B-141169, NOV. 12, 1959

B-141169: Nov 12, 1959

Additional Materials:

Contact:

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

 

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

TO THE SECRETARY OF THE ARMY: REFERENCE IS MADE TO A LETTER DATED NOVEMBER 3. ON THE FIRST PAGE OF THE INVITATION IT WAS PROVIDED. AS FOLLOWS: "BID ACCEPTANCE PERIOD: BIDS OFFERING LESS THAN FIFTEEN (15) CALENDAR DAYS FOR ACCEPTANCE BY THE GOVERNMENT FROM THE DATE OF OPENING WILL BE CONSIDERED NON-RESPONSIVE AND WILL BE REJECTED.'. THE SIX BIDS RECEIVED IN RESPONSE TO THE INVITATION WERE PUBLICLY OPENED ON JUNE 15. THE BID OF SWIFT AND COMPANY IS LOW ON ITEMS ONE AND THREE. THE ACCEPTANCE PERIOD IN OUR BID WAS LIMITED TO 5 CALENDAR DAYS FROM DATE OF OPENING. " AND THAT THE CONTRACTING OFFICER SHOULD HAVE GIVEN THE COMPANY AN OPPORTUNITY TO CORRECT THE MISTAKE PRIOR TO AWARD TO ANOTHER COMPANY.

B-141169, NOV. 12, 1959

TO THE SECRETARY OF THE ARMY:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO A LETTER DATED NOVEMBER 3, 1959, AND ENCLOSURES, FROM CHIEF, CONTRACTS BRANCH, PROCUREMENT DIVISION, DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY, RELATIVE TO THE PROTEST OF SWIFT AND COMPANY AGAINST THE REJECTION OF ITS BID SUBMITTED IN RESPONSE TO INVITATION NO. AI-28-013-59-86, ISSUED MAY 29, 1958, BY THE POST PURCHASING AND CONTRACTING OFFICE, FORT DIX, NEW JERSEY.

THE INVITATION, STANDARD FORM 33, REQUESTED BIDS FOR FURNISHING 3 SPECIFIED ITEMS OF ICE CREAM AND WATER ICES AS DESCRIBED THEREIN. ON THE FIRST PAGE OF THE INVITATION IT WAS PROVIDED, IN PART, AS FOLLOWS:

"BID ACCEPTANCE PERIOD: BIDS OFFERING LESS THAN FIFTEEN (15) CALENDAR DAYS FOR ACCEPTANCE BY THE GOVERNMENT FROM THE DATE OF OPENING WILL BE CONSIDERED NON-RESPONSIVE AND WILL BE REJECTED.'

THE SIX BIDS RECEIVED IN RESPONSE TO THE INVITATION WERE PUBLICLY OPENED ON JUNE 15, 1959. THE BID OF SWIFT AND COMPANY, HOWEVER, OFFERED AN ACCEPTANCE TIME OF ONLY 5 DAYS. ALL OTHER BIDDERS OFFERED THE REQUIRED ACCEPTANCE TIME OF 15 CALENDAR DAYS. THE BID OF SWIFT AND COMPANY IS LOW ON ITEMS ONE AND THREE.

BY LETTER DATED JUNE 24, 1959, SWIFT AND COMPANY TO THE POST PURCHASING AND CONTRACTING OFFICER STATED THAT THEY "INADVERTENTLY ALLOWED 5 DAYS FOR ACCEPTANCE OF OUR BID" AND REQUESTED THAT THEY BE ALLOWED TO EXTEND THE ACCEPTANCE PERIOD TO THE REQUIRED 15 DAYS. BY LETTER OF AUGUST 18, 1959, THE COMPANY ADVISED THE CONTRACTING OFFICER THAT "THROUGH AN OBVIOUS TYPOGRAPHICAL ERROR, THE ACCEPTANCE PERIOD IN OUR BID WAS LIMITED TO 5 CALENDAR DAYS FROM DATE OF OPENING," AND THAT THE CONTRACTING OFFICER SHOULD HAVE GIVEN THE COMPANY AN OPPORTUNITY TO CORRECT THE MISTAKE PRIOR TO AWARD TO ANOTHER COMPANY.

THE RECORD INDICATED THAT ON TWO PREVIOUS BIDS SWIFT AND COMPANY STIPULATED A FIVE DAY ACCEPTANCE PERIOD. THUS, THERE APPEARS NO REASON FOR THE CONTRACTING OFFICER TO SUSPECT ERROR IN THE BID INVOLVED. CONNECTION WITH THE COMPANY'S OFFER TO EXTEND THE ACCEPTANCE PERIOD TO THE REQUIRED 15 DAYS. IT MAY BE POINTED OUT THAT UNDER THE SPECIFIC TERMS OF THE INVITATION, BIDDERS WERE REQUIRED TO ALLOW 15 DAYS FOR THE ACCEPTANCE OF THEIR BIDS. IT IS OUR OPINION THAT TO ALLOW A BIDDER TO DECIDE AFTER THE OPENING OF THE BIDS WHETHER OR NOT HE WILL GRANT AN EXTENSION OF TIME FOR THE ACCEPTANCE OF HIS BID WOULD BE PREJUDICIAL TO OTHER BIDDERS WHO COMPLIED WITH THE PROVISION AND AGREED UNQUALIFIEDLY TO KEEP THEIR BIDS OPEN FOR 15 DAYS.

IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES, IT MUST BE CONCLUDED THAT THE BID OF SWIFT AND COMPANY WAS NOT RESPONSIVE TO THE INVITATION AND PROPERLY WAS REJECTED.