B-140494, SEP. 9, 1959

B-140494: Sep 9, 1959

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VETERANS ADMINISTRATION: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER (7018/1341). AMONG WHICH WERE ITEMS NOS. 1 THROUGH 4. BIDS ON THOSE ITEMS WERE RECEIVED. INC. * 2.975 2.955 3.495 3.475 THE HARTFORD CO. * 2.53 2.56 3.23 3.26 * (ALL OR NONE) * * * WILL NOT ACCEPT 3 AND 4 WITHOUT 1 AND 2 YOU REPORT THAT ON JULY 30. THAT THIS INFORMATION WAS GIVEN TO HIM. THAT HE WAS ALSO INFORMED THAT HIS FIRM WAS THE APPARENT LOW BIDDER FOR ITEMS NOS. 3 AND 4. THE SALES MANAGER THEN STATED THAT HIS FIRM'S COPY OF ITS BID INDICATED THAT ITS BID WAS QUALIFIED BY AN . HE WAS ADVISED THAT THE ORIGINAL BID DID NOT BEAR ANY SUCH NOTATION. READING: "REF BID M2-29-60 PLEASE MAKE PART OF OUR BID "PRICES QUOTED ARE BASED ON ALL OR NONE BASIS.'" YOU STATE ALSO THAT IMMEDIATELY UPON RECEIPT OF THE TELEGRAM.

B-140494, SEP. 9, 1959

TO MR. ROBERT R. GESTON, CHIEF, MARKETING DIVISION FOR TEXTILES, VETERANS ADMINISTRATION:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER (7018/1341), DATED AUGUST 13, 1959, WITH ENCLOSURE, REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO WHETHER C. R. DANIELS, INC., DANIELS, MARYLAND, MAY BE PERMITTED TO WITHDRAW ITS BID SUBMITTED IN RESPONSE TO INVITATION NO. M2-29-60.

THE INVITATION SOLICITED BIDS--- TO BE OPENED AT 3 P.M. ON JULY 29, 1959- -- AT A PRICE PER BAG FOR FURNISHING AND DELIVERING AT SPECIFIED DESTINATIONS CERTAIN STOCK SUPPLIES, AMONG WHICH WERE ITEMS NOS. 1 THROUGH 4.

THE ABSTRACT OF BIDS SHOWS THAT, IN RESPONSE TO THE INVITATION, BIDS ON THOSE ITEMS WERE RECEIVED, AS FOLLOWS:

CHART

BIDDER ITEM NO. ITEM NO. ITEM NO. ITEM NO.

1 23 4 C. R. DANIELS, INC. $2.45

$2.49 $3.36 $3.40 CAMEL MFG.CO. 3.50 3.50 NO BID NO BID CERF BROS. BAG CO. 1.989 1.949 NO BID NO BID THE FOSTER CO., INC. 1.923 1.921 NO BID NO BID THE TENNESON CO. 2.73 2.73 3.73

3.73 LITE INDUSTRIES, INC:** 2.79 2.79 3.03 3.03 MISSISSIPPI VALLEY TEXTILE CO., INC. * 2.975 2.955 3.495 3.475 THE HARTFORD CO. * 2.53

2.56 3.23 3.26

* (ALL OR NONE)

* * * WILL NOT ACCEPT 3 AND 4 WITHOUT 1 AND 2

YOU REPORT THAT ON JULY 30, 1959, AFTER OPENING OF BIDS, THE SALES MANAGER OF C. R. DANIELS, INC., TELEPHONED AND REQUESTED TO BE ADVISED OF THE PRICES QUOTED BY THE OTHER BIDDERS ON ITEMS NOS. 1 THROUGH 4 OF THE INVITATION NO. M2-29-60; THAT THIS INFORMATION WAS GIVEN TO HIM; AND THAT HE WAS ALSO INFORMED THAT HIS FIRM WAS THE APPARENT LOW BIDDER FOR ITEMS NOS. 3 AND 4. THE SALES MANAGER THEN STATED THAT HIS FIRM'S COPY OF ITS BID INDICATED THAT ITS BID WAS QUALIFIED BY AN ,ALL OR NONE" STIPULATION. HE WAS ADVISED THAT THE ORIGINAL BID DID NOT BEAR ANY SUCH NOTATION, BUT THAT AWARD WOULD BE WITHHELD UNTIL 3 P.M. JULY 30 IN ORDER TO AFFORD HIS FIRM TIME TO SUBMIT FORMAL NOTICE OF ERROR IF THE "ALL OR NONE" QUALIFICATION HAD BEEN INADVERTENTLY OMITTED FROM THE ORIGINAL OF ITS BID, AS CLAIMED. ON THE SAME DATE (JULY 30) AND SUBSEQUENT TO THE ABOVE- REFERRED-TO TELEPHONE CONVERSATION, YOU RECEIVED A TELEGRAM FROM THE SALES MANAGER, READING:

"REF BID M2-29-60 PLEASE MAKE PART OF OUR BID

"PRICES QUOTED ARE BASED ON ALL OR NONE BASIS.'"

YOU STATE ALSO THAT IMMEDIATELY UPON RECEIPT OF THE TELEGRAM, THE BIDDER'S REPRESENTATIVE WAS CALLED BY TELEPHONE AND ADVISED THAT HIS FIRMS' BID COULD NOT BE CHANGED AFTER OPENING, AT WHICH TIME HE AGAIN ALLEGED THAT THE "ALL OR NONE" PHRASE WAS OMITTED INADVERTENTLY FROM THE FIRM'S BID, BUT HE STATED THAT HE WOULD RECONSTRUCT ITS COSTS AND IF POSSIBLE WOULD FURNISH THE BAGS AT THE FIRM'S BID PRICE, IN WHICH CASE HE WOULD NOTIFY YOU BY WIRE TO DISREGARD THE ABOVE TELEGRAM; OTHERWISE, HE WOULD FURNISH A LETTER REGARDING THE ERROR. BY LETTER DATED AUGUST 5, 1959, CONFIRMING THE TELEGRAM OF JULY 30 AND THE SUBSEQUENT TELEPHONE CONVERSATION, THE SALES MANAGER ADVISED YOU THAT AFTER RECHECKING HIS FIGURES HE FOUND THAT THE FIRM WOULD ACTUALLY LOSE MONEY BY FURNISHING ITEMS NOS. 3 AND 4 WITHOUT ITEMS NOS. 1 AND 2 AND HE, THEREFORE, AGAIN REQUESTED THAT HIS FIRM BE PERMITTED TO WITHDRAW THE BID IN ITS ENTIRETY. UNDER DATE OF AUGUST 28, 1959, THE BIDDER SUBMITTED A CERTIFIED COPY OF ITS ORIGINAL WORKSHEET IN SUPPORT OF ITS CLAIM OF ERROR IN ITS BID AND REQUESTED ACCEPTANCE OF ITS BID ON THE ALL OR NONE BASIS.

ON THE BASIS OF THE FACTS AND EVIDENCE OF RECORD THERE APPEARS LITTLE DOUBT, IF ANY, THAT THE BIDDER 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 BIDS HAVE BEEN OPENED. SEE 17 COMP. GEN. 575.

ACCORDINGLY, SINCE THE ERROR WAS ALLEGED AND SATISFACTORILY EXPLAINED PRIOR TO AWARD, THE BID OF C. R. DANIELS, INC., MAY BE DISREGARDED IN MAKING THE AWARD.