B-156211, JUL. 28, 1965

B-156211: Jul 28, 1965

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TO THE SECRETARY OF THE ARMY: REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER ENGGC-C OF JUNE 30. THERE IS ENCLOSED FOR YOUR INFORMATION A COPY OF OUR LETTER OF TODAY TO THE PROTESTANT. THIS IS A CASE WHEREIN THE OFFICE OF THE CHIEF OF ENGINEERS IS SATISFIED THAT THE CONTRACTING OFFICE MADE AN ERROR IN THE TECHNICAL EVALUATION OF BIDS WITH THE RESULT THAT AN AWARD WAS MADE TO A BIDDER WHOSE BID DID NOT CONFORM TO THE SPECIFICATIONS IN THE INVITATION FOR BIDS. THERE IS ENCLOSED A COPY OF A STATEMENT RECENTLY FURNISHED TO OUR OFFICE BY HONEYWELL SHOWING AREAS IN THE EVALUATION WHEREIN IT BELIEVES. A DOUBLE STANDARD WAS EMPLOYED IN THAT IT WAS DECLARED NONRESPONSIVE FOR THE SAME DEVIATIONS FOR WHICH THE SUCCESSFUL BIDDER WAS NOT CONSIDERED TO BE NONRESPONSIVE.

B-156211, JUL. 28, 1965

TO THE SECRETARY OF THE ARMY:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER ENGGC-C OF JUNE 30, 1965, FROM THE ACTING CHIEF OF ENGINEERS, HEADQUARTERS, OFFICE OF THE CHIEF OF ENGINEERS, REPORTING ON THE PROTEST OF HONEYWELL INC. UNDER INVITATION FOR BIDS CIVENG-45-164-65-23.

THERE IS ENCLOSED FOR YOUR INFORMATION A COPY OF OUR LETTER OF TODAY TO THE PROTESTANT.

BRIEFLY, THIS IS A CASE WHEREIN THE OFFICE OF THE CHIEF OF ENGINEERS IS SATISFIED THAT THE CONTRACTING OFFICE MADE AN ERROR IN THE TECHNICAL EVALUATION OF BIDS WITH THE RESULT THAT AN AWARD WAS MADE TO A BIDDER WHOSE BID DID NOT CONFORM TO THE SPECIFICATIONS IN THE INVITATION FOR BIDS. MOREOVER, THERE IS ENCLOSED A COPY OF A STATEMENT RECENTLY FURNISHED TO OUR OFFICE BY HONEYWELL SHOWING AREAS IN THE EVALUATION WHEREIN IT BELIEVES, IN EFFECT, A DOUBLE STANDARD WAS EMPLOYED IN THAT IT WAS DECLARED NONRESPONSIVE FOR THE SAME DEVIATIONS FOR WHICH THE SUCCESSFUL BIDDER WAS NOT CONSIDERED TO BE NONRESPONSIVE.

IN ADDITION, THE RECORD SHOWS THAT BECAUSE THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF THE INVITATION FOR BIDS PROVIDED THAT "ALTERNATE BIDS WILL NOT BE CONSIDERED UNLESS AUTHORIZED BY THE INVITATION," THE EVALUATION OF THE HONEYWELL BID WAS MADE STRICTLY ON THE BASIS OF THE DATA SUBMITTED WITH THE BASIC BID AND THE DATA SUBMITTED WITH THE ALTERNATE BIDS WERE NOT CONSIDERED. IN THAT CONNECTION, SEE OUR DECISION 33 COMP. GEN. 499 WHEREIN IT WAS HELD THAT UNDER AN INVITATION EMPLOYING SIMILAR LANGUAGE WITH RESPECT TO ALTERNATE BIDS, A BID OFFERING EQUIPMENT CONFORMING TO THE SPECIFICATIONS SHOULD BE ACCEPTED EVEN THOUGH IT WAS DESIGNATED AS AN ALTERNATE FOR A BID OFFERING EQUIPMENT WHICH DID NOT CONFORM. AS POINTED OUT IN THE DECISION, THE PROHIBITION AGAINST ,ALTERNATE BIDS" ONLY FORBIDS CONSIDERATION OF THOSE BIDS WHICH OFFER SOMETHING OTHER THAN WHAT IS CALLED FOR BY THE SPECIFICATIONS. THUS IF A BIDDER OFFERS TO FURNISH ANY ONE OF SEVERAL ITEMS IN THE ALTERNATIVE AT DIFFERENT PRICES, THOSE PROPOSALS WHICH OFFERED ITEMS MEETING SPECIFICATIONS WOULD BE RESPONSIVE.

WE BELIEVE THAT APPROPRIATE ACTION SHOULD BE TAKEN TO INSURE THAT THERE WILL NOT BE A REPETITION OF THESE CIRCUMSTANCES IN THE FUTURE.

THE DOCUMENTS WHICH WERE REQUESTED TO BE RETURNED IN THE JUNE 30 LETTER ARE ENCLOSED.

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