B-142909, JUN. 9, 1960

B-142909: Jun 9, 1960

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MARKETING DIVISION FOR TECHNICAL AND SCIENTIFIC SUPPLY: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTERS (7023/134N2) DATED MAY 12 AND (7023/134N) DATED MAY 24. - WERE RECEIVED ON ITEM NO. 3. THE LOW BID OF $600 WAS SUBMITTED BY LIPSHAW MANUFACTURING COMPANY AND THE NEXT LOW BID ON THAT ITEM WAS SUBMITTED BY CHICAGO APPARATUS COMPANY AT A UNIT PRICE OF $715.50 FOR FURNISHING "NEWEST MODEL A0820 PLUS ACCESSORIES AS SPECIFIED. EXPLAINING THAT ITS UNIT PRICE SHOULD HAVE BEEN $717.30 INSTEAD OF $715.50 AND THAT THE ERROR RESULTED FROM "PRICING A MODEL 949. YOU ALSO STATE THAT IF CORRECTION OF THE BID OF CHICAGO APPARATUS COMPANY IS PERMITTED. THIS FIRM WILL BE TIED WITH 15 OTHER BIDDERS. THE EVIDENCE OF MISTAKE MUST BE SUCH AS TO SHOW CONCLUSIVELY THAT A MISTAKE WAS MADE.

B-142909, JUN. 9, 1960

TO MR. VICTOR J. SCHMITT, CONTRACT SPECIALIST, MARKETING DIVISION FOR TECHNICAL AND SCIENTIFIC SUPPLY:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTERS (7023/134N2) DATED MAY 12 AND (7023/134N) DATED MAY 24, 1960, WITH ENCLOSURES, IN WHICH YOU REQUEST A DECISION CONCERNING AN ERROR WHICH CHICAGO APPARATUS COMPANY, CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, ALLEGES IT MADE IN ITS BID ON ITEMS NO. 3 SUBMITTED IN RESPONSE TO INVITATION NO. NO. M6-7-61 (M6-7-60).

BY THE INVITATION ISSUED APRIL 9, 1960, YOU SOLICITED BIDS F.O.B. POINT OF ORIGIN FOR FURNISHING FOUR ITEMS OF EQUIPMENT DESCRIBED AS "PROJECTOR, MICROSCOPE; METER, PH MEASURING EVICE; MICROTOME; LAMP OPERATING, EYE: IN SUCH QUANTITIES AS MAY BE REQUIRED FROM TIME TO TIME BY THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION DURING THE PERIOD BEGINNING JULY 1, 1960 AND ENDING JUNE 30, 1961, AT THE UNIT PRICE SET OPPOSITE THE ITEM.' ITEM NO. 3, LISTED ON CONTINUATION SHEET, PAGE 5 OF THE BID INVITATION, REQUIRED THAT BIDS BE SUBMITTED AT A UNIT PRICE PER EACH FOR AN ESTIMATED QUANTITY OF 15 OF THE ITEM DESCRIBED AS "STOCK NO. 4336000 MICROTOME, AUTOMATIC, ROTARY. SHALL BE IN ACCORDANCE WITH VETERANS ADMINISTRATION SPECIFICATION NO. L-VA- 1344D, DATED SEPTEMBER 10, 1952, COPY ENCLOSED.'

THE ABSTRACT OF BIDS SUBMITTED IN RESPONSE TO THE INVITATION SHOWS THAT 20 BIDS--- RANGING FROM $600 TO $794.25--- WERE RECEIVED ON ITEM NO. 3. THE LOW BID OF $600 WAS SUBMITTED BY LIPSHAW MANUFACTURING COMPANY AND THE NEXT LOW BID ON THAT ITEM WAS SUBMITTED BY CHICAGO APPARATUS COMPANY AT A UNIT PRICE OF $715.50 FOR FURNISHING "NEWEST MODEL A0820 PLUS ACCESSORIES AS SPECIFIED. (EXCEPTION AS TO NO. 3.3 FINISH NOW GRAY EXLIOXY ENAMEL. SEE BULLETIN ATT.)" MANUFACTURED BY AMERICAN OPTICAL COMPANY, BUFFALO, NEW YORK.

IN A LETTER DATED MAY 9, 1960, RECEIVED BY YOU ON MAY 11, 1960, AFTER OPENING OF BIDS BUT PRIOR TO AWARD, CHICAGO APPARATUS COMPANY ADVISED YOU THAT IT HAD MADE AN ERROR IN ITS BID ON ITEM NO. 3, EXPLAINING THAT ITS UNIT PRICE SHOULD HAVE BEEN $717.30 INSTEAD OF $715.50 AND THAT THE ERROR RESULTED FROM "PRICING A MODEL 949, AT $22.00 LIST INSTEAD OF MODEL 942, AT $24.00 LIST, A NET DIFFERENCE OF $1.80 IN THE COMPLETE UNIT.' THE COMPANY REQUESTED PERMISSION TO CORRECT ITS UNIT BID FROM $715.50 TO $717.30 AND AMEND ITS BID ACCORDINGLY, OR TO RETRACT THE BID.

