B-125168, AUG. 26, 1955

B-125168: Aug 26, 1955

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VETERANS ADMINISTRATION: REFERENCE IS MADE TO A LETTER DATED AUGUST 12. ON WHICH IT WAS AWARDED UNNUMBERED CONTRACT DATED JULY 26 FOR 72 POUNDS OF BUTTER. A DECISION IS REQUESTED AS TO WHETHER THE BID MAY BE WITHDRAWN AND AWARD MADE TO THE NEXT LOW BIDDER. TWO OTHER BIDS WERE RECEIVED. INASMUCH AS NO BID WAS INTENDED FOR ITEM 133 BUT THE BID OF $0.48 WAS INTENDED FOR ITEM 140. IT IS REPORTED THAT THE HOSPITAL FILES SHOW THAT THIS IS THE FIRST TIME THE COMPANY HAS SUBMITTED A BID FOR SWEET BUTTER. SINCE THE EXPLANATION OF THE ERROR WAS CONSIDERED TO BE REASONABLE. THE BID OF ARMOUR AND COMPANY OF $0.48 PER POUND FOR THE BUTTER WAS SO OUT OF LINE WITH THE OTHER TWO BIDS AS TO INDICATE THE PROBABILITY OF ERROR AND.

B-125168, AUG. 26, 1955

TO HONORABLE H. V. HIGLEY, ADMINISTRATOR, VETERANS ADMINISTRATION:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO A LETTER DATED AUGUST 12, 1955, WITH ENCLOSURES, FROM THE CHIEF PURCHASING AGENT, VETERANS ADMINISTRATION, RELATIVE TO AN ERROR WHICH ARMOUR AND COMPANY ALLEGES IT MADE IN ITS BID DATED JULY 18, 1955, ON WHICH IT WAS AWARDED UNNUMBERED CONTRACT DATED JULY 26 FOR 72 POUNDS OF BUTTER, SWEET, 1/4 POUND PRINTS. A DECISION IS REQUESTED AS TO WHETHER THE BID MAY BE WITHDRAWN AND AWARD MADE TO THE NEXT LOW BIDDER.

IN RESPONSE TO INVITATION NO. 56-19 FOR BIDS FOR FURNISHING EGGS AND DAIRY PRODUCTS FOR THE MONTH OF AUGUST 1955, TO THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION HOSPITAL, DAVIS PARK, PROVIDENCE, RHODE ISLAND, THE COMPANY SUBMITTED A BID ON WHICH A PRICE OF $0.48 PER POUND APPEARED OPPOSITE THE ITEM OF 96 POUNDS OF SWEET BUTTER IN QUARTER POUND PRINTS. TWO OTHER BIDS WERE RECEIVED, OF 69 AND 71 CENTS PER POUND.

ON RECEIPT OF THE PURCHASE ORDER ON JULY 29, 1955, THE ARMOUR COMPANY IMMEDIATELY ALLEGED THAT A TYPOGRAPHICAL ERROR HAD BEEN MADE, INASMUCH AS NO BID WAS INTENDED FOR ITEM 133 BUT THE BID OF $0.48 WAS INTENDED FOR ITEM 140, EGGS, WHICH APPEARED ON THE NEXT LINE. IT IS REPORTED THAT THE HOSPITAL FILES SHOW THAT THIS IS THE FIRST TIME THE COMPANY HAS SUBMITTED A BID FOR SWEET BUTTER, AND THE CONTRACTING OFFICER STATES IN HIS LETTERGRAM DATED AUGUST 1, 1955, THAT A REPRESENTATIVE INFORMED HIM THAT THE COMPANY DID NOT HANDLE SWEET BUTTER IN ONE QUARTER POUND PRINTS. SINCE THE EXPLANATION OF THE ERROR WAS CONSIDERED TO BE REASONABLE, THE CONTRACTING OFFICER RECOMMENDS THAT THE COMPANY BE GRANTED PERMISSION TO WITHDRAW ITS BID.

THE BID OF ARMOUR AND COMPANY OF $0.48 PER POUND FOR THE BUTTER WAS SO OUT OF LINE WITH THE OTHER TWO BIDS AS TO INDICATE THE PROBABILITY OF ERROR AND, IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES, THE BID SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN ACCEPTED WITHOUT REQUESTING THE COMPANY TO VERIFY ITS BID. ACCORDINGLY, AND AS THE ERROR WAS ALLEGED AND EXPLAINED BY THE COMPANY PROMPTLY UPON RECEIPT OF THE NOTICE OF ACCEPTANCE, UNNUMBERED CONTRACT DATED JULY 26, 1955, MAY BE CANCELLED WITHOUT LIABILITY TO THE COMPANY.