B-131134, MAR. 25, 1957

B-131134: Mar 25, 1957

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VETERANS ADMINISTRATION: REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER OF MARCH 18. IT WAS STATED THAT THE THREE OTHER BIDDERS ON ITEMS 3 TO 7. THAT THE SAME TYPE OF PIPETTES WERE PREVIOUSLY PROCURED FROM ONE OF THE BIDDERS. A CROSS REFERENCE BETWEEN FEDERAL STOCK NO. 4276925 AND FISHER NO. 6-185 AND FEDERAL STOCK NO. 4276935 AND FISHER NO. 6-195 WAS MADE ON CERTAIN OF ITS FILE CARDS. THE COMPANY STATED FURTHER THAT IT WAS QUOTING AS A DISTRIBUTOR AND THAT THE OTHER BIDDERS WERE QUOTING AS MANUFACTURERS OF THE REQUIRED ITEMS. WERE BASED ON FURNISHING PIPETTES WITHOUT THE SPECIAL ENGRAVED CORRECTION FACTOR. THERE IS NO ROOM FOR REASONABLE DOUBT THAT THE COMPANY MADE AN ERROR IN ITS BID. SINCE THE ERROR WAS ALLEGED AND EXPLAINED PRIOR TO AWARD.

B-131134, MAR. 25, 1957

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

REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER OF MARCH 18, 1957, WITH ENCLOSURES, FROM THE DEPUTY ADMINISTRATOR, REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO THE ACTION TO BE TAKEN CONCERNING AN ERROR WHICH THE FISHER SCIENTIFIC COMPANY, SILVER SPRING, MARYLAND, ALLEGES IT MADE IN ITS BID OPENED ON FEBRUARY 5, 1957.

THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION, PROCUREMENT DIVISION, WASHINGTON, D.C., BY INVITATION NO. A-258-57, REQUESTED BIDS FOR FURNISHING, AMONG OTHER ITEMS, VARIOUS QUANTITIES OF HEMACYTOMETER PIPETTES, RED CORPUSCLE AND WHITE CORPUSCLE, STOCK NOS. 4276925 AND 4276935, IN ACCORDANCE WITH VETERANS ADMINISTRATION DESCRIPTION NO. X-512, DATED OCTOBER 25, 1955, WHICH PROVIDES THAT THE PIPETTES SHALL, EXCEPT AS STATED IN THE PURCHASE DESCRIPTION, CONFORM TO FEDERAL SPECIFICATION GG-H-216A, DATED NOVEMBER 23, 1951, AND AMENDMENT-1, DATED JUNE 26, 1953. IN RESPONSE THE FISHER SCIENTIFIC COMPANY SUBMITTED A BID DATED JANUARY 31, 1957, OFFERING TO FURNISH THE PIPETTES UNDER ITEMS 3 TO 7, INCLUSIVE, AT A PRICE OF ?59 EACH.

IN THE LETTER OF MARCH 18, 1957, IT WAS STATED THAT THE THREE OTHER BIDDERS ON ITEMS 3 TO 7, INCLUSIVE, QUOTED PRICES RANGING FROM $0.63 EACH TO $1.05 EACH; THAT THE SAME TYPE OF PIPETTES WERE PREVIOUSLY PROCURED FROM ONE OF THE BIDDERS, KIMBLE GLASS COMPANY, AT A PRICE OF $0.63 EACH; AND THAT ON FEBRUARY 11, 1957, MR. FISHER OF THE FISHER SCIENTIFIC COMPANY ADVISED BY TELEPHONE THAT HIS COMPANY HAD MADE AN ERROR IN QUOTING ON ITEMS 3 TO 7, INCLUSIVE, OF ITS BID.

IN A CONFIRMING LETTER DATED FEBRUARY 12, 1957, THE FISHER SCIENTIFIC COMPANY STATED THAT AT THE TIME IT RECEIVED A COPY OF FEDERAL SPECIFICATION GG-H-216A, A CROSS REFERENCE BETWEEN FEDERAL STOCK NO. 4276925 AND FISHER NO. 6-185 AND FEDERAL STOCK NO. 4276935 AND FISHER NO. 6-195 WAS MADE ON CERTAIN OF ITS FILE CARDS; THAT UPON RECEIPT OF INVITATION NO. A-258-57, ITS QUOTATION MANAGER REMOVED THE CARDS FOR FEDERAL STOCK NOS. 4276925 AND 4276935 FROM THE CROSS REFERENCE FILE AND HANDED THEM, TOGETHER WITH A COPY OF THE INVITATION, TO A CLERK FOR THE COMPLETION OF THE BID FORM; AND THAT IN COMPUTING THE COMPANY'S BID PRICES FOR ITEMS 3 TO 7, INCLUSIVE, THE CLERK CONSIDERED ONLY THE INFORMATION ENTERED ON THE CROSS-REFERENCE CARDS AND NOT THE REQUIREMENTS OF PURCHASE DESCRIPTION NO. X-512, WHICH CALLED FOR THE ENGRAVING OF A CORRECTION FACTOR ON EACH OF THE PIPETTES. THE COMPANY STATED FURTHER THAT IT WAS QUOTING AS A DISTRIBUTOR AND THAT THE OTHER BIDDERS WERE QUOTING AS MANUFACTURERS OF THE REQUIRED ITEMS; AND THAT SINCE ITS BID PRICES ON ITEMS 3 TO 7, INCLUSIVE, WERE BASED ON FURNISHING PIPETTES WITHOUT THE SPECIAL ENGRAVED CORRECTION FACTOR, IT WISHED TO WITHDRAW ITS BID ON THOSE ITEMS.

ON THE RECORD, THERE IS NO ROOM FOR REASONABLE DOUBT THAT THE COMPANY MADE AN ERROR IN ITS BID, AS ALLEGED. ACCORDINGLY, SINCE THE ERROR WAS ALLEGED AND EXPLAINED PRIOR TO AWARD, THE BID OF THE FISHER SCIENTIFIC COMPANY MAY BE DISREGARDED IN MAKING THE AWARD.