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TO FERRACUTE MACHINE COMPANY: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED NOVEMBER 30. IFB-156-383-59 WAS CANCELLED WHEN IT WAS DISCOVERED THAT THE SPECIFICATIONS WERE RESTRICTIVE IN THAT THEY CONTAINED A FEATURE PROPRIETARY TO THE MINISTER MACHINE COMPANY. IT WAS DETERMINED THAT A LESS RESTRICTIVE SPECIFICATION SHOULD BE PROVIDED. WE ARE OF THE OPINION THAT UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES. THE CONTRACTING OFFICER'S DECISION TO CANCEL AND READVERTISE WAS PROPER. IN CONNECTION WITH YOUR CONTENTION THAT THE DATA SUBMITTED WITH YOUR BID WAS SUFFICIENT TO ENABLE THE CONTRACTING OFFICER TO PROPERLY EVALUATE YOUR BID AND THAT YOUR BID WAS COMPARABLE TO THAT OF SHIPLEY S. IT MAY BE POINTED OUT THAT DESCRIPTIVE DATA WAS NOT LIMITED TO PAMPHLETS IN EITHER CASE.

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B-141363, JAN. 14, 1960

TO FERRACUTE MACHINE COMPANY:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED NOVEMBER 30, 1959, AND ENCLOSURES, PROTESTING THE ACTION OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY IN AWARDING A CONTRACT TO W. E. SHIPLEY MACHINERY COMPANY UNDER INVITATION NO. IFB-156-112-60, ISSUED JULY 31, 1959, AND IN CANCELLING INVITATION NO. IFB-156-383-59.

THE RECORD BEFORE US DISCLOSES THAT INVITATION NO. IFB-156-383-59 WAS CANCELLED WHEN IT WAS DISCOVERED THAT THE SPECIFICATIONS WERE RESTRICTIVE IN THAT THEY CONTAINED A FEATURE PROPRIETARY TO THE MINISTER MACHINE COMPANY; NAMELY, THAT "THE CLUTCH AND BRAKE SHOULD BE MOUNTED ON THE INTERMEDIATE SHAFT," WHICH COULD BE MET BY ONLY ONE PRESS MANUFACTURER. SINCE A REQUIREMENT FOR THIS PARTICULAR FEATURE COULD NOT BE JUSTIFIED, IT WAS DETERMINED THAT A LESS RESTRICTIVE SPECIFICATION SHOULD BE PROVIDED. THE CONTRACTING OFFICER RECOGNIZED THAT THE CANCELLATION WOULD RESULT IN EXPOSING THE BID PRICES OF ALL BIDDERS, BUT CONSIDERED THAT AN AWARD UNDER THE INVITATION WOULD BE PREJUDICIAL TO THE RIGHTS OF BIDDERS BECAUSE OF THE RESTRICTIVE SPECIFICATIONS WHICH DID NOT REFLECT THE MINIMUM NEEDS OF THE GOVERNMENT. WE ARE OF THE OPINION THAT UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES, THE CONTRACTING OFFICER'S DECISION TO CANCEL AND READVERTISE WAS PROPER.

IN CONNECTION WITH YOUR CONTENTION THAT THE DATA SUBMITTED WITH YOUR BID WAS SUFFICIENT TO ENABLE THE CONTRACTING OFFICER TO PROPERLY EVALUATE YOUR BID AND THAT YOUR BID WAS COMPARABLE TO THAT OF SHIPLEY S, IT MAY BE POINTED OUT THAT DESCRIPTIVE DATA WAS NOT LIMITED TO PAMPHLETS IN EITHER CASE. THE HAMILTON BULLETIN 13300 FURNISHED BY SHIPLEY WITH THEIR BID WAS ANNOTATED TO INDICATE THE SPECIFICATIONS OF THE PRESS THEY PROPOSED TO FURNISH, AND SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION WAS PROVIDED TO INDICATE COMPLIANCE WITH SPECIFICATION REQUIREMENTS. THE BULLETIN FURNISHED WITH YOUR BID NOTED 10 DIFFERENT MODELS OF PRESSES HAVING 37 VARIED CAPACITIES AND DID NOT INDICATE WHICH PRESS WAS OFFERED. NONE OF THE PRESSES ILLUSTRATED OR DESCRIBED IN YOUR BULLETIN HAS A STROKE GREATER THAN 8 INCHES, AND NO MENTION OF STROKE LENGTH IS MADE TO SUPPLEMENT THE LITERATURE. THE SPECIFICATION REQUIRED A 12-INCH STROKE.

YOU STATED IN YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 8, 1959, TO COMMANDER ORMSBEE THAT YOU MADE THE STATEMENT IN YOUR BID THAT THE PRESS WOULD BE IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE BUREAU OF AERONAUTICS INDUSTRIAL RESERVE SPECIFICATION NO. 59-59 WITHOUT EXCEPTION. NOWHERE IN YOUR BID OR COVERING LETTER CAN SUCH A STATEMENT BE FOUND.

IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, IT MUST BE CONCLUDED THAT YOUR PROTEST FURNISHED NO PROPER BASIS ON WHICH WE WOULD BE JUSTIFIED IN QUESTIONING THE ACTION TAKEN BY THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE.

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