B-143119, JUN. 21, 1960

B-143119: Jun 21, 1960

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VETERANS ADMINISTRATION SUPPLY DEPOT: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 6. THE LIMITED FACTS OF RECORD DISCLOSE THAT THREE BIDS WERE RECEIVED ON ITEMS NOS. 4 AND 5 OF THE SUBJECT INVITATION. IN RESPONSE THERETO YOU WERE ADVISED BY LETTER OF MAY 27. THAT CONTRARY TO ITS USUAL CUSTOM IT INADVERTENTLY OMITTED FROM ITS BID FORM THE QUALIFYING STATEMENT THAT IT WAS BIDDING ON THE SAME SPOON OFFERED UNDER PREVIOUS INVITATIONS WHICH. IS THE SAME SPOON OFFERED BY INTERNATIONAL. IT IS ASSUMED THAT THEY DEVIATE MATERIALLY FROM THE SPECIFICATIONS. FROM A STANDPOINT OF PRICE THE CAHN BID IS SUBSTANTIALLY LOWER THAN THE OTHER TWO BIDS MENTIONED. IT IS ASSUMED THAT THE DEVIATION IN ITS BID IS MATERIAL AND THEREFORE CANNOT BE WAIVED.

B-143119, JUN. 21, 1960

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

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 6, 1960, WITH ENCLOSURES, FILE REFERENCE 7018/134J, SUBMITTING FOR OUR DECISION THE QUESTION AS TO THE APPROPRIATE ACTION TO BE TAKEN IN CONNECTION WITH THE AWARDING OF A CONTRACT ON ITEMS NOS. 4 AND 5 OF INVITATION FOR BIDS NO. M3-36 61, ISSUED BY YOUR DEPOT.

THE LIMITED FACTS OF RECORD DISCLOSE THAT THREE BIDS WERE RECEIVED ON ITEMS NOS. 4 AND 5 OF THE SUBJECT INVITATION, COVERING A QUANTITY OF BOUILLON SPOONS FOR DELIVERY TO VETERANS ADMINISTRATION SUPPLY DEPOTS AT SOMERVILLE, NEW JERSEY, AND HINES, ILLINOIS. AFTER OPENING OF THE BIDS BUT BEFORE AWARD YOU NOTED THAT WHILE THE BID OF IMPERIAL RESTAURANT SUPPLY COMPANY, INC., QUOTED A UNIT PRICE OF ?39, WITHOUT QUALIFICATION, ITS PROPOSAL STATED THAT THE SPOONS WOULD BE AVAILABLE FOR INSPECTION AT THE INTERNATIONAL SILVER COMPANY PLANT AT MERIDEN, CONNECTICUT. ALSO, YOU STATE THAT THE LATTER COMPANY SUBMITTED A QUALIFIED BID OF ?35 EACH ON ITS STANDARD SPOON, IDENTIFIED AS WINDSOR PATTERN NO. 129, WHICH DOES NOT MEET PRECISELY THE ADVERTISED SPECIFICATIONS. UPON NOTING THE FOREGOING FACTS YOU REQUESTED IMPERIAL TO REVIEW ITS OFFER, AND IN RESPONSE THERETO YOU WERE ADVISED BY LETTER OF MAY 27, 1960, THAT CONTRARY TO ITS USUAL CUSTOM IT INADVERTENTLY OMITTED FROM ITS BID FORM THE QUALIFYING STATEMENT THAT IT WAS BIDDING ON THE SAME SPOON OFFERED UNDER PREVIOUS INVITATIONS WHICH, PRESUMABLY, IS THE SAME SPOON OFFERED BY INTERNATIONAL. THE THIRD BIDDER, A. L. CAHN AND SONS, INC., OFFERED TO DELIVER SPOONS CONFORMING TO A SAMPLE IT PREVIOUSLY SUBMITTED AT A UNIT PRICE OF ?182.

WHILE YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 6, 1960, MAKES NO ANALYSIS OF THE SPOONS OFFERED BY IMPERIAL AND INTERNATIONAL, IT IS ASSUMED THAT THEY DEVIATE MATERIALLY FROM THE SPECIFICATIONS. FROM A STANDPOINT OF PRICE THE CAHN BID IS SUBSTANTIALLY LOWER THAN THE OTHER TWO BIDS MENTIONED. HOWEVER, IT IS ASSUMED THAT THE DEVIATION IN ITS BID IS MATERIAL AND THEREFORE CANNOT BE WAIVED. IN ANY EVENT, SINCE YOU NOW KNOW THAT IMPERIAL DID NOT INTEND TO SUBMIT AN UNQUALIFIED OFFER, WHICH FACT WAS CONFIRMED UPON VERIFICATION, ACCEPTANCE OF SUCH BID WOULD NOT BE PROPER.

WHILE WE RECOGNIZE THE NEED FOR EXPEDITIOUS ACTION IN PRE-AWARD MATTERS, AND FOR THAT REASON HAVE SANCTIONED THE SUBMISSION OF SUCH QUESTIONS DIRECTLY BY THE CONTRACTING OFFICER (36 COMP. GEN. 513), IT IS APPARENT THAT PROMPT DISPOSITION THEREOF CAN BE ACCOMPLISHED ONLY IF AN ADEQUATE RECORD IS PRESENTED TO US. IT IS THEREFORE SUGGESTED THAT FUTURE REQUESTS FOR DECISION BE REVIEWED ADMINISTRATIVELY, IF NECESSARY, TO INSURE THAT ALL INFORMATION REQUISITE FOR A PROPER DETERMINATION OF THE QUESTIONS PRESENTED IS FURNISHED.

IN THE PRESENT CASE, IT APPEARS FROM THE RECORD SUBMITTED THAT NO ACCEPTABLE BID WAS RECEIVED UPON ITEMS 4 AND 5. IF IT BE DETERMINED TO ACCEPT SOME PATTERN OR SPOON OTHER THAN THAT CALLED FOR IN THE PRESENT INVITATION, IT WILL BE NECESSARY TO DO SO UNDER A NEW PROCUREMENT ACTION.