B-177266, FEB 20, 1973

B-177266: Feb 20, 1973

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AN IFB MAY INCLUDE A REQUIREMENT FOR FURNISHING DESCRIPTIVE LITERATURE WHERE THE NATURE OF THE LITERATURE REQUIRED IS SPELLED OUT AND BIDDERS ARE ADVISED THAT FAILURE TO COMPLY WILL REQUIRE REJECTION OF THEIR BIDS. DUNCAN & HAMMOND: REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTERS OF OCTOBER 13. ELEVEN BIDS WERE SUBMITTED. THE FIRST EIGHT LOW BIDS WERE DETERMINED TO BE NONRESPONSIVE. AWARD WAS MADE TO GOLDEN GATE AS THE LOWEST RESPONSIVE BIDDER. WAS BASED UPON ITS FAILURE TO MEET THE REQUIREMENTS OF PARAGRAPH 3-2.4 OF THE SPECIFICATIONS. THE WINDOW ASSEMBLY SHALL HAVE BLACK TRIM AROUND EACH WINDOW. EACH GENERATOR SWITCHBOARD ANNUNCIATOR POINT MODULE SHALL HAVE SELF-CONTAINED POWER CONVERSION AND FLASHING FUNCTION.

B-177266, FEB 20, 1973

BID PROTEST - DESCRIPTIVE LITERATURE REQUIREMENT - NONRESPONSIVENESS DECISION DENYING THE PROTEST OF HATCH, INC., AGAINST AWARD OF A CONTRACT TO GOLDEN GATE SWITCHBOARD COMPANY UNDER AN IFB ISSUED BY THE CORPS OF ENGINEERS, WALLA WALLA, WASH., FOR MAIN GENERATOR SWITCHBOARDS FOR THE ICE HARBOR LOCK AND DAM. AN IFB MAY INCLUDE A REQUIREMENT FOR FURNISHING DESCRIPTIVE LITERATURE WHERE THE NATURE OF THE LITERATURE REQUIRED IS SPELLED OUT AND BIDDERS ARE ADVISED THAT FAILURE TO COMPLY WILL REQUIRE REJECTION OF THEIR BIDS. SEE 36 COMP. GEN. 376 (1956). THEREFORE, A BID NOT COMPLYING WITH SUCH A REQUIREMENT MAY BE REJECTED AS NONRESPONSIVE. B 168243, JANUARY 2, 1970.

TO KEMP, SMITH, WHITE, DUNCAN & HAMMOND:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTERS OF OCTOBER 13, 1972, AND DECEMBER 7, 1972, FROM YOU AND HATCH INCORPORATED, RESPECTIVELY, PROTESTING AGAINST AN AWARD TO THE GOLDEN GATE SWITCHBOARD COMPANY UNDER INVITATION FOR BIDS (IFB) DACW-68-73-B-0006, ISSUED BY THE DISTRICT ENGINEER, ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS, WALLA WALLA, WASHINGTON.

THE IFB INVITED BIDS FOR MAIN GENERATOR SWITCHBOARDS FOR THE ICE HARBOR LOCK AND DAM. ELEVEN BIDS WERE SUBMITTED. THE FIRST EIGHT LOW BIDS WERE DETERMINED TO BE NONRESPONSIVE. AWARD WAS MADE TO GOLDEN GATE AS THE LOWEST RESPONSIVE BIDDER. THE NONRESPONSIVENESS OF SIX OF THE BIDS, INCLUDING HATCH'S, WAS BASED UPON ITS FAILURE TO MEET THE REQUIREMENTS OF PARAGRAPH 3-2.4 OF THE SPECIFICATIONS, WHICH PROVIDED:

GENERATOR SWITCHBOARD AND MAIN CONTROL SWITCHBOARD ANNUNCIATOR GROUPS SHALL CONSIST OF NEAT, COMPACT, DUSTPROOF ASSEMBLIES CONTAINING ANNUNCIATOR LAMPS, ENGRAVED TRANSLUCENT WINDOWS AND TERMINALS SUITABLE FOR NO. 12 AWG CONNECTIONS. GENERATOR SWITCHBOARD ANNUNCIATOR SHALL ALSO INCLUDE POINT, STEADY, RESET, HORN, FLASHER, WALL LAMP, TEST, AND RELAY OUTPUT MODULES AS REQUIRED. THE WINDOW ASSEMBLY SHALL HAVE BLACK TRIM AROUND EACH WINDOW. EACH GENERATOR SWITCHBOARD ANNUNCIATOR POINT MODULE SHALL HAVE SELF-CONTAINED POWER CONVERSION AND FLASHING FUNCTION.

HATCH PROPOSED TO FURNISH BETA SERIES 5000 CONSTALERT ANNUNCIATORS AND SUBMITTED WITH ITS BID AS DESCRIPTIVE LITERATURE BETA CATALOG NO. 1010. AT PAGES 4 AND 15 OF THE CATALOG, IT IS INDICATED THAT A COMMON HORN AND FLASHER CONTROL CARD IS USED FOR UP TO 120 ALARM POINTS. FURTHER, PAGES 3, 5, 6, AND 16 SHOW THAT SERIES 5000 ANNUNCIATORS REQUIRE A COMMON POWER SUPPLY FOR EITHER 30 OR 60 ALARM POINTS. THE CONTRACTING OFFICER CONCLUDED THAT, SINCE PARAGRAPH 3-2.4 REQUIRES THAT EACH ANNUNCIATOR POINT HAVE A SELF-CONTAINED POWER SUPPLY AND FLASHER UNIT, AND SINCE THE BETA ANNUNCIATOR USES COMMON POWER SUPPLY AND FLASHER MODULES FOR A GROUP OF ANNUNCIATOR POINTS, HATCH'S BID DID NOT MEET THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE SPECIFICATIONS AND THEREFORE WAS DETERMINED TO BE NONRESPONSIVE.

