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THE CONTRACTING OFFICER'S DETERMINATION THAT THE DRAWINGS SUBMITTED WITH THE BID CONTAINED ONLY A MINOR ERROR IN DETAILING AND WERE NOT NONRESPONSIVE OR AMBIGUOUS. IS CORRECT. TO STACOR CORPORATION: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED JULY 17. BIDS WERE OPENED MAY 16. AN AWARD WAS MADE TO WALKERBILT ON JUNE 30. THE MATTER WAS REFERRED TO THIS OFFICE. THE CONTRACTING OFFICER EXPLAINS THAT AN AWARD WAS NECESSARY BEFORE THE CLOSE OF FISCAL YEAR 1972 IN ORDER TO ASSURE DELIVERY OF THESE UNITS IN SUFFICIENT TIME TO MEET THE NEEDS OF THE LIBRARY. YOU CONTEND THAT THE WALKERBILT BID WAS NONRESPONSIVE AND THAT THE AWARD SHOULD BE CANCELLED. A NOTE IN THE SPECIFICATIONS ADDED THAT DIMENSIONS GIVEN FOR THE CARD CATALOG SECTIONAL UNITS AND THE REFERENCE SHELVES ARE NOMINAL AND THAT A FRACTIONAL DEVIATION WILL BE ACCEPTABLE.

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B-176475, NOV 24, 1972

BID PROTEST - NONRESPONSIVENESS SPECIFICATIONS DECISION DENYING THE PROTEST OF STACO CORP., AGAINST AWARD OF A CONTRACT TO WALKERBILT WOODWORK, INC. UNDER AN IFB ISSUED BY THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS FOR WOOD CARD CATALOG SECTIONAL FILE UNITS. THE CONTRACTING OFFICER'S DETERMINATION THAT THE DRAWINGS SUBMITTED WITH THE BID CONTAINED ONLY A MINOR ERROR IN DETAILING AND WERE NOT NONRESPONSIVE OR AMBIGUOUS, IS CORRECT.

TO STACOR CORPORATION:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED JULY 17, 1972, PROTESTING THE PROCUREMENT ACTION OF THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS IN CONNECTION WITH INVITATION FOR BIDS NO. C & P 72-13 ISSUED APRIL 24, 1972.

THE INVITATION SOLICITED BIDS FOR WOOD CARD CATALOG SECTIONAL FILE UNITS OF 15-TRAY SECTIONS, FOR 3" X 5" CARDS, 3 TRAYS HIGH BY 5 TRAYS WIDE, WITH TOPS, BASES, AND REFERENCE SHELVES. BIDS WERE OPENED MAY 16, 1972, AND WALKERBILT WOODWORK, INCORPORATED (WALKERBILT), SUBMITTED THE LOW BID. THE BID INCLUDED DRAWINGS SHOWING CONSTRUCTION AND DIMENSION OF THE UNITS AS REQUIRED BY THE SOLICITATION.

BY LETTER DATED MAY 17, 1972, YOU PROTESTED TO THE CONTRACTING OFFICER AGAINST AWARD TO WALKERBILT BASED ON ITS SUBMITTED DRAWINGS, AND REQUESTED THAT SHOULD THE DECISION OF THE CONTRACTING OFFICER NOT AGREE WITH THE PROTEST, THE MATTER BE SUBMITTED TO THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE FOR ITS OPINION. HOWEVER, AN AWARD WAS MADE TO WALKERBILT ON JUNE 30, 1972. LETTER DATED JULY 10, 1972, THE MATTER WAS REFERRED TO THIS OFFICE. THE CONTRACTING OFFICER EXPLAINS THAT AN AWARD WAS NECESSARY BEFORE THE CLOSE OF FISCAL YEAR 1972 IN ORDER TO ASSURE DELIVERY OF THESE UNITS IN SUFFICIENT TIME TO MEET THE NEEDS OF THE LIBRARY. YOU CONTEND THAT THE WALKERBILT BID WAS NONRESPONSIVE AND THAT THE AWARD SHOULD BE CANCELLED.

THE SOLICITATION SPECIFICATIONS REQUIRE THAT THE CARD CATALOG SECTIONAL UNITS BE 33 INCHES WIDE BY 17 INCHES DEEP BY 13 INCHES HIGH; THAT THE REFERENCE SHELVES FOR THE SECTIONAL UNITS BE 33 INCHES WIDE BY 17 INCHES DEEP BY 2 1/4 INCHES HIGH, FLUSH CONSTRUCTION; AND THAT THE CORNICE UNITS BE 33 INCHES WIDE BY 17 INCHES DEEP AND 2 INCHES HIGH, FLUSH CONSTRUCTION. A NOTE IN THE SPECIFICATIONS ADDED THAT DIMENSIONS GIVEN FOR THE CARD CATALOG SECTIONAL UNITS AND THE REFERENCE SHELVES ARE NOMINAL AND THAT A FRACTIONAL DEVIATION WILL BE ACCEPTABLE, PROVIDING THAT THE SEVERAL COMPONENTS ARE INTEGRAL.

