B-151909, OCT. 2, 1963

B-151909: Oct 2, 1963

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Shirley Jones
(202) 512-8156
jonessa@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

THIS PAGE ALSO STATED THAT BIDDERS WERE REQUIRED TO FURNISH A "CLEVELAND TRAMRAIL. THE EVALUATION OF BIDS AND THE DETERMINATION AS TO EQUALITY OF THE PRODUCT OFFERED SHALL BE THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE GOVERNMENT AND WILL BE BASED ON INFORMATION FURNISHED BY THE BIDDER OR IDENTIFIED IN HIS BID AS WELL AS OTHER INFORMATION REASONABLY AVAILABLE TO THE PURCHASING ACTIVITY. CAUTION TO BIDDERS: THE PURCHASING ACTIVITY IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR LOCATING OR SECURING ANY INFORMATION WHICH IS NOT IDENTIFIED IN THE BID AND REASONABLY AVAILABLE TO THE PURCHASING ACTIVITY. TO INSURE THAT SUFFICIENT INFORMATION IS AVAILABLE. IN RESPONSE TO THIS INVITATION THE FOLLOWING FIVE BIDS WERE RECEIVED: TABLE COMPANY AMOUNT CLEVELAND TRAMRAIL $17.

B-151909, OCT. 2, 1963

TO C AND M INDUSTRIAL ASSOCIATES, INCORPORATED:

WE REFER TO YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 25, 1963, AND SUBSEQUENT CORRESPONDENCE, PROTESTING THE AWARD OF CONTRACT NO. NAS8-10150 DATED JUNE 14, 1963, FOR THE PROCUREMENT AND INSTALLATION OF AN ELECTRIC CRANE AND TRAMRAIL AT THE GEORGE C. MARSHALL SPACE FLIGHT CENTER TO S. L. MORROW ENGINEERING COMPANY, 113 NORTH 9TH STREET, BIRMINGHAM, ALABAMA.

ON MAY 3, 1963, THE GEORGE C. MARSHALL SPACE FLIGHT CENTER, HUNTSVILLE, ALABAMA (HEREAFTER REFERRED TO AS MSFC) ISSUED INVITATION FOR BIDS NO. MSFC-63-344 FOR THE PROCUREMENT AND INSTALLATION OF AN ELECTRIC CRANE AND TRAMRAIL SYSTEM AT THIS CENTER. PAGE 2 OF THIS INVITATION REQUIRED BIDDERS TO INSERT THE MANUFACTURERS' NAME AND THE BRAND AND NUMBER OF THE EQUIPMENT WHICH WOULD BE INSTALLED. THIS PAGE ALSO STATED THAT BIDDERS WERE REQUIRED TO FURNISH A "CLEVELAND TRAMRAIL, OR EQUAL" PRODUCT ACCORDING TO DETAILS AND SPECIFICATIONS LISTED ON PAGES 2 THROUGH 10 OF THE INVITATION. CLAUSES C (1) AND C (2) ON PAGE 9 OF THIS INVITATION PROVIDED AS FOLLOWS:

