B-142138, MAR. 7, 1960

B-142138: Mar 7, 1960

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VETERANS ADMINISTRATION SUPPLY DEPOT: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 23. ALLEGES IT MADE IN ITS BID WHICH WAS OPENED ON FEBRUARY 1. M3-181-60 BIDS WERE REQUESTED FOR FURNISHED TABLEWARE CONSISTING OF FORKS. YOU STATE THAT UPON EVALUATING THE BIDS IT WAS NOTED THAT ALL OF THE PRICES QUOTED BY SAMUEL ZISFEIN AND CO. WERE CONSIDERABLY LOWER THAN THE PRICES OFFERED BY THE FOUR OTHER BIDDERS AND. THE CORPORATION WAS REQUESTED TO CONFIRM ITS UNIT PRICES AND TO SUBMIT SAMPLES OF ALL ITEMS ON WHICH IT SUBMITTED A BID. IT IS REPORTED. AN EXAMINATION THEREOF REVEALED THAT THE SAMPLES OF THE TABLEWARE DID NOT CONFORM TO THE APPLICABLE SPECIFICATION REQUIREMENTS OF THE INVITATION IN THAT THE THICKNESS OF METAL OF EACH SAMPLE WAS ONLY APPROXIMATELY ONE-HALF OF THE SPECIFIED THICKNESS.

B-142138, MAR. 7, 1960

TO MR. J. W. PARKER, JR., CONTRACTING OFFICER, VETERANS ADMINISTRATION SUPPLY DEPOT:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 23, 1960, WITH ENCLOSURES, REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO THE ACTION TO BE TAKEN CONCERNING AN ERROR WHICH SAMUEL ZISFEIN AND CO., INC., ALLEGES IT MADE IN ITS BID WHICH WAS OPENED ON FEBRUARY 1, 1960.

BY INVITATION NO. M3-181-60 BIDS WERE REQUESTED FOR FURNISHED TABLEWARE CONSISTING OF FORKS, KNIVES AND SPOONS MADE OF CORROSION RESISTING-STEEL WITH A DELUXE FINISH, ITEMS 1 THROUGH 14, INCLUSIVE. IN RESPONSE SAMUEL ZISFEIN AND CO., INC., SUBMITTED A BID OFFERING TO FURNISH THE TABLEWARE DESCRIBED UNDER ITEMS 1 THROUGH 14 AT THE UNIT PRICES SET FORTH OPPOSITE EACH ITEM.

YOU STATE THAT UPON EVALUATING THE BIDS IT WAS NOTED THAT ALL OF THE PRICES QUOTED BY SAMUEL ZISFEIN AND CO., INC., WERE CONSIDERABLY LOWER THAN THE PRICES OFFERED BY THE FOUR OTHER BIDDERS AND, THEREFORE, BY TELEGRAM DATED FEBRUARY 1, 1960, THE CORPORATION WAS REQUESTED TO CONFIRM ITS UNIT PRICES AND TO SUBMIT SAMPLES OF ALL ITEMS ON WHICH IT SUBMITTED A BID. BY LETTER DATED FEBRUARY 5, 1960, THE CORPORATION CONFIRMED THE UNIT PRICES SPECIFIED IN ITS BID. IT IS REPORTED, HOWEVER, THAT UPON RECEIPT OF THE CORPORATION'S SAMPLES, AN EXAMINATION THEREOF REVEALED THAT THE SAMPLES OF THE TABLEWARE DID NOT CONFORM TO THE APPLICABLE SPECIFICATION REQUIREMENTS OF THE INVITATION IN THAT THE THICKNESS OF METAL OF EACH SAMPLE WAS ONLY APPROXIMATELY ONE-HALF OF THE SPECIFIED THICKNESS. FEBRUARY 11, 1960, THE CORPORATION WAS ADVISED BY TELEPHONE THAT THE SAMPLES SUBMITTED BY IT DID NOT MEET THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE SPECIFICATIONS; THAT IT MUST FURNISH THE ITEMS IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE SPECIFICATIONS; AND THAT IF AN ERROR WAS MADE IN ITS BID IT SHOULD SUBMIT A STATEMENT CLAIMING ERROR WHICH WOULD BE TRANSMITTED TO OUR OFFICE FOR CONSIDERATION.

IN A LETTER DATED FEBRUARY 15, 1960, THE CORPORATION STATED THAT THE ERROR IN ITS BID WAS DUE TO IT CARELESSLY TAKING FOR GRANTED THAT THE ITEMS REQUIRED UNDER THE SUBJECT INVITATION WERE THE SAME AS THOSE PREVIOUSLY FURNISHED THE ARMY AND AIR FORCE EXCHANGE, QUARTERMASTER PURCHASING AGENCY AND NAVY EXCHANGE, NAMELY, THE CORPORATION'S NO. 124 WINDSOR PATTERN WHICH, IT STATED, IS THE ONLY PLAIN PATTERN THAT IT STOCKS IN THE INVENTORY.

THE ABSTRACT OF BIDS SHOWS THAT THE UNIT PRICES QUOTED BY THE SAMUEL ZISFEIN AND CO., INC., FOR ITEMS 1 THROUGH 14, INCLUSIVE, ARE APPROXIMATELY ONE-THIRD TO ONE-HALF OF THE UNIT PRICES QUOTED BY THE FOUR OTHER BIDDERS. IT IS OBVIOUS FROM THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE PRICES QUOTED BY THE CORPORATION AND THE PRICES QUOTED BY THE OTHER BIDDERS THAT THE CORPORATION'S PRICES WERE NOT BASED ON FURNISHING THE TABLEWARE REQUIRED BY THE SPECIFICATIONS AND THAT THE CORPORATION MADE AN ERROR IN ITS BID, AS ALLEGED.

ACCORDINGLY, SINCE IT WAS BELIEVED THAT THE CORPORATION MADE AN ERROR IN ITS BID AND SINCE SUCH ERROR WAS CONFIRMED BY THE CORPORATION PRIOR TO AWARD, ITS BID MAY BE DISREGARDED IN MAKING THE AWARD.