THE DRAWING SUBMITTED BY WALKERBILT AS PART OF ITS BID INDICATES THE HEIGHT OF ITS CATALOG SECTIONAL UNITS TO BE 13 7/8 INCHES. ALSO, SECTIONAL DETAILS OF THE DRAWING INDICATE A 20 1/2 INCH DEPTH FOR THE CORNICE UNIT, WHILE OTHER TYPICAL DETAIL SECTIONS SHOW MARKINGS OF BOTH 17 AND 20 1/2 INCHES DEPTH FOR THE OVERALL SECTIONAL UNITS, INCLUDING THE CORNICE. THE WALKERBILT DRAWING ALSO CONTAINS AN OVERALL COMPONENT DRAWING SHOWING THE HEIGHT OF THE CARD SECTIONAL UNITS TO BE 13 7/8 INCHES HIGH AND THE WIDTH, INCLUDING THE CORNICE UNIT, TO BE 17 INCHES IN DEPTH. IN A LETTER RECEIVED BY THE LIBRARY AFTER THE BID OPENING, WALKERBILT EXPLAINED ITS BID DRAWING AS FOLLOWS:

"THE DETAIL *** SHOWS A MINOR ERROR IN DETAILING. THE DETAIL OF THE TOP UNIT SHOWS A DEPTH OF 20 1/2". THIS DIMENSION SHOULD READ 17" OR 20 1/2" TO BE CONSISTENT WITH OTHER DIMENSIONS ON THE DETAIL. THE REASON BEING, WE SUPPLY TWO STANDARD CARD CASE DEPTHS, 17" AND 20 1/2". AS YOUR SPECIFICATION CALL FOR, WE BID THE 17" CARD CASE AND IS SO SHOWN IN A ISOMETRIC VIEW ON THE DETAIL WE SUBMITTED TO YOU."

YOU CONTEND THAT THE CORNICE UNIT DETAIL IN THE WALKERBILT BID DRAWING SHOWING 20 1/2 INCHES AS THE DEPTH REPRESENTS A MATERIAL DEVIATION IN THE BID. ALTHOUGH YOU ALSO NOTE THE 13 7/8 INCH HIGH DIMENSION INDICATED IN THE DRAWING FOR THE CATALOG SECTIONAL UNIT, YOU ACKNOWLEDGE THAT THE SPECIFIC PROVISION PERMITTING FRACTIONAL DEVIATIONS MIGHT PERMIT A DEVIATION OF 7/8 OF AN INCH. HOWEVER, YOU POINT OUT THAT A MORE THAN 3 INCH DEVIATION IN THE CORNICE MAY NOT BE PERMITTED UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES.

THE CONTRACTING OFFICER ACKNOWLEDGES THAT THE WALKERBILT DRAWING CONTAINS THE 20 1/2 INCH DIMENSION, BUT HE CONTENDS THAT WHEN THE ENTIRE DRAWING IS CONSIDERED AND NOT JUST ANY PARTICULAR PART, THERE IS A CLEAR INDICATION THAT A 17 INCH DEPTH WILL BE FURNISHED ON ALL UNITS.

WE CONCUR WITH THE CONTRACTING OFFICER THAT A REASONABLE READING OF THE DRAWING MUST LEAD TO THE CONCLUSION THAT THE LOW BIDDER INTENDED TO OFFER INTEGRAL COMPONENTS AS INDICATED BY THE ISOMETRIC VIEW OF THE UNIT ON THE DRAWING. AS THE LOW BIDDER HAS EXPLAINED, THE DRAWING SHOWS DETAILS OF TWO CARD CASE UNITS, ONE HAVING A DEPTH OF 17 INCHES AND THE OTHER A DEPTH OF 20 1/2 INCHES. ALTHOUGH CERTAIN SECTIONAL DETAILS ON THE DRAWING SHOW ONLY A 20 1/2 INCH DEPTH FOR THE CORNICE, OTHER SECTIONAL DETAILS SHOW BOTH A 20 1/2 INCH AND A 17 INCH DEPTH FOR THE SEVERAL UNITS. VARIOUS NOTES ON THE DRAWING DESCRIBE THESE SECTIONAL PLANS AS BEING "TYPICAL" OF THE BIDDER'S UNITS. THE ISOMETRIC VIEW OF THE "15 DRAWER CARD CASE", HOWEVER, SHOWS ONLY A 17 INCH DEPTH FOR THE ENTIRE UNIT. WE DO NOT CONCLUDE FROM READING THE ENTIRE DRAWING THAT THE BIDDER WAS PROPOSING TO OFFER A CORNICE WITH A DEPTH OF 20 1/2 INCHES, OR THAT THE DRAWING CREATED AN AMBIGUITY AS TO WHAT THE BIDDER PROPOSED TO FURNISH. RATHER, WE THINK IT IS CLEAR THAT THE BIDDER WAS PROPOSING TO MEET THE SPECIFICATION REQUIREMENT OF INTEGRAL COMPONENTS, WHICH ARE 17 INCHES WIDE.

ACCORDINGLY, WE DO NOT FIND THAT THE LOW BID WAS NONRESPONSIVE TO THE SPECIFICATION REQUIREMENTS. THEREFORE, YOUR PROTEST AGAINST THE AWARD MUST BE DENIE4# ..END :

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