B-134715, JAN. 6, 1958

B-134715: Jan 6, 1958

Additional Materials:

Contact:

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

 

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

REGION III: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 18. BIDS WERE REQUESTED FOR THE FURNISHING. INDICATING THAT THE TITRATOR CALLED FOR UNDER ITEM 1 WAS PRICED AT $1. WE HAVE A PRINTED PRICE SHEET WHICH ALL THE QUOTERS HAVE IN THEIR PRICE BOOKS. THIS PRINTED PRICE SHEET IS PRINTED IN OUR HOME OFFICE IN PITTSBURGH AND IS RENEWED EACH TIME A PRICE CHANGE IS MADE. THE NEW PRICE SHEETS WERE INSTALLED HOWEVER THE OLD PRICE SHEETS WERE NOT REMOVED. I AM ENCLOSING A PHOTOSTATIC COPY OF THE OLD PRICE SHEET THAT WAS TAKEN FROM THIS PARTICULAR PRICE BOOK. YOU WILL NOTE THE DATE APPEARS ON THE TOP OF PAGE 385A AS 5/1/57. 750 PRICE FOR THE 9-314 BECKMAN AUTOMATIC TITRATOR IS DATED 9/1/57. A COPY OF SUCH PRICE SHEET WAS INFORMALLY OBTAINED BY OUR OFFICE.

B-134715, JAN. 6, 1958

TO MR. R. E. BABCOCK, REGIONAL PROPERTY MANAGEMENT OFFICER, BUREAU OF MINES, REGION III:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 18, 1957, WITH ENCLOSURES, REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO THE ACTION TO BE TAKEN CONCERNING AN ERROR THE FISHER SCIENTIFIC COMPANY ALLEGES IT MADE IN ITS BID OPENED ON NOVEMBER 29, 1957.

BY INVITATION TO BID NO. DER-3-125, DATED NOVEMBER 15, 1957, BIDS WERE REQUESTED FOR THE FURNISHING, AMONG OTHERS, AS ITEM NO. 1, ONE AUTOMATIC TITRATOR, BECKMAN MODEL K OR EQUIVALENT. IN RESPONSE, THE FISHER SCIENTIFIC COMPANY SUBMITTED A BID DATED NOVEMBER 22, 1957, OFFERING TO FURNISH ITS 9-314 BECKMAN AUTOMATIC TITRATOR FOR $1,680.

YOU STATE THAT SUBSEQUENT TO THE BID OPENING FISHER SCIENTIFIC COMPANY BY TELEGRAM OF DECEMBER 3, 1957, REQUESTED THAT ITS BID BE CHANGED FROM $1,680 TO $1,750 FOR ITEM 1, AND ON DECEMBER 6, 1957, THE COMPANY TELEGRAPHED ITS REQUEST TO WITHDRAW ITS BID. BY LETTER OF DECEMBER 9, 1957, THE BIDDER SUBMITTED A PURPORTED NOTARIAL STATEMENT REGARDING ITS ALLEGATION OF ERROR, TOGETHER WITH A PHOTOSTAT OF AN OLD PRICE LIST DATED MAY 1, 1957, INDICATING THAT THE TITRATOR CALLED FOR UNDER ITEM 1 WAS PRICED AT $1,680. THE LETTER READS IN PART AS FOLLOWS:

"FOR EVERY CATALOG ITEM THAT WE LIST, WE HAVE A PRINTED PRICE SHEET WHICH ALL THE QUOTERS HAVE IN THEIR PRICE BOOKS. THIS PRINTED PRICE SHEET IS PRINTED IN OUR HOME OFFICE IN PITTSBURGH AND IS RENEWED EACH TIME A PRICE CHANGE IS MADE. WHEN THE NEW PRICE CHANGES ARRIVE THE PROCEDURE CALLS FOR THE QUOTER TO REMOVE THE OLD PRICE SHEET AND INSTALL THE NEW ONE. IN THE CASE IN QUESTION, THE NEW PRICE SHEETS WERE INSTALLED HOWEVER THE OLD PRICE SHEETS WERE NOT REMOVED. AS A RESULT, THE QUOTER AND, I MIGHT ADD THE CHECKER, QUOTED THE PRICE OF $1,680 FROM THE OLD PRICE LIST. I AM ENCLOSING A PHOTOSTATIC COPY OF THE OLD PRICE SHEET THAT WAS TAKEN FROM THIS PARTICULAR PRICE BOOK. YOU WILL NOTE THE DATE APPEARS ON THE TOP OF PAGE 385A AS 5/1/57. THE DATE OF THE NEW PRICE SHEET SHOWING THE $1,750 PRICE FOR THE 9-314 BECKMAN AUTOMATIC TITRATOR IS DATED 9/1/57. THE QUOTER UNDER NORMAL CIRCUMSTANCES, AFTER REMOVING THE OLD PRICE SHEETS, DESTROYS THEM. THIS CLERICAL MISTAKE THEREFORE CAUSED US TO QUOTE A PRICE OF $1,680 ON YOUR BID NO. DER-3-125 INSTEAD OF THE CORRECT PRICE OF $1,750.'

THE ABSTRACT OF BIDS SHOWS THAT THE FOUR OTHER BIDDERS QUOTED ON IDENTICAL PRICE OF $1,750 FOR ITEM 1. IN VIEW OF THE BIDDER'S UNVERIFIED ALLEGATION THAT A NEW PRICE SHEET DATED SEPTEMBER 1, 1957, SHOWS A $1,750 PRICE FOR THE 9-314 BECKMAN AUTOMATIC TITRATOR, A COPY OF SUCH PRICE SHEET WAS INFORMALLY OBTAINED BY OUR OFFICE. THAT PRICE SHEET OR PRICE CATALOG DATED SEPTEMBER 1, 1957, OF THE BECKMAN INSTRUMENTS, INC., SHOWS THAT ITS MODEL K AUTOMATIC TITRATOR IS PRICED AT $1,750. THUS, IT WOULD APPEAR THAT THE EQUIPMENT COVERED BY ITEM 1 IS FAIR-TRADED AT A PRICE OF $1,750-- - THE BIDDER'S ALLEGED INTENDED BID PRICE FOR THE EQUIPMENT REQUIRED UNDER ITEM 1.

ON THE BASIS OF THE FACTS AND EVIDENCE OF RECORD, THERE IS NO ROOM FOR DOUBT THAT THE COMPANY MADE AN ERROR IN ITS BID AS ALLEGED. ACCORDINGLY, SINCE THE ERROR WAS ALLEGED BEFORE AWARD, THE BID OF THE FISHER SCIENTIFIC COMPANY ON ITEM 1 MAY BE DISREGARDED IN MAKING THE AWARD.

ON THE BASIS OF YOUR STATEMENT THAT THE MINE AND SMELTER SUPPLY COMPANY QUOTED THE LOWEST RESPONSIVE BIDS ON ITEMS 2 AND 4, AND ALSO THAT AWARD TO THAT BIDDER WILL BE MOST ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT UNDER THE CRITERIA SET FORTH IN ARTICLE 8 (A) OF THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF THE INVITATION FOR BIDS, OUR OFFICE WILL NOT OBJECT TO THE AWARD OF ITEMS 1, 2 AND 4 TO THE MINE AND SMELTER SUPPLY COMPANY, IF PROPER IN OTHER RESPECTS.