B-150542, FEB. 28, 1963

B-150542: Feb 28, 1963

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INC.: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR TELEGRAM OF DECEMBER 20. DESCRIPTIVE LITERATURE WAS REQUIRED TO BE FURNISHED WITH EACH BID IN ACCORDANCE WITH PAGE 4 OF THE INVITATION SCHEDULE AND PARAGRAPH 10.1 OF THE REVISED SPECIFICATION. THE DESCRIPTIVE LITERATURE IS REQUIRED TO ESTABLISH. "FAILURE OF DESCRIPTIVE LITERATURE TO SHOW THAT THE PRODUCT OFFERED CONFORMS TO THE SPECIFICATIONS AND OTHER REQUIREMENTS OF THIS INVITATION FOR BIDS WILL REQUIRE REJECTION OF THE BID. FAILURE TO FURNISH THE DESCRIPTIVE LITERATURE BY THE TIME SPECIFIED IN THE INVITATION FOR BIDS WILL REQUIRE REJECTION OF THE BID. EXCEPT THAT IF THE MATERIAL IS TRANSMITTED BY MAIL AND RECEIVED LATE. STANDARD COMMERCIAL LITERATURE WILL NOT BE SUITABLE UNLESS IT SHOWS IN DETAIL POWER TRAIN COMPONENTS AND ARRANGEMENTS.

B-150542, FEB. 28, 1963

TO C AND M INDUSTRIAL ASSOCIATES, INC.:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR TELEGRAM OF DECEMBER 20, 1962, AND TO YOUR LETTERS OF DECEMBER 21, 1962, AND FEBRUARY 11, 1963, REGARDING THE REJECTION OF THE LIFT-A-LOFT CORPORATION BID SUBMITTED UNDER POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT INVITATION 1245.

THE INVITATION SOLICITED BIDS FOR FURNISHING 17 TELESCOPING SWIVEL PLATFORMS IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE AUGUST 30, 1962, REVISION OF SPECIFICATION POD-PM-15. DESCRIPTIVE LITERATURE WAS REQUIRED TO BE FURNISHED WITH EACH BID IN ACCORDANCE WITH PAGE 4 OF THE INVITATION SCHEDULE AND PARAGRAPH 10.1 OF THE REVISED SPECIFICATION. PAGE 4 OF THE SCHEDULE PROVIDED:

"REQUIREMENTS FOR DESCRIPTIVE LITERATURE: DESCRIPTIVE LITERATURE AS SPECIFIED IN THIS INVITATION FOR BIDS MUST BE FURNISHED AS A PART OF THE BID AND MUST BE RECEIVED BEFORE THE TIME SET FOR OPENING BIDS. THE LITERATURE FURNISHED MUST BE IDENTIFIED TO SHOW THE ITEM IN THE BID TO WHICH IT PERTAINS. THE DESCRIPTIVE LITERATURE IS REQUIRED TO ESTABLISH, FOR THE PURPOSES OF BID EVALUATION AND AWARD, DETAILS OF THE PRODUCTS THE BIDDER PROPOSES TO FURNISH AS TO DESIGN, MATERIALS AND COMPONENTS.

"FAILURE OF DESCRIPTIVE LITERATURE TO SHOW THAT THE PRODUCT OFFERED CONFORMS TO THE SPECIFICATIONS AND OTHER REQUIREMENTS OF THIS INVITATION FOR BIDS WILL REQUIRE REJECTION OF THE BID. FAILURE TO FURNISH THE DESCRIPTIVE LITERATURE BY THE TIME SPECIFIED IN THE INVITATION FOR BIDS WILL REQUIRE REJECTION OF THE BID, EXCEPT THAT IF THE MATERIAL IS TRANSMITTED BY MAIL AND RECEIVED LATE, IT MAY BE CONSIDERED UNDER THE PROVISIONS FOR CONSIDERING LATE BIDS, AS SET FORTH ELSEWHERE IN THIS INVITATION FOR BIDS.'

PARAGRAPH 10.1 OF THE SPECIFICATIONS CONTAINED A REQUIREMENT AS FOLLOWS:

"BID DATA--- THERE SHALL BE FURNISHED WITH EACH PROPOSAL DRAWINGS AND/OR DESCRIPTIVE MATERIAL INDICATING IN DETAIL THE PRODUCT OFFERED. STANDARD COMMERCIAL LITERATURE WILL NOT BE SUITABLE UNLESS IT SHOWS IN DETAIL POWER TRAIN COMPONENTS AND ARRANGEMENTS, MOTOR DETAILS, WIRING DETAILS, TYPE OF CONTROLS AND LOCATION THEREOF, AND COMPLETE DESCRIPTION OF BEARINGS, BEARING LUBRICANTS, CLUTCHES, TRANSMISSION AND COMPONENT CONSTRUCTION.'

