B-134532, DEC. 12, 1957

B-134532: Dec 12, 1957

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VETERANS ADMINISTRATION: REFERENCE IS MADE TO A LETTER DATED NOVEMBER 26. ALLEGES IT MADE IN ITS BID ON WHICH PURCHASE ORDER NO. 729 WAS AWARDED. THE DECISION IS BEING ADDRESSED TO YOU. THE BID OF THE COMPANY WAS ACCEPTED AS TO ITEM 130 ON NOVEMBER 21. PURCHASE ORDER NO. 729 WAS ISSUED REQUESTING DELIVERY OF THE CHEDDAR CHEESE. THAT THE AWARD TO IT OF ITEM 130 COVERING CHEDDAR CHEESE WAS APPARENTLY A MISTAKE SINCE IT DID NOT BID ON SUCH ITEM. THAT ITS BID PRICE OF $0.4279 PER POUND WAS INTENDED FOR PORK SAUSAGE. A BETTER RECORD FOR DECISION WOULD HAVE BEEN OBTAINED IF. AN ABSTRACT OF THE BIDS RECEIVED ON ITEM 67 WOULD ALSO HAVE BEEN DESIRABLE. THE RECORD IS SUFFICIENTLY CONVINCING TO JUSTIFY CANCELLATION OF PURCHASE ORDER NO. 729 WITHOUT LIABILITY TO THE COMPANY.

B-134532, DEC. 12, 1957

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

REFERENCE IS MADE TO A LETTER DATED NOVEMBER 26, 1957, WITH ENCLOSURES, FILE REFERENCE 5126/134, FROM J. E. CARRAGHER, ACTING CHIEF, SUPPLY DIVISION, VETERANS ADMINISTRATION HOSPITAL, BATAVIA, NEW YORK, REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO THE ACTION TO BE TAKEN CONCERNING AN ERROR WHICH GEO. A. HORMEL AND CO., AUSTIN, MINNESOTA, ALLEGES IT MADE IN ITS BID ON WHICH PURCHASE ORDER NO. 729 WAS AWARDED.

SINCE AN AWARD HAS BEEN MADE IN THE PRESENT CASE, THE DECISION IS BEING ADDRESSED TO YOU. SEE 26 COMP. GEN. 993; AND 28 ID. 401.

THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION HOSPITAL, BATAVIA, NEW YORK, BY INVITATION NO. 58-9, REQUESTED BIDS--- TO BE OPENED NOVEMBER 21, 1957- - FOR FURNISHING VARIOUS ITEMS OF SUBSISTENCE SUPPLIES DURING THE MONTH OF DECEMBER 1957. IN RESPONSE GEO. A. HORMEL AND CO. SUBMITTED A BID DATED NOVEMBER 14, 1957, OFFERING TO FURNISH, AMONG OTHER ITEMS, CHEDDAR CHEESE UNDER ITEM 130 AT A PRICE OF $0.4279 PER POUND. THE THREE OTHER BIDS ON ITEM 130 SPECIFIED PRICES OF $0.467, $0.56 AND $0.69 PER POUND. THE BID OF THE COMPANY WAS ACCEPTED AS TO ITEM 130 ON NOVEMBER 21, 1957, AND ON THE SAME DATE, PURCHASE ORDER NO. 729 WAS ISSUED REQUESTING DELIVERY OF THE CHEDDAR CHEESE.

UPON RECEIPT OF THE PURCHASE ORDER, GEO. A. HORMEL AND CO. ADVISED THE HOSPITAL BY TELEGRAM DATED NOVEMBER 25, 1957, THAT THE AWARD TO IT OF ITEM 130 COVERING CHEDDAR CHEESE WAS APPARENTLY A MISTAKE SINCE IT DID NOT BID ON SUCH ITEM; THAT IT DOES NOT PRODUCE OR SELL DAIRY PRODUCTS; AND THAT ITS BID PRICE OF $0.4279 PER POUND WAS INTENDED FOR PORK SAUSAGE.

THE CHEDDAR CHEESE COVERED BY ITEM 130, ON WHICH ITEM THE COMPANY ALLEGES IT HAD NO INTENTION OF BIDDING, APPEARS IN APPROXIMATELY THE CENTER AT PAGE 8 OF THE INVITATION AND ON THE PRECEDING PAGE, IN EXACTLY THE SAME POSITION, APPEARS THE PORK SAUSAGE (ITEM 67), ON WHICH ITEM THE COMPANY ALLEGES IT INTENDED ITS BID PRICE OF $0.4279 PER POUND TO APPLY. IT MAY REASONABLY BE PRESUMED THAT THE EMPLOYEE WHO FILLED OUT THE BID FORM TURNED ONE PAGE TOO MANY WHEN INSERTING ITS BID PRICE OF $0.4279 ON SUCH FORM. A BETTER RECORD FOR DECISION WOULD HAVE BEEN OBTAINED IF, IN RESPONSE TO THE COMPANY'S TELEGRAM, IT HAD BEEN FURNISHED A COPY OF THE BID RECEIVED AND ASKED FOR AN EXPLANATION OF THE ALLEGED ERROR, WITH SUBSTANTIATING EVIDENCE. AN ABSTRACT OF THE BIDS RECEIVED ON ITEM 67 WOULD ALSO HAVE BEEN DESIRABLE.

HOWEVER, SINCE THERE APPEARS TO BE NO QUESTION THAT THE COMPANY DOES NOT PRODUCE OR SELL DAIRY PRODUCTS, THE RECORD IS SUFFICIENTLY CONVINCING TO JUSTIFY CANCELLATION OF PURCHASE ORDER NO. 729 WITHOUT LIABILITY TO THE COMPANY.