.

B-174123, OCT 20, 1971

BID PROTEST - FAILURE TO NOTIFY INCUMBENT CONTRACTOR OF SOLICITATION DENIAL OF PROTEST ON BEHALF OF PUBLICATION PRESS, INC., AGAINST THE FAILURE OF THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE TO SEND IT A COPY OF THE IFB ON PROGRAM 311-S, THE PRODUCTION OF NATIONAL PARK SERVICE "MINIFOLDERS" FOR THE TERM COMMENCING OCTOBER 1, 1971. SINCE THE INVITATION WAS NOT SENT TO PROTESTANT BECAUSE OF THEIR UNSATISFACTORY PERFORMANCE ON PRIOR CONTRACTS, BUT WAS ADVERTISED IN THE COMMERCE BUSINESS DAILY, THE COMP. GEN. DOES NOT FEEL THAT THE CIRCUMSTANCES REQUIRE READVERTISEMENT OF THE PROGRAM.

TO GOODMAN, MEAGHER & ENOCH:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR TELEGRAM OF SEPTEMBER 17, 1971, AND SUBSEQUENT CORRESPONDENCE, PROTESTING ON BEHALF OF PUBLICATION PRESS, INCORPORATED, AGAINST THE FAILURE OF THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE TO SEND IT A COPY OF THE INVITATION FOR BIDS ON PROGRAM 311-S.

PROGRAM 311-S IS A REQUIREMENTS TYPE CONTRACT FOR THE PRODUCTION OF NATIONAL PARK SERVICE "MINIFOLDERS" FOR THE TERM COMMENCING OCTOBER 1, 1971. THE PROPOSED CONTRACT IS A CONTINUATION OF THE PROGRAM WHICH EXPIRED SEPTEMBER 30, 1971, AND FOR WHICH PUBLICATION PRESS WAS THE CONTRACTOR.

INVITATIONS FOR BIDS FOR THE NEW TERM WERE MAILED TO TWENTY-SEVEN FIRMS ON AUGUST 11, 1971. ALSO A NOTICE THAT SUCH BIDS WOULD BE REQUESTED WAS PUBLISHED IN THE JUNE 28, 1971, ISSUE OF COMMERCE BUSINESS DAILY. HOWEVER, PUBLICATION PRESS WAS NOT ONE OF THE FIRMS TO WHOM A COPY OF THE SOLICITATION WAS MAILED.

ONE RESPONSIVE BID WAS RECEIVED. THE PRICES OFFERED BY THE RESPONSIVE BIDDER HAVE BEEN DETERMINED REASONABLE, AND A PREAWARD SURVEY DISCLOSED THAT THE BIDDER HAS ADEQUATE FACILITIES AND SATISFACTORY RECORD OF PERFORMANCE FOR THE PRODUCTION OF THE SAME MATERIALS UNDER A PREVIOUS CONTRACT.

IT IS REPORTED THAT THE PUBLICATION PRESS RECORD OF PERFORMANCE UNDER THE EXPIRING CONTRACT WAS UNSATISFACTORY. A NUMBER OF COMPLAINTS WERE RECEIVED FROM THE REQUISITIONING AGENCY REGARDING POOR PERFORMANCE, FAILURE TO MEET REQUIRED DELIVERY SCHEDULES, LOST COPY, INADEQUATE PACKAGING, DELIVERY SHORTAGES, AND FAILURE TO IMPOSE REASONABLE QUALITY CONTROL (ONE PRINT ORDER REQUIRING THE PRINTING OF A MAP HAD THE COLORS REVERSED SO THAT WATER AREAS WERE PRINTED BROWN AND LAND AREAS BLUE). ADDITION, COMPLAINTS HAD ALSO BEEN RECEIVED FROM OTHER FEDERAL AGENCIES REGARDING POOR PERFORMANCE BY PUBLICATION PRESS UNDER OTHER PRINTING CONTRACTS.

IT IS FURTHER REPORTED THAT WHILE THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE DID NOT TAKE THE DRASTIC STEP OF DEBARRING PUBLICATION PRESS, THE FIRM WAS NOT INCLUDED AMONG THE FIRMS SENT AN INVITATION FOR BIDS ON WORK SUCH AS THE CURRENT NATIONAL PARK SERVICE REQUIREMENT (PROGRAM 311-S); THAT PUBLICATION PRESS IS TAKING STEPS TO IMPROVE ITS ABILITY TO PERFORM; AND THAT PUBLICATION PRESS IS NOW BEING SOLICITED FOR BIDS. HOWEVER, IT IS STATED THAT THE FIRM'S PRESENT ATTEMPTS AT CORRECTIVE ACTION DO NOT WARRANT A READVERTISEMENT OF THE PROGRAM IN ISSUE SINCE BIDS HAVE BEEN OPENED, AND THE BIDDER ELIGIBLE FOR AWARD WOULD BE SIGNIFICANTLY PREJUDICED.

IN RESOLVING QUESTIONS CONCERNING THE ADEQUACY OF THE SOLICITATION OF SUPPLY SOURCES, 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-170398, FEBRUARY 17, 1971, 50 COMP. GEN. ; B 172307, JULY 16, 1971. THERE IS NO RULE AGAINST MAKING AN AWARD WHERE ONLY ONE BID HAS BEEN RECEIVED. FURTHER, THERE IS NO INDICATION THAT THE PRICES BID ARE NOT REASONABLE. IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES FAILURE OF THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE TO MAIL THE FIRM A COPY OF THE INVITATION FOR BIDS WOULD NOT JUSTIFY A RESOLICITATION PARTICULARLY SINCE NOTICE OF THE PROCUREMENT WAS ADVERTISED IN THE COMMERCE BUSINESS DAILY. HOWEVER, IN GENERAL WE DO NOT BELIEVE THAT A SOLICITATION SHOULD BE DELIBERATELY WITHHELD FROM THE INCUMBENT CONTRACTOR ON THE BASIS THAT HIS RESPONSIBILITY IS IN QUESTION. WE ARE POINTING OUT THIS POSITION TO THE PUBLIC PRINTER.