B-177567, APR 3, 1973

B-177567: Apr 3, 1973

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GAO IS AWARE OF NO LEGAL PRINCIPLE UPON WHICH AN AWARD MAY BE PRECLUDED SOLELY BECAUSE IT IS ALLEGED THAT THE LOW BIDDER MAY HAVE SUBMITTED AN UNPROFITABLE PRICE. INC.: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR PROTEST AGAINST THE AWARD OF A CONTRACT TO THE GARCIA HEATING AND PLUMBING COMPANY (GARCIA). FOUR BIDS WERE RECEIVED AS FOLLOWS: GARCIA $24. 255.00 THE GOVERNMENT'S ESTIMATE FOR THE COST OF THE PROJECT WAS $36. SINCE ITS BID IS 34 PERCENT LOWER THAN THE GOVERNMENT ESTIMATE AND 41 PERCENT LOWER THAN THE BID OF YOUR COMPANY. IT THEREFORE DOES NOT APPEAR THAT GARCIA IS A TECHNICALLY RESPONSIBLE BIDDER. A COPY OF WHICH WAS FURNISHED YOU. DETERMINED THAT GARCIA WAS CAPABLE OF PERFORMING THE CONTRACT AT THE SPECIFIED LOW PRICE.

B-177567, APR 3, 1973

BID PROTEST - "LOSS" BID DENIAL OF PROTEST BY VENTILATION CLEANING ENGINEERS, INC., AGAINST THE AWARD OF A CONTRACT TO THE GARCIA HEATING AND PLUMBING CO. UNDER AN IFB ISSUED AT FORT RUCKER, ALA. EVEN IF GARCIA CANNOT PERFORM THE CONTRACT AT ITS BID PRICE, GAO IS AWARE OF NO LEGAL PRINCIPLE UPON WHICH AN AWARD MAY BE PRECLUDED SOLELY BECAUSE IT IS ALLEGED THAT THE LOW BIDDER MAY HAVE SUBMITTED AN UNPROFITABLE PRICE. SEE B-174906, FEBRUARY 22, 1972.

TO VENTILATION CLEANING ENGINEERS, INC.:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR PROTEST AGAINST THE AWARD OF A CONTRACT TO THE GARCIA HEATING AND PLUMBING COMPANY (GARCIA), UNDER INVITATION FOR BIDS (IFB) DABC01-73-B-0026, ISSUED ON SEPTEMBER 8, 1972, AT FORT RUCKER, ALABAMA.

THE SUBJECT INVITATION REQUESTED BIDS FOR INSTALLATION OF DISHWASHERS AT THE FAMILY HOUSING AREA AT FORT RUCKER.

ON THE AMENDED OPENING DATE OF NOVEMBER 14, 1972, FOUR BIDS WERE RECEIVED AS FOLLOWS:

GARCIA $24,035.00

VENTILATION 41,418.50

BILL STRONG ASSOCIATES 51,163.20

SMITH, INC. 78,255.00

THE GOVERNMENT'S ESTIMATE FOR THE COST OF THE PROJECT WAS $36,054.

YOU CONTEND THAT AWARD SHOULD NOT BE MADE TO GARCIA, SINCE ITS BID IS 34 PERCENT LOWER THAN THE GOVERNMENT ESTIMATE AND 41 PERCENT LOWER THAN THE BID OF YOUR COMPANY, AND IT THEREFORE DOES NOT APPEAR THAT GARCIA IS A TECHNICALLY RESPONSIBLE BIDDER.

THE REPORT OF THE PROCUREMENT ACTIVITY, A COPY OF WHICH WAS FURNISHED YOU, DISCLOSES THAT GARCIA, IN RESPONSE TO AN INQUIRY FROM THE CONTRACTING OFFICER, CHECKED ITS ESTIMATES AND VERIFIED ITS BID PRICE ON NOVEMBER 28, 1972. AFTER A POST-OPENING EXAMINATION OF THE MATTER, THE CONTRACTING OFFICER, WITH THE CONCURRENCE OF THE BOARD OF AWARDS, DETERMINED THAT GARCIA WAS CAPABLE OF PERFORMING THE CONTRACT AT THE SPECIFIED LOW PRICE, AND SINCE IT WAS DETERMINED TO BE OTHERWISE RESPONSIBLE, AWARD WAS MADE TO IT ON DECEMBER 4, 1972.

EVEN IF GARCIA CANNOT PERFORM THE CONTRACT AT ITS BID PRICE, WE ARE AWARE OF NO LEGAL PRINCIPLE UPON WHICH AN AWARD MAY BE PRECLUDED SOLELY BECAUSE IT IS ALLEGED THAT THE LOW BIDDER MAY HAVE SUBMITTED AN UNPROFITABLE PRICE. WE THEREFORE SEE NO VALID BASIS ON WHICH TO QUESTION THE AWARD TO GARCIA AS THE LOW RESPONSIVE AND RESPONSIBLE BIDDER. SEE OUR DECISION, B- 174906, FEBRUARY 22, 1972, TO YOUR FIRM WHICH DENIED A PROTEST ON SIMILAR GROUNDS.

ACCORDINGLY, YOUR PROTEST IN THE INSTANT CASE MUST ALSO BE DENIED.