B-174474, JUN 1, 1972

B-174474: Jun 1, 1972

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TO HAVE OCCURRED IN THE AWARD OF A CONTRACT. SINCE APPROPRIATED FUNDS WERE NOT INVOLVED. THERE WAS NO REQUIREMENT THAT FEDERAL PROCUREMENT REGULATIONS BE FOLLOWED. THE DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT HAS ASSURED THAT SIMILAR IRREGULARITIES WILL NO LONGER BE PERMITTED WITHOUT PRIOR REVIEW BY THE WASHINGTON CENTRAL OFFICE. INC.: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 23. WAS RECEIVED ON MARCH 13. OUR REVIEW OF THE REPORT INDICATES THAT HUD COMPETITIVE BIDDING AND CONTRACT AWARD POLICIES WERE NOT FOLLOWED IN THIS PROCUREMENT IN THAT THE "BRAND NAME OR EQUAL" CLAUSE USUALLY EMPLOYED WAS NOT USED AND PRICE QUOTATIONS FOR MATERIALS WERE REQUIRED TO BE SUBMITTED INFORMALLY 5 DAYS PRIOR TO THE SCHEDULED BID OPENING.

B-174474, JUN 1, 1972

BID PROTEST - IMPROPER PROCUREMENT PRACTICES - USE OF APPROPRIATED FUNDS CONCERNING IRREGULARITIES ALLEGED BY NORTHWEST PIPE FITTINGS, INC; TO HAVE OCCURRED IN THE AWARD OF A CONTRACT, PARTIALLY FUNDED WITH FEDERAL GRANT FUNDS, BY THE CITY OF BOZEMAN, MONT; FOR WATER MAIN IMPROVEMENTS. SINCE APPROPRIATED FUNDS WERE NOT INVOLVED, THERE WAS NO REQUIREMENT THAT FEDERAL PROCUREMENT REGULATIONS BE FOLLOWED. HOWEVER, THE DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT HAS ASSURED THAT SIMILAR IRREGULARITIES WILL NO LONGER BE PERMITTED WITHOUT PRIOR REVIEW BY THE WASHINGTON CENTRAL OFFICE.

TO NORTHWEST PIPE FITTINGS, INC.:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 23, 1971, AND PRIOR CORRESPONDENCE, ALLEGING CERTAIN IRREGULARITIES IN THE AWARD OF A CONTRACT, PARTIALLY FUNDED WITH FEDERAL GRANT FUNDS, BY THE CITY OF BOZEMAN, MONTANA, FOR WATER MAIN IMPROVEMENTS (PROJECT WSF-MT-08-00 0017).

AFTER THE RECEIPT OF YOUR INITIAL CORRESPONDENCE, OUR OFFICE REQUESTED A REPORT REGARDING YOUR ALLEGATIONS FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT (HUD). THAT REPORT, COPY ENCLOSED, WAS RECEIVED ON MARCH 13, 1972. OUR REVIEW OF THE REPORT INDICATES THAT HUD COMPETITIVE BIDDING AND CONTRACT AWARD POLICIES WERE NOT FOLLOWED IN THIS PROCUREMENT IN THAT THE "BRAND NAME OR EQUAL" CLAUSE USUALLY EMPLOYED WAS NOT USED AND PRICE QUOTATIONS FOR MATERIALS WERE REQUIRED TO BE SUBMITTED INFORMALLY 5 DAYS PRIOR TO THE SCHEDULED BID OPENING. HOWEVER, SINCE WE HAVE ULTIMATELY DETERMINED THAT APPROPRIATED FUNDS WERE NOT INVOLVED IN THIS PROCUREMENT, THERE WAS NO REQUIREMENT THAT THE STATUTES AND REGULATIONS GOVERNING PROCUREMENTS BY THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT BE FOLLOWED. WE NOTE, HOWEVER, THAT THE HUD REPORT STATES THAT IN THE FUTURE, DEPARTURES FROM STANDARD HUD GENERAL AND SPECIAL CONDITIONS WILL NOT BE PERMITTED WITHOUT PRIOR REVIEW BY THE WASHINGTON CENTRAL OFFICE.

WE REGRET THE DELAY IN ANSWERING YOUR PROTEST. HOWEVER, IN ORDER TO ASSURE THAT THERE WAS NO MISUSE OF APPROPRIATED FUNDS, IT WAS NECESSARY TO OBTAIN ADDITIONAL INFORMATION FROM HUD, WHICH WAS NOT RECEIVED UNTIL RECENTLY.