B-174788(2), MAR 8, 1972

B-174788(2): Mar 8, 1972

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IT WOULD APPEAR THAT FORMAL ADVERTISING MIGHT HAVE BEEN A MORE EXPEDITIOUS METHOD OF PROCUREMENT. IT IS RECOMMENDED TO THE DIRECTOR OF FEDERAL PROCUREMENT REGULATIONS STAFF THAT GUIDELINES AS TO THE CONSIDERATION TO BE GIVEN TO LATE OFFERS OR MODIFICATIONS IN NEGOTIATED PROCUREMENTS BE CLEARLY STATED AND COMMUNICATED TO OFFERORS IN ADVANCE OF INITIAL OFFER SUBMISSION. KREGER: REFERENCE IS MADE TO A LETTER DATED FEBRUARY 15. ENCLOSED IS A COPY OF OUR DECISION OF TODAY TO HILLSIDE DENYING ITS PROTEST. ALTHOUGH WE APPRECIATE THAT THE INTENT OF THE LATE OFFER/MODIFICATION SECTIONS OF THE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION PROCUREMENT REGULATION IS TO RESERVE TO THE CONTRACTING OFFICER THE DISCRETION TO DECIDE WHETHER A LATE OFFER OR MODIFICATION SHOULD BE CONSIDERED.

B-174788(2), MAR 8, 1972

BID PROTEST - NEGOTIATED PROCUREMENT - LATE BID CONCERNING A DECISION DENYING THE PROTEST OF HILLSIDE METAL PRODUCTS, INC., AGAINST AWARD OF A NEGOTIATED CONTRACT TO STANDARD PRESSED STEEL COMPANY UNDER AN RFP ISSUED BY THE FEDERAL SUPPLY SERVICE, GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION, FOR A PROCUREMENT OF STEEL DESKS. IN VIEW OF THE LENGTH OF TIME CONSUMED IN NEGOTIATIONS, IT WOULD APPEAR THAT FORMAL ADVERTISING MIGHT HAVE BEEN A MORE EXPEDITIOUS METHOD OF PROCUREMENT. ACCORDINGLY, IT IS RECOMMENDED TO THE DIRECTOR OF FEDERAL PROCUREMENT REGULATIONS STAFF THAT GUIDELINES AS TO THE CONSIDERATION TO BE GIVEN TO LATE OFFERS OR MODIFICATIONS IN NEGOTIATED PROCUREMENTS BE CLEARLY STATED AND COMMUNICATED TO OFFERORS IN ADVANCE OF INITIAL OFFER SUBMISSION.

TO MR. RODERICK F. KREGER:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO A LETTER DATED FEBRUARY 15, 1972, WITH ENCLOSURES, FROM YOUR GENERAL COUNSEL, AND PRIOR CORRESPONDENCE, REPORTING ON THE PROTEST OF HILLSIDE METAL PRODUCTS, INC., AGAINST THE AWARD OF A CONTRACT TO STANDARD PRESSED STEEL COMPANY UNDER REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS NO. FPNFO-T- 40916-11-3-71, ISSUED BY THE FEDERAL SUPPLY SERVICES, GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION.

ENCLOSED IS A COPY OF OUR DECISION OF TODAY TO HILLSIDE DENYING ITS PROTEST. ALTHOUGH WE APPRECIATE THAT THE INTENT OF THE LATE OFFER/MODIFICATION SECTIONS OF THE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION PROCUREMENT REGULATION IS TO RESERVE TO THE CONTRACTING OFFICER THE DISCRETION TO DECIDE WHETHER A LATE OFFER OR MODIFICATION SHOULD BE CONSIDERED, IT APPEARS THAT AN INORDINATE AMOUNT OF TIME WAS CONSUMED IN THE CONSIDERATION OF LATE MODIFICATIONS WHICH DID NOT OFFER TO THE GOVERNMENT ANY SIGNIFICANT PRICE SAVINGS. IN FACT, THE LENGTH OF TIME CONSUMED IN NEGOTIATIONS (SOME 6 WEEKS) CASTS SOME DOUBT ON THE VALIDITY OF THE ORIGINAL DECISION THAT NEGOTIATION WOULD BE A MORE EXPEDITIOUS PROCUREMENT METHOD THAN WOULD FORMAL ADVERTISING. WE SUSPECT THAT FORMAL ADVERTISING WOULD HAVE RESULTED IN THE INITIAL SUBMISSION OF BIDDERS' MOST FAVORABLE PRICES THUS PERMITTING THE AWARD OF A CONTRACT ON A MORE TIMELY BASIS.

THE GENERAL COUNSEL'S LETTER OF FEBRUARY 15 STATES THAT GSA IS INVESTIGATING THE MANNER IN WHICH THE NEGOTIATIONS WERE CONDUCTED IN THIS CASE AND THAT GSA IS REVIEWING ITS REGULATIONS DEALING WITH LATE OFFERS AND/OR MODIFICATIONS TO PROPOSALS. IN THIS REGARD, WE WISH TO ITERATE THE SUGGESTION MADE IN OUR LETTER, B-151944, DATED MARCH 19, 1969, TO THE DIRECTOR OF THE FEDERAL PROCUREMENT REGULATIONS STAFF THAT GUIDELINES AS TO CONSIDERATION TO BE GIVEN TO LATE OFFERS OR MODIFICATIONS TO OFFERS IN NEGOTIATED PROCUREMENTS BE CLEARLY STATED AND COMMUNICATED TO OFFERORS IN ADVANCE OF INITIAL OFFER SUBMISSION. WE WOULD APPRECIATE BEING ADVISED OF ANY REGULATORY CHANGES WHICH ARE MADE AS A RESULT OF YOUR REVIEW AS WELL AS BEING ADVISED OF THE RESULTS OF THE INVESTIGATION OF THE SUBJECT PROCUREMENT.