B-132220, JUN. 24, 1957

B-132220: Jun 24, 1957

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Edda Emmanuelli Perez
(202) 512-2853
EmmanuelliPerezE@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

VETERANS ADMINISTRATION: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 14. TO HAVE BEEN MADE ON ITEM NO. 35. THE PUBLICATIONS TO BE SUPPLIED WERE DIVIDED INTO FOUR GROUPS. BIDDERS WERE TO QUOTE ON THE BASIS OF A UNIFORMED DISCOUNT FROM PUBLISHER'S LIST PRICES. THE BIDS SUBMITTED IN RESPONSE TO THE INVITATION WERE OPENED ON MAY 17. THAT THE INTENDED DISCOUNT FROM LIST PRICE ON THAT ITEM WAS 18.5 PERCENT. IN EXPLANATION OF THE ALLEGED MISTAKE THE BIDDER STATES THAT AN ERROR WAS MADE IN COPYING FROM THE OFFICE COPY OF ITS BID ONTO THE BID FORM WHICH WAS SUBMITTED. STATING THAT THE MAXIMUM DISCOUNT ALLOWED ENGINEER'S BOOK SERVICE FOR BOOKS CLASSIFIED "M" FOR MEDICAL AND "N" FOR FOR NURSING IS 20 PERCENT OFF LIST PRICE.

B-132220, JUN. 24, 1957

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

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 14, 1957, WITH ENCLOSURES, REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO THE ACTION THAT SHOULD BE TAKEN WITH RESPECT TO AN ERROR ALLEGED BY ENGINEER'S BOOK SERVICE, 3011 AVENUE K, BROOKLYN 10, NEW YORK, TO HAVE BEEN MADE ON ITEM NO. 35, GROUP C, OF INVITATION NO. J 1, 1958, ISSUED BY THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION SUPPLY DEPOT, SOMERVILLE, NEW JERSEY.

THE INVITATION REQUESTED BIDS FOR FURNISHING BOOKS AND PUBLICATIONS OF VARIOUS PUBLISHERS DURING THE FISCAL YEAR 1958. THE PUBLICATIONS TO BE SUPPLIED WERE DIVIDED INTO FOUR GROUPS, A, B, C, AND D. GROUP C COVERS MEDICAL PUBLICATIONS AND INCLUDES BOOKS RELATING TO SURGERY, DENTISTRY, DIETETICS, NURSING, PSYCHIATRY AND ALLIED FIELDS. BIDDERS WERE TO QUOTE ON THE BASIS OF A UNIFORMED DISCOUNT FROM PUBLISHER'S LIST PRICES.

THE BIDS SUBMITTED IN RESPONSE TO THE INVITATION WERE OPENED ON MAY 17, 1957. THE BID OF ENGINEER'S BOOK SERVICE ON ITEM 35, GROUP C, COVERING PUBLICATIONS OF THE MCGRAW-HILL BOOK COMPANY, OFFERED A DISCOUNT OF 24.5 PERCENT. THE BIDDER ALSO OFFERED A PROMPT-PAYMENT DISCOUNT OF ONE-HALF OF ONE PERCENT FOR PAYMENT WITHIN 20 CALENDAR DAYS.

BY LETTER DATED MAY 20, 1957, ENGINEER'S BOOK SERVICE ADVISED THAT AN ERROR HAD BEEN MADE IN ITS BID ON ITEM 35, GROUP C, AND THAT THE INTENDED DISCOUNT FROM LIST PRICE ON THAT ITEM WAS 18.5 PERCENT. IN EXPLANATION OF THE ALLEGED MISTAKE THE BIDDER STATES THAT AN ERROR WAS MADE IN COPYING FROM THE OFFICE COPY OF ITS BID ONTO THE BID FORM WHICH WAS SUBMITTED. THE BIDDER SUBMITTED IN SUPPORT OF THE ALLEGED ERROR ITS OFFICE COPY OF THE BID WHICH SHOWS A DISCOUNT OF 18.5 PERCENT FOR ITEM 35, GROUP C. ALSO, THE BIDDER SUBMITTED A LETTER DATED MAY 20, 1957, FROM THE BLAKISTON DIVISION, MCGRAW-HILL BOOK COMPANY, STATING THAT THE MAXIMUM DISCOUNT ALLOWED ENGINEER'S BOOK SERVICE FOR BOOKS CLASSIFIED "M" FOR MEDICAL AND "N" FOR FOR NURSING IS 20 PERCENT OFF LIST PRICE. THE TABULATION OF THE BIDS RECEIVED ON THE ITEM INVOLVED SHOWS THAT THE 11 OTHER BIDDERS QUOTED DISCOUNTS RANGING FROM 10 TO 20 PERCENT, NONE ARE IN EXCESS OF 20 PERCENT.

ON THE BASIS OF THE FACTS AND EVIDENCE OF RECORD, THERE APPEARS TO BE LITTLE, IF ANY, DOUBT THAT THE BIDDER MADE AN ERROR IN THE BID AS ALLEGED. ACCORDINGLY, SINCE ERROR WAS ALLEGED AND EVIDENCE WAS SUBMITTED BY THE BIDDER PRIOR TO AWARD REASONABLY ESTABLISHING THAT AN ERROR WAS IN FACT MADE, THE BID OF ENGINEER'S BOOK SERVICE ON ITEM 35, GROUP C, SHOULD BE DISREGARDED.