B-134801, JAN. 16, 1958

B-134801: Jan 16, 1958

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VETERANS ADMINISTRATION HOSPITAL: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JANUARY 3. BIDS WERE REQUESTED FOR FURNISHING. IT WAS YOUR OPINION THAT THE AMERICAN HOSPITAL SUPPLY CORPORATION HAD MADE AN ERROR IN ITS BID ON ITEM 9. THE CORPORATION WAS REQUESTED BY LETTER DATED DECEMBER 20. THE AMERICAN HOSPITAL SUPPLY CORPORATION ADVISED THAT AN ERROR HAD BEEN MADE BY THE CORPORATION IN COMPUTING THE AMOUNT OF THE DISCOUNT OFFERED TO VETERANS ADMINISTRATION HOSPITALS AND THAT THE CORRECT PRICE FOR ITEM 9 IS $1. WHICH APPARENTLY IS OFFERED TO VETERANS ADMINISTRATION HOSPITALS. IS APPLIED TO THE LIST PRICE. THERE IS NO ROOM FOR REASONABLE DOUBT THAT THE CORPORATION MADE AN ERROR IN ITS BID. ARE NOT SUCH AS WOULD WARRANT A DEPARTURE FROM THE GENERAL RULE THAT BIDS MAY NOT BE CHANGED AFTER THE BIDS HAVE BEEN OPENED.

B-134801, JAN. 16, 1958

TO MR. MELVIN L. KEAS, CONTRACTING OFFICER, VETERANS ADMINISTRATION HOSPITAL:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JANUARY 3, 1958, WITH ENCLOSURES, FILE REFERENCE 5140/134, REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO THE ACTION TO BE TAKEN CONCERNING AN ERROR WHICH THE AMERICAN HOSPITAL SUPPLY CORPORATION, DALLAS, TEXAS, ALLEGES IT MADE IN ITS BID OPENED ON DECEMBER 19, 1957.

BY INVITATION NO. 58-33, BIDS WERE REQUESTED FOR FURNISHING, AMONG OTHER ITEMS, ONE MOTOR DRIVEN ENT CHAIR, RITTER MODEL MC, OR EQUAL, ITEM 9. RESPONSE THE AMERICAN HOSPITAL SUPPLY CORPORATION SUBMITTED A BID DATED DECEMBER 10, 1957, OFFERING TO FURNISH, AMONG OTHERS, THE ENT CHAIR UNDER ITEM 9 AT A PRICE OF $851.44. THE ABSTRACT OF BIDS SHOWS THAT EACH OF THE TWO OTHER BIDDERS ON ITEM 9 QUOTED A PRICE OF $1,052.10.

YOU STATE THAT, AT THE TIME OF THE OPENING OF THE BIDS, IT WAS YOUR OPINION THAT THE AMERICAN HOSPITAL SUPPLY CORPORATION HAD MADE AN ERROR IN ITS BID ON ITEM 9, IN THAT IT HAD INADVERTENTLY QUOTED THE PRICE OF A MANUALLY OPERATED CHAIR AND THAT, THEREFORE, THE CORPORATION WAS REQUESTED BY LETTER DATED DECEMBER 20, 1957, TO CONFIRM ITS BID PRICE ON THAT ITEM. BY LETTER DATED DECEMBER 26, 1957, THE AMERICAN HOSPITAL SUPPLY CORPORATION ADVISED THAT AN ERROR HAD BEEN MADE BY THE CORPORATION IN COMPUTING THE AMOUNT OF THE DISCOUNT OFFERED TO VETERANS ADMINISTRATION HOSPITALS AND THAT THE CORRECT PRICE FOR ITEM 9 IS $1,169, LESS A DISCOUNT OF 10 PERCENT, OR A NET PRICE OF $1,052.10. THE CORPORATION'S BID INDICATES THAT UNDER ITEM 9 IT OFFERED TO FURNISH A RITTER MODEL MC MOTOR DRIVEN ENT CHAIR, MANUFACTURED BY RITTER COMPANY, INC., ROCHESTER, NEW YORK. THE PRINTED PRICE LIST OF THE MANUFACTURER,"FAIR TRADE PRICE LIST NO. 8," SPECIFIES A LIST PRICE OF $1,169, F.O.B. EASTERN ZONE, FOR A MODEL MC MOTOR TYPE ENT (EYE, EAR, NOSE AND THROAT) CHAIR AND IF THE DISCOUNT OF 10 PERCENT, WHICH APPARENTLY IS OFFERED TO VETERANS ADMINISTRATION HOSPITALS, IS APPLIED TO THE LIST PRICE, THE NET PRICE WOULD BE $1,052.10- -- THE PRICE REQUESTED BY THE CORPORATION AND THE PRICE QUOTED BY EACH OF THE TWO OTHER BIDDERS ON ITEM 9.

ON THE RECORD, THERE IS NO ROOM FOR REASONABLE DOUBT THAT THE CORPORATION MADE AN ERROR IN ITS BID, AS ALLEGED. THE CIRCUMSTANCES, 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 AS TO ITEM 9 WAS ERRONEOUS AND SINCE SUCH BELIEF WAS CONFIRMED AND THE ERROR WAS EXPLAINED BY THE CORPORATION PRIOR TO AWARD, THE BID OF THE AMERICAN HOSPITAL SUPPLY CORPORATION AS TO ITEM 9 MAY BE DISREGARDED IN MAKING THE AWARD.