B-123491, B-124279, DEC. 9, 1955

B-123491,B-124279: Dec 9, 1955

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TO THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR: REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER DATED OCTOBER 14. IT IS INDICATED IN THE LETTER THAT THERE IS DOUBT WHETHER AMERICAN RENT-A -CAR (PAUL LOEBER). WOULD HAVE BEEN A RESPONSIBLE BIDDER IN ANY EVENT. IT IS STATED THAT A SERIOUS QUESTION IS RAISED AS TO THE CIRCUMSTANCES UNDER WHICH THE FEDERAL SERVICE SHOULD BE SUBORDINATED TO THE CONVENIENCE OF THOSE WHO WISH TO CONTRACT WITH THE GOVERNMENT. WE AGREE THAT THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT SHOULD NOT BE REQUIRED TO DEAL WITH FIRMS WHICH MAY WISH TO COMPETE BUT DO NOT HAVE THE REQUIRED ORGANIZATION OR OTHER ESSENTIAL REQUIREMENTS TO PERFORM THE CONTRACT WORK. WAS NOT INTENDED TO HOLD OTHERWISE. A CAREFUL READING OF THE DECISION WILL SHOW THAT THE CONCLUSION THAT NO AWARD SHOULD BE MADE UNDER INVITATIONS NOS.

B-123491, B-124279, DEC. 9, 1955

TO THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER DATED OCTOBER 14, 1955, FROM THE ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT SECRETARY, RELATIVE TO OUR DECISION TO YOU OF JUNE 24, 1955, B-123491, B-124279, CONCERNING INVITATION FOR BIDS NOS. P108 AND P109, ISSUED BY THE BUREAU OF INDIAN AFFAIRS, COVERING THE LEASING OF PASSENGER-CARRYING VEHICLES AT CHEROKEE, NORTH CAROLINA, AND ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO, DURING THE FISCAL YEAR 1956.

IT IS INDICATED IN THE LETTER THAT THERE IS DOUBT WHETHER AMERICAN RENT-A -CAR (PAUL LOEBER), WHO PROTESTED AGAINST THE SPECIFICATIONS, WOULD HAVE BEEN A RESPONSIBLE BIDDER IN ANY EVENT. IN VIEW THEREOF, IT IS STATED THAT A SERIOUS QUESTION IS RAISED AS TO THE CIRCUMSTANCES UNDER WHICH THE FEDERAL SERVICE SHOULD BE SUBORDINATED TO THE CONVENIENCE OF THOSE WHO WISH TO CONTRACT WITH THE GOVERNMENT, NOTWITHSTANDING THEIR INABILITY TO COMPETE WITH OTHER FIRMS REGULARLY ENGAGED IN SUPPLY OF SERVICES SOUGHT BY THE GOVERNMENT.

WE AGREE THAT THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT SHOULD NOT BE REQUIRED TO DEAL WITH FIRMS WHICH MAY WISH TO COMPETE BUT DO NOT HAVE THE REQUIRED ORGANIZATION OR OTHER ESSENTIAL REQUIREMENTS TO PERFORM THE CONTRACT WORK. WE AGREE ALSO THAT THE GOVERNMENT SHOULD NOT BE REQUIRED TO CONTRACT FOR SERVICES OR FOR THE PURCHASE OF SUPPLIES NOT MEETING ITS NEEDS MERELY TO ALLOW SUCH A FIRM TO COMPETE FOR THE GOVERNMENT BUSINESS. THE DECISION OF JUNE 24, 1955, WAS NOT INTENDED TO HOLD OTHERWISE, OF COURSE. A CAREFUL READING OF THE DECISION WILL SHOW THAT THE CONCLUSION THAT NO AWARD SHOULD BE MADE UNDER INVITATIONS NOS. P108 AND P109 WAS BASED UPON THE OBVIOUS FACT THAT THE LIMITATION PROVIDED IN THE INVITATIONS FOR DELIVERY OF THE VEHICLES WAS INSUFFICIENT TO ALLOW THE FREE AND OPEN COMPETITION REQUIRED BY SECTION 3709, REVISED STATUTES. IT WAS IN NO WAY INFLUENCED BY THE FACT THAT AMERICAN RENT-A-CAR (PAUL LOEBER), RATHER THAN SOME OTHER FIRM, HAPPENED TO BE RESPONSIBLE FOR RAISING THE QUESTION AS TO THE INADEQUACY OF THE INVITATIONS BEFORE THIS OFFICE AND BEFORE THE PUBLIC WORKS AND RESOURCES SUBCOMMITTEE OF THE COMMITTEE ON GOVERNMENT OPERATIONS, HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. IN FACT, THAT FIRM DID NOT EVEN SUBMIT A BID.

THE INVITATIONS WERE ISSUED ON JUNE 2, 1955. THEY PROVIDED FOR BIDS TO BE OPENED ON JUNE 17, 1955, AND REQUIRED THE SUCCESSFUL BIDDER TO DELIVER BY JULY 1, 1955, THIRTY 4-DOOR SEDANS AND FOUR STATION WAGONS TO ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO, AND FOUR SEDANS AND ONE STATION WAGON TO CHEROKEE, NORTH CAROLINA. THUS, EVEN IF AWARD HAD BEEN MADE ON THE DAY OF THE OPENING OF THE BIDS, A MAXIMUM OF 14 DAYS WOULD HAVE BEEN ALLOWED FOR DELIVERY OF THE VEHICLES WITH THE REQUIRED ACCESSORIES. ONLY ONE OF THE FIVE BIDDERS WHO SUBMITTED BIDS WAS ABLE TO OFFER TO FURNISH THE VEHICLES WITHIN THE TIME LIMIT SPECIFIED. IT BEING THE STATUTORY DUTY OF OUR OFFICE TO DETERMINE THE VALIDITY OF PUBLIC CONTRACT EXPENDITURES, WE WOULD HAVE BEEN REQUIRED TO QUESTION THE LEGAL SUFFICIENCY OF THE INVITATIONS ON THIS STATE OF FACTS REGARDLESS OF THE MANNER IN WHICH SUCH FACTS MIGHT HAVE COME TO OUR ATTENTION.

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  • Silver Investments, Inc.
    We dismiss the protest as untimely because it was filed more than 10 days after the protester knew, or should have known, the basis for its protest.
    B-419028

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