B-132542, JUL. 19, 1957

B-132542: Jul 19, 1957

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VETERANS ADMINISTRATION: REFERENCE IS MADE TO A LETTER DATED JULY 12. THE AGGREGATE TOTAL OF WHICH IS $3. WERE IN THE AMOUNTS OF $4. IT IS STATED THAT AFTER OPENING BIDS AND BEFORE MAKING AWARD. THE QUESTIONABLE PRICES WERE BROUGHT TO THE ATTENTION OF MR. THAT HE IMMEDIATELY ALLEGED THAT SUCH PRICES WERE ERRONEOUS. THAT HE ASSUMED THAT THE FUR COATS ON THE LIST WOULD BE "IMITATION" FUR AND THAT THE QUANTITIES SHOWN ON THE INVITATION WERE FIRM. THAT THE PRICE QUOTED ON ITEM 78 WAS TOO HIGH. IT WAS ALSO STATED THAT MR. WINTER WAS REQUESTED TO REVIEW HIS BID AND ADVISE IN WRITING AS TO THE ITEMS ON WHICH ERRORS WERE MADE. WINTER LISTED THE ITEMS ON WHICH ERRORS WERE MADE AND THE . ON THE BASIS OF THE "ADJUSTED" PRICES AND THE PRICES ON WHICH NO ERRORS WERE ALLEGED.

B-132542, JUL. 19, 1957

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

REFERENCE IS MADE TO A LETTER DATED JULY 12, 1957, WITH ENCLOSURES, FROM THE DEPUTY ADMINISTRATOR, REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO THE ACTION TO BE TAKEN CONCERNING ERRORS WHICH REGENT CLEANERS, CULVER CITY, CALIFORNIA, ALLEGES IT MADE IN ITS BID OPENED ON JUNE 6, 1957.

THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION CENTER, LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, BY INVITATION NO. 57-273, REQUESTED BIDS FOR FURNISHING DRY CLEANING AND PRESSING SERVICES DURING THE PERIOD FROM JULY 1, 1957, TO JUNE 30, 1958. ITEMS 1 TO 28, INCLUSIVE, REQUIRE THE DRY CLEANING AND PRESSING OF MEN'S GARMENTS; ITEMS 29 TO 49, INCLUSIVE, REQUIRE THE DRY CLEANING AND PRESSING OF WOMEN'S GARMENTS; AND ITEMS 50 TO 84, INCLUSIVE, REQUIRE CLOTHING REPAIRS. IN RESPONSE REGENT CLEANERS SUBMITTED A BID OFFERING TO FURNISH THE SERVICES DESCRIBED UNDER ITEMS 1 TO 84, INCLUSIVE, AT THE PRICES SPECIFIED THEREIN, THE AGGREGATE TOTAL OF WHICH IS $3,607.65. THE ABSTRACT OF BIDS SHOWS THAT THE THREE OTHER AGGREGATE BIDS ON ITEMS 1 TO 84, INCLUSIVE, WERE IN THE AMOUNTS OF $4,613.08, $5,619.34 AND $5,801.10.

IN THE LETTER OF JULY 12, 1957, IT IS STATED THAT AFTER OPENING BIDS AND BEFORE MAKING AWARD, A COMPARISON OF THE BID OF REGENT CLEANERS WITH THE OTHER BIDS AND WITH THE CURRENT CONTRACT FOR DRY CLEANING SERVICES INDICATED THE EXISTENCE OF SEVERAL ERRORS IN THE REGENT CLEANERS' BID; THAT AT THE TIME OF INSPECTION OF THE BIDDER'S FACILITIES ON JUNE 13, 1957, THE QUESTIONABLE PRICES WERE BROUGHT TO THE ATTENTION OF MR. HENRY WINTER, OWNER OF REGENT CLEANERS, AND THAT HE IMMEDIATELY ALLEGED THAT SUCH PRICES WERE ERRONEOUS; THAT MR. WINTER STATED THAT HE THOUGHT THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION WOULD SUPPLY SIPPERS FOR INSTALLATION BY HIM, AND THAT THE PRICE QUOTED FOR RELINING AN OVERCOAT COVERED ONLY THE PRICE OF THE LINING; THAT HE ASSUMED THAT THE FUR COATS ON THE LIST WOULD BE "IMITATION" FUR AND THAT THE QUANTITIES SHOWN ON THE INVITATION WERE FIRM; AND THAT THE PRICE QUOTED ON ITEM 78 WAS TOO HIGH. IT WAS ALSO STATED THAT MR. WINTER WAS REQUESTED TO REVIEW HIS BID AND ADVISE IN WRITING AS TO THE ITEMS ON WHICH ERRORS WERE MADE.

IN A LETTER DATED JUNE 14, 1957, MR. WINTER LISTED THE ITEMS ON WHICH ERRORS WERE MADE AND THE ,ADJUSTED" PRICE FOR EACH ITEM. ON THE BASIS OF THE "ADJUSTED" PRICES AND THE PRICES ON WHICH NO ERRORS WERE ALLEGED, THE AGGREGATE TOTAL PRICE FOR ITEMS 1 TO 84, INCLUSIVE, WOULD BE $3,805.20.

ON THE RECORD, THERE IS NO ROOM FOR DOUBT THAT REGENT CLEANERS MADE ERRORS 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 REGENT CLEANERS WAS ERRONEOUS, AND SUCH BELIEF WAS CONFIRMED AND THE ERRORS WERE EXPLAINED PRIOR TO AWARD, THE BID MAY BE DISREGARDED IN MAKING THE AWARD.