B-175277, MAY 22, 1972

B-175277: May 22, 1972

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PROTESTANT CONTENDS THAT ITS ALTERNATE BID FOR CONTAINERIZED SHIPMENT WAS PERMISSIBLE UNDER THE TERMS OF THE IFB AND SHOULD HAVE BEEN CONSIDERED. SUCH EVALUATION WOULD HAVE BEEN CONTRARY TO THE GENERAL RULE THAT ALL BIDS MUST BE EVALUATED ON THE SAME BASIS. THE GOVERNMENT IS NOT OBLIGED TO ACCEPT TRANSPORTATION METHODS WHICH CANNOT BE UTILIZED FOR LACK OF CONTAINERIZATION SERVICES TO THE POINTS OF DELIVERY. THE PROTEST IS DENIED. TO THERMAL REDUCTION CORPORATION: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR PROTEST AGAINST THE AWARD OF A CONTRACT TO EVANS METAL COMPANY BY FRANKFORD ARSENAL. THE SUBJECT INVITATION WAS ISSUED ON DECEMBER 17. TWO BIDS WERE RECEIVED AND OPENED ON JANUARY 17. EVANS WAS EVALUATED LOW AT A PRICE OF $342.

B-175277, MAY 22, 1972

BID PROTEST - ALTERNATE PROPOSAL - PROPRIETY OF ACCEPTANCE DECISION DENYING THE PROTEST OF THERMAL REDUCTION CORPORATION AGAINST AWARD OF A CONTRACT TO EVANS METAL COMPANY UNDER AN IFB ISSUED BY FRANKFORD ARSENAL FOR A QUANTITY OF LEAD FOR SHIPMENT TO KOREA AND THAILAND. PROTESTANT CONTENDS THAT ITS ALTERNATE BID FOR CONTAINERIZED SHIPMENT WAS PERMISSIBLE UNDER THE TERMS OF THE IFB AND SHOULD HAVE BEEN CONSIDERED. THE SUBJECT INVITATION INCLUDED SPECIFIC PORT HANDLING CHARGES NOT APPLICABLE TO EVALUATION ON THE BASIS OF CONTAINERIZATION. SUCH EVALUATION WOULD HAVE BEEN CONTRARY TO THE GENERAL RULE THAT ALL BIDS MUST BE EVALUATED ON THE SAME BASIS. B-172963, AUGUST 5, 1971. FURTHER, THE GOVERNMENT IS NOT OBLIGED TO ACCEPT TRANSPORTATION METHODS WHICH CANNOT BE UTILIZED FOR LACK OF CONTAINERIZATION SERVICES TO THE POINTS OF DELIVERY. IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, THE PROTEST IS DENIED.

TO THERMAL REDUCTION CORPORATION:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR PROTEST AGAINST THE AWARD OF A CONTRACT TO EVANS METAL COMPANY BY FRANKFORD ARSENAL, PURSUANT TO INVITATION FOR BIDS NO. DAAA25-72-B-0247.

THE SUBJECT INVITATION WAS ISSUED ON DECEMBER 17, 1971, FOR A QUANTITY OF LEAD FOR SHIPMENT TO KOREA AND THAILAND. THE INVITATION CALLED FOR BIDS ON AN F.O.B. ORIGIN PRICE BASIS, WITH EVALUATION TO INCLUDE INLAND TRANSPORTATION COSTS FROM THE POINT OF ORIGIN IN THE UNITED STATES TO THE PORT OF LOADING, PORT HANDLING CHARGES AT THE PORT OF LOADING, AND THE OCEAN SHIPPING COSTS FROM THE UNITED STATES PORT OF LOADING TO THE OVERSEAS PORT OF DISCHARGE. IN ADDITION, THE INVITATION INCLUDED A LIST OF PORTS AND COMBINED HANDLING AND TRANSPORTATION CHARGES PER MEASUREMENT TON TO BE USED FOR EVALUATION PURPOSES.