"/C) (1) IF THE BIDDER PROPOSES TO FURNISH AN "EQUAL" PRODUCT, THE BRAND NAME, IF ANY, OF THE PRODUCT TO BE FURNISHED SHALL BE INSERTED IN THE SPACE PROVIDED IN THE INVITATION FOR BIDS, OR SUCH PRODUCT SHALL BE OTHERWISE CLEARLY IDENTIFIED IN THE BID. THE EVALUATION OF BIDS AND THE DETERMINATION AS TO EQUALITY OF THE PRODUCT OFFERED SHALL BE THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE GOVERNMENT AND WILL BE BASED ON INFORMATION FURNISHED BY THE BIDDER OR IDENTIFIED IN HIS BID AS WELL AS OTHER INFORMATION REASONABLY AVAILABLE TO THE PURCHASING ACTIVITY. CAUTION TO BIDDERS: THE PURCHASING ACTIVITY IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR LOCATING OR SECURING ANY INFORMATION WHICH IS NOT IDENTIFIED IN THE BID AND REASONABLY AVAILABLE TO THE PURCHASING ACTIVITY. ACCORDINGLY, TO INSURE THAT SUFFICIENT INFORMATION IS AVAILABLE, THE BIDDER MUST FURNISH AS A PART OF HIS BID ALL DESCRIPTIVE MATERIALS (SUCH AS CUTS, ILLUSTRATIONS, DRAWINGS, OR OTHER INFORMATION) NECESSARY FOR THE PURCHASING ACTIVITY TO (I) DETERMINE WHETHER THE PRODUCT OFFERED MEETS THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE INVITATION FOR BIDS AND (II) ESTABLISH EXACTLY WHAT THE BIDDER PROPOSES TO FURNISH AND WHAT THE GOVERNMENT WOULD BE BINDING ITSELF TO PURCHASE BY MAKING AN AWARD. THE INFORMATION FURNISHED MAY INCLUDE SPECIFIC REFERENCES TO INFORMATION PREVIOUSLY FURNISHED OR TO INFORMATION OTHERWISE AVAILABLE TO THE PURCHASING ACTIVITY.

"/2) IF THE BIDDER PROPOSED TO MODIFY A PRODUCT SO AS TO MAKE IT CONFORM TO THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE INVITATION FOR BIDS, HE SHALL (I) INCLUDE IN HIS BID A CLEAR DESCRIPTION OF SUCH PROPOSED MODIFICATIONS AND (II) CLEARLY MARK ANY DESCRIPTIVE MATERIAL TO SHOW THE PROPOSED MODIFICATIONS.'

IN RESPONSE TO THIS INVITATION THE FOLLOWING FIVE BIDS WERE RECEIVED:

TABLE

COMPANY AMOUNT

CLEVELAND TRAMRAIL $17,969.00

S. L. MORROW ENGINEERING CO. 17,385.00

INDUSTRIAL CRANE AND EQUIPMENT CO. 15,514.00

NEWELL EQUIPMENT COMPANY 13,340.00

BECKER CRANE AND CONVEYOR CO. 12,725.00

MSFC REJECTED THE THREE LOWEST BIDS INCLUDING YOURS AS NONRESPONSIVE AND ON JUNE 14, 1963, CONTRACT NO. NAS8-10150 WAS AWARDED TO S. L. MORROW COMPANY AS THE LOWEST BIDDER COMPLYING WITH THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE INVITATION. IN THIS REGARD THE S. L. MORROW BID INDICATED THAT A CLEVELAND TRAMRAIL, MANUFACTURED BY CLEVELAND CRANE AND ENGINEERING COMPANY, THE BRAND NAME SPECIFIED IN THE INVITATION, WOULD BE THE TYPE OF EQUIPMENT WHICH S. L. MORROW WOULD FURNISH AND INSTALL.

ON PAGE 2 OF YOUR BID YOU INDICATED THAT THE BRAND YOU PROPOSED TO FURNISH WAS "VEE-LINE," .'5-TON IN ACCORDANCE WITH SPECS., " WITH THE CRANE MANUFACTURED BY "BECKER CRANE AND CONVEYOR" AND THE HOIST AS MANUFACTURED BY "SHEPHEARD NILES MODEL E AND RA AS SPECIFIED.' AS STATED, THE BECKER BID WAS REJECTED BY MSFC FOR FAILING TO COMPLY WITH THE SPECIFICATIONS SET FORTH IN THE INVITATION AND YOUR PROTEST QUESTIONS THIS DETERMINATION. IN YOUR PROTEST YOU ALSO ASSERT THAT THE TERM "IN CONFORMANCE WITH SPECIFICATIONS" WHICH WAS INSERTED IN THE BECKER BID EMPHASIZED THAT BECKER WOULD MAKE ANY NECESSARY MODIFICATIONS. YOU ASSERT THAT THE DESCRIPTIVE LITERATURE WHICH MSFC EVALUATED IN REJECTING THE BECKER BID WAS FURNISHED FOR INFORMATION ONLY AND SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN USED IN EVALUATING THE BECKER BID. YOU STATE THAT IT WOULD BE DIFFICULT TO JUSTIFY PAYING AN ADDITIONAL $6,000 FOR A GEAR DRIVE ON A CRANE; MOREOVER, THAT YOU WERE NEVER NOTIFIED OF REQUIREMENTS CONCERNING THE NUMBER OF WHEELS WHICH THE END TRUCK REQUIRED.

