B-132291, JUN. 24, 1957

B-132291: Jun 24, 1957

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VETERANS ADMINISTRATION: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 21. YOU STATE THAT WHEN THE BIDS WERE OPENED AND EXAMINED. IT WAS NOTED THAT SUNNYDALE FARMS. THE CORPORATION ALLEGED THAT ITS BID PRICE OF $0.18 ON ITEM A OF GROUP I WAS FOR ONE HALF PINT CONTAINER OF MILK RATHER THAN FOR A QUART CONTAINER OF MILK ON WHICH UNIT BIDS WERE INVITED AND THAT THE CORPORATION STATED THAT ITS PRICE PER QUART SHOULD HAVE BEEN $0.47. NO EVIDENCE IN SUPPORT OF ITS INTENDED BID PRICE WAS FURNISHED BY THE CORPORATION. IT IS REPORTED THAT EACH OF THE TWO OTHER BIDDERS ON ITEM A OF GROUP I QUOTED A PRICE OF $0.49 PER QUART. OF $0.18 PER QUART FOR ITEM A OF GROUP IS COMPLETELY OUT OF LINE WITH THE OTHER BIDS THEREON.

B-132291, JUN. 24, 1957

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

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 21, 1957, WITH ENCLOSURES, REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO THE ACTION TO BE TAKEN CONCERNING AN ERROR WHICH SUNNYDALE FARMS, INC., BROOKLYN, NEW YORK, ALLEGES IT MADE IN ITS BID OPENED ON JUNE 6, 1957.

THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION HOSPITAL, BROOKLYN, NEW YORK, BY INVITATION NO. 58-13, REQUESTED BIDS FOR FURNISHING ESTIMATED QUANTITIES OF MILK AND CREAM DURING THE PERIOD FROM JULY 1, 1957, TO SEPTEMBER 30, 1957, INCLUSIVE, GROUP I. ITEM A OF GROUP I REQUIRES FRESH LOW SODIUM MILK IN ONE-QUART CONTAINERS. IN RESPONSE SUNNYDALE FARMS, INC., SUBMITTED A BID DATED JUNE 3, 1957, OFFERING TO FURNISH, AMONG OTHER ITEMS, THE LOW SODIUM MILK UNDER ITEM A OF GROUP I AT A PRICE OF $0.18 PER QUART.

YOU STATE THAT WHEN THE BIDS WERE OPENED AND EXAMINED, IT WAS NOTED THAT SUNNYDALE FARMS, INC., HAD QUOTED AN EXTREMELY LOW PRICE ON THE LOW CALCIUM MILK COVERED BY ITEM A OF GROUP I AND THAT, UPON BEING REQUESTED BY TELEPHONE TO VERIFY ITS BID ON THAT ITEM, THE CORPORATION ALLEGED THAT ITS BID PRICE OF $0.18 ON ITEM A OF GROUP I WAS FOR ONE HALF PINT CONTAINER OF MILK RATHER THAN FOR A QUART CONTAINER OF MILK ON WHICH UNIT BIDS WERE INVITED AND THAT THE CORPORATION STATED THAT ITS PRICE PER QUART SHOULD HAVE BEEN $0.47. IN A CONFIRMING LETTER DATED JUNE 6, 1957, THE CORPORATION REQUESTED THAT THE UNIT PRICE OF ITEM A OF GROUP I BE CORRECTED TO READ $0.47 PER QUART. NO EVIDENCE IN SUPPORT OF ITS INTENDED BID PRICE WAS FURNISHED BY THE CORPORATION.

IT IS REPORTED THAT EACH OF THE TWO OTHER BIDDERS ON ITEM A OF GROUP I QUOTED A PRICE OF $0.49 PER QUART. THUS, THE BID OF SUNNYDALE FARMS, INC., OF $0.18 PER QUART FOR ITEM A OF GROUP IS COMPLETELY OUT OF LINE WITH THE OTHER BIDS THEREON.

ON THE RECORD, THERE IS NO ROOM FOR DOUBT THAT THE CORPORATION MADE AN ERROR IN ITS BID, AS ALLEGED. THE CIRCUMSTANCES IN THE PRESENT CASE, HOWEVER, ARE NOT SUCH AS WOULD WARRANT A DEPARTURE FROM THE GENERAL RULE THAT BIDS MAY NOT BE CHANGED AFTER THE BIDS HAVE BEEN OPENED. SEE 17 COMP. GEN. 575.

ACCORDINGLY, SINCE IT WAS BELIEVED THAT THE BID OF SUNNYDALE FARMS, INC., WAS ERRONEOUS, AND SUCH BELIEF WAS CONFIRMED AND THE ERROR WAS EXPLAINED PRIOR TO AWARD, THE BID OF THE CORPORATION AS TO ITEM A OF GROUP I MAY BE DISREGARDED IN MAKING THE AWARD.