B-143134, AUG. 1, 1960

B-143134: Aug 1, 1960

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TO BRAMSON ENGINEERING COMPANY: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 7. FOR WHICH THE STERILIZER WAS REQUIRED AT THE HOSPITAL. WAS OPERATING UNDER LIMITED FUNDS. THE PROGRAM'S BIOCHEMISTS WERE USING THE STERILIZERS OF THE HOSPITAL'S LABORATORY SERVICE TO AUTOCLAVE THESE EXTRACTS. 60 BOTTLES OF CULTURE MEDIUM WERE BEING PROCESSED EACH WEEK. PROCESSING INCLUDED AUTOCLAVING OF THE PREPARED MEDIUM AND AUTOCLAVING THE CONTAMINATED BOTTLES AFTER THE BACTERIA WERE REMOVED. WAS URGENTLY REQUIRED. THE STERILIZERS OF THE LABORATORY SERVICE WERE TOO SMALL FOR THE USE OF THE BIOCHEMISTS AND. UNLESS MORE ADEQUATE EQUIPMENT WAS OBTAINED PROMPTLY THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION WAS FACED WITH TWO ALTERNATIVES.

B-143134, AUG. 1, 1960

TO BRAMSON ENGINEERING COMPANY:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 7, 1960, QUESTIONING THE EXTREMELY SHORT DELIVERY REQUIREMENTS OF INVITATION FOR BIDS NO. 60-25, ISSUED BY THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION HOSPITAL, MADISON, WISCONSIN, COVERING ONE LABORATORY STERILIZER WITH REMOVABLE LOADING CAR AND TRANSFER CARRIAGE.

THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION REPORTS THAT THE RESEARCH PROGRAM ON THE BIOCHEMISTRY OF THE TUBERCLE BACILLUS, FOR WHICH THE STERILIZER WAS REQUIRED AT THE HOSPITAL, WAS OPERATING UNDER LIMITED FUNDS. THE PROGRAM RESTED ON THE ABILITY TO PREPARE, ON LARGE SCALE, CELL-FREE EXTRACTS OF THE TUBERCLE BACILLUS. THE PROGRAM'S BIOCHEMISTS WERE USING THE STERILIZERS OF THE HOSPITAL'S LABORATORY SERVICE TO AUTOCLAVE THESE EXTRACTS. BY MAY 1960, 60 BOTTLES OF CULTURE MEDIUM WERE BEING PROCESSED EACH WEEK. PROCESSING INCLUDED AUTOCLAVING OF THE PREPARED MEDIUM AND AUTOCLAVING THE CONTAMINATED BOTTLES AFTER THE BACTERIA WERE REMOVED. THIS POINT, A STERILIZER HAVING A LARGER CAPACITY, WITH REMOVABLE LOADING CAR AND TRANSFER CARRIAGE TO INSURE THE SAFETY OF THE PERSONNEL, WAS URGENTLY REQUIRED. THE STERILIZERS OF THE LABORATORY SERVICE WERE TOO SMALL FOR THE USE OF THE BIOCHEMISTS AND, THEREFORE, UNLESS MORE ADEQUATE EQUIPMENT WAS OBTAINED PROMPTLY THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION WAS FACED WITH TWO ALTERNATIVES, NEITHER OF WHICH WAS CONSIDERED TENABLE. RATHER THAN ELIMINATE PART OF THE PROGRAM OR DELIBERATELY SLOW IT DOWN, A SPECIAL ALLOTMENT OF THE CURRENT YEAR'S FUNDS WAS MADE AVAILABLE TO THE HOSPITAL TO PURCHASE THE EQUIPMENT.

IT IS FURTHER REPORTED THAT THREE OF THE BIDS RECEIVED OFFERED TO CONFORM TO THE DELIVERY REQUIREMENTS OF THE INVITATION.

IN VIEW OF THE FACTS REPORTED, THE FAILURE TO ALLOW A MORE REASONABLE DELIVERY PERIOD APPEARS TO HAVE BEEN DUE PRINCIPALLY TO INADEQUATE FUNDING OF THE PROGRAM, WHICH MAY OR MAY NOT HAVE RESULTED FROM ERRONEOUS ESTIMATES OF PROGRAM NEEDS. IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES, WE DO NOT FEEL JUSTIFIED IN QUESTIONING THE PROCUREMENT AS MADE.