B-126049, NOV. 30, 1955

B-126049: Nov 30, 1955

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VETERANS ADMINISTRATION: REFERENCE IS MADE TO A LETTER DATED NOVEMBER 10. IT WAS NOTED THAT THE UNIT QUOTED BY THE BIDDER WAS FOR BOTTLES OF 1. WAS REQUESTED TO CONFIRM ITS UNIT PRICE AND THE QUANTITY IN THE UNIT PACKAGE. THE CONTRACTOR CONFIRMED THE SUSPECTED ERROR BY STATING THAT THE UNIT PRICE SHOULD HAVE BEEN $4 PER BOTTLE OF 500 TABLETS. THE PRICES QUOTED BY THE COMPANY ON THESE THREE ITEMS APPEARED TO BE OUT OF LINE WITH THE PRICES QUOTED BY THE OTHER BIDDERS AND THE CONTRACTING OFFICER'S REQUEST FOR CONFIRMATION OF THE BID WAS NECESSARY AND PROPER. SINCE THE PROBABILITY OF ERROR WAS APPARENT ON THE FACE OF THE BID.

B-126049, NOV. 30, 1955

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

REFERENCE IS MADE TO A LETTER DATED NOVEMBER 10, 1955, WITH ENCLOSURES, FROM THE DEPUTY ADMINISTRATOR, REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO THE ACTION TO BE TAKEN RELATIVE TO AN ERROR WHICH THE AMERICAN DRUG PRODUCTS, FLUSHING, NEW YORK, ALLEGES IT MADE IN ITS UNDATED BID, SUBMITTED IN RESPONSE TO INVITATION A-109-A ISSUED BY THE PROCUREMENT DIVISION, SUPPLY SERVICE, VETERANS ADMINISTRATION, ON SEPTEMBER 28, 1955.

THE INVITATION REQUESTED BIDS FOR FURNISHING CERTAIN PHARMACEUTICAL CHEMICALS AND TABLETS FOR DELIVERY TO VARIOUS SUPPLY DEPOTS OF THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION. IN RESPONSE, THE AMERICAN DRUG PRODUCTS SUBMITTED A BID IN WHICH IT QUOTED ON "QUINIDINE SULFATE TABLETS, 0.2 GM. (3 GR.), 500-S, USP" UNDER ITEMS NOS. 1, 2, AND 3, A UNIT PRICE OF $4 PER THOUSAND.

AFTER OPENING AND RECORDING OF THE BIDS, IT WAS NOTED THAT THE UNIT QUOTED BY THE BIDDER WAS FOR BOTTLES OF 1,000, RATHER THAN 500'S AS CALLED FOR BY THE INVITATION. THE BIDDER, UNDER DATE OF OCTOBER 19, 1955, WAS REQUESTED TO CONFIRM ITS UNIT PRICE AND THE QUANTITY IN THE UNIT PACKAGE, AND BY TELEGRAM DATED OCTOBER 20, 1955, THE CONTRACTOR CONFIRMED THE SUSPECTED ERROR BY STATING THAT THE UNIT PRICE SHOULD HAVE BEEN $4 PER BOTTLE OF 500 TABLETS.

THE ABSTRACT OF BIDS SHOWS THAT EIGHT OTHER BIDDERS QUOTED PRICES ON ITEMS NOS. 1, 2, AND 3 RANGING FROM $2.73 TO $3.50 PER BOTTLE OF 500 TABLETS. THUS, THE PRICES QUOTED BY THE COMPANY ON THESE THREE ITEMS APPEARED TO BE OUT OF LINE WITH THE PRICES QUOTED BY THE OTHER BIDDERS AND THE CONTRACTING OFFICER'S REQUEST FOR CONFIRMATION OF THE BID WAS NECESSARY AND PROPER.

ACCORDINGLY, SINCE THE PROBABILITY OF ERROR WAS APPARENT ON THE FACE OF THE BID, AND THE BIDDER PROMPTLY ALLEGED ERROR PRIOR TO AWARD, THE BID OF AMERICAN DRUG PRODUCTS, AS TO ITEMS NOS. 1, 2, AND 3, COULD NOT PROPERLY BE ACCEPTED AND SHOULD BE DISREGARDED IN MAKING THE AWARD.