B-141380, DEC. 10, 1959

B-141380: Dec 10, 1959

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VETERANS ADMINISTRATION SUPPLY DEPOT: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER (7023/134N2). YOU STATE THAT INVITATIONS FOR BIDS ON CENTRIFUGE MICRO-HEMATOCRIT AND READER MICRO-HEMATOCRIT WERE ISSUED ON OCTOBER 30. THAT AT THE TIME OF OPENING THE BIDS AN ERROR WAS SUSPECTED IN THE TIME DISCOUNT OFFERED IN THE BID OF LABLINE. WAS CONTACTED TO VERIFY ITS PROPOSAL AS TO THE DISCOUNT OFFERED. THE DISCOUNT SCHEDULE APPEARING ON ITS BID IS "NINETY PERCENT. THERE IS NO DOUBT THAT LABLINE. ARE NOT SUCH AS WOULD WARRANT A DEPARTURE FROM THE GENERAL RULE THAT BIDS MAY NOT BE CHANGED AFTER THEY HAVE BEEN OPENED. SINCE THE ERROR WAS ALLEGED PROMPTLY BY THE BIDDER UPON YOUR REQUEST FOR VERIFICATION AND PRIOR TO AWARD.

B-141380, DEC. 10, 1959

TO MR. VICTOR J. SCHMITT, CONTRACT SPECIALIST, VETERANS ADMINISTRATION SUPPLY DEPOT:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER (7023/134N2), DATED DECEMBER 1, 1959, WITH ENCLOSURES, REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO WHAT ACTION SHOULD BE TAKEN CONCERNING THE REQUEST OF LABLINE, INC., CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, THAT THE TIME DISCOUNT SHOWN ON ITS BID BE CHANGED, BECAUSE OF AN ALLEGED ERROR IN THE BID.

YOU STATE THAT INVITATIONS FOR BIDS ON CENTRIFUGE MICRO-HEMATOCRIT AND READER MICRO-HEMATOCRIT WERE ISSUED ON OCTOBER 30, 1959, AND OPENED ON NOVEMBER 24, 1959; THAT AT THE TIME OF OPENING THE BIDS AN ERROR WAS SUSPECTED IN THE TIME DISCOUNT OFFERED IN THE BID OF LABLINE, INC., BECAUSE THE AMOUNT OF DISCOUNT FOR PROMPT PAYMENT OFFERED BY IT APPEARED TO BE UNREASONABLE IN COMPARISON TO OTHER DISCOUNTS OFFERED; AND THAT LABLINE, INC., WAS CONTACTED TO VERIFY ITS PROPOSAL AS TO THE DISCOUNT OFFERED. THE DISCOUNT SCHEDULE APPEARING ON ITS BID IS "NINETY PERCENT, 10 CALENDAR AYS; NINETY PERCENT, 20 CALENDAR DAYS; NINETY PERCENT, 30 CALENDAR DAYS.' IN REPLY, BY LETTER DATED NOVEMBER 25, 1959, THE BIDDER REQUESTED CORRECTION OF ITS DISCOUNT SCHEDULE TO "NO PERCENT, 10 CALENDAR DAYS; NO PERCENT, 20 CALENDAR DAYS; NO PERCENT, 30 CALENDAR DAYS.'

ON THE RECORD, THERE IS NO DOUBT THAT LABLINE, INC., MADE A MISTAKE IN THE DISCOUNT SCHEDULE ON ITS BID. THE CIRCUMSTANCES IN THIS CASE, HOWEVER, ARE NOT SUCH AS WOULD WARRANT A DEPARTURE FROM THE GENERAL RULE THAT BIDS MAY NOT BE CHANGED AFTER THEY HAVE BEEN OPENED. SEE 17 COMP. GEN. 575. SINCE THE ERROR WAS ALLEGED PROMPTLY BY THE BIDDER UPON YOUR REQUEST FOR VERIFICATION AND PRIOR TO AWARD, THE BID OF LABLINE, INC., MAY BE DISREGARDED IN MAKING AN AWARD UNDER BID INVITATION NO. M6-57-60.