B-150523, MAY 27, 1963

B-150523: May 27, 1963

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TO NORTHRIDGE RESEARCH INC.: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 19. BIDS WERE OPENED ON OCTOBER 16. YOUR COMPANY AND ANOTHER BIDDER FAILED TO SPECIFY A SHIPPING WEIGHT AND YOUR BID WAS OTHERWISE NOT RESPONSIVE TO THAT PART OF THE TRANSPORTATION DATA FORM WHICH REQUIRED A REPRESENTATION AS TO THE MINIMUM GROSS SHIPPING WEIGHT OF EACH PARTIAL DELIVERY UNDER THE PROPOSED CONTRACT. THE TWO LOWEST BIDS WERE SUBMITTED BY YOUR COMPANY AND KELL-STROM TOOL COMPANY. WAS EVALUATED AT $27. INCLUDING $167.78 FOR FREIGHT WHICH WAS COMPUTED AT TRANSPORTATION RATES APPLICABLE TO THAT FIRM'S SPECIFIED SHIPPING WEIGHT OF 120 POUNDS FOR 15 UNITS. IF THE SAME UNIT WEIGHT HAD BEEN APPLIED IN THE CONSIDERATION OF YOUR BID IT REPORTEDLY WOULD HAVE BEEN EVALUATED AT $27.

B-150523, MAY 27, 1963

TO NORTHRIDGE RESEARCH INC.:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 19, 1962, PROTESTING THE AWARD OF A CONTRACT TO KELL-STROM TOOL COMPANY, INC., WETHERSFIELD, CONNECTICUT, AS THE LOW BIDDER UNDER INVITATION FOR BIDS NO. 33-657-63-27, ISSUED SEPTEMBER 13, 1962, BY THE AIR FORCE SYSTEMS COMMAND, AERONAUTICAL SYSTEMS DIVISION, WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, OHIO, COVERING A REQUIREMENT FOR PROTRACTORS TO BE FURNISHED IN ACCORDANCE WITH AN AIR FORCE DRAWING.

BIDS WERE OPENED ON OCTOBER 16, 1962, AND THE 6 BIDDERS QUOTED F.O.B. ORIGIN PRICES THEREBY MAKING IT NECESSARY TO CONSIDER FREIGHT COSTS IN DETERMINING THE LOWEST DELIVERED COST TO THE GOVERNMENT FOR EACH BID. THE INVITATION MADE IT CLEAR THAT THIS WOULD BE DONE BY PROVIDING FOR THE EXECUTION BY BIDDERS OF A TRANSPORTATION DATA FORM AND STATING THAT FREIGHT RATES USED IN EVALUATING BIDS WOULD BE BASED ON THE SHIPPING WEIGHTS STATED BY BIDDERS. FOUR OF THE SIX BIDDERS SPECIFIED SHIPPING WEIGHTS WHICH RANGED FROM 2 POUNDS TO 18 POUNDS PER UNIT, INCLUDING THE WEIGHT OF 8 POUNDS PER UNIT DERIVED FROM A SHIPPING WEIGHT OF 120 POUNDS FOR 15 UNITS AS SPECIFIED BY THE SUCCESSFUL BIDDER. YOUR COMPANY AND ANOTHER BIDDER FAILED TO SPECIFY A SHIPPING WEIGHT AND YOUR BID WAS OTHERWISE NOT RESPONSIVE TO THAT PART OF THE TRANSPORTATION DATA FORM WHICH REQUIRED A REPRESENTATION AS TO THE MINIMUM GROSS SHIPPING WEIGHT OF EACH PARTIAL DELIVERY UNDER THE PROPOSED CONTRACT.

