Complaint of Clauss Cutlery Company on Award of GSA Scissors and Shears Contracts

PSAD-77-122: Published: Jun 1, 1977. Publicly Released: Dec 30, 1983.

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A review of five solicitations for scissors and shears by the General Services Administration (GSA) indicated that Clauss Cutlery Company was not the low bidder in any case except for one item in the 1976 solicitation, in which the company's sample did not meet GSA specifications.

Federal Procurement Regulations require that bids submitted by foreign firms be increased by 6 percent, including import duties, before comparison with domestic bids. In the case of procurements from small business or a labor surplus area, foreign bids are increased by 12 percent when the resulting contract would not exceed $100,000. The foreign bids submitted by competitors were from 2 percent to 71 percent lower than Clauss Cutlery's bids in the solicitations examined. Even after increasing the bids by 12 percent, assuming Clauss Cutlery to be a small business or in a labor surplus area, the foreign bidder was still the low bidder except for one item in the 1976 solicitation. In the case of that one item, Clauss Cutlery was the low bidder, but its bid sample failed to meet GSA specifications. Clauss protested that its sample had been mishandled by GSA, but the resultant GAO decision ruled that GSA had handled the bid sample in accordance with established procedures. The contracts awarded by GSA appeared to be in accordance with Federal Procurement Regulations.

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