B-4401, JUNE 23, 1939, 18 COMP. GEN. 967

B-4401: Jun 23, 1939

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ADVERTISING - BIDS - EVALUATION - STENOGRAPHIC REPORTING SERVICES - CONSIDERATION OF PRICES CHARGED FOR COPIES FURNISHED THE GENERAL PUBLIC WHERE BIDS COVERING STENOGRAPHIC REPORTING OF HEARINGS BEFORE A GOVERNMENT AGENCY ARE IDENTICAL AS TO THE OFFERING TO FURNISH COPIES TO THE AGENCY FREE OF CHARGE. WHICH ARE NOT IDENTICAL AS TO PRICES TO BE CHARGED THE GENERAL PUBLIC FOR COPIES. IS FOR ACCEPTANCE IF OTHERWISE ACCEPTABLE TO THE GOVERNMENT. THE PRICES AT WHICH COPIES ARE TO BE FURNISHED THE PUBLIC BEING FOR CONSIDERATION ONLY TO THE EXTENT OF INSURING A REASONABLE PRICE. 1939: I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 19. AS FOLLOWS: THERE ARE SUBMITTED HEREWITH FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION COPIES OF SPECIFICATIONS USED BY THE FEDERAL POWER COMMISSION IN SOLICITING BIDS FOR CONTRACT STENOGRAPHIC REPORTING FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1940 IN WASHINGTON.

B-4401, JUNE 23, 1939, 18 COMP. GEN. 967

ADVERTISING - BIDS - EVALUATION - STENOGRAPHIC REPORTING SERVICES - CONSIDERATION OF PRICES CHARGED FOR COPIES FURNISHED THE GENERAL PUBLIC WHERE BIDS COVERING STENOGRAPHIC REPORTING OF HEARINGS BEFORE A GOVERNMENT AGENCY ARE IDENTICAL AS TO THE OFFERING TO FURNISH COPIES TO THE AGENCY FREE OF CHARGE, AND NONE OF SAID BIDS, WHICH ARE NOT IDENTICAL AS TO PRICES TO BE CHARGED THE GENERAL PUBLIC FOR COPIES, REQUIRE PAYMENT FOR SUCH SALES AT A PRICE IN EXCESS OF THE MAXIMUM PERMITTED BY THE SPECIFICATIONS, THE BID OFFERING A CASH BONUS TO THE GOVERNMENT FOR THE AWARD OF THE CONTRACT AND PRIVILEGE OF SELLING COPIES TO THE PUBLIC, BEING MOST ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT, IS FOR ACCEPTANCE IF OTHERWISE ACCEPTABLE TO THE GOVERNMENT, THE PRICES AT WHICH COPIES ARE TO BE FURNISHED THE PUBLIC BEING FOR CONSIDERATION ONLY TO THE EXTENT OF INSURING A REASONABLE PRICE.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL BROWN TO THE CHAIRMAN, FEDERAL POWER COMMISSION, JUNE 23, 1939:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 19, 1939, AS FOLLOWS:

THERE ARE SUBMITTED HEREWITH FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION COPIES OF SPECIFICATIONS USED BY THE FEDERAL POWER COMMISSION IN SOLICITING BIDS FOR CONTRACT STENOGRAPHIC REPORTING FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1940 IN WASHINGTON, D.C., AND IN SELECTED CITIES OUTSIDE OF WASHINGTON, TOGETHER WITH DIGESTS OF ALL BIDS RECEIVED UNDER EACH OF THE TWO PROPOSALS.

IT WILL BE NOTED FROM THE SPECIFICATIONS THAT ITEMS 1 TO 4, INCLUSIVE, AND 7 TO 10, INCLUSIVE, UNDER EACH PROPOSAL COVER THE OFFICIAL REQUIREMENTS OF THE FEDERAL POWER COMMISSION, AND THAT ITEMS 5 AND 6 RELATE TO THE SALE OF COPIES TO THE PUBLIC. FOR REPORTING IN WASHINGTON THE BIDS OF ELECTREPORTER, INC., HOWARD B. SMITH, NORMAN L. KNAUSS, ELECTRIC REPORTING COMPANY, THAD. E. RAGSDALE, AND SMITH AND HULSE ALL OFFER TO FURNISH THE COPIES REQUIRED BY THE COMMISSION WITHOUT COST TO THE GOVERNMENT. HOWEVER, ELECTREPORTER, INC., IN ADDITION TO OFFERING TO FURNISH COPIES TO THE COMMISSION WITHOUT COST, OFFERS A CASH BONUS OF $650 IF AWARDED THE CONTRACT AND THE PRIVILEGE OF SELLING COPIES TO THE PUBLIC. OF THOSE BIDS OFFERING TO FURNISH COPIES TO THE GOVERNMENT WITHOUT COST, THE PRICES BID FOR SALE OF COPIES TO THE PUBLIC RANGE FROM A LOW OF 17 1/2 CENTS A PAGE FOR THE FIRST COPY ORDERED BY ANY ONE PERSON TO A HIGH OF 30 CENTS A PAGE. ADDITIONAL COPIES ORDERED, ITEM 6 OF THE SPECIFICATIONS, ARE QUOTED AT 15 CENTS A PAGE BY EACH OF THESE BIDDERS.