TWO BIDS WERE RECEIVED AND OPENED ON JANUARY 17, 1972. AFTER APPLICATION OF THE FOREGOING TRANSPORTATION COSTS, EVANS WAS EVALUATED LOW AT A PRICE OF $342,008, AND YOUR BID WAS EVALUATED AT A PRICE OF $342,306.67. ALTHOUGH YOU SUBMITTED AN ALTERNATE BID BASED UPON CONTAINERIZED SHIPMENT IN WHICH INLAND FREIGHT AND PORT HANDLING CHARGES ARE STATED TO BE "NIL", IT WAS DETERMINED AFTER CONSULTATION WITH LEGAL COUNSEL THAT CONTAINERIZATION WAS NOT PERMISSIBLE UNDER THE TERMS OF THE INVITATION. ALSO, THE CONTRACTING OFFICER DETERMINED THAT YOUR ALTERNATE BID DID NOT NECESSITATE CANCELLATION AND READVERTISEMENT TO ALLOW FOR BIDS ON A CONTAINERIZATION BASIS AS THE GOVERNMENT HAS NO SUCH SERVICE TO THAILAND AND NO SUCH SERVICE FROM PHILADELPHIA. FURTHER, IT WAS DETERMINED THAT A REDUCTION IN THE REQUIREMENTS OF 100,000 POUNDS AFTER RECEIPT OF BIDS WAS NOT A SUFFICIENT BASIS TO CANCEL THE INVITATION AND READVERTISE. THEREFORE, AWARD WAS MADE TO EVANS FOR THE REDUCED QUANTITY ON FEBRUARY 17, 1972.

YOU CONTEND THAT YOUR ALTERNATE BID SHOULD HAVE BEEN CONSIDERED AS IT WOULD HAVE SAVED THE GOVERNMENT $55,000, AND CONTAINERIZATION WAS PERMISSIBLE UNDER THE TERMS OF THE INVITATION. IN THIS CONNECTION, YOU POINT OUT THAT THE INVITATION DID NOT SPECIFICALLY PRECLUDE CONTAINERIZATION AND INCLUDED SEVERAL REFERENCES TO EVALUATION AND AWARD ON THE BASIS OF THE "LOWEST LAID DOWN COST" TO THE GOVERNMENT. BASED UPON YOUR CALCULATIONS, EVANS' BID, INCLUDING TRANSPORTATION COSTS, WAS $397,340, COMPARED TO YOUR ALTERNATE BID OF $342,955.

WITH REGARD TO ITS POSITION THAT CONTAINERIZATION WAS NOT PERMITTED UNDER THE TERMS OF THE INVITATION, THE ARMY POINTS OUT THAT PURSUANT TO ARMED SERVICES PROCUREMENT REGULATION 16-820 AND 19-301, THE CONTRACTING OFFICER PRIOR TO ISSUANCE OF THE IFB, SECURED TRANSPORTATION DATA FROM COGNIZANT PERSONNEL AND INCORPORATED SUCH DATA IN THE IFB AS REQUIRED. ALTHOUGH THE CLAUSES APPLICABLE TO EVALUATION OF TRANSPORTATION COSTS DID NOT SPECIFICALLY PROHIBIT CONTAINERIZATION, THEY PROVIDED FOR THE INCLUSION OF STATED PORT HANDLING CHARGES WHICH WOULD BE LESS IF CONTAINERIZATION WERE CONTEMPLATED. THEREFORE, THE ARMY CONTENDS THAT TO HAVE EVALUATED YOUR ALTERNATE BID ON THE BASIS OF CONTAINERIZATION WOULD HAVE BEEN CONTRARY TO THE TERMS OF THE IFB AND DECISIONS OF OUR OFFICE WHICH HOLD THAT ALL BIDS MUST BE EVALUATED ON THE SAME BASIS WHICH MUST BE STATED IN THE INVITATION, CITING B-172963, AUGUST 5, 1971, AND OTHER DECISIONS.

ALTHOUGH YOUR BID BASED UPON CONTAINERIZATION WAS LOWER, AS NOTED ABOVE THE DECISION NOT TO CANCEL AND RESOLICIT WAS BASED UPON THE FACT THAT THE GOVERNMENT HAS NO CONTAINERIZATION SERVICE TO THAILAND AND NO CONTAINERIZATION SERVICE TO KOREA OUT OF PHILADELPHIA. WE DO NOT THINK THE GOVERNMENT'S INTERESTS WOULD BE SERVED BY EVALUATING BIDS ON THE BASIS OF TRANSPORTATION METHODS WHICH CANNOT BE UTILIZED IN THE GIVEN CASE. THIS CONNECTION, THE ARMY ALSO POINTS OUT THAT YOUR COMPUTATION OF THE DIFFERENCE IN THE TWO BIDS WAS IN ERROR AND RATHER THAN BEING $55,000 IT WAS LESS THAN $14,000.

ON THE BASIS OF THE RECORD BEFORE OUR OFFICE, IT APPEARS THAT THE BIDS WERE PROPERLY EVALUATED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE TERMS OF THE INVITATION AND APPLICABLE REGULATIONS AND AWARD MADE TO THE LOW RESPONSIVE BIDDER. THIS CONNECTION, YOU WERE FURNISHED A COPY OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE REPORT AND SUBMITTED NO REBUTTAL.

ACCORDINGLY, THERE IS NO BASIS FOR OUR OFFICE TO DISTURB THE AWARD AND YOUR PROTEST IS DENIED.