YOU STATE THAT THE LOW UNIT BID OF $600 BY LIPSHAW MANUFACTURING COMPANY OFFERED EQUIPMENT FAILING TO MEET THE REQUIREMENTS OF VA SPECIFICATION L- VA-1344-D BECAUSE OF CERTAIN DEVIATIONS AND YOU, THEREFORE, PROPOSE TO REJECT THAT COMPANY'S BID AS NONRESPONSIVE. YOU ALSO STATE THAT IF CORRECTION OF THE BID OF CHICAGO APPARATUS COMPANY IS PERMITTED, AS REQUESTED, THIS FIRM WILL BE TIED WITH 15 OTHER BIDDERS, ALL OF WHOM PROPOSE TO FURNISH A UNIT PRODUCED BY THE SAME MANUFACTURER, AND AWARD WOULD BE DECIDED BY LOT. YOU STATE FURTHER THAT BOTH MODELS NO. 947 AND NO. 942 REFERRED TO IN THE LETTER OF MAY 9, 1960, REFER TO ACCESSORY MICROTOME KNIVES.

IT CONSISTENTLY HAS BEEN HELD THAT TO AUTHORIZE THE CORRECTION OR WITHDRAWAL OF A BID BEFORE ACCEPTANCE ON THE BASIS OF A MISTAKE ALLEGED AFTER THE OPENING OF BIDS, THE EVIDENCE OF MISTAKE MUST BE SUCH AS TO SHOW CONCLUSIVELY THAT A MISTAKE WAS MADE, IN WHAT IT CONSISTS, AND HOW IT OCCURRED, REQUIRING THE IMMEDIATE PRESENTATION OF SUCH CONVINCING PROOF OF THE EXISTENCE AND CHARACTER OF THE ERROR AS TO LEAVE NO ROOM FOR DOUBT THAT THERE WAS IN FACT A BONA FIDE MISTAKE IN THE BID SOUGHT TO BE CORRECTED OR WITHDRAWN, AND TO REMOVE ANY REASONABLE SUSPICION THAT THE CLAIM OF ERROR IS FOR THE PURPOSE OF OBTAINING SOME UNDUE ADVANTAGE OR OF AVOIDING THE CONSEQUENCE OF AN ILL-ADVISED BID. SEE 9 COMP. GEN. 339.

WHILE THE BROCHURE OF THE AMERICAN OPTICAL COMPANY, SUBMITTED WITH THE BID OF CHICAGO APPARATUS COMPANY, SHOWS THE PRICE OF CATALOG NUMBER 942 "KNIFE; 120 MM., IN CASE WITHOUT BACK, HANDLE" AS ,$24.00," AS CLAIMED BY THE BIDDER, IT ALSO SHOWS THAT THE "AO SPENCER KNIFE, NO. 942, 120MM LONG, WITH NO. 961 BACK AND NO. 955 HANDLE ARE SUPPLIED AS STANDARD WITH "820.' KNIFE FURNISHED IN LEATHERETTE COVERED CASE--- COMPARTMENTS ACCOMMODATE KNIFE, KNIFE BACK AND HANDLE," AND THAT THE PRICE OF CATALOG NUMBER 820 "AO SPENCER PRECISION ROTARY MICROTOME WITH NO. 826 KNIFE HOLDER, NOS. 942 KNIFE, 961 BACK, 955 HANDLE, THREE OBJECT DISCS AND 969 PIKE OIL" IS $740.

CHICAGO APPARATUS COMPANY HAS NOT SUBMITTED ANY CERTIFIED EVIDENCE SUBSTANTIATING ERROR IN ITS BID, AS ALLEGED. FURTHERMORE, A COMPARISON OF THE COMPANY'S BID OF $715.50 WITH THE 18 OTHER RESPONSIVE BIDS RECEIVED ON ITEM NO. 3 DOES NOT WARRANT A CONCLUSION THAT ITS BID IS OUT OF LINE WITH 15 OF THOSE BIDS AT THE SAME PRICE OF $717.30 FOR A UNIT PRODUCED BY THE SAME MANUFACTURER. ON THE RECORD, THEREFORE, THE ERROR ALLEGED BY CHICAGO APPARATUS COMPANY HAS NOT BEEN ESTABLISHED.

ACCORDINGLY, THERE IS NO LEGAL BASIS EITHER FOR PERMITTING THE CORRECTION OF THE COMPANY'S BID OR FOR RELEASING IT THEREFROM.

THE DOCUMENTS FORWARDED WITH YOUR LETTERS, EXCEPT THE ABSTRACT OF BIDS, ARE RETURNED, AS REQUESTED.