THE TWO LOWEST BIDS WERE SUBMITTED BY YOUR COMPANY AND KELL-STROM TOOL COMPANY, INC., IN THE RESPECTIVE AMOUNTS OF $27,535.60 AND $27,784. THE BID OF KELL-STROM TOOL COMPANY, INC., WAS EVALUATED AT $27,951.78, INCLUDING $167.78 FOR FREIGHT WHICH WAS COMPUTED AT TRANSPORTATION RATES APPLICABLE TO THAT FIRM'S SPECIFIED SHIPPING WEIGHT OF 120 POUNDS FOR 15 UNITS, OR 8 POUNDS PER UNIT. IF THE SAME UNIT WEIGHT HAD BEEN APPLIED IN THE CONSIDERATION OF YOUR BID IT REPORTEDLY WOULD HAVE BEEN EVALUATED AT $27,861.01, INCLUDING $325.41 FOR FREIGHT. HOWEVER, THE TERMS OF THE INVITATION DID NOT PERMIT EVALUATION OF YOUR BID ON THE BASIS OF THE SHIPPING WEIGHT SPECIFIED BY ANOTHER BIDDER. OBVIOUSLY, THIS WOULD BE PREJUDICIAL TO THOSE BIDDERS WHO HAD SUBMITTED TRANSPORTATION DATA AS REQUIRED.

AFTER OPENING OF BIDS YOU OFFERED TO SHIP THE PROTRACTORS BID ON TO THE FIVE SPECIFIED DESTINATIONS WITHOUT ANY INCREASE IN BID PRICE AND TO ALLOW A PROMPT PAYMENT DISCOUNT OF ONE PERCENT FOR PAYMENT WITHIN 20 DAYS. APPEARS, HOWEVER, THAT YOU RECOGNIZED THAT THE GOVERNMENT COULD NOT CONSIDER SUCH OFFERS UNLESS DETERMINED THAT YOU HAD ORIGINALLY SUBMITTED THE LOWEST ACCEPTABLE BID IN RESPONSE TO THE INVITATION. YOU CONTENDED AT SUCH TIME THAT YOUR SHIPPING WEIGHT PER PROTRACTOR WOULD HAVE BEEN THE SAME AS THAT SPECIFIED BY KELL-STROM TOOL COMPANY, INC., AND INDICATED THAT YOUR ESTIMATED WEIGHTS OF 2.8 POUNDS, 4.3 POUNDS AND 0.9 POUNDS FOR PROTRACTOR, WOODEN BOX AND CARDBOARD BOX COULD BE VERIFIED BY THE PROCUREMENT OFFICE. SUBSEQUENT TO THE MAKING OF THE CONTRACT AWARD, YOU SUGGESTED THAT IT WAS UNNECESSARY TO SPECIFY A SHIPPING WEIGHT SINCE, IN YOUR OPINION, THE ACTUAL SHIPPING WEIGHT COULD HAVE BEEN ASCERTAINED FROM THE TERMS OF THE INVITATION, ITS SPECIFICATION AND DRAWING ATTACHMENTS.

THE DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE HAS TAKEN THE POSITION THAT, SINCE SHIPPING WEIGHTS PROPOSED BY BIDDERS VARIED CONSIDERABLY AND THE PRICES QUOTED BY THE TWO LOWEST BIDDERS WERE RELATIVELY CLOSE, IT WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN PROPER TO CONSIDER YOUR PROPOSED SHIPPING WEIGHT SUBMITTED AFTER BIDS WERE PUBLICLY OPENED. WE THINK THAT THIS VIEW OF THE MATTER IS CORRECT. FURTHERMORE, IT IS APPARENT THAT THERE IS NO SUBSTANTIAL BASIS FOR YOUR PROTEST, CONSIDERING THAT YOUR BID WAS NOT RESPONSIVE TO ONE OF THE ESSENTIAL REQUIREMENTS OF THE INVITATION WHICH CLEARLY INDICATED A PURPOSE TO DISREGARD THE ELEMENT OF ACTUAL SHIPPING WEIGHT AND TO USE ONLY THE SHIPPING WEIGHTS SPECIFIED BY BIDDERS IN DETERMINING THE MAXIMUM DELIVERED COST TO THE GOVERNMENT UNDER EACH BID.

ACCORDINGLY, WE FIND NO LEGAL BASIS FOR TAKING EXCEPTION TO THE AWARD AS MADE TO KELL-STROM TOOL COMPANY, INC., AND YOUR PROTEST IN THE MATTER MUST BE DENIED.

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