B-151909, OCT. 2, 1963

B-151909: Oct 2, 1963

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THIS PAGE ALSO STATED THAT BIDDERS WERE REQUIRED TO FURNISH A . 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 FIVE BIDS WERE RECEIVED AS FOLLOWS: TABLE COMPANY AMOUNT CLEVELAND TRAMRAIL $17.

B-151909, OCT. 2, 1963

TO NEWELL EQUIPMENT COMPANY:

WE REFER TO YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 25, 1963, AND SUBSEQUENT CORRESPONDENCE INCLUDING YOUR LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 18, 1963, 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. CLAUSE C (1) 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 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.'

IN RESPONSE TO THIS INVITATION FIVE BIDS WERE RECEIVED AS FOLLOWS:

TABLE

COMPANY AMOUNT

CLEVELAND TRAMRAIL $17,969.00

S. L. MORROW ENGINEERING COMPANY 17,385.00

INDUSTRIAL CRANE AND EQUIPMENT COMPANY15,514.00

NEWELL EQUIPMENT COMPANY 13,340.00

BECKER CRANE AND CONVEYOR COMPANY 12,725.00

THE BID OF BECKER CRANE AND CONVEYOR COMPANY WAS REJECTED FOR FAILING TO COMPLY WITH THE SPECIFICATIONS, AND WE ARE INFORMED THAT THE BID OF THE INDUSTRIAL CRANE AND EQUIPMENT COMPANY, HELENA, ALABAMA, WAS REJECTED WHEN THAT CONCERN FAILED TO FURNISH LITERATURE, DRAWINGS, SPECIFICATIONS OR OTHER DATA AFTER SUCH INFORMATION WAS REQUESTED BY MSFC. NO PROTEST FROM THIS BIDDER HAS BEEN RECEIVED. YOUR BID WAS ALSO REJECTED FOR FAILING TO MEET THE SPECIFICATIONS AND ON JUNE 14, 1963, CONTRACT NO. NAS8-10150 WAS AWARDED TO S. L. MORROW ENGINEERING 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 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 YOU PROPOSED TO FURNISH AN ELECTRIC CRANE AND TRAMRAIL MANUFACTURED BY THE "AMERICAN MONORAIL COMPANY," AND "HARNISCHFEGER CORPORATION" AND YOU INDICATED THAT BOTH WERE EQUAL TO THE CLEVELAND TRAMRAIL, THE BRAND SPECIFIED IN THE INVITATION. THE BRANDS WERE LISTED IN YOUR BID AS "RAILMASTER RAIL" AND "P AND H HEVI- LIFT HOIST.' WITH YOUR BID YOU SUBMITTED THE AMERICAN MONORAIL CATALOGUE E-2, THE P AND H HEVI-LIFT HOISTS' BULLETIN H-68, AND A LETTER DATED MAY 14, 1963, WHICH STATED THAT YOU PROPOSED TO FURNISH THE AMERICAN MONORAIL 5-TON MOTOR DRIVEN ELECTRIC BRIDGE CRANE NO. ME-76, AND A 5-TON HARNISCHFEGER CORPORATION P AND H ELECTRIC HOIST, AS DESCRIBED IN CATALOGUE NO. 444J114.

AFTER A TECHNICAL REVIEW MSFC REJECTED YOUR BID FOR FAILING TO COMPLY WITH THE SPECIFICATIONS, AND IN THIS REGARD THE FOLLOWING STATEMENT WAS INSERTED IN THE ABSTRACT OF BIDS:

"BIDDER NO. 3 (NEWELL EQUIPMENT COMPANY) OFFERS FRICTION DRIVEN, CARRIER SYSTEM P AND H CAT.NO. 444J114--- FOR GEAR DRIVEN CARRIER SYSTEM, CLEVELAND MODEL NO. WL-10450A, SPECIFIED. REJECTED AS NOT MEETING SPECIFICATION. REFERENCE: NASA MANAGEMENT MANUAL 2.404-2 (A).'

YOUR PROTEST ALLEGES THAT THE STATEMENT IN REGARD TO P AND H CATALOGUE NO. 444J114 IS NOT TRUE. TO SUPPORT THIS CONTENTION YOU QUOTE PAGES 1-8 AND 2-23 OF YOUR CATALOGUE 444J114 AND PAGE 2-33 OF P AND H BULLETIN H-68 WHICH YOU ALLEGE INDICATE THAT THE P AND H HOISTS WHICH YOU PROPOSED TO FURNISH HAVE A GEAR DRIVEN TROLLEY AS REQUIRED BY THE SPECIFICATIONS. YOU STATE THAT ON JUNE 10, 1963, YOU INFORMED MSFC THAT YOUR CRANE IS DRIVEN BY (2) 12-INCH SOLID RUBBER TIRES WHICH IN TURN ARE DRIVEN BY A GEAR BOX LOCATED UNDERNEATH THE BRIDGE CRANE, AND THAT IF A DIRECT STEEL TO STEEL GEAR DRIVE WERE FURNISHED IT WOULD BE MORE EXPENSIVE.

