B-175991(1), AUG 15, 1972

B-175991(1): Aug 15, 1972

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A DETERMINATION AS TO WHEN SERVICES MUST BE PERFORMED TO BEST MEET THE MINIMUM NEEDS OF THE GOVERNMENT OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA IS THAT OF THE PROCUREMENT ACTIVITY WHICH GAO WILL NOT QUESTION ABSENT. A POSSIBLE MONETARY SAVINGS IN THIS CONTEXT IS AN INSUFFICIENT BASIS FOR LEGAL OBJECTION. BIDDERS WERE REQUESTED TO BID ON EACH GROUP ON THE BASIS OF THREE DIFFERENT TIME LIMITATIONS. IS LOWER THAN THE WRL BID OF $.91 PER SAMPLE. YOU ADVISE THAT YOU WERE TOLD. THAT THE SOLE REASON FOR PERMITTING BIDDING ON THE BASIS OF THREE DIFFERENT TIME INTERVALS WAS TO DETERMINE IF NTA COULD SAVE APPRECIABLE MONIES BY INCREASING THE TIME LIMITATION. NTA ADVISES THAT REPORTING OF TEST RESULTS ON THE BASIS OF A 48-HOUR TIME LIMITATION WOULD NOT BE ACCEPTABLE FROM A CLINICAL TREATMENT VIEWPOINT SINCE SUCH TIME PERIOD COULD RESULT IN AN ADDITIONAL DAY OR TWO DELAY IN AVAILABILITY OF THE RESULTS FOR USE IN PATIENT COUNSELING AS COMPARED WITH THE AVAILABILITY OF RESULTS WHEN A 30-HOUR TIME LIMITATION IS USED.

B-175991(1), AUG 15, 1972

BID PROTEST - DETERMINATION OF NEEDS - ALTERNATE BIDS DENIAL OF PROTEST BY PRECISION ANALYTICAL LABORATORIES, INC., AGAINST AWARD OF A CONTRACT TO ANY OTHER BIDDER UNDER AN IFB ISSUED FOR THE PROCUREMENT OF VARIOUS SERVICES FOR THE NARCOTICS TREATMENT ADMINISTRATION (NTA), GOVERNMENT OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA. A DETERMINATION AS TO WHEN SERVICES MUST BE PERFORMED TO BEST MEET THE MINIMUM NEEDS OF THE GOVERNMENT OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA IS THAT OF THE PROCUREMENT ACTIVITY WHICH GAO WILL NOT QUESTION ABSENT, AS HERE, A DEMONSTRATED ABUSE OF DISCRETION. A POSSIBLE MONETARY SAVINGS IN THIS CONTEXT IS AN INSUFFICIENT BASIS FOR LEGAL OBJECTION.

TO PRECISION ANALYTICAL LABORATORIES, INC.:

WE REFER TO YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 19, 1972, AND PRIOR CORRESPONDENCE, PROTESTING AGAINST AWARD TO ANY BIDDER OTHER THAN PRECISION ANALYTICAL LABORATORIES, INC., UNDER INVITATION FOR BIDS (IFB) NO. 0320-6-2-450-CH ISSUED FOR THE PROCUREMENT OF VARIOUS SERVICES FOR THE NARCOTICS TREATMENT ADMINISTRATION (NTA), GOVERNMENT OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA.

THE IFB, ISSUED MARCH 30, 1972, SOLICITED BIDS FOR LABORATORY TESTING FOR FOUR GROUPS OF DRUGS. BIDDERS WERE REQUESTED TO BID ON EACH GROUP ON THE BASIS OF THREE DIFFERENT TIME LIMITATIONS, E.G., 24 HOURS, 30 HOURS, AND 48 HOURS, FOR REPORTING TESTING RESULTS TO NTA. THE GOVERNMENT OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA PROPOSES TO MAKE AWARD TO WASHINGTON REFERENCE LABORATORY, INC. (WRL), ON THE BASIS OF ITS LOW BID FOR GROUP NO. 3 ON A 30-HOUR REPORTING TIME BASIS.

YOU PROTEST SUCH AWARD BECAUSE YOUR BID OF $.74 PER GROUP NO. 3 SAMPLE, PROVIDING FOR A 48-HOUR TEST REPORTING TIME, IS LOWER THAN THE WRL BID OF $.91 PER SAMPLE. YOU ADVISE THAT YOU WERE TOLD, PRESUMABLY BY PROCUREMENT PERSONNEL, THAT THE SOLE REASON FOR PERMITTING BIDDING ON THE BASIS OF THREE DIFFERENT TIME INTERVALS WAS TO DETERMINE IF NTA COULD SAVE APPRECIABLE MONIES BY INCREASING THE TIME LIMITATION. YOU CONTEND THAT BECAUSE AWARD TO YOU ON YOUR BID PRICE OF $.74 PER SAMPLE WOULD RESULT IN SAVINGS OF $68,000, AWARD TO ANY OTHER BIDDER WOULD NOT BE IN THE BEST INTERESTS OF THE GOVERNMENT OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA. YOU FURTHER PROTEST THE ALLEGED DISQUALIFICATION OF YOUR BID FOR FAILURE TO SUBMIT BEFORE BID OPENING A COPY OF A CURRENT CERTIFICATE OF REGISTRATION FROM THE BUREAU OF NARCOTICS AND DANGEROUS DRUGS.

NTA ADVISES THAT REPORTING OF TEST RESULTS ON THE BASIS OF A 48-HOUR TIME LIMITATION WOULD NOT BE ACCEPTABLE FROM A CLINICAL TREATMENT VIEWPOINT SINCE SUCH TIME PERIOD COULD RESULT IN AN ADDITIONAL DAY OR TWO DELAY IN AVAILABILITY OF THE RESULTS FOR USE IN PATIENT COUNSELING AS COMPARED WITH THE AVAILABILITY OF RESULTS WHEN A 30-HOUR TIME LIMITATION IS USED. THIS CONNECTION, A DETERMINATION AS TO WHEN SERVICES MUST BE PERFORMED TO BEST MEET THE MINIMUM NEEDS OF THE GOVERNMENT OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA IS THAT OF THE PROCUREMENT ACTIVITY WHICH WE WILL NOT QUESTION ABSENT, AS HERE, A DEMONSTRATED ABUSE OF DISCRETION. A POSSIBLE MONETARY SAVINGS IN THIS CONTEXT IS AN INSUFFICIENT BASIS FOR LEGAL OBJECTION BY OUR OFFICE.

IN ADDITION, IT WOULD APPEAR THAT THE ORIGINAL ADVICE BY NTA TO THE EFFECT THAT YOUR BID WAS REJECTED AS NONRESPONSIVE FOR FAILING TO INCLUDE A CERTIFICATE OF CLINICAL REGISTRATION WAS IN ERROR. RATHER, IT APPEARS THAT YOUR BID, WHILE RESPONSIVE, MAY NOT BE IN LINE FOR AWARD BECAUSE IT IS NOT THE LOWEST RESPONSIVE BIDDER FOR THE CATEGORY OF SERVICES UPON WHICH AWARD IS TO BE MADE.

ACCORDINGLY, THE PROTEST IS DENIED.