B-128673, AUG. 2, 1956

B-128673: Aug 2, 1956

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ON ITEMS NO. 5 AND 13 WERE AS FOLLOWS: TABLE FIRM ITEM NO. 5 ITEM NO. 13 DISCOUNTALOE SCIENTIFIC CO. $1. 922.00 2 PERCENT - 30 DAYS BROWN WILL SCIENTIFIC. SUSPECTING THAT THE LOW BIDS WERE DUE TO MISTAKE. VERIFICATION THAT THE PRICES BID BY THE ALOE SCIENTIFIC COMPANY ON BOTH ITEMS WERE CORRECT. A PURCHASE ORDER WAS ISSUED TO THE ALOE COMPANY ON BOTH ITEMS. THAT THE PRICES THE COMPANY INTENDED TO BID WERE $3. WE ARE INCLINED TO DOUBT THAT THE INFORMAL TELEPHONIC REQUEST FOR VERIFICATION WAS ADEQUATE TO AFFORD THE BIDDER A SUFFICIENT OPPORTUNITY TO CHECK ITS QUOTATIONS TO THE EXTENT THAT IT SHOULD BE BOUND BY ITS ANSWER. THE ENCLOSURES TO THE LETTER OF JULY 19 ARE RETURNED IN ACCORDANCE WITH YOUR REQUEST.

B-128673, AUG. 2, 1956

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

A LETTER OF JULY 19, 1956, FROM THE DEPUTY ADMINISTRATOR REQUESTS OUR DECISION AS TO WHETHER THE ALOE SCIENTIFIC COMPANY MAY BE ALLOWED TO CORRECT ITS BID ON ITEMS NO. 5 AND NO. 13 OF INVITATION NO. 56-54, ISSUED BY THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION HOSPITAL, DALLAS, TEXAS, FOR THE PURCHASE OF CERTAIN MEDICAL RESEARCH EQUIPMENT.

BIDS, OPENED ON JUNE 8, 1956, ON ITEMS NO. 5 AND 13 WERE AS FOLLOWS:

TABLE

FIRM ITEM NO. 5 ITEM NO. 13 DISCOUNTALOE SCIENTIFIC CO.

$1,275.00 $1,922.00 2

PERCENT - 30

DAYS BROWN WILL SCIENTIFIC, INC. 3,997.20 NO BID NET W. H. CURTIN CO. NO BID 2,121.25

NET FISHER SCIENTIFIC CO. NO BID 2,142.50 NET SCIENTIFIC PROD. AHSC

NO BID 2,047.00 NET SPINCO DIV. NO BID NO BID BECKMAN INSTRUMENTS NO BID 2,047.00 NET

THE CONTRACTING OFFICER, SUSPECTING THAT THE LOW BIDS WERE DUE TO MISTAKE, REQUESTED AND RECEIVED, BY TELEPHONE, VERIFICATION THAT THE PRICES BID BY THE ALOE SCIENTIFIC COMPANY ON BOTH ITEMS WERE CORRECT. THEREUPON, A PURCHASE ORDER WAS ISSUED TO THE ALOE COMPANY ON BOTH ITEMS. BY LETTER OF JULY 1, 1956, THE ALOE COMPANY ALLEGED THAT ERRORS HAD BEEN MADE IN THE PRICES DUE TO THE FAILURE OF THE TYPIST TO INCLUDE THE COST OF SUB-ITEMS IN TRANSCRIBING THE PRICES FROM THE WORKSHEETS TO THE BID FORM, AND THAT THE PRICES THE COMPANY INTENDED TO BID WERE $3,963.70 ON ITEM NO. 5 AND $2,047 ON ITEM NO. 13.

GENERALLY, AWARD OF A CONTRACT FOLLOWING VERIFICATION OF A BID UPON REQUEST OF THE CONTRACTING OFFICER PRECLUDES ANY ASSUMPTION THAT THE CONTRACTING OFFICER ACTED IN BAD FAITH AND RESULTS IN A BINDING CONTRACT. 18 COMP. GEN. 942, 947. HOWEVER, IN VIEW OF THE WIDE DISCREPANCY BETWEEN THE ACCEPTED BID AND THE OTHER BID, WE ARE INCLINED TO DOUBT THAT THE INFORMAL TELEPHONIC REQUEST FOR VERIFICATION WAS ADEQUATE TO AFFORD THE BIDDER A SUFFICIENT OPPORTUNITY TO CHECK ITS QUOTATIONS TO THE EXTENT THAT IT SHOULD BE BOUND BY ITS ANSWER. SEE B-125799, JANUARY 25, 1956.

ACCORDINGLY, AND SINCE THE AMOUNTS INTENDED TO BE QUOTED APPEAR TO BE SUFFICIENTLY ESTABLISHED BY THE BIDDER'S WORKSHEET, THE CONTRACT MAY BE AMENDED TO CONFORM THERETO.

THE ENCLOSURES TO THE LETTER OF JULY 19 ARE RETURNED IN ACCORDANCE WITH YOUR REQUEST.