FOR FIELD REPORTING IN THE CITIES SPECIFIED IN THE INVITATION,ELECTREPORTER, INC., AND ELECTRIC REPORTING COMPANY EACH OFFER TO FURNISH THE COPIES REQUIRED BY THE COMMISSION WITHOUT COST, BUT IN THIS CASE, AS FOR REPORTING IN WASHINGTON, ELECTREPORTER, INC., OFFERS A BONUS OF $350 FOR THE CONTRACT. THE PRICES QUOTED BY THE ELECTRIC REPORTING COMPANY FOR SALE OF COPIES TO THE PUBLIC ARE 23 CENTS AND 15 CENTS AS COMPARED TO 35 CENTS AND 15 CENTS BY ELECTREPORTER, INC.

IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING FACTS, MAY THE COMMISSION AWARD THE CONTRACT TO THE ELECTRIC REPORTING COMPANY WHICH OFFERS THE LOWEST PRICE FOR THE SALE OF COPIES TO THE PUBLIC, ASSUMING OF COURSE THAT THE COMPANY WOULD FURNISH SATISFACTORY EVIDENCE OF EXPERIENCE IN THIS CLASS OF WORK, BUSINESS RELIABILITY, AND MEANS FOR PROPERLY PERFORMING THE WORK, AS REQUIRED BY PARAGRAPH 2 OF EACH OF THE SPECIFICATIONS, OR IN CASE OF REPORTING IN WASHINGTON, WOULD IT BE PERMISSIBLE FOR THE COMMISSION TO AWARD THE CONTRACT TO THAD. E. RAGSDALE, THE PRESENT REPORTER, WHO HAS A STAFF OF REPORTERS PARTICULARLY QUALIFIED BY THE PAST YEAR'S EXPERIENCE TO REPORT THE TECHNICAL HEARINGS OF THE COMMISSION? OR IS THE COMMISSION, UNDER THE RULE LAID DOWN IN 10 COMP. GEN. 1070, REQUIRED TO AWARD BOTH CONTRACTS TO ELECTREPORTER, INC., ON THE GROUND THAT THE PRICE FOR THE SALE OF COPIES TO THE PUBLIC IS NOT EXORBITANT AND THE OFFER OF A CASH BONUS FOR EACH OF THE CONTRACTS MAKES THE BID OF ELECTREPORTER, INC., THE MOST ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT? IN CONNECTION WITH THE LAST QUESTION, IT MAY BE STATED THAT THE SPECIFICATIONS IN EACH INSTANCE STATED THAT THE PRICE OF COPIES TO THE PUBLIC FOR THE FIRST COPY SHOULD NOT EXCEED 40 CENTS A PAGE, AND THAT ADDITIONAL COPIES ORDERED AT THE SAME TIME SHOULD NOT EXCEED 15 CENTS A PAGE.

THERE ARE FORWARDED HEREWITH PHOTOSTAT COPIES OF PROTESTS RECEIVED FROM TWO OF THE BIDDERS, NAMELY, HOWARD B. SMITH AND NORMAN L. KNAUSS.

WHEN THE PAPERS TRANSMITTED WITH THIS SUBMISSION HAVE SERVED THEIR PURPOSE IT WILL BE APPRECIATED IF THEY ARE RETURNED TO THE FEDERAL POWER COMMISSION.

AS THERE ARE SEVERAL HEARINGS IN PROGRESS AT THE PRESENT TIME WHICH WILL EXTEND INTO JULY 1939 IT IS HOPED THAT A PROMPT DECISION CAN BE GIVEN IN THIS MATTER SO THAT THE CONTRACTS MAY BE AWARDED ON OR BEFORE JULY 1, 1939.

IT APPEARS THAT NONE OF THE BIDDERS OFFERING TO FURNISH COPIES TO THE COMMISSION FREE OF CHARGE BID MORE THAN THE MAXIMUM STATED IN THE SPECIFICATIONS FOR THE SALE OF COPIES TO THE GENERAL PUBLIC. IT HAS BEEN REPEATEDLY HELD BY THIS OFFICE THAT THE PRICES AT WHICH COPIES ARE TO BE FURNISHED THE PUBLIC ARE FOR CONSIDERATION ONLY TO INSURE A REASONABLE PRICE. 7 COMP. GEN. 810. ACCORDINGLY, THE BID MOST ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT IS THAT OF THE ELECTREPORTER INC., WHICH OFFERS A CASH BONUS, AND THE CONTRACT SHOULD, THEREFORE, BE AWARDED TO THAT BIDDER IF ITS BID IS OTHERWISE ACCEPTABLE.