B-131725, MAY 14, 1957

B-131725: May 14, 1957

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VETERANS ADMINISTRATION: REFERENCE IS MADE TO A LETTER DATED MAY 3. TO HAVE BEEN MADE IN THEIR BIDS OPENED ON MARCH 25. ITEM 1A REQUIRES SLICED FRESH WHITE BREAD IN 1 1/2 POUND PULLMAN LOAVES AND THE UNIT SPECIFIED FOR SUCH ITEM IS . ADVISED THAT AN ERROR HAD BEEN MADE BY THE COMPANY IN QUOTING ON ITEM 1A OF ITS BID IN THAT A PRICE PER POUND RATHER THAN A PRICE PER LOAF WAS QUOTED ON THAT ITEM. HE ERRONEOUSLY ASSUMED THAT SUCH PRICE WAS A PER LOAF PRICE RATHER THAN A PER POUND PRICE. IT IS STATED THAT AWARD OF THE CONTRACT IS TO BE BASED UPON THE TOTAL AGGREGATE BID OF ALL ITEMS OF THE INVITATION. WERE THE ONLY BIDDERS SUBMITTING BIDS ON ALL OF THE REQUIRED ITEMS AND THAT THEIR TOTAL AGGREGATE BID PRICES FOR SUCH ITEMS WERE $23.

B-131725, MAY 14, 1957

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

REFERENCE IS MADE TO A LETTER DATED MAY 3, 1957, WITH ENCLOSURES, FROM THE DEPUTY ADMINISTRATOR, REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO THE ACTION TO BE TAKEN CONCERNING ERRORS ALLEGED BY THE MODERN BAKERY, KINGSPORT, TENNESSEE, AND KERN'S BAKERY, INC., BRISTOL, VIRGINIA, TO HAVE BEEN MADE IN THEIR BIDS OPENED ON MARCH 25, 1957.

THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION CENTER, MOUNTAIN HOME, TENNESSEE, BY INVITATION NO. 57-36, REQUESTED BIDS FOR FURNISHING, AMONG OTHER BAKERY ITEMS, AN ESTIMATED QUANTITY OF WHITE BREAD DURING THE PERIOD FROM JUNE 1, 1957, TO MAY 31, 1958, INCLUSIVE, ITEM 1A. ITEM 1A REQUIRES SLICED FRESH WHITE BREAD IN 1 1/2 POUND PULLMAN LOAVES AND THE UNIT SPECIFIED FOR SUCH ITEM IS ,LOAF.' IN RESPONSE THE MODERN BAKERY SUBMITTED AN UNDATED BID OFFERING TO FURNISH, AMONG OTHER ITEMS, THE WHITE BREAD UNDER ITEM 1A AT A UNIT PRICE OF $0.155; AND KERN'S BAKERY, INC., SUBMITTED AN UNDATED BID OFFERING TO FURNISH, AMONG OTHERS, THE WHITE BREAD UNDER ITEM 1A AT A UNIT PRICE OF $0.12.

BY LETTER DATED APRIL 9, 1957, THE MANAGER OF MODERN BAKERY, KINGSPORT, TENNESSEE, ADVISED THAT AN ERROR HAD BEEN MADE BY THE COMPANY IN QUOTING ON ITEM 1A OF ITS BID IN THAT A PRICE PER POUND RATHER THAN A PRICE PER LOAF WAS QUOTED ON THAT ITEM; THAT PRIOR TO THE SUBMISSION OF THE COMPANY'S BID, HE CONTACTED THE GENERAL MANAGER OF THE COMPANY'S PLANT AT HARLAN, KENTUCKY, BY TELEPHONE, FOR THE PURPOSE OF OBTAINING THE PRICES TO BE QUOTED IN THE COMPANY'S BID; AND THAT IN WRITING DOWN THE PRICE TO BE QUOTED FOR ITEM 1A, HE ERRONEOUSLY ASSUMED THAT SUCH PRICE WAS A PER LOAF PRICE RATHER THAN A PER POUND PRICE. THE MANAGER REQUESTED THAT THE COMPANY'S UNIT PRICE FOR ITEM 1A BE CORRECTED TO READ $0.2325. BY LETTER DATED APRIL 17, 1957, THE GENERAL MANAGER OF THE COMPANY'S PLANT AT HARLAN, KENTUCKY, FURNISHED THE WORK SHEETS USED BY HIM IN COMPUTING THE COMPANY'S BID PRICES.

IN THE LETTER OF MAY 3, 1957, IT IS STATED THAT AWARD OF THE CONTRACT IS TO BE BASED UPON THE TOTAL AGGREGATE BID OF ALL ITEMS OF THE INVITATION; THAT THE MODERN BAKERY AND KERN'S BAKERY, NC., WERE THE ONLY BIDDERS SUBMITTING BIDS ON ALL OF THE REQUIRED ITEMS AND THAT THEIR TOTAL AGGREGATE BID PRICES FOR SUCH ITEMS WERE $23,045.20 AND $28,284, RESPECTIVELY; THAT AFTER THE TIME MODERN BAKERY HAD ALLEGED ERROR IN ITS BID, IT WAS DECIDED, FOR COMPARATIVE PURPOSES, TO HAVE KERN'S BAKERY, INC., VERIFY ITS BID PRICES; AND THAT BY LETTER DATED APRIL 23, 1957, KERN'S BAKERY, INC., ADVISED THAT ITS BID PRICE ON ITEM 1A WAS BASED ON FURNISHING A 1-POUND LOAF INSTEAD OF THE REQUIRED 1 1/2 POUND LOAF AND THAT THE UNIT PRICE FOR THE LARGER LOAF IS $0.15.

FROM THE CIRCUMSTANCES SET FORTH IN THE LETTER OF MAY 3, 1957, IT CANNOT BE DETERMINED WHETHER THE BIDDERS ACTUALLY MADE ERRORS IN THEIR BIDS, AS ALLEGED. HOWEVER, SINCE THE ERRORS WERE ALLEGED BY THE COMPANIES PRIOR TO AWARD AND IT CANNOT BE PROVED THAT THEY DID NOT MAKE THE ALLEGED ERRORS, THE ENTIRE BIDS OF THE MODERN BAKERY AND KERN'S BAKERY, INC., SHOULD BE DISREGARDED.

THE PAPERS, WITH THE EXCEPTION OF THE CONTRACTING OFFICER'S STATEMENT DATED APRIL 10, 1957, ARE RETURNED.