B-164635, JAN. 15, 1969

B-164635: Jan 15, 1969

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INCORPORATED: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 12. IT IS YOUR CONTENTION THAT THE COSTS OF PERFORMING THE SERVICES CALLED FOR UNDER THIS INVITATION WILL BE SUBSTANTIALLY INCREASED BY RESTRICTING COMPETITION TO SMALL BUSINESS CONCERNS. IT IS YOUR OPINION THAT PERFORMANCE OF THE WORK CALLED FOR UNDER THE INVITATION. WHICH YOU ESTIMATE WILL REQUIRE MORE THAN 30 MEN PER DAY FOR FOUR MONTHS. IS BEYOND THE CAPABILITY OF ANY SMALL BUSINESS FIRM. THE CONTRACTING OFFICER REPORTS THAT WHEN THE REQUISITION WAS RECEIVED FOR THE REQUIRED WORK THE DEPARTMENT HAD FOUR BASIC ORDERING AGREEMENTS FOR MOVING SERVICES ESTIMATED AT LESS THAN $25. SINCE THE GOVERNMENT'S ESTIMATE FOR THE SUBJECT WORK WAS $20.

B-164635, JAN. 15, 1969

TO JACOBS MOVING, INCORPORATED:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 12, 1968, PROTESTING AGAINST THE SETTING ASIDE FOR EXCLUSIVE SMALL BUSINESS PARTICIPATION THE PROCUREMENT OF MOVING SERVICES UNDER INVITATION FOR BIDS NO. 9-35092, BY THE DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE.

IT IS YOUR CONTENTION THAT THE COSTS OF PERFORMING THE SERVICES CALLED FOR UNDER THIS INVITATION WILL BE SUBSTANTIALLY INCREASED BY RESTRICTING COMPETITION TO SMALL BUSINESS CONCERNS. IN ADDITION, IT IS YOUR OPINION THAT PERFORMANCE OF THE WORK CALLED FOR UNDER THE INVITATION, WHICH YOU ESTIMATE WILL REQUIRE MORE THAN 30 MEN PER DAY FOR FOUR MONTHS, IS BEYOND THE CAPABILITY OF ANY SMALL BUSINESS FIRM.

THE CONTRACTING OFFICER REPORTS THAT WHEN THE REQUISITION WAS RECEIVED FOR THE REQUIRED WORK THE DEPARTMENT HAD FOUR BASIC ORDERING AGREEMENTS FOR MOVING SERVICES ESTIMATED AT LESS THAN $25,000. SINCE THE GOVERNMENT'S ESTIMATE FOR THE SUBJECT WORK WAS $20,000, YOU AND THE OTHER THREE CONTRACTORS UNDER THESE AGREEMENTS WERE REQUESTED TO SUBMIT PROPOSALS. THREE PROPOSALS WERE RECEIVED. SINCE ALL THREE PROPOSALS, INCLUDING YOURS OF $84,780, WERE IN EXCESS OF THE $25,000 MAXIMUM PROVIDED FOR IN THE AGREEMENTS, THE SUBJECT INVITATION WAS ISSUED AS A JOINT SMALL BUSINESS SET-ASIDE. THE DECISION TO SET ASIDE THE PROCUREMENT WAS MADE AFTER CONSULTATION WITH THE SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION REPRESENTATIVE WHO REPORTEDLY HAD MADE AN EXHAUSTIVE ANALYSIS AND DETERMINED THAT THERE WERE A NUMBER OF WASHINGTON AREA SMALL BUSINESS MOVING CONCERNS CAPABLE OF PERFORMING THE JOB.

SEVEN BIDS FROM SMALL BUSINESS FIRMS WERE RECEIVED AND OPENED ON NOVEMBER 21, 1968. THE LOW RESPONSIVE BID IN THE AMOUNT OF $25,900 WAS SUBMITTED BY COLUMBIA VAN LINES MOVING AND STORAGE COMPANY. PURSUANT TO FEDERAL PROCUREMENT REGULATIONS 1-2.407.8, OUR OFFICE WAS NOTIFIED ON NOVEMBER 26, 1968, THAT AWARD WAS BEING MADE TO COLUMBIA AS THE LOW RESPONSIVE AND RESPONSIBLE BIDDER.

PRIOR TO OUR RECEIPT OF THE SUBJECT PROTEST, YOU HAD FILED SIMILAR PROTESTS WITH OUR OFFICE CONCERNING THE PROCUREMENT OF MOVING SERVICES BY SEVERAL GOVERNMENT DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIES. IN A DECISION DATED DECEMBER 24, 1968, COPY ENCLOSED, WE ADVISED YOU THAT, FOR REASONS STATED THEREIN, WE COULD FIND NO BASIS FOR OUR OFFICE TO OBJECT TO THE SET-ASIDES CITED BY YOU. SINCE THE FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE SUBJECT PROCUREMENT ARE ESSENTIALLY THE SAME AS INVOLVED IN THE PROCUREMENTS CONSIDERED IN OUR DECISION OF DECEMBER 24, 1968, THE REASONING OF THAT DECISION IS APPLICABLE TO THE INSTANT SET-ASIDE.

ACCORDINGLY, THERE IS NO BASIS FOR OUR OFFICE TO TAKE EXCEPTION TO THE SET-ASIDE ACTION IN THIS CASE.

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