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CHAP. 1.5 COMPETITIVE BIDDING
thereto will have time to arrive in the purchasing office before time set
for opening. If, after issuance of an invitation to bid, a notice of change
is to be issued, a revised estimate of amounts to become due on the con-
tract will be made, and a revision of the prevalidation of funds shall be
obtained by the purchasing officer. (See Subparagraph 1.5.3A, above.)
Amendments may be accomplished (1) by notifying the bidder to make
certain changes in the original bid papers, or (2) by preparing a new page
to be substituted by the bidder in lieu of the superseded page. If neces-
sary, the opening date may be postponed to allow bidders time to prepare
bids on the amended basis.
P. A sheet of "Supplemental Conditions" is shown in Illustration 1.5.4P.
This sheet is applicable to all Invitations to Bid (Standard Form 33) for
materials, equipment, and supplies and shall be made a part of the bid
by reference. In addition to the conditions and instructions on the
reverse of Standard Form 33 and Standard Form 22 and the Supple-
mental Conditions, there shall be included other standard clauses for
use in Invitations to Bid which are applicable to the case on hand. The
standard clauses are shown in Illustration 1.5.4P(1). It should be noted
that certain of the clauses have specialized and restricted meaning,
therefore, care should be exercised in the choice of clauses to be
included. Other special conditions may be drafted and included in the
specifications or put on a separate sheet and referred to as Special
Conditions in the Invitation to Bid.
Q. In addition to the instructions shown on the reverse of Form 33, the
Supplemental Conditions sheet and Standard Form 22, there are other
special conditions which may be applicable in certain types of supply con-
tracts. For further information see Standard Form 32 (Contract Articles
and Directions for Preparation of Contract), see also Paragraph 1.6.4,
General Conditions. See end of chapter for copies of these forms.
.5 Section 3709 of the Revised Statutes of the United States as amended reads as
Unless otherwise provided in the appropriation concerned or other
law, purchases and contracts for supplies or services for the Govern-
ment may be made or entered into only after advertising a sufficient
time previously for proposals, except (1) when the amount involved in
any one case does not exceed $500, (2) when the public exigencies
require the immediate delivery of the articles or performance of the
service, (3) when only one source of supply is available and the Gov-
ernment purchasing or contracting officer shall so certify, or (4) when
the services are required to be performed by the contractor in person
and are (A) of a technical and professional nature or (B) under Gov-
ernment supervision and paid for on a time basis. Except (1) as
authorized by section 29 of the Surplus Property Act of 1944 (50 U.S.C.
App. 1638), (2) when otherwise authorized by law, or (3) when the
reasonable value involved in any one case does not exceed $500,
sales and contracts of sale by the Government shall be governed by
the requirements of this section for advertising.
Proposed purchases over $500 will not be split into smaller amounts to avoid
advertising, contracting, and the attendant work incident thereto. Section 29,
referred to above, reads as follows:
Surplus property disposals may be made without regard to any provision in existing law for competitive bidding, unless the Board shall determine that disposal by competitive bid will in a given case
better effectuate the policy of the Act. The DISPOSAL OF SURPLUS PROPERTY will be in accordance with regulations issued by the Administrator of the General Services Administration pursuant to
Public Law 152, as follows:
CHAP. 1.5 COMPETITIVE BIDDING
Sec. 203. (a) Except as otherwise provided in this section, the Administrator shall have supervision and direction over the disposition of surplus property. Such property shall be disposed of to such extent, at such time, in such areas, by such agencies, at such terms and conditions, and in such manner, as may be prescribed in or pursuant to this Act.
(a) Unless the Administrator shall determine that disposal by advertising will in a given case better protect the public interest, surplus property disposals may be made without regard to any provision of existing law for advertising until 12 o'clock noon, Eastern Standard Time, December 31, 1950.
A. The intent of section 3709, Revised Statutes, is to secure the benefits of
open competition for articles or services required by the Government; to allow qualified bidders an opportunity to bid; to guard against collusion, favoritism and graft; and to aid in establishing dependable sources of supply.
B. The manner of advertising to obtain competition has been definitely
established as shown below. Bids or proposals must be sought from all prospective bidders to assure complete coverage of the available and potential markets. The three following steps are those that are usually followed in formal advertising for bids:
(1) Mailing invitations to prospective bidders.
(2) Posting notices and invitations in public places.
(3) Copy of invitation to Government Advertiser, Washington, D. C.
For the manner of obtaining competitive bids in cases of emergency or where the public exigency demands immediate delivery. (See Subparagraphs 1.7.2A, 1.7.2B, and 1.7.20.)
