B-126220, DEC. 14, 1955

B-126220: Dec 14, 1955

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VETERANS ADMINISTRATION: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 30. THE RECORD INDICATES THAT THE OPENING OF BIDS WAS NOVEMBER 7. ADVISED THAT IT HAD MADE A MISTAKE IN QUOTING PRICES AND THAT ITS BID SHOULD HAVE BEEN $2.68 AND $2.71 EACH. THERE WAS NO INDICATION IN THE RECORD TRANSMITTED BY YOU THAT THE BIDDER HAD BEEN REQUESTED TO SUBSTANTIATE ITS ALLEGATION OF ERROR PRIOR TO YOUR REQUEST FOR A DECISION. THE BIDDER WAS REQUESTED TO FURNISH FURTHER EXPLANATION AND EVIDENCE AS TO THE ALLEGED ERROR. ESTABLISHED SATISFACTORILY THAT THE ERROR WAS MADE AS ALLEGED THROUGH INADVERTENCE ON ITS PART. TOTALING $1.85 FOR EACH STETHOSCOPE WHICH AMOUNT WAS STATED TO BE EXCLUSIVE OF ALL COSTS OF NECESSARY MANUFACTURING OPERATIONS.

B-126220, DEC. 14, 1955

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

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 30, 1955, WITH ENCLOSURES, REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO THE ACTION TO BE TAKEN, IN VIEW OF THE BIDDER'S ALLEGATION OF ERROR, WITH RESPECT TO A BID DATED OCTOBER 25, 1955, SUBMITTED BY HENRY C. BETZ CO. IN RESPONSE TO INVITATION NO. A-128- H.

ITEM NO. 1 OF THE INVITATION CALLED FOR 240 STETHOSCOPES, AS SPECIFIED, WITH DELIVERY F.O.B. SOMERVILLE, NEW JERSEY, AND ITEM NO. 2 CALLED FOR 480 IDENTICAL INSTRUMENTS WITH DELIVERY F.O.B. HINES, ILLINOIS. HENRY C. BETZ CO. BID $1.68 EACH ON ITEM NO. 1 AND $1.71 EACH ON ITEM NO. 2. THE FIVE OTHER BIDS RECEIVED RANGED FROM $2.48 TO $4.95 EACH ON ITEM NO. 1 AND FROM $2.48 TO $4.95 EACH ON ITEM NO. 2. THE RECORD INDICATES THAT THE OPENING OF BIDS WAS NOVEMBER 7, 1955, AND THAT, BY LETTER DATED NOVEMBER 10, 1955, HENRY C. BETZ CO. ADVISED THAT IT HAD MADE A MISTAKE IN QUOTING PRICES AND THAT ITS BID SHOULD HAVE BEEN $2.68 AND $2.71 EACH, INSTEAD OF $1.68 AND $1.71 EACH, ON ITEM NOS. 1 AND 2, RESPECTIVELY. BY REASON THEREOF, IT REQUESTED THAT ITS BID BE DISREGARDED.

THERE WAS NO INDICATION IN THE RECORD TRANSMITTED BY YOU THAT THE BIDDER HAD BEEN REQUESTED TO SUBSTANTIATE ITS ALLEGATION OF ERROR PRIOR TO YOUR REQUEST FOR A DECISION. THEREFORE, BY OUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 2, 1955, THE BIDDER WAS REQUESTED TO FURNISH FURTHER EXPLANATION AND EVIDENCE AS TO THE ALLEGED ERROR. IN RESPONSE, THE COMPANY BY ITS LETTER OF DECEMBER 5, 1955, AND DOCUMENTS FORWARDED THEREWITH, ESTABLISHED SATISFACTORILY THAT THE ERROR WAS MADE AS ALLEGED THROUGH INADVERTENCE ON ITS PART. THE EVIDENCE FURNISHED INCLUDED AN ITEMIZATION OF THE COST OF PARTS REQUIRED TO BE PURCHASED FROM OUTSIDE SOURCES, TOTALING $1.85 FOR EACH STETHOSCOPE WHICH AMOUNT WAS STATED TO BE EXCLUSIVE OF ALL COSTS OF NECESSARY MANUFACTURING OPERATIONS, WHICH INCLUDED THE FURNISHING OF ADDITIONAL PARTS AND THE ASSEMBLY, POLISHING, PLATING, AND BOXING OF THE COMPLETED INSTRUMENT. ALSO, THERE WAS FURNISHED A COPY OF ITS BID OF $2.70 EACH, F.O.B. DESTINATION, FOR THE IDENTICAL TYPE OF STETHOSCOPE SUBMITTED BY IT IN RESPONSE TO YOUR INVITATION NO. A-460-H ISSUED ON FEBRUARY 26, 1954.

ON THE BASIS OF THE FACTS AND EVIDENCE NOW OF RECORD THERE IS NO DOUBT THAT THE COMPANY MADE A BONA FIDE ERROR IN ITS BID. IN VIEW THEREOF, AND SINCE THE ERROR WAS ALLEGED PRIOR TO AWARD AND THE BIDDER, PROMPTLY UPON REQUEST TO DO SO, FURNISHED SATISFACTORY EVIDENCE IN SUBSTANTIATION OF ITS ALLEGATION OF ERROR, AN ACCEPTANCE OF THE BID UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES INVOLVED WOULD NOT CONSUMMATE A VALID AND BINDING CONTRACT.

ACCORDINGLY, THE BID OF HENRY C. BETZ CO. SHOULD BE DISREGARDED. THE PAPERS FORWARDED WITH YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 30, 1955, ARE RETURNED.