MSFC INFORMS US THAT ITS CONCLUSION WHICH FORMED IN PART THE BASIS FOR THE REJECTION OF YOUR BID WAS DERIVED FROM INFORMATION CONTAINED ON PAGE 37 OF CATALOGUE E-2 WHICH ACCOMPANIED YOUR BID. AN EXAMINATION OF CATALOGUE E-2 BY MSFC INDICATED THAT THE CRANE YOU PROPOSED TO FURNISH WAS PROPELLED BY A RUBBER WHEEL, FRICTION DRIVEN CARRIER SYSTEM RATHER THAN THE GEAR DRIVEN SYSTEM REQUIRED BY THE INVITATION. IN REGARD TO THE HOISTS, MSFC STATES THAT CATALOGUE NO. 444J114 WAS NOT FURNISHED WITH YOUR BID AND A REVIEW OF YOUR P AND H BULLETIN H-68 INDICATES:

"* * * A WHEEL ON THE END VIEW OF THE SINGLE SPEED MOTOR TROLLEY SHOWN ON THE PAGE. PAGE 2-32 OF H-68 REVEALS A BIDDER INSERTED INK MARK UNDER 444J114, WHICH IS SHOWN TO BE A SINGLE SPEED MOTOR TROLLEY AND NOT A GEARED TROLLEY (ALSO SHOWN ON DRAWING NO. C-14, SUBMITTED BY THE IDDER.)" MSFC CONCLUDES THAT THE OVERALL CRANE CARRIER SYSTEM IS DEFINITELY A RUBBER WHEEL, FRICTION SYSTEM AND NOT GEAR DRIVEN.

IN REGARD TO THE NECESSITY FOR THE GEAR TYPE SYSTEM SPECIFIED IN THE INVITATION MSFC STATES:

"A GEAR TYPE DRIVE FOR TRANSMITTING MOTION THROUGH THE CARRIER SYSTEMS ON OVERHEAD HOISTING EQUIPMENT IS NECESSARY IN THE MANUFACTURING OPERATIONS AT MARSHALL SPACE FLIGHT CENTER. A GEAR MESHED TRAIN OR GEAR-TO-RACK SYSTEM REDUCES SLIPPAGE, AND INCREASES EFFICIENCY IN MOTION CONTROL WITH A MINIMUM OF DOWN-TIME. A RUBBER WHEEL, FRICTION TYPE SYSTEM OF TRANSMITTING MOTION IS UNDESIRABLE FOR MSFC APPLICATION DUE TO SLIPPAGE THROUGH SERVICE FRICTION. THIS TYPE OF FRICTION DRIVE DOES NOT PROVIDE AN EVEN DRIVE, IS NOT POSITIVE UNDER HEAVY LOADS, AND REQUIRES FREQUENT ADJUSTMENT AND MAINTENANCE. MSFC HAS EXPERIENCED THESE DIFFICULTIES WITH FRICTION CARRIER SYSTEMS ON CRANES IN THE MSFC MANUFACTURING ENGINEERING DIVISION, AND CONSIDERS SUCH SYSTEM UNSATISFACTORY FOR OUR SPECIFIC MSFC REQUIREMENTS.'

IN REGARD TO YOUR LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 18, 1963, WE HAVE BEEN INFORMALLY ADVISED BY NASA THAT A P AND H HOIST HAS BEEN INSTALLED AT THE MSFC AS YOU CONTEND BUT WE DO NOT CONSIDER THIS FACT MATERIAL TO YOUR PROTEST IN VIEW OF THE OVERALL SPECIFICATION REQUIREMENT FOR A GEAR DRIVEN CRANE WHICH ALSO WAS A BASIS FOR THE REJECTION OF YOUR BID.

THEREFORE, AS IT IS NOT APPARENT FROM THE RECORD THAT THE ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION WAS ARBITRARY OR CAPRICIOUS, WE WILL NOT ATTEMPT TO SUBSTITUTE OUR JUDGMENT FOR THAT OF THE CONTRACTING AGENCY, NOR DO WE PERCEIVE ANY BASIS UPON WHICH WE COULD OBJECT TO THE AWARD TO A HIGHER PROPOSER. AGENCIES OF THE GOVERNMENT ARE NOT REQUIRED TO MAKE PURCHASES OF EQUIPMENT NOT FULFILLING THEIR REQUIREMENTS SIMPLY BECAUSE A LOWER PRICE CAN BE OBTAINED IN THAT WAY. WITH RESPECT TO THE QUESTION OF WHETHER OFFERINGS TO THE GOVERNMENT MEET THE GOVERNMENT'S SPECIFICATIONS, IT IS AN ESTABLISHED RULE THAT THESE FACTUAL DETERMINATIONS ARE THE PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITY OF THE PROCURING AGENCIES. SEE 17 COMP. GEN. 554; 19 ID. 587; AND 40 ID. 35. MOREOVER, CLAUSE C (1) ON PAGE 9 OF THIS INVITATION CLEARLY REQUIRED THAT BIDDERS FURNISH COMPLETE AND ADEQUATE DATA FOR THE TECHNICAL EVALUATION OF BIDS; THEREFORE, AS YOU DID NOT FURNISH CATALOGUE NO. 444J114 WITH YOUR BID, MSFC WOULD NOT BE RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY POSSIBLE MISINTERPRETATION OF YOUR PROPOSAL CONCERNING THE P AND H HOIST.

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