C. After the preparation of invitations and/or specifications has been
completed, they are mailed to the prospective bidders. All possible
sources shall be contacted; in no case shall invitations or specifications
be mailed to less than three prospective bidders. Appropriate mailing
lists should be compiled for all commonly used articles and commodities.
These lists may be arranged by major commodity groups. Articles for
which there is a constant demand such as lumber, cement, pipe-reinforcing
steel, and many others, should be classified and made into permanent lists.
These lists should be kept up to date by eliminating the names of firms or
individuals who repeatedly fail to respond to bid invitations and by adding
the names of new bidders from time to time. Prospective bidders failing
to bid should be notified in writing that their names are being removed
from the mailing list because of failure to submit bids.
(1) On permanent mailing lists a number may be assigned to each firm
name. Then the procurement officer, or someone delegated by him,
may quickly designate by number, the firms to which invitations shall
be furnished. The greatest possible competition shall be secured. No
attempt shall be made to restrict the mailing list to firms in the locality
of the purchasing or receiving office. It is not permissible to make
mailing lists public, nor shall the names of firms who have received
invitations to bid be made known.
(2) Invitations shall be mailed in duplicate to prospective bidders. The
bidder will keep one copy for his record and return the other, as his
signed sealed bid, to the issuing office.
(a) The Walsh-Healey “Black List” sets forth names of persons to
whom contracts may not be awarded. Such persons are prohib-
ited from contracting with the United States for a period of 3
CHAP. 1.5 COMPETITIVE BIDDING
years, unless the Secretary of Labor determines otherwise, as
a penalty for violating a stipulation required by the Walsh-Healey
Act in a contract previously made with them. The Supply Services
Division, Denver, will distribute to Regional Offices, Chief Engineer,
the Legal Division, and the Central Supply Services Office, copies
of list B-3368, published by the Comptroller General, containing
names of persons or firms found by the Secretary of Labor to
have breached any of the agreements required by this Act.
(b) The "Ineligible List under the Walsh-Healey Public Contracts
Acts” is published by the Wage and Hour and Public Contracts
HEALEY Divisions of the U. S. Department of Labor, Washington, D. C. INELIGIBLE This list should not be confused with the so-called “Black List”
LIST referred to above. It is a list of persons or firms which do not qualify as manufacturers or regular "dealers” as required by Section 1(a) of the Walsh-Healey Public Contracts Act and are not eligible to be awarded contracts subject to the Act, according to findings and determinations made by the Department of Labor. This list, instructions, and other information concerning the Walsh-Healey Act will be mailed directly to officials of the Bureau at the addresses furnished by the Supply Services Division, Denver, where the mailing list is maintained. This list has been established on the basis of information furnished by the offices concerned and should be kept up to date. The Supply Services Division, Denver, should be promptly advised, through appropriate channels, of any changes or corrections. It is important that officials concerned be currently informed of the contract stipulations and representations of the Walsh-Healey Act.
(c) Debarment from bidding is for administrative action and, in
cases where there is showing that debarment is to the best
interest of the Bureau, such administrative action will not be
questioned by the General Accounting Office, provided length
of time thereof is definitely stated and is not unreasonable.
Permanent debarment is unauthorized. Debarment by any other
department or establishment of the Federal Government does not
preclude consideration by the Bureau of an otherwise acceptable
bid of a debarred bidder or acceptance of his products offered by
an independent contractor. Generally speaking, debarments
affect only the activities within the scope of the procurement
office making the determination. Reasons for debarment of
bidder, including specific statement of his dereliction, should be
made of record and copies thereof furnished bidder and the
General Accounting Office.
D. The various catalogs of prospective bidders and suppliers form an
important part of the Procurement Officer's library. Catalogs are of
value for a number of reasons, description of material, item and part
numbers (particularly for equipment and machinery catalogs), technical
engineering data, price information and discounts, and general trade or
specific product information are all generally included in supplier's cat-
alogs. Jobbers' catalogs frequently contain a listing of numerous related
items from a variety of manufacturing sources. Trade journals are useful
for their purchasing informations and for their advertising content.
E. Trade directories such as Thomas' Register of American Manufacturers
and MacRae's Blue Book, and the business directory section of city and
telephone directories are a valuable source for obtaining names and
addresses of prospective suppliers.
CHAP. 1.5 COMPETITIVE BIDDING
F. A bulletin board or posting place shall be provided by the office originating
the invitation to bid. It should be conveniently situated in an appropriate
and prominent place visited by individuals who are interested in the Bureau's
requirements. When a prospective bidder, after examining the invitations
posted, finds an invitation in which he is interested he may request copies
of it upon which to submit his bid. The names and addresses of firms who
receive copies of the invitations in this manner, shall be entered on the
invitation mailing list so that subsequent addendas, amendments, or
cancellations pertaining to that invitation may be mailed to them. Many
commercial establishments provide agents to regularly peruse these
notices on bulletin boards and for that reason posting in public places is
an extremely important method of advertising. Notices may also be posted
in Post Offices, or other public buildings.
