B-131429, APR. 15, 1957

B-131429: Apr 15, 1957

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GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION: REFERENCE IS MADE TO A LETTER DATED APRIL 11. INQUIRING AS TO WHETHER WE WILL INTERPOSE ANY OBJECTION TO AN AWARD OF A CONTRACT TO THE SUPERIOR SURGICAL MANUFACTURING COMPANY. BIDDERS WERE REQUIRED TO FURNISH A SAMPLE SURGICAL OPERATING GOWN "REPRESENTING WHAT THE BIDDER PROPOSES TO FURNISH * * * FOR THE PURPOSE OF DETERMINING WHETHER THE ITEM OFFERED BY THE BIDDER COMPLIES WITH THE INVITATION'S SPECIFICATION. FAILURE TO SUBMIT SAMPLE IN TIME TO BE RECEIVED PRIOR TO OPENING OF BIDS WILL REQUIRE REJECTION OF THE BID.'. IT IS REPORTED THAT THE COMPANY SUBMITTED A SAMPLE AS REQUIRED BUT SUBSEQUENT TO THE OPENING OF THE BIDS ON MARCH 11. THE BIDDER EXPLAINED THAT THE ERROR RESULTED FROM CUTTING THE PATTERN TO 19 1/2 INCHES (WHICH RESULTED IN AN 18 INCH COLLAR AFTER HEMS AND TURNBACKS WERE MADE) AND FURNISHED A NOTARIZED STATEMENT FROM ITS SENIOR DESIGNER IN CONFIRMATION OF THE ALLEGATION.

B-131429, APR. 15, 1957

TO THE HONORABLE FRANKLIN G. FLOETE, ADMINISTRATOR, GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO A LETTER DATED APRIL 11, 1957, FROM THE ASSOCIATE COMMISSIONER, FEDERAL SUPPLY SERVICE, OF YOUR ADMINISTRATION, INQUIRING AS TO WHETHER WE WILL INTERPOSE ANY OBJECTION TO AN AWARD OF A CONTRACT TO THE SUPERIOR SURGICAL MANUFACTURING COMPANY, INC., AS LOW BIDDER UNDER INVITATION NO. FN-7B 4928-A-3-11-57, FOR THE PROCUREMENT OF 200,000 OPERATING GOWNS.

UNDER THE TERMS OF THE INVITATION, AS AMENDED BY SPECIAL NOTICE NO. 1 THERETO, BIDDERS WERE REQUIRED TO FURNISH A SAMPLE SURGICAL OPERATING GOWN "REPRESENTING WHAT THE BIDDER PROPOSES TO FURNISH * * * FOR THE PURPOSE OF DETERMINING WHETHER THE ITEM OFFERED BY THE BIDDER COMPLIES WITH THE INVITATION'S SPECIFICATION. FAILURE TO SUBMIT SAMPLE IN TIME TO BE RECEIVED PRIOR TO OPENING OF BIDS WILL REQUIRE REJECTION OF THE BID.'

IT IS REPORTED THAT THE COMPANY SUBMITTED A SAMPLE AS REQUIRED BUT SUBSEQUENT TO THE OPENING OF THE BIDS ON MARCH 11, 1957, AND WHEN STARTING TO PREPARE PATTERNS FOR THE MANUFACTURE OF THE GOWNS IN ANTICIPATION OF AN AWARD OF THE CONTRACT, THE COMPANY DISCOVERED THAT THE COLLAR ON THE SAMPLE SUBMITTED WITH ITS BID DID NOT COMPLY WITH THE SPECIFICATION IN THAT THE COLLAR MEASURED 18 INCHES RATHER THAN 19 1/2 INCHES. IN A LETTER DATED MARCH 20, THE COMPANY NOTIFIED THE PROCURING OFFICE OF ITS DISCOVERY BUT ADVISED THAT THE GOWNS IT PROPOSED TO FURNISH WOULD BE IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE SPECIFICATION. THE BIDDER EXPLAINED THAT THE ERROR RESULTED FROM CUTTING THE PATTERN TO 19 1/2 INCHES (WHICH RESULTED IN AN 18 INCH COLLAR AFTER HEMS AND TURNBACKS WERE MADE) AND FURNISHED A NOTARIZED STATEMENT FROM ITS SENIOR DESIGNER IN CONFIRMATION OF THE ALLEGATION. BY LETTER DATED MARCH 22, THE COMPANY SUBMITTED A "CORRECTED" SAMPLE WHICH WAS TESTED AND FOUND TO FULLY COMPLY WITH THE SPECIFICATION. IN THE FINDINGS OF THE CONTRACTING OFFICER, IT IS STATED THAT "THE TEST RECORD SHOWS THE (ORIGINAL) SAMPLE FOR "LENGTH OF GARMENT" EXCEEDED THE REQUIREMENT BY 1 1/2 INCHES, THEREFORE IF A SAVING IN CLOTH WAS AN OBJECTIVE OF THE LOW BIDDER IT COULD HAVE BEEN ACCOMPLISHED THERE INSTEAD OF SHORTING THE COLLAR. FROM THE FACTS * * * ALONG WITH THE SUPPORTING CERTIFICATE FROM THE CUTTER, IT CLEARLY APPEARS THAT THE SUPERIOR SURGICAL MFG. CO., INC., DID MAKE AN HONEST MISTAKE.'

IN LIGHT OF THE REPORTED CIRCUMSTANCES IN THIS INSTANCE, THE SUPPORTING EVIDENCE THERETO, AND INASMUCH AS IT DOES NOT APPEAR THAT OTHER BIDDERS COULD HAVE BEEN PLACED AT ANY DISADVANTAGE THROUGH THE LOW BIDDER'S ERROR IN MAKING THE SAMPLE SUBMITTED, YOU ARE ADVISED THAT WE WILL INTERPOSE NO OBJECTION TO YOUR PROPOSAL TO REGARD THE TRANSACTION AS A VALID MISTAKE IN BID AND THE AWARDING OF A CONTRACT TO THE SUPERIOR SURGICAL MANUFACTURING COMPANY AS THE LOW RESPONSIBLE BIDDER.