B-142799, MAY 13, 1960

B-142799: May 13, 1960

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VETERANS ADMINISTRATION SUPPLY DEPOT: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER (7018/134M). RELATIVE TO AN IDENTICAL MISTAKE ALLEGED TO HAVE BEEN MADE IN THE RESPECTIVE BIDS OF FINER FOODS SALES COMPANY. WHICH WERE SUBMITTED IN RESPONSE TO INVITATION FOR BIDS NO. BIDS WERE SOLICITED FOR 1. LABELING REQUIRED. (40412)" YOU STATE THAT AFTER BIDS WERE OPENED BUT PRIOR TO AWARD. WAS IN ERROR. CLAIMED THAT THE PRICE GIVEN WAS FOR STYLE A SOUP WHICH IS NOT THE VARIETY SPECIFIED. INDICATED THAT ITS PRODUCT WAS TO BE INSPECTED AT VINELAND. THAT FIRM WAS REQUESTED BY TELEPHONE ON APRIL 29. THE ASSISTANT DISTRICT SALES MANAGER OF THE LATTER FIRM STATED THAT ITS PRICE WAS ALSO BASED ON FURNISHING STYLE A SOUP AND NOT STYLE B AS REQUIRED.

B-142799, MAY 13, 1960

TO J. S. SANTRONI, PROCUREMENT AGENT, MARKETING DIVISION FOR SUBSISTENCE, VETERANS ADMINISTRATION SUPPLY DEPOT:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER (7018/134M), DATED MAY 3, 1960, WITH ENCLOSURES, RELATIVE TO AN IDENTICAL MISTAKE ALLEGED TO HAVE BEEN MADE IN THE RESPECTIVE BIDS OF FINER FOODS SALES COMPANY, INC., RICHMOND, VIRGINIA, AND OF B. A. RAILTON CO., CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, WHICH WERE SUBMITTED IN RESPONSE TO INVITATION FOR BIDS NO. M4-253-60.

BY INVITATION NO. M4-253-60, DATED APRIL 8, 1960, BIDS WERE SOLICITED FOR 1,350 DOZEN CANS OF CONDENSED CREAM OF MUSHROOM SOUP AS SPECIFIED ON PAGE 3 OF THE INVITATION, AS FOLLOWS:

"56-S-26791-10 - SOUP, CONDENSED, CREAM OF MUSHROOM, CANNED - IN ACCORDANCE WITH FEDERAL SPECIFICATION JJJ-S-581A, STYLE B, SPECIAL VARIETIES, TYPE III, CLASS 2, FORM (B), EXCEPT THAT THERE SHALL BE NOT LESS THAN 11 PERCENT DRAINED WEIGHT OF MUSHROOM PIECES. TO BE PACKAGED IN NO. 3 CYLINDER CANS, (APPROX. 50 OUNCES PER CAN), 12 CANS TO CASE. LABELING REQUIRED. (40412)"

YOU STATE THAT AFTER BIDS WERE OPENED BUT PRIOR TO AWARD, THE GENERAL MANAGER OF FINER FOODS SALES CO., INC., ON THE MORNING OF APRIL 29, 1960, CALLED YOU AND STATED THAT THE COMPANY'S BID ON M4-253 60 COVERING CONDENSED CREAM OF MUSHROOM SOUP, STYLE B, WAS IN ERROR, AND CLAIMED THAT THE PRICE GIVEN WAS FOR STYLE A SOUP WHICH IS NOT THE VARIETY SPECIFIED. YOU STATE ALSO THAT SINCE THE NEXT APPARENT LOW BIDDER, B. A. RAILTON CO., INDICATED THAT ITS PRODUCT WAS TO BE INSPECTED AT VINELAND, NEW JERSEY (SAME POINT OF INSPECTION AS FINER FOODS SALES CO., INC. (, THAT FIRM WAS REQUESTED BY TELEPHONE ON APRIL 29, 1960, FOR VERIFICATION OF ITS BID OF $6.26. THE ASSISTANT DISTRICT SALES MANAGER OF THE LATTER FIRM STATED THAT ITS PRICE WAS ALSO BASED ON FURNISHING STYLE A SOUP AND NOT STYLE B AS REQUIRED.

BY WIRE AND LETTER DATED APRIL 29, 1960, FINER FOODS SALES CO., INC., CONFIRMED ITS ALLEGATION OF ERROR IN ITS BID AND EXPLAINED THAT WHEN PREPARING ITS BID IT HAD FAILED TO INSERT "STYLE A" INSTEAD OF "STYLE B" AS REQUIRED BY THE INVITATION. THE COMPANY ALSO STATED THAT THE PRODUCT TO BE FURNISHED BY IT IS MANUFACTURED BY THE VENICE MAID COMPANY IN ACCORDANCE WITH "FED SPEC JJJ-S-581A AND IS MADE AS STYLE A, FORM B, TYPE III, CLASS 2 AND CONTAINS NOT LESS THAN 11 PERCENT DRAINED WEIGHT OF MUSHROOM PIECES.' FINER FOODS SALES CO., INC., REQUESTED THAT ITS BID BE CHANGED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE ABOVE, AND GRANTED AN EXTENSION OF TIME FOR ACCEPTANCE OF ITS BID THROUGH JUNE 1, 1960.

B. A. RAILTON CO., IN LETTER DATED APRIL 29, 1960, CONFIRMED ITS ALLEGATION OF AN ERROR IN ITS BID AND REQUESTED THAT THE BID BE AMENDED "BY QUALIFYING SAID PRICE OF $6.26 PER DOZEN ON STYLE A" COMMERCIAL PACK SIZE NO. 3 CAN 50 OZ. PER CAN, 11 OUNCES DRAINED WEIGHT OF MUSHROOMS AND TO EXTEND AN ADDITIONAL 30 DAYS FOR ACCEPTANCE OF BID.'

YOU STATE THAT FOUR OF THE OTHER BIDDERS OFFERING SOUP FROM THE SAME MANUFACTURER, VENICE MAID CO., VINELAND, NEW JERSEY, QUALIFIED THEIR BIDS BY INDICATING STYLE "A" AND, THEREFORE, IT APPEARS THAT THE MISTAKE CLAIMED BY BOTH OF THE LOW BIDDERS IS SUBSTANTIATED.

THE FACTS AND EVIDENCE OF RECORD WARRANT THE CONCLUSION THAT BOTH FINER FOODS SALES CO., INC., AND B. A. RAILTON CO. MADE AN IDENTICAL ERROR IN THEIR RESPECTIVE BIDS, AS ALLEGED. SINCE YOU BELIEVED THAT THE BIDS OF THESE TWO FIRMS WERE ERRONEOUS AND SINCE BOTH BIDDERS HAVE ALLEGED AND SATISFACTORILY EXPLAINED THE ERROR IN THEIR RESPECTIVE BIDS, THEIR BIDS MAY BE DISREGARDED IN MAKING AWARD UNDER INVITATION NO. M4-253-60. AWARD MAY BE MADE TO MOORE AND COMPANY SOUPS, INC., IF IT IS DETERMINED TO BE THE LOWEST RESPONSIVE BIDDER AND IF IT IS WILLING TO ACCEPT THE AWARD, IT BEING NOTED THAT THE PERIOD FOR ACCEPTANCE OF ITS BID HAS EXPIRED.