B-126263, DEC. 27, 1955

B-126263: Dec 27, 1955

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VETERANS ADMINISTRATION: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 2. A BID PRICE PER UNIT (THE PACKAGE) AND ALSO THE AMOUNT OF THE BID PER ITEM WAS REQUESTED. THE CORPORATION'S BID WAS SUBMITTED ON AN "ALL OR NONE" BASIS. IT CONTAINED NO QUOTATION IN THE AMOUNT COLUMN FOR ANY ITEM AND THE UNIT PRICE QUOTED IN THE UNIT PRICE COLUMN FOR EACH ITEM INDICATED IT WAS PER THOUSAND INSTEAD OF PER PACKAGE ("$1.83M" FOR ITEM NO. 1. SINCE THE BIDDER FAILED TO STATE WHERE THE ITEMS WERE LOCATED FOR INSPECTION AS REQUIRED. THAT THE INSERTION OF THE LETTER "M" WAS A TYPOGRAPHICAL ERROR AND THAT THE UNIT PRICE OTHERWISE QUOTED IN THE BID FOR EACH ITEM WAS BASED ON A PACKAGE OF 500 SHEETS. THE BIDDER WAS REQUESTED BY OUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 6.

B-126263, DEC. 27, 1955

TO THE HONORABLE JOHN S. PATTERSON, ACTING ADMINISTRATOR, VETERANS ADMINISTRATION:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 2, 1955, WITH ENCLOSURES, REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO THE ACTION TO BE TAKEN WITH RESPECT TO A BID DATED NOVEMBER 11, 1955, SUBMITTED BY ARLINGTON SALES AGENCY, INC., IN VIEW OF THE BIDDER'S ALLEGATION OF ERROR.

EACH OF ITEMS 1, 2, 3, 8, 9, 10 AND 11 UPON WHICH THE CORPORATION QUOTED UNIT PRICES CALLED FOR A DIFFERENT SPECIFIED QUANTITY OF PACKAGES (EACH 500 SHEETS) OF PARCHMENT PAPER. A BID PRICE PER UNIT (THE PACKAGE) AND ALSO THE AMOUNT OF THE BID PER ITEM WAS REQUESTED. THE CORPORATION'S BID WAS SUBMITTED ON AN "ALL OR NONE" BASIS. IT CONTAINED NO QUOTATION IN THE AMOUNT COLUMN FOR ANY ITEM AND THE UNIT PRICE QUOTED IN THE UNIT PRICE COLUMN FOR EACH ITEM INDICATED IT WAS PER THOUSAND INSTEAD OF PER PACKAGE ("$1.83M" FOR ITEM NO. 1,"$7.25M" FOR ITEM NO. 2, ETC.). IN VIEW OF THIS, AND SINCE THE BIDDER FAILED TO STATE WHERE THE ITEMS WERE LOCATED FOR INSPECTION AS REQUIRED, THE CONTRACTING OFFICER, BY TELEGRAMS DATED NOVEMBER 15 AND 18, 1955, REQUESTED THE BIDDER TO FURNISH INFORMATION AS TO WHERE THE PAPER WOULD BE AVAILABLE FOR INSPECTION AND TO CLARIFY ITS INTENTION WITH RESPECT TO THE USE OF THE LETTER "M" AS PART OF ITS UNIT PRICE. IN RESPONSE TO THE INQUIRY, THE CORPORATION ADVISED BY LETTER DATED NOVEMBER 21, 1955, THAT THE INSERTION OF THE LETTER "M" WAS A TYPOGRAPHICAL ERROR AND THAT THE UNIT PRICE OTHERWISE QUOTED IN THE BID FOR EACH ITEM WAS BASED ON A PACKAGE OF 500 SHEETS. SINCE THE BID, IF INTENDED TO BE BASED ON UNITS OF A THOUSAND (2 PACKAGES OF 500 SHEETS EACH) WOULD BE ONLY SLIGHTLY LOWER AND IN LINE WITH THE OTHER BIDS RECEIVED ON THE EIGHT ITEMS AND SINCE BY DELETING THE "M" THE BID WOULD BE OUT OF LINE WITH THE OTHER BIDS, THE BIDDER WAS REQUESTED BY OUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 6, 1955, TO SUBSTANTIATE ITS ALLEGATION OF ERROR AND ITS ALLEGED INTENDED BID PRICE BY ANY AVAILABLE EVIDENCE SUCH AS A WORKSHEET, A CATALOG OR APPLICABLE PRICE LIST. ALTHOUGH THERE HAS BEEN NO RESPONSE FROM THE BIDDER, SINCE ADVICE HAS BEEN RECEIVED INFORMALLY THAT THE TIME ALLOWED IN THE BID FOR ACCEPTANCE, AS EXTENDED, EXPIRES DECEMBER 30, 1955, IT IS DEEMED ADVISABLE TO DECIDE THIS MATTER ON THE BASIS OF THE PRESENT RECORD.

THE FACTS AND EVIDENCE ALREADY BEFORE US REASONABLY ESTABLISH THAT THE CORPORATION MADE A BONA FIDE ERROR IN PREPARING ITS BID IN THE FORM SUBMITTED. ACCORDINGLY, SINCE BY REASON OF THE APPARENT IRREGULARITY AND RESULTANT AMBIGUITY IN THE BID THE CONTRACTING OFFICER REQUESTED THE BIDDER TO CLARIFY ITS INTENDED BID PRICE AND SINCE THE ALLEGED INTENDED BID AS EXPLAINED BY THE BIDDER, WOULD BE HIGHER THAN ANY OTHER BID RECEIVED, THE BID OF ARLINGTON SALES AGENCY, INC., SHOULD BE DISREGARDED.