THE DESCRIPTIVE LITERATURE WAS REQUIRED TO BE FURNISHED AS PART OF THE BID BY PARAGRAPH 4.1 OF THE IFB. PARAGRAPH 4.2 STATES THAT THE FAILURE OF THE DESCRIPTIVE LITERATURE TO SHOW THAT THE PRODUCT OFFERED CONFORMS TO THE SPECIFICATIONS WILL REQUIRE REJECTION OF THE BID; THAT BIDS WILL BE EVALUATED STRICTLY ON THE BASIS OF THE INFORMATION SUBMITTED WITH THE BID; AND THAT IF BIDDERS SUBMIT STANDARD DRAWINGS AND/OR STANDARD PUBLISHED DESCRIPTIVE DATA FOR THEIR PRODUCT, ANY MODIFICATION REQUIRED AND INTENDED BY THEM TO SHOW COMPLIANCE OF THE OFFER WITH THE REQUIREMENTS SHALL BE INDICATED THEREON, AND ANY INAPPLICABLE DESCRIPTION OR DATA SHALL BE DELETED. THE PROTEST CONCEDES THAT PARAGRAPH 3-2.4 REQUIRES THAT EACH GENERATOR SWITCHBOARD ANNUNCIATOR POINT HAVE SELF-CONTAINED POWER CONVERSION AND FLASHING FUNCTION. HOWEVER, IT IS CONTENDED THAT THE CONTRACTING OFFICER'S INTERPRETATION OF THE DESCRIPTIVE LITERATURE REQUIREMENT WAS OVERLY STRICT IN THAT IT WOULD REQUIRE PREBID ENGINEERING OR DESIGN WORK FOR EVERY PRODUCT OFFERED. IT IS STATED THAT THE HATCH BID WAS BASED UPON FURNISHING A SYSTEM TO MEET THE SPECIFICATIONS AND CLEARLY INDICATED HATCH'S CAPABILITY TO MEET THE REQUIREMENTS. THEREFORE, IT IS SUGGESTED THAT THE CONTRACT BE AWARDED TO HATCH OR THAT THE SOLICITATION BE CANCELED AND READVERTISED.

OUR OFFICE HAS RECOGNIZED THE PROPRIETY OF INCLUDING IN THE INVITATION FOR BIDS A REQUIREMENT FOR FURNISHING DESCRIPTIVE LITERATURE WHERE THE NATURE OF THE LITERATURE REQUIRED IS SPELLED OUT AND BIDDERS ARE ADVISED THAT THE FAILURE TO COMPLY WILL REQUIRE REJECTION OF THEIR BIDS. SEE 36 COMP. GEN. 376 (1956); ID. 415 (1956).

IN THE INSTANT CASE BIDDERS WERE SO ADVISED. IN ADDITION, IT IS APPARENT THAT THE PROCURING ACTIVITY CONSIDERED COMPLETE DESCRIPTIVE DATA AS ESSENTIAL IN ORDER TO DETERMINE EXACTLY WHAT EACH BIDDER PROPOSED TO FURNISH. BIDDERS WERE ADVISED IN PARAGRAPH 4.2 THAT, IF THEY SUBMITTED STANDARD PUBLISHED DESCRIPTIVE DATA FOR THEIR PRODUCT, ANY MODIFICATIONS REQUIRED AND INTENDED TO SHOW COMPLIANCE WITH THE SPECIFICATIONS SHOULD BE CLEARLY INDICATED, AND ANY INAPPLICABLE DATA DELETED. AS TO THE REQUIREMENTS OF PARAGRAPH 3-2.4, HATCH FAILED TO COMPLY WITH THE DESCRIPTIVE LITERATURE REQUIREMENT AND INSTEAD SUBMITTED DATA INDICATING VARIOUS AVAILABLE ANNUNCIATOR EQUIPMENT CONFIGURATIONS OF A NONCONFORMING NATURE. ALTHOUGH IT IS STATED THAT IT WAS BELIEVED THAT A GENERAL DESCRIPTION OF THE EQUIPMENT WOULD BE ADEQUATE FOR THE DESCRIPTIVE LITERATURE REQUIREMENT OF THE IFB BECAUSE OTHERWISE IT WOULD HAVE BEEN NECESSARY TO PREENGINEER THE REQUIREMENTS, THE FACT REMAINS THAT THE DESCRIPTIVE LITERATURE REQUIREMENT WAS EXPLICIT AS TO WHAT WAS REQUIRED AND HATCH FAILED IN THAT REGARD. SINCE THE DESCRIPTIVE LITERATURE DID NOT COMPLY WITH THE IFB REQUIREMENTS, THE BID WAS PROPERLY REJECTED. 168243, JANUARY 2, 1970.

ACCORDINGLY, THE PROTEST IS DENIED.