IN THIS REGARD MSFC FOUND THE FOLLOWING DEFICIENCIES IN YOUR BID WHEN COMPARED WITH SPECIFICATION REQUIREMENTS:

"* * * THE IFB REQUIRED THAT BIDDERS FURNISH WITH THEIR BIDS COMPLETE DESCRIPTIVE AND TECHNICAL LITERATURE. THE ONLY LITERATURE SUBMITTED BY BECKER WITH ITS BID WAS BECKER VEE-LINE BULLETIN 100-A CONSISTING OF A FOUR-PAGE COVER (COLORED) SHEET; SHEETS IDENTIFIED AS SECTION 10, PAGE 5, DRAWING NO. 020-397D; SECTION 7, PAGES 5 AND 6; SECTION 3, PAGES 1, 2, 9, AND 10; AND DRAWING NO. PLATE 31D DATED OCTOBER 6, 1958. THE SHEET IDENTIFIED AS SECTION 10, PAGE 5, HAS AN INKED ARROW INSERTED BY THE BIDDER, APPARENTLY INDICATING THAT THIS SHEET DEPICTED THE END TRUCK BEING BID UPON. THIS SHEET DEPICTS A 4 WHEEL TRUCK, RATHER THAN AN 8-WHEEL TRUCK AS SPECIFIED IN THE IFB. SHEET IDENTIFIED AS SECTION 7, PAGE 6, DEPICTING A 31 SERIES END TRUCK WITH EIGHT WHEELS, CONTAINS BIDDER INSERTED BLUE INK UNDERLINING THE WORDS "AND 5-TON CRANES AT 48 FEET 0 INCHES SPAN.' THIS INK UNDERLINING COULD BE INTERPRETED AS AN ATTEMPT ON THE PART OF BECKER TO BID ON AN 8-WHEEL TRUCK ASSEMBLY. HOWEVER, THIS SHEET IDENTIFIES A 48 FEET 0 INCHES SPAN, WHEREAS THE IFB CALLED FOR 38 FEET 0 INCHES SPAN. THIS SHEET ALSO CALLS FOR AVERAGE SPEED OF 175 F.P.M., WHEREAS THE IFB SPECIFIED 100 F.P.M. ON PAGE 1, SECTION 3, OF BULLETIN 100-A, THERE IS A BIDDER INSERTED BLUE INK ASTERISK ALONGSIDE THE WORDS "103 SERIES UNIRAIL.' DRAWING NO. PLATE 31D, THE LAST SHEET IN BULLETIN 100 A SUBMITTED BY BECKER WITH ITS BID, DEPICTS A 4-WHEEL TRUCK TROLLEY, AND CONTAINS A NOTE STATING THAT THIS TROLLEY IS USED ON 102 OR 103 SERIES RAIL.

"THE PHOTOGRAPH ON THE COVER OF BECKER'S BULLETING 100-A, AND THE STATEMENT ON VEE-LINE DRIVE, APPEARING ON THE BOTTOM LEFT CORNER OF THE SECOND COLORED PAGE OF BULLETIN 100-A, INDICATES A V-BELT FRICTION DRIVE RATHER THAN THE GEAR DRIVE SPECIFIED IN THE IFB.'