TION OF AUTHORITY
G.* The Secretary of Interior has delegated authority to authorize the publication
of advertisements, notices, and proposals to the following officials of the Bureau:
Assistant Regional Directors
Chief Engineer, Assistant Chief Engineer, Director of Supply,
Associate Director of Supply, Central Supply Services Officer,
Regional Supply Officers, District Managers and Project Heads.
This delegation of authority is granted until revoked or modified. The
authority to sign advertising orders may not be redelegated. *
(1) Under the above authority, advertisements for all the sale of lands
may also be authorized when all preliminary clearances have been
obtained. (Publication for a period of 30 days is required and may be
made either in a weekly, semiweekly, or daily newspaper.)
(2) Extreme care should be exercised to insure that the specifications
for advertising to be set other than solid be definite, clear, and
specific since no allowance will be made for paragraphing or for
display or leaded or prominent headings, unless specifically ordered,
or for additional space required by the use of type other than that
specified in the sworn statement of advertising rates on file in the
General Accounting Office. Specifications for advertising other than
solid will accompany the advertisement copy submitted to the publisher
with the advertising order, and copies of both documents will be trans-
mitted to the General Accounting Office, with the voucher. A sample
of solid-line advertisement set up in accordance with the usual Govern-
ment requirements is shown on Standard Form 1143, Advertising
Order, Illustration 1.5.5G(2).
Advertisements for bids for construction and supply contracts shall
be prepared in a condensed form, stating only the essential factors
concerning the work being advertised. The following example is given
to illustrate the form to be used:
UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
Bureau of Reclamation, Hot Springs, South Dakota. Sealed bids (Specifications No. 1300) will be received by Bureau of Reclamation, Hot Springs, until 10 a.m., May 22, 1946, and then publicly opened for furnishing labor and materials and performing all work for the construction of Angostura Dam on the Cheyenne River, about 9 miles south of Hot Springs, South
CHAP. 1.5 COMPETITIVE BIDDING
Dakota. Principal items are approximately: 509,000 cubic
yards fill and riprap; 240,000 cubic yards concrete; installa-
tion of 1,700,000 pounds of gates, gate hoists, and outlet pipe;
and other work. Nine hundred days will be allowed for this
work. For particulars address the Bureau of Reclamation,
Hot Springs, South Dakota; or Denver Federal Center,
Denver 2, Colorado.
Responsibility for initiating such advertising shall rest with the office
issuing invitations to bid, which office shall also determine the manner
and extent of advertising.
(3) The Regional Supply Officer shall be responsible for arranging for
publication of advertisements originating in the Regional Office. In
Denver and Washington such arrangements will be made by the Office
TIONS OF ADVERTISE
(4) The following standard forms will be used in procuring and paying for
Statement of Advertising Rates
Public Voucher for Advertising
1142 Revised & 1142A Revised
1143 Revised & 1143A Revised
1144 Revised & 1144A Revised
The use of the above forms is prescribed in General Accounting Office
Regulations 109, Revised, February 7, 1949.
(5) When advertisements and specifications are issued from Regional,
District, or Project Offices for equipment, machinery, or materials, a
copy of such advertisement should be forwarded to the Government
Advertiser, 511 - 11th Street, NW., Washington 4, D. C., where the
advertisement will be published free of charge, unless the item is of a
type which interests only local suppliers or if the demand for the item
is so critical that sufficient time to publish and receive bids from
interested suppliers is not available.
COPIES OF ADVERTISEMENTS TO GOVERN
H. Solicitation of bids is not required on purchases in excess of $500 under
the following conditions:
(1) Where emergencies exdist that will not permit the delay incident to
solicitation of bids or where the nature of the article or service is
such that solicitation would be ineffective. For definition of emergency
and procedure to be followed see Paragraph 1.7.2.
(2) When, under a Standard Form 32 contract for construction or supply,
there arises a necessity for additional work which could only be
performed practicably by the contractor.
(3) When the article required is patented or copyrighted and not on sale by
dealers, but by the owner of the patent or copyright or its agent or
assignee alone at a fixed and uniform price and when it is the only
article that will answer the Government's needs. It is the contracting
officer's responsibility to determine whether only one source of supply
is available and that the article is the only one that will answer the
Government's needs. Each instance must be supported by a statement
of facts and a certificate from the contracting officer or the vendor that
the prices claimed are not in excess of those charged the general
(4) For the procurement of utility services such as water, gas, electricity,
etc., the rates for which are established by Federal, state, or municipal
law or by competent regulations where no competition is available.
See Chapter 2.2.