THREE BIDDERS RESPONDED TO THE INVITATION FOR BIDS. THE LOW BIDDER AND LIFT-A-LOFT CORPORATION, WHICH WAS THE SECOND LOW BIDDER, SUBMITTED INCOMPLETE DESCRIPTIVE DATA. THE THIRD BIDDER SUBMITTED SATISFACTORY DATA, BUT THE BID PRICE WAS CONSIDERED TO BE OUT OF LINE FOR THE EQUIPMENT. ALL THREE BIDS WERE REJECTED: THE LOW AND SECOND LOW BIDS AS NONRESPONSIVE AND THE THIRD AS EXCESSIVE IN PRICE. IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT PROPOSES TO READVERTISE THE PROCUREMENT UNDER A NEW INVITATION.

ESSENTIALLY, YOU OBJECT TO THE REJECTION OF THE LIFT-A-LOFT CORPORATION BID BECAUSE YOU STATE THAT PHOTOGRAPHS OF THE EQUIPMENT PROPOSED TO BE FURNISHED AND A MAINTENANCE PARTS AND SERVICE MANUAL WAS INCLUDED WITH THE BID AND SHOULD HAVE BEEN ADEQUATE DESCRIPTIVE LITERATURE TO EVALUATE THE BID, PARTICULARLY SINCE THE DEPARTMENT HAS ABOUT 160 LIFT-A-LOFT UNITS IN SERVICE.

HOWEVER, THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT REPORTS THAT THE MATERIAL FURNISHED WITH THE BID WAS INSUFFICIENT. AS NOTED ABOVE, UNDER PARAGRAPH 10.1 THE BIDDER WAS TO INCLUDE DETAILS ABOUT THE POWER TRAIN AND COMPONENTS AND THE MOTOR AND A COMPLETE DESCRIPTION OF THE BEARINGS AND BEARING LUBRICANTS. IN THIS CONNECTION, THE DEPARTMENT REPORTS THAT THE PHOTOGRAPHS DID NOT PROVIDE SUFFICIENT DETAILS FOR AN ENGINEERING ANALYSIS OF THE POWER TRAIN AND COMPONENTS, THAT THE DATA ON THE MOTOR IS INSUFFICIENT IN THAT IT DOES NOT INCLUDE INFORMATION ON MOTOR TYPE, SPEED OR GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS, THAT THE TURNTABLE BEARINGS AND KINGPIN ARE NOT DESCRIBED AND SHOWN IN DETAIL, AND THAT NO DESCRIPTION WAS FURNISHED OF THE BEARING LUBRICANTS.

OUR OFFICE HAS UPHELD THE PROPRIETY OF AN INVITATION FOR BIDS TO CONDITION THE CONSIDERATION AND EVALUATION OF A BID UPON THE FURNISHING OF DESCRIPTIVE DATA. 36 COMP. GEN. 376, ID. 415. AWARD TO A BIDDER WHO FAILS TO COMPLY WITH SUCH A MATERIAL REQUIREMENT OF THE INVITATION WOULD BE WHOLLY AT VARIANCE WITH THE INVITATION AND WITH THE PROVISIONS OF 41 U.S.C. 253/B) WHICH REQUIRES THAT AWARD SHALL BE MADE TO THE RESPONSIBLE BIDDER "CONFORMING TO THE INVITATION FOR BIDS.' TO GIVE EFFECT TO THE FACT THAT LIFT-A-LOFT HAS SUPPLIED OTHER TELESCOPING PLATFORMS TO THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT WHEN THE DESCRIPTIVE DATA REQUIRED TO BE FURNISHED UNDER THE INVITATION IS INSUFFICIENT WOULD BE TO VIOLATE THE SPIRIT AND INTENT OF THE COMPETITIVE BIDDING STATUTE SINCE IT WOULD CONSTITUTE EVALUATION ON A BASIS SUBSTANTIALLY DIFFERENT FROM THAT REQUIRED BY THE INVITATION.

MOREOVER, IT MIGHT BE OBSERVED THAT IF SUCH A PROCEDURE COULD HAVE BEEN FOLLOWED THE LIKELIHOOD THAT LIFT-A-LOFT WOULD HAVE RECEIVED THE AWARD WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN CERTAIN, SINCE THE DEPARTMENT HAS ADVISED THAT THE LOW BIDDER WHO ALSO FURNISHED INCOMPLETE DATA HAS ALSO SATISFACTORILY PRODUCED SIMILAR UNITS FOR THE DEPARTMENT IN PAST PROCUREMENTS. THEREFORE, THE LOW BIDDER WOULD HAVE HAD PRIORITY OVER LIFT-A-LOFT BY REASON OF HAVING SUBMITTED THE LOWER BID.

IN ANY EVENT, SINCE THE DESCRIPTIVE LITERATURE PROVISION RESERVED TO THE DEPARTMENT THE RIGHT TO REJECT BIDS NOT COMPLYING WITH THE REQUIREMENTS STATED THEREIN, OUR OFFICE MUST CONCLUDE THAT THE LIFT A-LOFT BID WAS PROPERLY REJECTED FOR FAILURE TO COMPLY FULLY WITH THE DESCRIPTIVE DATA REQUIREMENTS. SINCE ALL BIDS RECEIVED UNDER THE ORIGINAL INVITATION HAVE BEEN ADMINISTRATIVELY DETERMINED TO BE UNACCEPTABLE, READVERTISEMENT OF THE PROCUREMENT WOULD APPEAR TO BE PROPER.

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