FROM AN EXAMINATION OF YOUR BID AND THE LITERATURE SUBMITTED THEREWITH WHICH YOU INDICATED WAS STANDARD COMMERCIAL LITERATURE TO BE USED FOR INFORMATION ONLY, MSFC CONCLUDED THAT IT WAS IMPOSSIBLE TO DETERMINE EXACTLY WHAT YOU PROPOSED TO FURNISH.

IN VIEW OF THE FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES PRESENTED THIS OFFICE FINDS NO BASIS TO QUESTION THE ADMINISTRATIVE DETERMINATION TO REJECT THE BECKER BID AS NONRESPONSIVE. IN REJECTING THIS BID, MSFC FOUND AFTER A TECHNICAL EVALUATION OF THE BID AND DATA SUBMITTED THAT THIS BID DID NOT COMPLY WITH THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE SPECIFICATIONS. AS THE DETERMINATION OF THIS QUESTION REQUIRES THE USE OF ENGINEERING EXPERTNESS WHICH THIS OFFICE DOES NOT POSSESS WE WILL NOT QUESTION THIS DETERMINATION UNLESS THERE IS EVIDENCE OF ARBITRARY OR CAPRICIOUS ACTION WHICH WE DO NOT FIND IN THIS INSTANCE. SEE 17 COMP. GEN. 554; 19 ID. 587; AND 40 ID. 35.

MOREOVER, IF WE ACCEPTED YOUR CONTENTION THAT THE DESCRIPTIVE DATA SUBMITTED WITH THE BECKER BID WAS FOR INFORMATION ONLY AND SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN UTILIZED IN EVALUATING BECKER'S BID, THE REJECTION HERE WOULD STILL BE PROPER AS WITHOUT SUCH DATA MSFC COULD NOT DETERMINE EXACTLY WHAT BECKER PROPOSED TO FURNISH. IN THIS REGARD CLAUSES C (1) AND C (2) OF THE INVITATION CLEARLY REQUIRED THAT DESCRIPTIVE DATA BE FURNISHED WITH THE BID AND CLEARLY INDICATED THAT THE DATA FURNISHED WOULD BE USED IN EVALUATING BIDS. THE RULE HERE IS WELL ESTABLISHED THAT THE FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH A REQUIREMENT IN AN INVITATION TO FURNISH DESCRIPTIVE DATA WHICH WILL BE USED IN THE EVALUATION OF BIDS MAKES SUCH BID NONRESPONSIVE AND REQUIRES THAT SUCH A BID BE REJECTED. SEE 37 COMP. GEN. 845. THE FACT THAT THE BECKER BID STATED THAT IT WAS "IN ACCORD WITH PECIFICATIONS" WOULD NOT CHANGE THE APPLICABILITY OF THIS RULE TO THE FACTS OF THIS CASE AS AN OVERALL OFFER IN A BID TO COMPLY WITH THE SPECIFICATIONS REGARDLESS OF THE DATA FURNISHED CANNOT BE REGARDED AS COMPLYING WITH SPECIFIC REQUIREMENTS OF AN INVITATION FOR THE FURNISHING OF MATERIAL DATA. SEE 36 COMP. GEN. 415. WE FIND NO EVIDENCE WHICH WOULD SUPPORT YOUR ALLEGATION THAT MSFC PURCHASED THIS EQUIPMENT FROM S. L. MORROW AT AN UNREASONABLE PRICE; MOREOVER, WE FIND NO BASIS TO YOUR CONTENTION THAT BECKER WAS NOT INFORMED THAT AN 8-WHEEL END TRUCK WAS REQUIRED AS THE SPECIFICATIONS ON PAGE 2 OF THE INVITATION CLEARLY INDICATED THAT AN 8-WHEEL END TRUCK IS REQUIRED.

Nov 25, 2020

Nov 24, 2020

Nov 20, 2020

Nov 19, 2020

Looking for more? Browse all our products here